How to Choose the Right Lift Chair for Mom or Dad

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

CarePro_Blog_HowToChooseTheRightLiftChairForMomandDad

Is it getting harder to help mom out of her chair? Does dad have a hip or knee surgery scheduled? If so, they could benefit from a lift chair. This piece of furniture contains a device that lifts the entire chair from its base, allowing the sitter to get in and out with ease.

Before you start shopping, here is a quick guide to some of the different types of lift chairs, courtesy of CarePro Home Medical:

Three Position Chair: The three-position chair can recline out to a 135-degree angle, so it makes a V-shape when it’s fully extended. This model of chair is great for those on a budget, as they tend to be the least expensive. However, they’re still comfy and reliable and can enable mom and dad to live more independently.

Infinite Position Lift Chair: If mom or dad enjoy taking afternoon recliner naps, then an infinite position lift chair would be a great option. This lift chair can fully recline at 180-degrees, allowing the sitter to go into a laying-down position. Typically, the infinite position lift chair comes with two motors, one for the back and one for the feet, which allows for a wide variety of positions.

Zero Gravity Lift Chairs: The zero gravity lift chair comes with the most options. Like the infinite position lift chair, it also typically comes with a motor at the back and one at the front. The zero gravity lift chair allows the sitter to elevate their legs above their heart, so it’s ideal for those with heart issues. If you’re looking for something top-of-the-line, this is it.

Stepping into the role of family caretaker is never easy. But, with a lift chair from CarePro Home Medical, we can make it just a little easier. Check out the lift chair selection at any of our CarePro Medical locations.

Tips for Living with COPD in Extreme Heat

Posted on: August 8th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

CarePRo_Blog_LivingWithCOPDInExtremeHeat

For those living with COPD, extreme heat can be downright dangerous. Not only does it exacerbate your condition, it can also turn fatal. However, by taking the correct precautions, you can beat the heat and stay healthy for the remainder of the summer. CarePro Home Medical has these tips for you:

  • Stay inside as much as possible, especially on days where the heat and the humidity are at their most extreme. If you don’t have air conditioning at your house, then go someplace that does during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Places such as the mall or the public library are good spots to take cool refuge. If you’re in your Golden Years, your community may have a senior center for you to stay at as well.
  • If you must be outside, concentrate your activities during the morning or evening, when the sun is less intense. Make sure you take plenty of breaks where you’re sitting in the air conditioning for a while.
  • Drink lots of water. This is important in helping thin the mucous, which helps ease COPD symptoms. You should also avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks, as these can lead to dehydration.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier—in fact, have several throughout the house. Like the old saying goes, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” While we don’t completely agree with that—heat is bad for COPD—relieving those awful symptoms that come with humidity can go a long way to helping you feel better.

Overall, managing your COPD symptoms on a hot day all comes down to taking it easy. It’s not worth it to end up in the hospital because you pushed yourself too hard. The experts at CarePro Home Medical can also help. We carry portable oxygen concentrators and oxygen concentrator accessories. We also have respiratory therapists on staff to answer any of your questions. Stop by one of our CarePro Home Medical locations today to talk with an expert!

How Can You Protect Your Family from Ticks?

Posted on: August 5th, 2016 by Emily LeGrand

Family-camping 2

Q. Our family is going camping in the woods this summer and I’m concerned about ticks. What can we do to stay safe?

A. You are smart to be extra vigilant about ticks in warmer months (April through September), when they are most active. These tips should help:

  • Avoid direct contact with ticks
    • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
    • Walk in the center of trails.
  • Repel ticks with DEET or permethrin
    • Use repellents that contain 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
    • Treat clothing and gear (backpacks, tents, etc.) with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin. It remains protective through several washings. Pretreated clothing is available and may be protective longer.
  • Find and remove ticks from your body
    • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors.
    • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and especially in their hair.
    • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing, backpacks and pets, then attach to a person later.
    • Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat to kill remaining ticks.

The team at CarePro Health Services cares deeply about you and your family’s health and wellness. We also want you to stay safe this summer and enjoy the outdoors. Please reach out to us today for any additional questions you might have!

