How to Help the Elderly Beat the Summer Heat

Posted on: May 23rd, 2016 by CarePro Blogger


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!

Strengthen Your Heart in Just 30 Minutes a Day

Posted on: February 26th, 2016 by Emily LeGrand

Healthy Family Biking with logo

Chances are, you already know that physical activity is good for you. “Sure,” you may say, “when I get out and move around, I know it helps me to feel and look better.” But you might not realize how important physical activity is to your health on a regular basis. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are more active. This is true even if you have no other conditions or habits that increase you risk for heart disease.

Lack of physical activity can also lead to more doctor visits, more hospitalizations and more uses of medication for different illnesses. The good news is, physical activity can protect your heart in numerous different ways. However, to get the benefits, you don’t have to run a marathon. Regular physical activity – as simple as a brisk, 30-minute walk each day – can help you reduce the risk of heart disease.

Heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed, due to a buildup of plaque on the arteries’ inner walls. Plaque is an accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other substances. As plaque continues to build up in the arteries, blood flow to the heart is reduced.

Generally, the more intense the activity, the more time you spend doing it, the more health benefits you will receive. However, moderate-intensity activates are also excellent fitness choices. When done briskly for 30 minutes or longer on most days of the week, moderate exercises can help to condition your heart and lungs and reduce your risk of heart disease.

There are many ways to get in your 30 minutes activity each day. Get creative!

  • Invite a friend for a walk.
  • Go jogging with your pup.
  • Take a dance class.
  • Play tag with your kids.
  • Ride your bike around the neighborhood.
  • Head to a local indoor pool and enjoy some lap swimming or an aquatic exercise class.
  • If you live in an area with snow, go cross-country skiing in a local park.

We believe in the power of health and want to help you be the healthiest you possible. Grab your spouse, a friend or your kids and start walking (or dancing or swimming…) your way to a stronger heart!

Better Sleep in 2016: Are you losing sleep because of pets or exhaustion?

Posted on: February 24th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

pets and sleep

In our previous blog post, we mentioned how pain and medication can disrupt your sleep and rob you of precious hours of feeling recharged.  If you’re tired of being tired, let CarePro Health Services describe how pets and exhaustion can cause sleep disruption too.

Are your pets killing your sleep?

Having a pet around the house is a great addition to the family.  They’re fun to play and cuddle with during the day.  However, your four-legged friend may be disrupting your sleep, especially if you share your bed with your pet(s). People lose sleep by having to wake up to move the animal out of their bed or put the animal in their own bed.  If you’re pet is grooming themselves, walking around on the bed, howling or purring in your face, it can really disrupt your sleep.  Sounds we may not notice during the day become much louder in the quiet of the night.

It may not be easy for pet owners, but consider getting a pet bed for the animal on the floor in the bedroom.  If you’re getting a new puppy or kitten, get them accustomed early to sleeping in a kennel or different area of the house.

Are you too exhausted to sleep?

Did you know that exhaustion can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep? We’ve all been there when we’re “too tired to sleep” at one time or another.  We long for bed, yet we can lay there for an hour or two begging our bodies to fall asleep.  The problem is that whenever our bodies are exhausted, our brains are revved up; like a car in Neutral, with the engine revving.

Even if you’re exhausted, take some time to relax the rest of you.  Some ideas could be taking a hot shower or bath, quiet music, reading or watching the weather channel.  Find something that can relax your brain and body at the same time and sleep will come soon enough.

If sleep apnea is disturbing your sleep, let the sleep experts at CarePro Home Medical get you the CPAP machine or CPAP masks to help you get that necessary shut-eye.  Wake up refreshed and ready to face the day!

Better Sleep in 2016: Are you losing sleep because of pain or medicine?

Posted on: February 15th, 2016 by CarePro Blogger

poor sleep

Let’s face it; everyone tends to yawn a couple of times during the day.  But, if you’re waking up tired on a regular basis, something is interfering with your sleep.  CarePro Health Services shares information to help you determine the sleep deprivation culprits so you can get better sleep in 2016!

Is pain killing your sleep?

More than just a pain in the neck, your pain may be causing you to lose sleep.  People relieve pain in different ways and sleep is usually the great cure to relieve pain.  However, pain in any part of your body may be causing sleep disruption.  Common pain triggers can range from:

  • Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Menstrual pain

Chronic or just slight pains might not wake you up, but still may be affecting your quality of sleep. Pain keeps the body tense which doesn’t allow our bodies to get the true, deep sleep we need every night.  People living with chronic pain may actually feel worse after waking up in the morning.  Speak with your doctor about your mild, chronic or slight body pains and how you can correct them.

Are common medicines affecting your sleep?

Taking your daily dose of vitamins and minerals is important to everyday health and well-being, but your medicine cabinet may be to blame with your sleep disruption.  Common drugs like steroids for asthma and beta-blockers for high blood pressure or heart problems can negatively affect your sleep.  Also, keep in mind that common pain killers designed to relax sore and achy muscles can also relax the muscles in your head and neck, leading to sleep apnea risks.

Be careful when taking holistic and herbal supplements.  Herbal supplements can cause sleep loss and poor sleep because many of them are stimulants.  Vitamins B6 and B12, for example, have been known to cause very vivid and disturbing dreams for people along with several over-the-counter medications.

If you or a loved one is experiencing sleep disruptions on a regular basis, make a list of every medication you’re taking and all the food and drink you eat throughout the day.  Some medications react badly with certain foods or become ineffective if mixed together.  Contact your CarePro pharmacist with questions about your medication and sleep disruptions.

If you feel sleep apnea is disturbing your sleep, see your doctor right away, and if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, come to CarePro Home Medical for all your sleep apnea treatment needs!