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.

5 Ways to Avoid the Flu This Season

Posted on: September 2nd, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

While the CDC recommends that receiving the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent coming down with influenza, not all people are able or comfortable having it done. Today, Valley Home Medical is here with five ways that you can protect yourself from the virus this year:

  1. Wash Your Hands

This is perhaps the most crucial, if not most overlooked preventative measure you can take to protect yourself from germs. A good rule of thumb is to rub the soap in your hands for about the same amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song under warm water.

  1. Avoid Touching Your Face

By touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, bacteria has a chance to make its way into your body much faster. Germs are most commonly spread by touching something that has been contaminated and then bringing those germs up to your face.

  1. Disinfect Surfaces

Clean surfaces and objects with disinfectants in order to keep away from the germs. By keeping a clean environment, you will be less likely to touch something contaminated and become sick.

  1. Cover Coughs & Sneezes

To avoid spreading the flu, be sure to cover your cough or sneeze with your arm. By coughing into your arm, you are taking the preventative measure to not spread the flu by having germs on your hands.

  1. Avoid Contact

If someone is sick or looking sluggish, try to stay away from them and objects they touch. By keeping out of coughing range, you will minimize your exposure to germs and have a better chance of staying healthy.

These tips are simple but crucial in aiding your health, so you can be at your best this flu season. By taking precaution and spreading these simple tips around, you can help others stay healthy and away from the flu bug!

4 Tips to Use Your Walker Properly

Posted on: August 9th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

Mobility aids such as walkers and rollators are meant to aid those whose range of motion has been limited due to health conditions such as arthritis. While they’re meant to offer stability and balance, it’s not uncommon for people to use them improperly, which can lead to great discomfort.

Today, Valley Home Medical is here to help. Here are the four tips on how to properly use your walker:

 

  • Height should be ideal.

 

Your walker shouldn’t be so low that you have to stoop over it, nor should it be so high that you have to reach up in order to grasp it. The ideal height should allow your elbows to be bent in a position that is natural and comfortable.

 

  • Walking patterns.

 

When using a walker, you should push it slightly in front of you, and then step into it. Often, people tend to push it too far ahead of them, which causes them to take uncomfortably long steps. Another mistake walker users make is looking down at their feet as they walk. Your eyes should always be in front of you.

 

  • Sitting down.

 

The proper way to sit down with a walker is to position yourself in front of the chair. Let the back of your legs touch the chair so you know you’re close enough to sit. Shift your weight to your stronger leg, and slide your weaker leg forward. Then change your grasp from the walker to the arms of the chair.

 

  • Standing up.

 

Place the walker in front of you and scoot forward in the chair. Use the arms of the chair to push yourself up. Then switch your grasp to the walker’s handles.

 

Getting the right walker for you and making sure it’s adjusted properly are two key components to ensuring that you use your walker correctly. The experts at  Valley Home Medical can help make sure that your equipment suits your needs. Stop in or call us today for assistance!

3 Reasons Why You Should Get a Lift Chair for Mom or Dad

Posted on: August 2nd, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

More senior than ever are choosing to age in-place. While this can have many benefits for their mental and emotional health, it could pose a few safety risks, especially if they have limited mobility. If you’ve visited your parents recently and have watched them struggle with moving around, you may already be well aware of the challenges they’re facing.

You may be able to help your parents out by purchasing them a lift chair. This piece of furniture has the appearance of an overstuffed recliner, but hidden beneath that fluff are mechanisms that allow it to move in a number of positions. One of those positions is tilting it forward, allowing a person with limited mobility to get in and out of a sitting position by themselves.

This tilting-forward position offers a number of benefits, including:

  1. Saving time.

If your parent is able to get in and out of their chair on their own, they won’t have to rely on you to help them up. This allows you to free up some of the time you’d otherwise spend monitoring them to make sure they don’t have an accidental fall.

  1. Increasing safety.

It’s more common than you realize for someone to suffer injury when helping an elderly relative rise or sit in a chair. Getting a person from a sitting or lying position can present serious challenges, as even a small misstep can lead to injury of either party.

  1. Giving back dignity.

It’s hard for many seniors to accept that they can’t do many of the things they’re used to doing on their own. A lift chair gives them back some of their independence, and thus restores some of their dignity.

In addition to the reasons listed above, a lift chair could mean less stress between the caretaker and parent. We have a wide variety to choose from at Valley Home Medical, and we can help you pick out the one that best meets your parents’ needs.

5 Tips to Dealing With Arthritis

Posted on: May 12th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

While arthritis can strike at any age, the condition by and large occurs in our twilight years. Besides being incredibly painful, it adds the additional frustration of limiting one’s ability to enjoy normal day-to-day activities. However, some relief is available. Valley Home Medical would like to offer these tips, courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation:

 

  1. Understand all of your treatment options: Exercise, arthritis pain medication or joint surgery for severe arthritic cases can reduce or eliminate your pain caused by arthritis.

 

  1. Eat the right foods: Following an anti-inflammatory diet full of fish and vegetables could potentially reduce arthritic flare-ups. Eating healthy can also result in weight loss, which can reduce pressure on your joints, easing your arthritic pain.

 

  1. Find the right exercise plan for you: If you are in pain caused by arthritis, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. Activities such as water aerobics and swimming can give you the exercise you need without increasing your joint pain brought on by arthritis.

