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!

10 Ways to Eat Good and Feel Good for World Health Day

Posted on: April 6th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

10 Ways to Eat & Feel Good

10 Ways to Eat Good and Feel Good for World Health Day

If your body’s an engine, what fuel are you choosing to keep it roaring? April 7 is World Health Day, see how many of the following tweaks you can make to your diet to treat your body right:

  1. Begin the day with savory, not sweet. Bagels, muffins, and cereals flood your body with excess carbs and sugar, leading to a mid-morning crash. Reach for proteins like eggs and plain yogurt to provide the fuel you need.
  2. Obey the portion size. Treating your body right isn’t just about what you put in it – it’s about how much. Start making changes towards a healthier plate by simply following the recommended portion size – easy!
  3. Drink first, eat second. Oftentimes, our hunger pains are our body’s signal for water in disguise. Before you reach for a snack, drink at least 8 ounces of water. On average, this trick can prevent you from eating 400-600 additional calories each day.
  4. Put down the salt and sugar. From cold cuts to instant oatmeal, processed food comes laden with an excess of salt and sugar. Balance the overdose by avoiding the shakers when you prep your own food.
  5. Swap in veggies. Add vegetables – to everything! Instead of boxed rice, make your own with cauliflower. Sneak black beans into brownies, zucchini in your burgers, and sweet potatoes in your pancakes for a start.
  6. Make at-home knockoffs. Though marketed as healthy, store-bought granola bars and snack packs are loaded with synthetic ingredients. A quick search online should offer healthier DIY versions of your favorite bites.
  7. Cut meat. To limit the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol, steer from meat and opt for protein sources like beans, eggs, edamame, quinoa, and mushroom.
  8. Opt for whole fruit instead of juice. Most fruit juices are loaded with sugars, dyes, and lab-created ingredients. Get the complete benefit of pulp, fiber, and fruit skins by picking fruit in its rawest form.
  9. Make sneaky substitutes. Greek yogurt for sour cream, avocado for mayo, and other substitutions deliver similar flavor and texture without added fat.
  10. Slow down. Speeding through a meal doesn’t give your brain time to process that your stomach is full, making it easy to overeat. With smaller bites, stretch out your meal time to make the most of what’s on your plate.

At CarePro Health Services, we know that a balanced diet is part of the path to your happiest, healthiest life possible. To share the health, have your employer contact CarePro Worksite Wellness to learn about great workplace wellness programs for you and your co-workers.

Most Common Stressors and How to Deal With Them

Posted on: April 6th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

Most Common Stressors

Most Common Stressors and How to Deal With Them

Chest pains, headaches, upset stomach, foggy thoughts. It’s not a heart attack – it’s stress. In high doses, stress ravages your body like any other serious health condition. Our team at CarePro has identified a few major sources of anxiety and ways to ease the tension:

The Stress: Tossing and turning at night.

The Reason: Adrenaline from the day doesn’t shut off when your lights do. Conversations you keep rehashing and anxieties about upcoming events keep your mind and body buzzing, preventing you from getting the shut-eye your brain desperately needs.

The Fix: Create a bedtime routine and stick to it. An hour before bed, shut off technology to let your mind unwind. Take a shower, drink decaffeinated tea, and practice 5-10 minutes of slow stretching to calm your body and mind for a night of solid rest.

 

The Stress: Feeling rushed.

The Reason: Balancing your schedule with your family’s unending to-do list, time can feel like a rare commodity. Between careers and house work and extracurriculars and family time, you’re zooming from one place to another with little time to breathe.

The Fix: Plan your day the night before by prioritizing. What deadlines absolutely must be met tomorrow, and which can bump to another day if necessary? Block in cushions of travel time so even if you’re in a back-to-back schedule, you’ll arrive with a moment to breathe.

 

The Stress: High expectations for yourself.

The Reason: Competition at work, between other parents, and within your own family push you to be “on” at all times. You strive to juggle the most activities with the highest efficiency 100% of the time, creating frustration when you feel like you’re not measuring up.

The Fix: Name your goal, quantify it, and determine its worth. Ask yourself: what specifically am I trying to achieve? What are my measures of success so I know when I’ve achieved it? What’s the core reason I’m trying to achieve this? A realistic, concrete, and personalized definition of success will prevent you from stretching yourself too thin.

 

The Stress: Poor communication at work or home.

The Reason: One or both parties hear surface-level talk but don’t stop to actively listen. Instead of seeking clarification, heads nod to say they understood even when questions linger.

The Fix: Identify not just where messages are misinterpreted, but solutions to smooth the conversation. Practice reflexive listening, reframing your partner’s statements to clarify for you and affirm to them you heard.

At CarePro Health Services, we are here to help ease stress, not create it.  Visit any of our pharmacy or home medical stores for assistance in reducing your stress with medical equipment or prescriptions.

A Corridor Couple Shares Their Story

Posted on: March 29th, 2016 by Emily LeGrand

CarePro is useCP_HeaSer_tag_4cd to dealing with challenging situations, and this one was no different. Mark was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic esophageal cancer in June 2015. Mark and his fiancé Alicia, both being totally blind, weren’t sure how they were going to deal with it. They were beginning to feel like they were fighting the system that was supposed to be there to help them, until CarePro Health Services came into their lives.

“People made assumptions about what we couldn’t do, but CarePro asked what we could do,” said Mark. “We came at them with such a unique situation, but CarePro wasn’t afraid to ask those hard questions.”

Mark and Alicia dealt with almost all of the divisions offered at CarePro: Home Infusion, Home Medical, Home Health, and Pharmacy.

“You name it we probably dealt with them at some point throughout this process,” said Mark.

