Let’s face it, owning and operating a clinic is not easy and you start to realize how important your time becomes. Now more than ever. If you have a family and hobbies and friends it can feel as though you start to neglect them for the success of your business, especially in the early years. One thing that I have learned to respect, is that time is the only thing you cannot get back or make more of. You can always make more money, you can always buy more things, go on more trips, have a bigger house. But losing out on time with your family and friends is something you may look back on and regret later down the road.
My husband and I don’t have any immediate family in town, so when we started to grow our family it was just the two of us trying to juggle a life of being new parents, clinic owners and everything else in our lives. Those of you that have your parents close by to help out….appreciate every second of their help! And you know what? It’s not only helping you, it’s actually creating a great relationship between your children and your parents, something that most kids don’t have the opportunity to experience.
When you’re starting up your clinic, you really shouldn’t be open 40 hours a week. Unless you have enough patients to fill your schedule for 40 hours…which kudos to you if that’s the case! Adjust your office hours to assure patients are scheduled back to back, or even slightly overlapped. You want the socialization between patients, it helps build motivation and successful outcomes. And you also want to appear busy. A busy restaurant MUST be good; same goes with a busy therapy clinic. If you’re trying to be flexible for your patients and having office hours 7am-7pm, that’s nice. But I assure you, they will conform to your schedule and where you NEED to put them. Reimbursement is low enough, don’t let them make it even tougher by scheduling with sporadic gaps. Remember, time is money.
I spoke with a wonderful counselor regarding work-life balance. I always thought “I want to be there for all the moments in my kids’ lives”. And I do. But I don’t need to be there for EVERY bath time and EVERY homework session; I want to be there for the things that really matter to them and not necessarily the “have to do’s”. Hiring a nanny to help out, even when I’m home is a money well spent. To have an extra set of hands so that I could answer a prospective patient phone call after dinner could save me thousands versus only costing me a couple hundred dollars a week.
If you don’t have children, or even if you do, hiring someone to help you with errands that you hate doing is also essential. Now they have grocery delivery services! Amazing….what a genius idea and so much time saved on something I personally hate taking time to do. Utilize an employee to run other errands for you; going to the bank, the post office, etc.
Learn how to tackle problems with dizziness and prevent falls
Your favorite amusement park ride always leaves your head spinning and maybe your stomach in knots. That’s the fun of it – that feeling you’re moving this way and the world’s moving that way.
But the sensation of moving, spinning, or floating when you’re moving about your home, getting out of your car, reaching for something on a shelf is unwelcomed and can be downright frightening.
You may have a “vestibular” problem. As many as 35 percent of adults aged 40 years or older in the United States—about 69 million Americans—have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction.
Chronic dizziness and declining balance skills can affect many of our daily activities, especially ones that require that we keep our eyes focused and our bodies stabilized as we shift our weight, bend, or move our head. Frequent dizzy spells or constant dizziness, while not life-threatening, can really make life miserable and increase our risk of falls.
Cynthia Ryan, executive director of the Vestibular Disorders Association, says anyone, regardless of age, can suffer a devastating fall because of vestibular dysfunction.
“The vestibular system lives in the inner ear and tells the brain where we are relative to our surroundings,” Cynthia says. “If the vestibular system is damaged due to illness or injury, a person might experience dizziness, imbalance, disorientation, or even spinning vertigo. This can happen to anyone, at any age.”
What causes a vestibular disorder?
Nathalie Grondin, a licensed physical therapist who specializes in vestibular rehabilitation, says a variety of health conditions, such as inner ear infections and head injuries, can cause vestibular symptoms.
“Vestibular rehabilitation helps reprogram the brain, improves coordination between the head and the eyes, improves balance, and increases confidence,” Nathalie says. “Eye and head coordination exercises, like focusing on a target and turning the head side-to-side, are the bedrock of our vestibular rehabilitation approach. These targeted exercises are designed to alleviate symptoms like vertigo, dizziness, and/or unsteadiness.”
Most people acknowledge a balance problem only after they’v fallen and perhaps suffered a serious injury. Fortunately, Hope, one of Nathalie’s clients, took action sooner than later. Hope saw her ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor after experiencing bouts of vertigo that made her feel dizzy and nauseous. “I was diagnosed with an inner ear issue,” she recalls. “My doctor suggested physical therapy to help improve my balance and decrease my symptoms.”
Nathalie and Hope worked together twice a week. In a month, Hope was discharged from physical therapy. “I had a great experience,” she says. “Nathalie was an exceptional teacher and physical therapist. I feel so much better knowing that this condition can be fixed. I know what to do now if any symptoms return.”
Nathalie says if you’re having balance issues that concern you, see your doctor to get a referral for a balance evaluation.
Living with a Vestibular Disorder? Help Prevent Falls at Home
- About half of all falls happen inside the home. Take these steps to fix the dangerous areas in your home.
- Place railings on both sides of all stairs inside and outside of your home.
- Have grab bars inside and outside your bathtub or shower and next to the toilet.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower.
- Remove small rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs from slipping.
- Use bright lights throughout your home, especially on the stairs.
- Keep stairs and places where you walk clear of clutter. Pick up or move things you can trip over, like cords, papers, shoes, or books.
- Keep kitchen items you use often in easy-to-reach cabinets or shelves.
Certain medications can increase your risk of falling and impact your balance by making you sleepy, slowing your reactions, or causing weakness. Some examples of medications that can increase fall risk are certain types of antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and water pills.
Your physical therapist can help you work with your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications and consider changes to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling.
When it comes to helping you improve your balance, and reduce your risk of falling, your physical therapist is an important part of the team. They can evaluate you to determine where your problem areas are, and design an individualized program for you. They can also refer you to other professionals who can help like your eye doctor and your pharmacist. If you’re starting to feel out of balance, your PT can help you stop falls before they start.