3 Questions You May Have About Heart Health and Incontinence

Posted on: February 10th, 2018 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

There’s hearts, chocolates and cupids everywhere this time of year. February plays host to Valentine’s Day, but did you know that it’s also American Heart Month?

While many people are aware of the dangers of heart disease, fewer are aware of its connection to other health conditions, including incontinence. An estimated 25 million Americans have some form of bladder disorder, and half of those who have heart issues have incontinence. It’s not a pretty or fun subject to talk about, but given how many people live with it, we thought it would be worth our while to touch on it.

  • Why is it Connected?

Heart issues can impact incontinence in a couple different ways. On one hand, it can cause someone to have to urinate often. On the other, it can cause you to have urine backup, which will cause you to have to go to the bathroom suddenly and without warning.

Additionally, heart issues can bring in a host of other problems, such as diabetes and stroke, which themselves can increase your probability of having incontinence issues.

  • How can I cut back on heart-related incontinence?

Healthier lifestyle choices can help you overcome incontinence issues. This includes quitting smoking, eating a better diet and getting regular exercise. Another step to take is reviewing your medication. Some drugs that treat heart conditions can also cause you to experience incontinence.

We would never encourage you to stop taking your heart medication. Talk to your doctor about strategies to overcome unwanted side-effects.

  • What are some of those strategies?

 

Your doctor may tell you to change the time you take your medication. Timing your bathroom breaks can also help, as you’re emptying your bladder before you have the sudden urge to go. Making adjustments to your diet, such as cutting out caffeine and sugar, can have a positive impact as well.

 

In addition to following some of the above tips, you can also swing by and see our friendly staff! We carry a number of adult incontinence products, and can find the right product for you.

Alternatives to Taking Away the Keys from Your Elderly Parents

Posted on: January 24th, 2018 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

It’s never easy to watch our parents grow older, especially as we find ourselves having conversations with them about their independence. Driving, in particular, can be a sticky subject. On one hand, you don’t want them to be unsafe. On the other, you know what losing that much freedom will mean to them.

Fortunately, there may be some alternatives to giving up the keys completely, including:

  • Sign up for a driver’s safety course with them to help them refresh their skills. By taking it together, you can keep them from feeling singled out and isolated.
  • Many occupational therapists specialize in driving rehabilitation, and can make recommendations for adaptive equipment that will allow your loved one to continue driving even when their physical health declines. Offer to explore that route with them before they give up driving.
  • The time of day can affect how well they drive. If they’re having problems at night, help them work out an alternative schedule. Can they take that gym class during the day instead of the evening? Can they meet their friends for morning coffee or lunch instead of dinner?
  • Find out all the alternative transportation options available in your community, including buses, subways, taxis, etc. Contact your Area Agency on Aging to see if they offer a senior transportation service. While they may not be ready to stop driving quite yet, if they’re having a bad day these services can prevent an accident from happening.
  • Make sure their car is up-to-date on maintenance. If they’re already slow to respond in a traffic situation, it won’t help if their tires are bald or their brake pads are low.

 

If these solutions don’t work and it really is time for mom and dad to give up the keys, remember that it’s you and them against the problem, not you against them. By making their unsafe driving a problem that you’re tackling together, you can take some of the adversity out of the situation.

Bathroom Safety: Don’t overlook it!

Posted on: January 10th, 2018 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on: December 30th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

 

As you find yourself caught up in the mad dash of holiday shopping, baking and traveling, somewhere in the back of your mind, you may find yourself worrying about one thing: those New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s not quite time to start making them yet, but it’s coming up fast. Only 8 percent of people who make them end up meeting their goals. Maybe you’ve been one of the lucky ones in the past, but more than likely, you’re one of the 92 percent who aren’t able to follow all the way through.

Many people make the resolution to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise more. We applaud all that, and want to help you stick to those goals as much as possible. If you are planning attempting those things in the New Year, here are three ways you can trick yourself into doing so:

  • Tell someone…. Or don’t!

 

Statistics say different things when it comes to telling others about your goals. Some studies show you are more likely to stick to goals when you have someone keeping you accountable. Others say you are more likely to break your goal if you tell everyone about it. Find out which category you fit in and go with it. If you’ve told people in the past, stay quiet this time! If you usually don’t tell people about your goals, find someone who will hold you accountable this time around.

 

  • Don’t use up your willpower tank

 

They say that willpower works like a gas tank: the more of it you use, the harder it is for you to resist temptation the next time it comes around. Keep your willpower tank full by planning for triggers that can cause you to lapse back into bad habits. Or, allow yourself to have very small cheats—in fact, build them into your daily diet plan. This will keep your willpower tank full, while not breaking your (diet) bank.

 

  • Put your money where your mouth is

 

You’ve heard of a swear jar… now start using the diet and exercise jar! Every time you fail to go to the gym or eat something you shouldn’t, put some money in a jar. Designate a charity or religious organization that you want to donate to, and then give them the contents of the jar once a week.

