Help the Senior in Your Life Stay Safe in the Home with These Tips

Posted on: December 12th, 2017 by CarePro Blogger

With snow and ice on their way, you’re no doubt taking extra precautions as you traverse outside, making sure you don’t take a tumble on slick surfaces. While these safety measures are laudable, are you doing everything you can to make sure the senior in your life doesn’t trip within their own home?

The CDC estimates that every 11 seconds, an older American is admitted to the hospital due to a fall. Often, the most hazardous place is their own home. Today, CarePro has four tips on how to make your loved one’s home safe:

  • Get rid of the throw rugs.

While a throw rug provides a warm barrier between their feet and the cold tile floor, they’re one of the top causes of falls in the home. Replace them with nonslip strips or mats.

  • Install safety grab bars in the bathroom.

If they find themselves starting to slip, the last thing they should have to do is grab onto a towel rack. They’re not meant to hold more than a few pounds, so chances are it will come off the wall and fall down with them. Safety grab bars, however, are meant to stay in place and stop a fall as it happens.

  • Make sure there’s adequate lighting.

During the day, it’s easy to see the light switch and turn it on, but at night they may find themselves fumbling. Given that elderly people lose their eyesight over time, this could lead to a fall. Add nightlights in the hallway to light their path to places such as the bathroom or the kitchen. This way, you or a loved one don’t stumble into walls or obstacles in the dark.

  • Install a stair lift.

Has mom been unsteady on her feet? The stairs could also become a hazard for her. Before you move her out of her beloved home, have the experts at CarePro install a stair lift. We can adapt them to fit nearly any kind of staircase!

At CarePro Home Medical , we want you and your loved ones to stay safe throughout the winter season. Visit us to see other products to help keep people safe in their own home!

Exercising and Outdoor Chores: Stay Safe During Extreme Cold

Posted on: December 11th, 2017 by carepro

While we all want to stay healthy with regular outdoor exercise, and many of us do outdoor chores, it just makes sense to take extra care during extreme weather. What constitutes extreme cold and its effects can vary across different areas of the country. In regions relatively unaccustomed to winter weather, near freezing temperatures are considered “extreme cold.” Whenever temperatures drop decidedly below normal and as wind speed increases, heat can leave your body more rapidly. These weather-related conditions may lead to serious health problems. Extreme cold is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies in susceptible people. Be sure to dress warmly and stay dry when doing outdoor activities.

Be sure to wear:

  • A hat
  • A scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
  • Sleeves that are snug at the wrist
  • Mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
  • Water-resistant coat and boots
  • Several layers of loose-fitting clothing

Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Stay dry. Wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm. Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work or exercise in the cold. Otherwise, if you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly. Remember, your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it.

Come to CarePro Pharmacy in December and save 20% on Probiotics to help with your immune system! Flu shots, as well as other vaccines, are also available without an appointment.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Is My Cough Serious? Know the Signs of Bronchitis.

Posted on: December 11th, 2017 by carepro

Bronchitis is a condition in which the bronchial tubes become inflamed. People with bronchitis often have a cough that brings up mucus. Bronchitis also may cause wheezing, chest pain or discomfort, a low fever and shortness of breath.

The two main types of bronchitis are acute (short term) and chronic (ongoing). The same viruses that cause colds and the flu are the most common cause of the acute bronchitis. They are spread through the air when people cough. They also spread through physical contact (unwashed hands). Acute bronchitis lasts from a few days to 10 days. However, coughing may last for several weeks after the infection is gone.

Several factors increase your risk. Examples include exposure to tobacco smoke (including secondhand smoke), dust, fumes, vapors and air pollution. Most cases of acute bronchitis go away within a few days. If you think you have acute bronchitis, see your doctor.

Chronic bronchitis is an ongoing, serious condition. It occurs if the lining of the bronchial tubes is constantly irritated and inflamed, causing long term cough with mucus. Smoking is the main cause of chronic bronchitis. Viruses or bacteria can easily infect the irritated bronchial tubes.

Early diagnosis and treatment, combined with quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke, can improve quality of life.

