Amputees should always keep in mind that things can go wrong, and it’s essential to be prepared for anything.
Here are some tips for people living with amputation and prosthetics, whether traveling, preparing for a day at the office, or anything in between.
Always have an emergency kit with you
No matter how long or far you’re going to be away, it’s important to pack an emergency kit.
For example, having extra prosthetic socks are essential because perspiration and odor can arise, and a new pair can fight off bacterial growth. You might also want to pack an ACE wrap for protection or if you need to change out your current wrap. You should also pack lotion or cream for irritations and dryness. While you should only make adjustments to your prosthetic in an emergency, having an Allen wrench in your kit is useful if you need to tighten parts of your prosthetic.
These are just some of the basics that go into an emergency kit, and you should pack whatever else you might need. If you’re flying or traveling some other way, you’ll want to bring vital leg gear and care with you.
Prepare for the weather
Whether it’s hot or cold outside, you need to prepare for the weather.
Icy and snowy conditions can make the walkways and sidewalks slippery, so make sure to wear shoes with good tread. If you have further balance issues, then you can use a cane to help support you, or have someone walk with or next to you.
It’s also a good idea to give yourself more time to get to places in slippery conditions and to see whether any roads or highways are closed or have detours because of the weather conditions.
You should follow proper winter driving tips as well, such as accelerating and decelerating slowly, driving slowly, knowing your brakes, and ensuring your tires are properly inflated and have good treads.
It’s best to plan for the worst, so we encourage you to bring a warm jacket and other winter clothes in case you get stuck somewhere.
You should consider bringing your medication as well. In fact, you should always have your medication on you or nearby just in case.
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In terms of hot weather, it’s a good practice to bring extra socks and bandages in case you need to change them out. If you’re going to be outside, then you should always pack sunscreen and water.
We encourage amputees to check their prosthetics on a routine basis because they can wear down and break over time, and to contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
You should also check your skin near a prosthetic on a daily basis and apply lotion or medicine when needed or as prescribed by your doctor.
Washing your limb every day is vital in combating odor, irritation, and infection.
Check for skin breakdown every day and contact your doctor if you have any concerns, as well as if you’re having problems with fitting or any concerns with your prosthetic, whether it’s a noise, crack, or how it feels.
Everyone’s circumstances, daily maintenance, and routines are different, but we hope the above tips for people living with amputation and prosthetics can help. If you ever have any questions or concerns, you should contact your doctor or a medical professional.