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Cumberland Grad Conducting Research On Assistive Devices

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cumberland Grad Conducting Research On Assistive Devices

Cumberland County High School graduate Bailey Tollett conducting classes focused on the safe use of assistive devices as part of her graduate research.

Tollett said after surgery, people often use walkers and canes incorrectly, prolonging the recovery process. The Lincoln Memorial researcher said improper use also increases the risk of additional injuries. Tollett said how people are taught immediately after surgery is part of the issue.

“They give you these devices and you walk with them once or twice and then you go home, right,” Tollett said. “But while you did all of this, you’ve been on anesthesia, you’ve had people in and out of your room, you haven’t gotten a lot of sleep, you may not have eaten as well, and all of those factors play into retention of information.”

Tollett said often, the devices end up doing more harm than good. She said the classes will provide tips on how to use the devices as well as an opportunity to bring your device from home and have it demonstrated and fitted.

“We’ll go over a packet of information,” Tollett said. “You’re able to ask any questions. I’ll go over some safe aging in your home tips and tricks, some things that will keep you safe in your home even if you haven’t had surgery.”

She said the classes will be from 3:00pm-4:00pm at the Fair Park Senior Center every Tuesday until March 12. Tollett said she will administer surveys and use the data they provide for her capstone dissertation at Lincoln Memorial University.

“Really what my dissertation is looking at is, are these classes helpful for people before surgery versus after surgery,” Tollett said.

Tollett said she realized the counterproductivity in teaching assistive device use after surgery during her level two clinicals as an occupational therapy student.

“People will go home and not use them or use them incorrectly,” Tollett said. “And it could cause another fall and you’ll either damage what you had repaired or fracture something else, and falls are the number-one cause of fractures in people over the age of 65.”


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