Elderly people, infants and young children are at higher risk for acute bronchitis than are people in other age groups. People of all ages can develop chronic bronchitis, but it occurs more often in people over the age of 45. Your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen for wheezing or other abnormal sounds in your lungs. They may also:

  • Look at your mucus to see whether you have a bacterial infection
  • Test the oxygen levels in your blood using a sensor attached to your fingertip or toe
  • Recommend a chest X-ray, lung-function tests or blood tests

Your doctor may recommend rest, plenty of fluids and medication to treat fever. Antibiotics usually aren’t prescribed for acute bronchitis. This is because they don’t work against viruses – the most common cause of acute bronchitis. However, if your doctor thinks you have a bacterial infection, they may prescribe antibiotics. A humidifier or steam can help loosen mucus and relieve wheezing. Other medications may also be prescribed as needed.

If you have any questions or concerns about your cough, talk to your pharmacist or physician. You can also stop in to your local CarePro Pharmacy with questions, and our pharmacists are happy to answer your questions. Flu shots, as well as other vaccines, are also available – connect with us today!

Come to CarePro Pharmacy in December and save 20% on Probiotics to help with your immune system!

Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

3 Ways to Use Your FSA Funds on CPAP Accessories Before the Year End

Posted on: November 28th, 2017 by CarePro Blogger

If you’re a CPAP user and have leftover money in your flexible spending account (FSA), then you’re in luck—you can use that money to update your sleep apnea therapy supplies. CPAP machines have gone through a lot of changes in the past year, and have some incredible features that may not have been available when you first bought your machine. Our top three picks include:

SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer

You can think of the SoClean as the dishwasher for your CPAP equipment! To use it, you first connect your hose to your CPAP machine and your CPAP mask, as if you were about to use it for the night. Then you open up the top of the SoClean and put the CPAP mask inside. It then pumps the activated the oxygen throughout your entire device, sanitizing the water in the humidifier reservoir and killing germs on the surfaces

The Transcend Mini CPAP

Traveling soon? Transcend Auto Travel CPAP Machine might be just the machine for you! It has the capability of adding the Transcend P8 Multi-Night Battery to it, which can be charged using the Transcend Portable Solar Battery Charger. Combine that with the Transcend Travel Humidifier, and you’re looking at having a night of rest and comfort, no matter where your travels take you!

 

The AirMini

The smallest and most advanced travel CPAP machine, the AirMini fits in the palm of your hand, offers waterless humidification, and connects to your phone via an app for easy control. The HumidX™ and HumidX™ Plus waterless humidifiers, which are exclusive to the AirMini, make it so you don’t have to worry about that anymore. They snap onto the end of the hose and capture the heat and moisture from exhaled air and uses it to humidify therapy air.

FSA dollars are lost if they are not spent by December 31, so don’t let them go to waste! You can even use them to buy additional CPAP-related items such as CPAP pillows, CPAP mask wipes and tube covers—all of which will aid in your comfort and help you stay compliant.

Contact your benefits administrator to confirm your specific coverage details. CarePro Home Medical would be happy to assist you with any questions.

For other tips on how to properly manage your sleep apnea, visit our Resource Center.

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Lift Chair

Posted on: November 16th, 2017 by CarePro Blogger

If your loved one is having difficulty getting up and down from a sofa or chair, it might be time to consider purchasing them a power lift chair. As you’re perusing the selections, you may find yourself asking the following questions:

 

  1. How many positions does the power lift chair have?

 

You’ll soon notice that lift chairs come with descriptions such as “Two position,” “Three position,” or “Infinite position.” The difference between a two and three position is that a three position can go into a full 90-degree recline, while a two position allows for a 45-degree recline. Infinite position lift chairs come with two motors that allow the footrest to move independently of the back portion, allowing for an extensive range of positions.

 

  1. Is this lift chair the right size for my loved one?

Just like regular recliners, lift chairs come in a variety of sizes. In order for your relative to feel completely comfortable, you need to make sure you get the right size for them. If it’s too tall, their feet may not touch the floor. If it’s too small, it could cause a strain on their lower back. We recommend purchasing a power lift chair only after obtaining the height and approximate weight of the person for whom you are purchasing it.

 

  1. Which type of material is best?

If your loved one has a problem with incontinence, it might be best to forgo the cloth-covered lift chair and get one with leather instead. The opposite is true if they sweat a lot.

  1. What does their space look like?

Most models extend once reclined, which could be a problem if your loved one’s living room offers little spare space. Special models are available that can be placed against the wall, sliding open without banging into the area behind it.

  1. Why do they need the chair?

 

A lift chair offers a variety of amenities, from heated seats to cup holders, as well as lift speed variation and vibrating seats. If your relative experiences aches and pains, these features can help increase their comfort levels. We’ll help you find the unique qualities that set your perfect chair apart from the rest.