– Source: American Red Cross

Medication Safety: Proper Drug Disposal

Posted on: July 28th, 2016 by Emily LeGrand

Medication Safety 2
If you have medications that you no longer need, be sure to follow the proper procedures when disposing of them. The following guidelines were developed to help reduce harm from accidental exposure or intentional misuse after medications are no longer needed:

  • Follow any specific disposal instructions on the prescription drug labeling or patient information that accompanies the medicine. Do not flush medicines down the sink or toilet unless the information specifically instructs you to do so.
  • Take advantage of programs that allow the public to take unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. Call your local law enforcement agencies to see if they sponsor medicine take-back programs in your community. Contact your city’s or county government’s household trash and recycling service to learn about medication-disposal options and guidelines in your area.
  • Transfer unused medicines to collectors registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Authorized sites may be retail, hospital or clinic pharmacies and law enforcement locations. Some offer mail-back programs or collection receptacles know as drop boxes. Visit the DEA’s website or call 800-882-9539 for more information and to find an authorized collector in your community.
  • If no disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug labeling and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash following these steps: 1.) Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds, dirt or kitty litter (this makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs). 2.) Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of the garbage bag.
  • Scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
  • Do not give your medicine to friends. Doctors prescribe medicines based on your specific symptoms and medical history. Something that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.
  • The same disposal methods for prescription drugs could apply to over-the-counter drugs as well.
Source: Alzheimer’s Association

What to Expect During a Sleep Study

Posted on: July 24th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

CarePro_Blog_WhatToExpectDuringASleepStudy

If you sleep 8 hours and still can’t stay awake during the day, or your partner has been sleeping on the couch due to your snoring, you may need a sleep study to determine what’s going on. Often times, sleep apnea can cause these symptoms, and the team at CarePro Home Medical wants to help you take the steps to treatment and better sleep today.

However, before you go out and buy any CPAP supplies, your doctor will want to confirm this causation with a polysomnogram.

A polysomnogram, or a sleep study, is a non-invasive procedure.  During this process, you will be paired with various wires and sensors to match your head, nostrils and mouth.  You will also have cardio and pulmonary monitors, along with motion detectors on your eyelids, jaw and legs. Every breath, heartbeat, eye flicker, tooth grind and leg jerk is recorded for analysis. It’s very intriguing to examine how many brain waves you give off during your sleep.

Your doctor will help you find your own sleep center or refer you to a local practice.  It may feel strange being hooked up to wires and sensors, but participating in a sleep study where the patient rooms are top notch quality ensures that you will be able to move around, use the bathroom, and sleep in different positions with ease.  It always helps to find a sleep study lab that can work around your schedule, and offers a wide window for testing.

If you need assistance finding the best CPAP machine or CPAP mask for you, we’re here to help! With sleep therapy assistance in-house and CPAP supplies in our online catalog, our team at CarePro Health Services has everything you need, including on site respiratory therapists to best assist you in finding the right mask and teaching you how to use the machines and masks. Browse all the products online, and then stop by CarePro Home Medical to buy it and get more information.

 

5 Things You Need to Know About Sun Damage

Posted on: July 7th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

CarePro_Blog_TheUnfortunateTruthAboutSunDamage

Gone are the long sleeves and scarves of winter. With the warm summer months come tank tops, flip-flops and swimming suits. Unfortunately, all that exposed skin can also lead to sun damage. For today’s blog, the CarePro Health Services team is going to identify the top 5 things you need to know about sunburns and suntans:

  • Sunburns and Suntans are a reaction to the skin being injured

Whether you get a painful, red burn or a sought-after tan, both are the result of the same thing: your skin being attacked by the sun’s UV rays. A tan is the result of the body creating more melanin to protect itself, while a burn is an inflammatory response to damage. In both situations, the skin loses moisture and starts to tighten.

  • Base tans don’t protect you

No matter how nice they may look, tans are still the result of the skin being damaged. Adding to a base tan by tanning more will only result in a higher risk for wrinkles and possibly cancer.

  • Use sunscreen liberally and often

Most people don’t use as much sunscreen as the manufacturers recommend. And after a while, it will start to wear off. Dermatologists recommend you reapply sunscreen once every two hours.

  • Any time is a good time to quit tanning

Some people who’ve experienced sun exposure at an early age tend to take on the mantra, “The damage is done, so I may as well keep tanning!” However, harmful sun exposure is like smoking: even if the damage is done, quitting is still better than continuing the habit.

  • You don’t always see it

Just because sun damage doesn’t show up doesn’t mean it’s not happening. While it’s easier to see sun damage on fair skin, those with natural tans are just as much at risk for sun damage, skin cancer and premature wrinkles—even if you don’t see the damage as it’s happening.