We love helping people succeed in their health goals! That’s why we carry the items that we do in our online catalog. Why don’t you check it out now?

Helping Your Elderly Loved One Celebrate the Holidays

Posted on: December 16th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

They say there’s no place like home for the holidays, but if your loved one recently moved into an assisted living facility, they may be feeling like they’re missing out. Today, we’re here with some tips on how you can help your loved ones celebrate the holidays no matter where they’re living:

Decorations:

Hopefully, your loved one saved their Christmas decorations when they moved! These often have strong memories tied to them, and can help your loved one feel like they’re in a familiar place. Set aside a date when you can come over and help them set these sentimental objects up. If they have trouble getting around, your assistance (and company) will be especially appreciated!

Traditions:

Try to keep as many traditions as possible. Some may not be feasible in their new living arrangements. For example, if they usually hosted large gatherings, they may not have the space to do so any longer. However, if you decorated cookies together every year or went on annual shopping excursions, you should try to keep these up. You may need to make some accommodations if they have mobility issues, but these can be easily solved with items such as walkers, rollators or mobility scooters.

Use Sensitivity:

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or Dementia, they can be easily confused. Decorating their room with new items could cause them to become agitated. If, however, you do have some objects from their past, it can actually help them with their short-term memory. Just realize that sometimes, nothing you do can be quite right. In those situations, go easy on yourself and your loved one. Their condition is difficult on both of you!

Remember to take an evening to yourself every now and then. It can be tempting to go overboard during the holiday season, but you don’t want to burn yourself out. In the meanwhile, we’re here to make sure that your relative is able to enjoy the holiday season in comfort!

 

Making Your Thanksgiving Accessible

Posted on: November 17th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

There’s nothing quite like the holidays to bring the family together! This time of year can also present many challenges, especially for those who have issues with their mobility. Today, we’d like to share three tips to make your next holiday gathering more accessible:

  1. Mobility Scooters

When it comes to holiday shopping, venturing out to the malls and shopping centers can be especially hard on those who have limited mobility. Instead of forgoing your annual family gift-hunting excursion, help your loved one get around with a mobility scooter. It can keep them from becoming fatigued early on, and take off the strain of hauling shopping bags around all day.

  1. Portable Ramps

If your loved one already uses a mobility scooter or wheelchair, you might be worried about how they will enter and exit your home. It can not only be cumbersome to attempt to carry them up the stairs, it could also pose a potential danger to you. Portable ramps provide a safe solution to give your loved ones the chance to enjoy the holidays. Since they are temporary, you can take them down after their visit is over.

  1. Clear Pathways

Once inside your home, it’s important to make sure your loved one doesn’t get hurt from trying to move around. Loose throw rugs could cause a tripping hazard or be difficult for a wheelchair to roll over. Look around for other tripping hazards, such as power cords and decorations, and move them out of the walkway. Make sure the furniture is far enough apart that they can maneuver their mobility device with ease.

 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that everyone gets the chance to celebrate the upcoming months. Our team can provide solutions to create lasting mobility solutions year-round.

 

How to Keep from Getting Caregiver Burnout This Holiday Season

Posted on: November 10th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

As a caregiver, you’ve probably given more of yourself than you ever thought possible. During the holidays, you may find yourself giving even more. This time of year is so taxing that many people in your position find themselves going through a burnout. Today, we have three tips that can help you get through the holiday season:

  1. Keep Your Routine

Gatherings, shopping trips, and reunions can make it difficult to maintain a steady routine. Avoid over-scheduling and try to stick as close as possible to your regular schedule. If you cannot make it to every holiday event, don’t be afraid to say so.

  1. Start New Traditions

 

When you first found yourself taking on the role of caretaker, you no doubt found your life changing dramatically, taking on a “new normal.” Likewise, your holidays may need to take on a new normal, as there are some traditions that may just be out of reach. Work with your loved one to create rituals that will accommodate both of you and that still encompass your sense of the season.

 

  1. Focus on what you can control

 

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things to face as a caretaker is the loss of control. You can’t control the how the health condition is affecting your loved one, and you can’t control how much of your time is taken away from you. During the holidays, this can be especially apparent as you have to say “no” to invitations that you would like to say “yes” to.

 

While you can’t control the circumstances, you can control your attitude. A positive outlook can help increase your energy, mood and productivity, which can translate into being able to do more during the holidays.

Remember to take a step back and allow some self-care during this hectic time of year. If you need any other tips on how to make this time of year better for you and your loved one, stop by and talk to our experts! We have the tools you need to ensure they can remain safe and comfortable in their own home.

 

Don’t Let Your Mobility Aid Cause You to Have a Fall!