Now through the end of November, we’re offering free heat and massage or Autoflex features on a select number of lift chairs! Visit CarePro Home Medical to see the selection and test out the chairs in person. We’re always glad to give advice in person to make sure you get the right piece of equipment for your loved one.

Yes, you can lower your risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Posted on: November 15th, 2017 by carepro

We’ve all heard the advice when it comes to getting and staying at a healthy weight and working to prevent Type 2 Diabetes: Make healthy meals at home, make smart choices at restaurants, and be active 30 minutes a day. But where to start? It’s not easy to do all of this in today’s fast-paced, fast-food world. It’s easier to make lifestyle changes one step at a time—over months and years. The good news is that making just a few small changes can have make a big impact on your weight and health.

Are you ready, willing and able to change? To succeed, you need to answer yes to this question. To make a change stick, it must be important to you. For example, maybe you want to live long enough to see your grandchildren grow up. You must have more reasons to change than reasons not to change. To succeed, take what you want to do and break it down into small steps. Leave other habits for now.

What are you ready, willing and able to change? Think about your current eating and activity habits. What foods do you buy? How active are you? Try to keep honest food records for a few days to get a true picture of what you eat. Then start with a few changes that are easy to tackle. Perhaps choose one change in your eating habits and another in your activity habits.

Maybe you tend to eat a bowl of ice cream every night while you watch TV. Can you switch to a healthier snack? Maybe fruit or a small bowl of cereal—or just a smaller portion of ice cream. Can you take a 15-minute break from the TV and go for a walk? For each goal, consider four things:

  • How long will you try to reach this goal? Keep it short.
  • Is it easy to do in your regular daily life? Keep it realistic.
  • Is it limited in scope? Be specific.
  • How often will you do this?

When you start to experience success over time, add another goal. Start the lifestyle change cycle again.  Slowly, goal by goal, over time you’ll be eating more healthfully and becoming more active—and you’ll be at a healthier weight. You’ll also be on your road to preventing or delaying Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes can be scary to deal with. Knowing the risk factors can lead to an earlier diagnosis, or even help you avoid getting Type 2 Diabetes. You can take the Diabetes Risk Test on the American Diabetes Association website to learn more about your risk factors.

CarePro Pharmacy North Liberty also offers accredited diabetes education services! Reach out to them for more information on these classes. Diabetes education is usually payable by Medicare and most insurance policies.

Source: American Diabetes Association

D-Fend Your Health this Winter

Posted on: November 15th, 2017 by carepro

There’s something about being outside on a bright sunny day that just makes people feel good. We tend to feel more energized, we don’t get sick as much, and we might even smile a little bit more. Research is showing that a nice sunny day may do even more for our health, especially when it comes to preventing age-related diseases – all because of a compound we call Vitamin D. So far, Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in virtually all diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mood disorders, poor immune function, and osteoporosis.

What Makes Vitamin D So Important?
One reason Vitamin D status influences so many diseases is that it is not a typical vitamin – in fact, Vitamin D is a hormone synthesized naturally by your skin when it is exposed to sunlight. When scientists wanted to know which organs required the most Vitamin D, they looked at which organs had the most receptors for Vitamin D. What they discovered was that virtually all organ systems in the body had relatively high concentrations of Vitamin D receptors, meaning it was important for all of them!

Why You Might Be Deficient in Vitamin D
The most significant source of Vitamin D comes from production in skin when it is exposed to sunlight, specifically UVB light (not UVA). Unfortunately, we know that excessive exposure to sunlight can also lead to deadly skin cancers like melanoma, so many of us try to avoid direct sunlight by staying indoors, wearing protective clothing, or by using sunscreens. While these are effective methods to prevent skin cancer, they are also effective at decreasing the amount of active Vitamin D in your body. People with darker skin tones will require more sunlight than those with light complexions to produce the same amount of Vitamin D.

There is also a phenomena called “Vitamin D Winter” that refers to the complete loss of Vitamin D producing sunlight during winter months as you get further from the equator.  The angle of the sunlight in winter months creates a situation where it has to pass through more of the atmosphere before reaching your skin and this filters out all of the UVB light necessary for producing Vitamin D.  Never mind the fact that the days are shorter and people typically are bundled up in cold-weather clothes, but even if you were getting sunlight on your skin it would be incapable of producing Vitamin D.

If you are not getting Vitamin D from sunlight, your other sources are limited to dietary sources like cold water fish (salmon/tuna), dairy, eggs, mushrooms, liver, fortified foods, or dietary supplements.

