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.

What Irish Fairy Tales Can Tell You about Buying HME Products

Posted on: March 12th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and icons of Irish culture are popping everywhere. Whether or not your family originates from the Emerald Isle, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during this fun-filled festivity.

At Valley Home Medical, we especially love Irish folklore. A number of their fairy tales can actually teach us about the dos and don’ts of purchasing home medical equipment, such as:

The Children of Lir

In this story, a jealous stepmother uses magic to turn her stepchildren into swans. They wander the earth for 900 years in this form. Finally, they are turned back into humans, but they have lost their youth and are now old men and women.

What this can tell us about buying HME equipment: Old age can sneak up on you faster than you realize! You may be as graceful as a swan throughout your youth, but advanced age can take its toll on your ability to balance and be sure on your feet. That’s why we carry a number of products to keep you safe in your home, such as bath safety equipment, as well as canes, walkers and rollators.

The Field of Boliauns: In this tale, a man captures a leprechaun and commands him to show where he’s hid his gold. The leprechaun shows where it was buried in a field, but the man then realizes he needs to get a shovel in order to dig it up. To mark the spot so he could find it later, the man ties his a handkerchief on a nearby plant and tells the leprechaun not to move it. The leprechaun obeys, but instead of moving it he ties hundreds of handkerchiefs on plants all over the field, making it impossible for the man to rediscover where the gold was buried.

What this can tell us about buying HME equipment: The HME field is filled with hundreds of providers, but not all of them are golden. In order to get the right equipment, you need a reliable guide, and not a leprechaun-like trickster. Valley Home Medical is the sort of reliable guide you need when making your home medical equipment purchase.

 

Whether you plan to celebrate Irish culture or not, we hope you keep us in mind the next time you have an HME need. We not only carry the items mentioned above, but we also have an online catalog complete with everything you need!

3 Ways You Can Make Your Home Safer for Older Relatives

Posted on: March 5th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

More and more Americans are opting to age in-home. For many seniors, this means living out their retirement years in the house where they raised their family. Others, however, opt to move in with their children, especially when their health may not be the best.

If you have an older relative coming to join your household, Valley Home Medical Supply is here to help. Today we’re sharing three solutions to make your home safer before your elderly loved ones arrive:

  • Install a stair lift.

 

If you have a ranch-style house, you may think this tip doesn’t apply. But did you know that also stair lifts are also available outside the home? If you have a significant number of steps leading up to your house, they may pose a potential hazard to your aging relative, especially if their mobility is impaired. It could prevent them from experiencing a fall, especially if they are carrying something up the stairs.

 

  • Use ramps.

Stair lifts aren’t the only option for those with limited mobility. We also offer modular ramps which can easily be installed outside of your home. If your older relative uses a rollator or a wheelchair, this device can make your home much safer and easily accessible. We also offer smaller threshold ramps that can be utilized at entrances and elevated doorways.

 

Bathrooms are one of the most common places for people to experience injuries. To prevent this from happening, install grab bars around and in the tub. This will give your elderly relative something to grasp onto as they get in and out of the bath, giving you the peace of mind that they are safe while living in your home.

Valley Home Medical Supply values the health and well-being of your loved ones. We know how life can sometimes take unexpected turns, which is why we’re here for you every step of the way. Browse our online catalog for all our accessibility products, or see us today for more suggestions on how to make your home safer.

5 Things to Ask Before Buying a Hospital Bed

Posted on: February 20th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

As a caregiver, you’re faced with difficult decisions on a daily basis. Having to figure out what kind of hospital bed to buy is just another task on the to-do list. When browsing your options, we recommend asking the following questions:

  • Do I need a raised or lowered hospital bed?

 

A raised hospital bed can make it easier for you to approach your loved one, while a lowered hospital bed enables users to get in and out without additional assistance. If the person you’re caring for isn’t able to move around on their own, a raised bed may be a better option.

 

  • How long will your loved one need to use a hospital bed?

Is your loved one recovering from an injury, surgery or other illness? In that case, they will likely need a hospital bed for a temporary length of time, so a standard hospital bed may work best. However, if the user will requires long term or intensive care, then an extended-care bed could be a better option. These beds are built to last longer and have additional comforts and amenities.

  • How much weight will the hospital bed need to bear?

 

A good rule of thumb is to use a bed frame that can handle 20 to 25 percent more than the actual weight of the user. Make sure that you also factor in anything else that will be sitting on top of the frame, including blankets, liners and the mattress itself.

 

  • How long will your loved one occupy the hospital bed each day?

 

If they are spending less than 15 hours a day abed, then it’s best to go with a standard, manual hospital bed. However, if they plan to use it for longer periods of time, a full electric bed may be best. These beds can help you change positions easily, reducing your loved one’s chances of developing bed sores.

 

  • What is the user’s mobility level?

 

Knowing this will help you decide what amenities to look for in a hospital bed. Take into consideration whether your loved one is able to get in and out of bed on their own, is able to sit up on their own, or is completely immobile.

At Valley Home Medical, we want to make sure that your loved one receives the best care possible. That’s why we carry a number of items in our online catalog that can make their lives—and yours—a little bit easier.

Top 5 Myths About Heart Health

Posted on: February 13th, 2017 by ValleyHomeMedicalSupplyBlogger

Did you know cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? To help spread awareness of this and many other heart health facts, the American Heart Association has designated February as American Heart Month. Valley Home Medical would like to offer our support towards fighting this disease, by debunking these top five myths concerning cardiovascular health:

Myth 1: High blood pressure is normal as you age.

While hypertension may be common among senior citizens, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Arteries become stiff with age, which prompts the heart to pump harder, causing higher blood pressure. There are various treatments available to help bring down to a healthier level, if necessary. Talk to your doctor about what your options are.

Myth 2: You exercise less if you have heart disease.

According to Harvard Health, exercising less is actually counter-productive, as limited movement can lead to blood clots. An active lifestyle helps strengthen heart muscles and improve blood circulation. Consult your doctor before you begin a new or intensive exercise regimen.

Myth 3: My medication makes me invincible to heart disease.

Medicine that helps with diabetes and high cholesterol can cut back on the effects of certain diseases, but if you live an unhealthy lifestyle, you could decrease the effectiveness of those important medications.

Myth 4: I’ve already done extensive damage by smoking, it’s too late to quit.

Within a year of ceasing cigarettes, your chance of having a heart attack are reduced by 50 percent. Ten years after you stop smoking, it will be as if you never smoked at all. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how long you smoked or how much you smoked in a day—you can always make the change to diminish your chances of heart disease.

Myth 5: Cutting out fat will help me fight heart disease.

Some fat is bad for you, and lessened when possible. Saturated fats, trans fat and partially hydrogenated fats are all examples of undesirable additives. Other fats, however, are beneficial for the body, such as omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish.

 

At  Valley Home Medical, we encourage all our customers to pay close attention to their heart health! See us for all your home health needs.