Please follow these guidelines from CarePro Health Services about what to look for in a sunscreen and what to avoid:

Look for:                                                                                                   Avoid:

  • Zinc Oxide                                                                                     Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone                                                                                   Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
  • Titanium Dioxide                                                                         Added insect repellent
  • Cream                                                                                             Sprays
  • SPF up to 50                                                                                  SPF above 50

Oxybenzone and Octinoxate can disrupt the hormone system while Retinyl Palmitate may trigger damage, possibly cancer.

We want you to stay safe this summer and enjoy the outdoors. As long as you take the proper precautions, you should be able to enjoy the warmer weather without damaging your skin. Stop by CarePro Home Medical or browse our online catalog for a wide range of sunscreen products (as well as some without the harmful chemicals). If you find yourself staying inside because of limited mobility, CarePro Home Medical can help, as we carry ambulatory aids in our store.

 

Keeping Your Aging Parents Safe at Home

Posted on: June 27th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

bathroom safety

Did you know that one out of every three people over the age of 65 experiences a fall at least once a year? Knowing that your parents may be a part of that statistic is worrisome but not necessary. There is plenty that can be done to help the elderly, even if they live alone and you can’t be with them all the time. At CarePro we care about your loved ones and that is why during this National Safety Month, we are giving you some tips on how to keep them safe.

It is important to understand that as we age, we can’t do some things we were able to do just a few years ago. Your parents might need to make some drastic changes in their lives, such as moving to a new house or an assisted living facility where someone will take care of them 24/7. But first, there are some things you can do to help them live in the environment they are used to.

  • The most dangerous areas in every home:
    • Bathroom
    • Kitchen
    • Home Accessibility

These are areas where most injuries happen, with shower related injuries leading the way. Preventing injuries while in the bath can be easily done just by adding non-slip mats in the shower and on the floor, where water is most commonly found. If getting out of the shower is the difficult part, grab bars can help your parents exit more easily. Another thing you can do to improve bathroom safety is putting in raised toilet seats. As your parents get older, the muscles that straighten the knees weaken, which can make getting up from the toilet difficult. Consider using door locks that can be opened from both sides as well.

Making sure your parents are safe while cooking can be trickier, because the kitchen is usually full of sharp and flammable objects. It is important to remember that knives should always be in either in the rack or in a drawer. And since you’re putting the knife there, think about putting the glasses and other kitchen utensils in a drawer as well, so your parents wouldn’t have to overreach and injure themselves in the process. Finally, check if all the appliances are up to date and have the automatic off switch; everyone forgets if they left the stove on sometimes.

If your parents are in a wheelchair or have difficulties going down the stairs, getting in and out of the house can be a problem. But that doesn’t mean they should spend all their time locked inside. With equipment from CarePro Home Medical, they can go on about their day with no difficulty at all.

 

4 Tips to Make the Men in Your Life Healthier

Posted on: June 13th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

mens health

Wonder how to make the men in your family healthier? Here at CarePro Health Services, we care about the men in your life, and want to help you keep them alive for a long, long time. Check out how to make this Men’s Health Month not only life changing but also fun.

  • Get them out of the house

Sometimes pulling your partner away from the TV is a challenge, but exercise becomes more and more important as we grow older. Men need at least two and a half hours a week of exercise, so why not make that exercise fun? Go out for a hike, swim or bike ride. It is not only excellent exercise, but also precious bonding time with no electronics!

  • Enforce a sleeping schedule

Good sleep habits such as going to bed at the same time every night and getting seven hours of sleep a night lead to healthier lives. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and comfortable for sleeping, and if you are still having trouble, turn the AC down – cooler temperatures make us drowsier. Most importantly, avoid coffee six hours before bedtime and no late night snacks.

Keep in mind, if your partner is snoring, he may be suffering from sleep apnea which can be fatal if left untreated. Encourage him to see his doctor and visit CarePro Home Medical for CPAP therapy equipment.

  • Let them drink that beer

Scared your man might be developing a beer belly? No worries, because according to new research the barley in beer is an excellent source of the mineral silicon which is very important for bone formation. So next time they crack one open, remember it strengthens their bones and is perfectly fine in moderation.