 

  1. Take frequent breaks: Whether you’re in the middle of an arthritis flare-up or you want to avoid another flare-up, it’s important for you to give yourself a break. Taking short naps, going to bed early to get a full 8 hours of sleep, and resting when you feel tired can help reduce the pain caused by arthritis.

 

  1. Utilize arthritis mobility products: Give your joints a rest and reduce your recovery time after an arthritic flare-up by using mobility products specially designed for those who suffer from pain caused by arthritis.

 

At Valley Home Medical, we offer a wide variety of mobility aids that can help you get around easier. From leg lifters and bed rails to bed canes and easy transfer swivels, Valley Home Medical can help you find the best mobility device for your specific needs.

5 Tips to Buying a Mobility Scooter

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

For some, buying a mobility scooter can be very overwhelming. With all the different styles, types, and prices, it can be difficult to narrow down your decision. At Valley Home Medical, we understand that you may need a little extra help finding the right mobility scooter for your individual needs.

Prior to making your purchase, Valley Home Medical has come up with the following tips that will help you buy your next mobility scooter:

  • Consider the construction of your desired mobility scooter: For travel on uneven surfaces or hills, a scooter with rear wheel drive will provide you with better traction and control over your mobility scooter.

 

  • Carefully consider the size and dimensions of your new mobility scooter: When transitioning from a sitting to standing position on your scooter, ensure that your feet are comfortably placed for maximum safety.

 

  • Learn more about the safety features of your new scooter: Find a scooter with anti-tip mechanisms for sharp turns and a stable base for traveling up and down hills.

 

  • Determine how much control you need: Most mobility scooters are controlled by thumb levers. However, those with limited thumb mobility may have more control over the scooter with a joystick attached to the armrest instead of the traditional thumb lever.

 

  • Don’t forget about accessories: Choose a mobility scooter that can meet all of your needs. From oxygen transporters and crutches to front baskets and horns, make sure that you purchase a mobility scooter that can be customized to fit your exact needs.

 

 

To learn more about all of the different types of mobility scooters and determine which one will work best for you, visit Valley Home Medical today to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members or take a look at our online catalog to view the large selection of mobility scooters available.

Walk This Way! Proper Cane Use

Posted on: April 8th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

While a cane may seem like a simple and straightforward device to use, many people struggle with it at first. Some even decide to just move around less, rather than having to undergo the hassle of learning to use one.

Valley Home Medical is here to help. Today, we would like to offer you the basics of how to walk with a cane:

  • Use the cane on the sound side of your body.

 

Many people start off using the cane on the weaker leg, but this is actually the opposite of how it should be used. Instead, use the cane on the stronger leg, pulling the weaker leg behind you.

 

  • Your elbow should be at the 5:00 position.

 

A cane that is too high or too low can cause discomfort and hinder your ability to use it properly. You don’t want it so low that your hand is pointing directly down, but you don’t want it so high that your hand is pointing in front of you. If you think of your body like a clock, you would want your upper arm tilted as if it’s at the 12 position, and your lower arm tilted as if it’s at the 5 position. That height is just right to hold a cane.

 

  • Point at yourself with your thumb.

 

The most efficient way to hold your cane is to have your thumb pointing towards your body, and the back of your hand facing away from it. This hand position will allow you to maintain the best balance.

 

  • Use stairs with handrails, if you can.

 

When using the stairs, make sure you place one hand on the rails (if they have them). Start by placing your sound leg on the first step, then put your cane on the same step next to your leg. Then, leaning on both the rail and the cane, pull your weak leg up the step.

 

It will take you some time to learn how to use a cane, but it’s a skill anyone can master. Hopefully, these tips have helped you take the right steps towards greater mobility. If you’re ready to start using a cane, see Valley Home Medical today!

Picking Out the Right Portable Wheelchair Ramp

Posted on: April 1st, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

Whether you’re a wheelchair user planning a trip or a warehouse worker needing to move supplies, portable wheelchair ramps have a variety of uses. Making sure you pick out the right one can have significant impact on the health and safety of the user. Before you purchase a portable wheelchair ramp, make sure you ask the following questions:

 

  • Is it made of slip-resistant material?

 

This is especially important if the ramp will be exposed to the elements, where it will get wet in the rain or the snow.  Having the proper traction can ensure that the wheelchair has enough grip to safely transport the user to the next level, no matter what the weather does.

 

  • What is height threshold?

Different surfaces will need different height thresholds, and this is important to consider when picking out your portable ramp. If it’s too high or too low, you will put the user’s safety at risk. Some examples of different surfaces include steps that lead into the home, doors with raised lids, vehicle entrances and the steps between a garage and house.

 

  • How much space am I working with?

 

Ideally, your portable wheelchair ramp will leave enough room for the user to get on, off, reverse and turn. Measure the width of the wheels and the width of the opening to calculate the space you will need.

 

  • What is the weight capacity?

 

Before you move that dolly full of heavy goods over the portable wheelchair ramp, make sure it’s rated to handle that weight capacity. The same is true if a bariatric patient plans to use the ramp. Too much weight can wear down the ramp over time and cause serious safety issues.

 

No matter what your mobility needs are, Valley Home Medical is here for you. We carry a wide variety of ramps and other home medical equipment in our online catalog. Stop by or call us today with any questions.