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After orthopedic surgery, a game can help patients recover their mobility

Aches and Pains
Chutes and Ladders, with a twist
A Nation in Motion

Regaining mobility can be tough after an injury or illness, but the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is trying to put some fun into it. The group’s new board game, A Nation in Motion, looks a lot like Chutes and Ladders, but instead you’ll take the road to recovery and go down ankle sprain alley. Each time you give the spinner a whirl, you’ll be faced with a different scenario. You may wake up at 3 a.m. with pain from untreated carpal tunnel syndrome and have to move back two spaces. Or you may advance three spaces by completing a hike after a knee replacement. The first player to reach the “I Can Club” at the end of the game wins. You probably won’t learn anything you didn’t already know, but it’s a fun little reminder to take care of yourself and stay active. You can play online at game.,
but if you’d like a physical version of the board game, contact the surgeons group at

Advice for patients and caregivers
“The All-Weather Friend’s Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease,” by Mary M. Cail

Watching a loved one suffer with Alzheimer’s or dementia is hard, but Mary M. Cail, leader of several Alzheimer’s Association support groups, has some helpful strategies. This reader-friendly book provides a crash course in what Alzheimer’s is and what patients experience. Cail discusses what can be done to help both the patient and you as the caregiver in the early, middle and later stages of the disease. You’ll learn what to do — from helping the patient learn to accept the disease initially and doing the remembering for him or her as the condition progresses. And you’ll learn what not to do, such as being unrealistically positive or telling your loved one to fight harder. Cail also makes the point that sometimes the best way of caring for yourself is to just allow yourself to cry.

Whitney Fetterhoff

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