  • Cook Indian

If there is a new Indian recipe you wanted to try, this is the perfect opportunity. Most Indian food contains turmeric, which is a very powerful antioxidant. India, where turmeric is as common as salt, has one of the lowest prostate cancer rates in the world. It also helps fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. So the next time they ask for BBQ, make them some Tandoori chicken instead.

For other medical equipment, prescription and vitamin needs in your men’s lives, CarePro Health Services is just a click away.

 

 

 

How to Help the Elderly Beat the Summer Heat

Posted on: May 23rd, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

CarePro-How-to-Help-the-Elderly

Did you know that heat affects us differently as we age?  Since we are already well into May, you know that the hot Iowa summer is fast approaching, and your elderly parents will be out in the garden, caring for the lawn or attending the many outdoor summer gatherings.  In order to help you keep your elderly family members safe this summer, we have seven tips that you can keep in mind:

  • Signs of Hyperthermia/Heat Stroke
  • Heat-friendly Clothing
  • Hyper Hydration
  • Finding a Cool Place
  • Sunscreen/Bug Spray
  • Keeping in Touch
  • Meds and Temperatures

If you fear your loved one may have had too much sun, watch for these warning signs of hyperthermia or heat stroke – high body temperature, confusion or agitation, flushed skin, nausea, headache, heavy breathing, not sweating when he/she should be or fainting.

One of the most missed elderly heat injury prevention tricks is to check your elderly loved one’s summer wardrobe. Check their closet for cool, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing options that are made of cotton and not of synthetic fibers.

Another important prevention trick that is widely known, but often forgotten is staying hydrated.  For the elderly, hydration may be more of a challenge because we lose our ability to hold water and our ability to recognize that we’re thirsty as we age.

If your elderly loved one lives in a home without air conditioning, it’s important that you encourage them to get out of the house to spend time at a business with air conditioning.  This is possible by taking trips to the mall, movie theater, library, grocery story or other favorite cool destination.

Don’t forget to protect their skin with sunscreen and even bug spray in areas that it is needed.  Remember that the elderly are more severely affected by west nile virus or encephalitis so keep their exposure risk low by using repellent.

When temperatures are high, try to check in on your elderly loved one more often than usual, especially if they often garden or enjoy other outdoor activities.  Another great idea is to involve the neighbors in your plan to keep your loved one safe.  Ask neighbors to check in when possible.

Finally, familiarize yourself with your loved one’s medications and the possible effects of heat on these meds.  Some medications actually lose some effectiveness when kept in temperatures above 78 degrees.

The team at CarePro Health Services cares deeply about you and your family’s health and wellness.  If you’re concerned about the effects of heat on your family, please reach out to us today!

 

How to Safely Transport Your Mobility Scooter

Posted on: May 16th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

transporting mobility scooter

We’re finally warming up in Iowa, which means most of us are making plans for gatherings at parks, visits to the mall and more!  But there’s one problem – you aren’t sure how to get your mobility device there.  Never fear, the team at CarePro Health Services has identified the top three solutions that will get you AND your mobility scooter wherever you want to go.

  1. Public Transportation with Scooter Lift
  2. Portable Ramps for Personal Vehicle
  3. Mobility Scooter Lift for Personal Vehicle

When it comes to public transportation in Iowa, we all know our options are fairly limited.  However, if you’re using a mobility scooter and a public bus travels to where you are headed, you may save a great deal of battery life by taking the bus.  Here are a few things to know before you line up at the nearest bus stop:

  • Check your that your city’s buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts
  • Know that mobility scooter users are often expected to load their own mobility device within 2 to 3 minutes, and assistance is available to secure the device
  • Most cities don’t allow buses to operate their wheelchair lift on a hill, so find a bus stop on level ground

If you have access to an SUV or van, another option for transporting your mobility scooter would be to use a portable ramp.  When purchasing a portable ramp, here are a few items to consider:

  • Length of the ramp needed depends on the floor height of your vehicle and recommended incline for your mobility device
  • Never ride or drive your mobility scooter up a portable ramp
  • Consider foldable ramps that are easy for you to set up alone

If you are unable to set up a portable ramp on your own or you do not have access to an SUV or van, you may want to consider a mobility scooter lift that is installed to your vehicle.  When choosing a mobility scooter lift, here is what you’ll need to know:

  • What kind of hitch your car has
  • The weight of your mobility scooter

If you’re worried about transporting your mobility scooter, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at CarePro Home Medical.  We are here to help you gain more independence with remaining safe and comfortable this summer!