Becky, from CarePro Home Infusion, worked with Alicia to figure out what she could do to help take care of Mark on her own. Kelly, from CarePro Home Health, gave Alicia the confidence and skills she needed to care for Mark. Melinda, from CarePro Pharmacy – Pavilion took time with Alicia to explain each of Mark’s medications and what the side effects would be, if he would show any.

“The coordination between each division was great,” said Alicia. “This allowed me to really be able to focus on Mark.”

Knowing how readily available CarePro and its employees were, Mark was able to move out of transitional care. CarePro Home Infusion helped Mark and Alicia get the feeding tube arrangements setup so they would be able to accommodate on their own as much as possible.

“It was a rough situation and CarePro made it manageable,” said Alicia. “They gave me the confidence that if I needed anything they were just a phone call away!”

Mark was confident he didn’t have to worry about Alicia getting the help she needed. He knew CarePro was there for clinical support as well as emotional support for them.

Mark is now cancer free after a clear PET scan in October 2015.

“CarePro was the best move we made all around,” said Mark.

When you need help with pharmacy services, medical equipment, or home care, connect with the people and answers you need at CarePro Health Services.

How to Make Your Home More Accessible Today

Posted on: March 7th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

accessible home

It is common knowledge that as we age, we will most likely lose some degree of mobility, making it vital that we start preparing our home or the home of our aging loved ones to be more accessible.  For this reason, CarePro Health Services wants to make you aware of the accessibility dangers lurking in your home and how to address each danger today!

Accessibility Dangers on Stairs

The most obvious accessibility improvement to make is accommodations for access to your home and access to all floors in the home, which typically involve anywhere from five to fifteen stairs.  Here are the areas to watch and how to make them more accessible:

  1. Entering and exiting your home safely is a key focus when considering a loss in mobility. Start thinking about how a modular ramp or wheelchair lift would work with your current home entry setup.
  2. If you live in a two-story, split-level or multi-level home, you may need to start looking at stair lifts to help you or your loved one get from one floor of the home to the next.

Accessibility Dangers in the Kitchen

The two most dangerous rooms in any home are the kitchen and the bathroom.  In the kitchen, you’ve got to watch your stovetops, counters and shelving for these reasons:

  1. Stovetop knobs are often placed in the back of a stovetop, which forces your loved one to reach across hot burners to access them. Reduce your risk for injury by transitioning to a stovetop that has front panel knobs and push-buttons.  For individuals using a wheelchair, consider placing a mirror above the stove to easily check on food as it is cooking without having to remove them from the stovetop.
  2. The common ceramic or marble countertops can become very slick when wet with water or juice from chopped fruits and vegetables. Be sure to have rubberized cutting mats or cutting boards that will prevent you from an accidental slip of the chopping knife when doing meal prep.
  3. When it comes to shelving, consider transitioning to shelves that slide out or installing a Lazy Susan to avoid awkward stretching to reach an item that is too high.

Accessibility Dangers in the Bathroom

In the bathroom, you will need to prepare for added stabilization and protection from slick surfaces.  Here are the main areas to look at when transitioning your bathroom:

  1. When it comes to sinks, you may want to consider a wall-mounted sink that allows easy access for those in wheelchairs.
  2. For tubs, consider a loss in coordination that would require installation of grab bars and shower seats, and possibly even installation of a roll-in shower.
  3. Toilets may seem like a fixture that is already easy to use, but a raised seat on the toilet would put less pressure on the leg muscles and joints when in use. Safety rails are also a great stabilizer for someone with decreased mobility.

At CarePro Health Services, it is our mission to keep you healthy, safe and comfortable in your home for as long as possible.  We hope that we have helped you identify some dangerous areas in your home and provided tips to make them safer as you age.  If you’re ready to move forward with home accessibility, call CarePro Home Medical to help you find the best solutions for your home.

Why to Start Taking Fish Oil

Posted on: March 7th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

fish oil benefits

Did you know that, according to a recent Harvard University study, deficiency in omega-3 is now one of the top 10 causes of death in the US?  With fish oil being one of the key sources of omega-3 fatty acid, CarePro is taking the time to educate you this month on its many benefits AND give you 20% off professional grade fish oil products through the entire month of March!

  1. Healthy Cholesterol – when you add fish oil to your daily intake, you are actually helping your body provide excellent ratios of HDL to LDL, and enhancing levels of triglycerides.
  2. Healthy Bones – fish oil contains important omega-3 fatty acids. For healthy bone-mineral density, it is recommended that you keep a good ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 in your diet.
  3. Good Mood – it has been proven that fish oil helps a body maintain a healthy level of serotonin, which controls your mood.
  4. Healthy Hair and Skin – fish oil has been proven to make hair shinier and stronger, and skin less blotchy and inflamed. This is because the omega-3 in fish oil reduces dryness, which typically leads to weak hair and wrinkles.
  5. Healthy Joints – omega-3, also contains EPA and DHA which has been shown to decrease inflammation in joints and also decreases the production of proteins that cause osteoarthritis.
  6. Reduce Risk of Disease – In addition to helping promote all of the above, fish oil has also been proven to reduce the risk of these common diagnoses:
    1. ADHD
    2. Anxiety
    3. Arthritis
    4. Asthma
    5. Alzheimer’s
    6. Autoimmune Disease
    7. Cancer
    8. Depression
    9. Diabetes
    10. Eye Disorders
    11. Cardiovascular Disease
    12. Obesity
    13. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    14. Metabolic Syndrome

Now that you have the facts, what is keeping you from taking fish oil on a daily basis?  Is it price?  Well, you’re in luck – CarePro is offering professional grade fish oil products in each pharmacy location for 20% off through the entire month of March!