Posted on: October 11th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

Falls are the number-one reason why senior citizens are hospitalized each year, with 29 million falls occurring in 2014 alone. Of those, the CDC found that 47,000 involved the use of a walker, rollator or cane. That’s why it’s so important to be sure you’re using your walking aid properly. Today, Valley Home Medical is going to give you some tips on how to avoid a fall when using mobility aid:

  • Make sure that it’s the proper height. No matter which device you’re using, your arms shouldn’t be bent or raised in an uncomfortable way.
  • Place the device in front of you and step into it. This is true of both a cane and a walker, and it shouldn’t be placed so far in front that you have trouble stepping into it.
  • Use proper posture. If you are hunched or slouched over, this will make it easier for you to sustain a fall while using your mobility aid.
  • When getting up and down from a chair, put your mobility aid in front of you and push up. Trying to grasp it after you’ve stood up could cause you to fall.
  • Make sure your path is cleared of anything that could trip you up, such as rugs, cords and other clutter.

In addition to using your cane or walker properly, there are some other things you can do to prevent experiencing a fall, such as:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Finding out from your doctor if your medications will have side-effects such as making you dizzy, tired or weak.
  • Get your eyes checked regularly to make sure your prescriptions are still working as they should.
  • Revamp your home environment to make sure it’s safe. This includes installing bathroom safety equipment such as grab bars, raised toilet seats and shower chairs.

For more tips on how to avoid a fall, talk to the experts at Valley Home Medical. We can demonstrate in person how to best use a walker, rollator or cane and help you avoid a costly trip to the emergency room!

5 Ways to Decrease Your Risk for Breast Cancer

Posted on: October 4th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

Around 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year.  This October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and together we all need to do our part. Throughout this month, Valley Home Medical would like to spread the word by highlighting five ways to decrease your risk of developing this condition:

  1. Know Your Family History – Approximately 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary. This percentage isn’t huge, but it is high enough to pay attention to.  If you do have breast cancer in your family history, consult a geneticist.  You can then determine if you carry the genetic variation, BRCA2, that makes you more prone to developing breast cancer.
  2. Know your body – Dense breasts make your cancer risk approximately six times higher. Become familiar with how dense your breast tissue is and look for changes as you age.  While there is nothing you can do to decrease the density of your breast, you can ask to have an additional MRI or ultrasound screening during your next scheduled mammogram.
  3. Stay fit –Experts recommends keeping your exercise to at least 150 minutes per week, which is 30 minutes per days for 5 days per week. This activity can help to boost your immune system and keep your body fighting off unwanted invaders.
  4. Eat right – Studies have shown that women who had high carotenoid levels in their blood system had a 19 percent lower risk of breast cancer. Aim to get more carotenoids in your system by eating additional fruits and vegetables.  Foods such as leafy greens, red peppers, and carrots are a few examples of foods high in carotenoids.
  5. Detect early – If found early, your prognosis is drastically improved. You have a 90 percent survival rate if found early and confined only to the breast.  How do you detect early?  Know your breast tissue, know your family history, and get screenings more often and earlier if you think you are at a higher risk for breast cancer.

There are many tips available to reduce breast cancer risk including breast-feeding, minimizing hormone therapy and reducing exposure to radiation.  At Valley Home Medical, we want to support you in your fight against breast cancer.  Please share these tips throughout October and continue to educate your friends and family on Breast Cancer Awareness.

3 Things You Should Know About Compression Therapy

Posted on: September 16th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

Compression therapy helps increase circulation in your legs via the special socks that support your veins. By helping to prevent blood pooling in leg veins, compression therapy diminishes leg swelling and helps to prevent any other complications. To avoid future problems, it’s important to know these three things about these super socks!

  1. How It Works

Compression therapy stockings help to treat vein diseases by supplying pressure to legs to help control swelling and discomfort. The strongest support starts at the ankles and gets gradually lighter. The pumping action of the calf muscles combines with the gradient compression of the socks to help assist blood circulation. The compression of your tissues helps move excess fluid back into the capillaries to prevent fluid buildup. This helps benefit you if you have achy legs, varicose veins, swelling, venous ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, post-thrombotic syndrome, and other issues.

  1. Benefits

There are numerous benefits from compression stockings. Compression therapy increases blood circulation, decreases blood pooling, minimizes spider and varicose veins, and decreases venous pressure. Along with blood flow positives, compression therapy also affects the tissue. It decreases swelling, drains toxins like lactic acid, decreases inflammation, and improves the movement of tendons and joints.

  1. Where to Get Stockings

It is best to measure earlier in the day before swelling builds up, so schedule an appointment for the morning. You will speak with your doctor to see if graduated compression stockings are a good fit for you. They will then help you figure out what pressure grade is right for you. From there, you can come into a home medical equipment provider such as us and pick out the right compression therapy stocking for you.

Compression therapy is extremely important in helping overall circulation and leg swelling. By being educated on the importance and design of the stockings, you will be able to utilize them to their fullest in order to live more comfortably.