Supplementing Vitamin D
While it is extremely rare, it is possible to get too much Vitamin D from supplements which can result in too much calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). For this reason, it is important to work with your healthcare provider and monitor your blood levels while supplementing Vitamin D to find the dose that works for you.

If you have any questions or concerns about Vitamin D, talk to your pharmacist or physician. You can also stop in to your local CarePro Pharmacy with questions, and our pharmacists are happy to answer your questions – connect with us today!

Come to CarePro Pharmacy in November and save 20% on Vitamin D!

Source: Viniferamine; lessons from vini

How to Keep Your CPAP Clean

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by carepro

CPAP therapy is supposed to make you feel better, not worse. However, if you’re using a dirty CPAP machine, you have a greater risk of getting sick from pathogens and mold trapped in your CPAP equipment.

On a list of easy cleaning solutions, the SoClean CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer is at the top of the list. You can sanitize all of your CPAP equipment without having to remove any pieces. The SoClean effectively kills 99.9% of CPAP bacteria, germs and other pathogens in the mask, hose and reservoir, without the use of messy chemicals or even water. Your CPAP equipment stays dry the whole time. This machine also saves you time with its automated cleaning cycle, which does the work for you.

In a survey of SoClean users, 96.8% said they would recommend the SoClean CPAP cleaning machine to others.

Another product are CPAP Mask Wipes, which are a quick, safe and gentle way to remove build-up of dirt, grease, oils and organic residue. They’re specially designed to gently clean without harming the materials of your mask or cushion.

Here at CarePro Home Medical, we like to make sure that your CPAP supplies stay in great shape. It is important to maintain your CPAP supplies such as the mask, cushion, headgear, tubing, filters, and chin strap. Contact us today to make sure you are prepared with everything you need to keep your machine functioning at its best!

– Source: www.soclean.com

Help Kids Enjoy Halloween While Managing Diabetes

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by carepro

Halloween is often a difficult time for families dealing with diabetes. How can you let your child participate in all of the activities without sending his blood-glucose levels soaring? Try these tips.

  • Treats don’t have to be sweets. Encourage neighbors to pass out other goodies for Halloween, such as stickers, small toys, books, etc.
  • Offer to “buy” you child’s candy back. Allow them to use the money for a small toy or a book.
  • Modify your idea of Halloween. Focus on creatively decorating your house, your yard, your pumpkin, etc. Look for local activities such as haunted hayrides.
  • Eat only the best. Have your child pick her favorite pieces of candy and let her enjoy them in the day following Halloween. Use it as an opportunity to show her how to cover her carbohydrates with insulin.
  • Share with others. Consider donating you extra treats to a food bank or homeless shelter.

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 fall and enjoy the outdoors. Please reach out to us today for any additional questions you might have!

 – Source: University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

3 Amazing Benefits of CPAP Therapy

Posted on: October 26th, 2017 by CarePro Blogger

CPAP therapy has touched the lives of so many people, allowing them the good night’s rest they deserve. However, some may not be aware of all the amazing benefits created by CPAP therapy. That’s why the experts at CarePro Home Medical compiled this list of their top three CPAP benefits for you to enjoy!

Healthier Heart

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, be aware that you are at an increased risk of problems like congestive heart failure, hypertension, stroke, and an irregular heartbeat. CPAP therapy allows your heart to beat with less intensity than when it continuously tries to get the oxygenated blood to your body during a sleep apnea episode. This causes less stress on your heart, meaning that you will be healthier throughout the years.

Increased Productivity

By not getting a good night’s rest every night, you will feel sluggish and tired throughout the day. CPAP therapy helps people sleep better, which allows them to wake up feeling fresh and awake. This means they are able to feel wide-awake and alert for the rest of the day, instead of dragging through it. You will be able to get more accomplished and pay attention to the important details within your day, so you won’t forget any major events or meetings that are coming up.

Prevention of Diabetes

Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases if you have sleep apnea. CPAP therapy has been proven to improve your sensitivity to insulin and reduce glucose intolerance. Your blood sugar control worsens over time and gives you a heightened chance of cardiovascular incident if CPAP therapy is not used. All of these reasons help those suffering from sleep apnea make the decision to try CPAP therapy in order to lead a healthier life.

We know CPAP therapy helps those with sleep apnea and hope that you use it if you have sleep apnea! CarePro Home Medical offers a wide range of CPAP services and products, so contact us today to see how we can help you find the equipment you need!