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Archive for December, 2011

A New Year…for Wheelchair Fitness

Posted on: December 29th, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

Happy New Year!  There is nothing like a good New Year’s resolution to get you motivated for 2012!  If your resolution is to be healthier, but you don’t quite know the best ways while confined to a wheelchair, read on.  You need to remember that exercise is a huge part of your health and well being no matter what your physical abilities are.


Your workouts will mainly consist of resistance training, strength training and stretching.  Resistance training is done using a resistance band attached to a door or solid stationary object to complete arm and leg extensions and rowing.  While strength training is an exercise using weights or your own body weight such as wheelchair pushups.  Stretching is very important to warm up and cool down your muscles as well as improve flexibility.


With regular strength and resistance training, you will notice your flexibility, mobility and strength is improving.  At the same time, you are strengthening your lungs and heart while controlling your weight.  You will be able to transfer in and out of your wheelchair easier and have more muscle bulk to avoid injuries.

Wheelchair Sports

If workouts really aren’t appealing to you, there is a large

offering of wheelchair sports available in the LA area that will get you connected to other wheelchair fitness enthusiasts such as yourself and get you in shape faster than you would expect.

If you dig, you will find that there are many wheelchair sport clubs available including basketball, football, track and field, tennis, golf, volleyball, skiing and even rugby.  My personal favorite is Wheelchair Tennis.  The United States Tennis Association is very involved in teaching wheelchair tennis in Southern California and holding tournaments for the competitive wheelchair athletes.

Ways to get involved:

National Wheelchair Sports

Wheelchair Tennis in Southern California



Heat Therapy: A Post-Holiday Cure

Posted on: December 27th, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

If you spent Christmas morning cranking your neck to see every family member opening presents simultaneously or carrying that new, larger-than-life doll house to an upstairs bedroom or pushing a new, 24-bottle wine fridge to the entertainment room, your muscles may be aching.  You even could be experiencing muscle soreness from simply being stressed out and “tightly wound” during the holidays.  Try heat therapy using our Therma Moist Heating Pads to ease the pain.

When you apply heat to a part of your body, it can actually decrease stiffness, increase flexibility and relieve pressure on your joints through stretching the soft tissue that surrounds them.  Applied heat increases flow of oxygen and other important nutrients to your muscles by dilating blood vessels in your muscles.  Heat even provides stimulation for your skin’s sensory receptors which stops signals of pain from traveling to the brain.

Our Heating Pads:

At LA Medical Retail, we carry two different sizes in heating pads; 14” X 27” and 7” X 15”.  Our larger heating pad is meant to be used for larger muscle groups like the back, , shoulders, torso or abdomen.  The smaller heating pad works well for targeted muscles in your neck, legs or arms.  Both heating pads have Velcro closures, use hand controls for heat and time settings, use moist therapy and have an outer flannel cover to retain humidity.

We carry moist heat products as opposed to dry heat because dry heat draws moisture out of the body causing the skin to be dry and dehydrated.  In our experience, moist heat provides better pain relief and leaves the skin moisturized.

Order your heating pad from LA Medical today and give your muscles a rest.

Tips for Caregivers: Enjoy the Holidays Stress-Free

Posted on: December 22nd, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

We’ve given you travel tips.  We’ve written about sensible holiday eating for diabetics.  Now, read about how to remain stress free during the holidays while caring for your loved one with physical limitations.

Just thinking about the quickly approaching holiday stresses me out and gets my mind racing.  If you’re like me, these feelings of anxiety are calmed by a carefully thought out plan.  Here are a few action items to use when making your plan.

  1. Delegate

Give your loved one a few holiday tasks that you know they can handle and get them involved in the festivities.

  1. Get Help

Ask friends and family for help with your caregiving duties and with holiday duties.  Trying to take care of everything yourself will just cause unneeded stress.

  1. Decorate Less

Try to go easy on the decorations.  A few simple touches can go a long way.  Don’t feel compelled to transform the house into Santa’s workshop as rearranging furniture and too many decorations can make it difficult for your loved one to get around the house and can be very overwhelming for them.

  1. Just Say No

Don’t feel obligated to go to every party and participate in every activity.  Saying yes when you want to say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.

  1. Take “Me” Time

Take time for yourself to unwind and relax.  The holidays are intended to be a joyous and happy time and part of what will keep you in a good mood is spending time on your well being.  As someone to watch your loved one while you go shopping alone, get your nails done, take a long bubble bath, etc.

  1. Create an Emergency Plan

Be sure to make a plan for if you are sick or are suddenly needed elsewhere.  Who will take over your caregiving duties in case of emergency?  Write down and tell your family and friends.

We hope these tips will help keep your holidays stress free.  Remember, seek professional help if needed.  From everyone at LA Medical Retail, have a wonderful Christmas and tune back in Tuesday for post-holiday tips!

Wheelchair and Scooter Attachments: Accessorize your ride!

Posted on: December 20th, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

It’s time to enhance the look and function of your wheelchair or scooter.  Take a look at these simple items that add convenience and safety to your ride without the expense of a new chair.  Whether you need more compartments to carry your wallet or cell phone or need protection from the sun, there is an attachment for you.  Check out these attachments:

Wheelchair Bags, Totes, Hanging Pouches

Take your pick of carrier to hang from your wheelchair or scooter.  There is the Nova Mobility Saddle Bag that comes in a variety of patterns to fit your personality and is great for holding keys, cell phones, medication, magazines and more.  We also have a simple Scooter Arm Tote which has one zippered pocket and one mesh pocket with Velcro closure.  Our Nova Hanging Pouch has a large zippered pouch and multiple pockets.  Any of these bags are great solutions for you or your loved one to safely carry items while navigating your wheelchair or scooter.

Cup Holders and Cane Holders

Check out the Nova Adjustable Cup Holder or Nova Cane Holder.  The cup holder conveniently secures to the side of your wheelchair or scooter and when you want to use it just push the base down to reveal an adjustable drink holder.  Your cane holder fastens to the side of your wheelchair or scooter and holds most cane sizes securely.

Sun Shade

Our sun shade fits all Drive electric scooters and Sunfire Plus power wheelchairs.  It is easy to install and provides maximum protection from the sun.  The sun shade is perfect for the scooter or wheelchair user that loves to spend a lot of time outside, in the open.

Make life easier for yourself or your loved one with these simple additions that fit most mobility devices.  If you are interested in the function of any of these wheelchair and scooter accessories, just give us a call or leave a comment and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Mobility Scooter Rental for Able-Bodied: How do you feel about it?

Posted on: December 15th, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

At LA Medical Retail, our mobility scooter customers come in with a physical need for purchase of a mobility scooter.  We take pride in the fact that we are able to help individuals that physically have a hard time walking and a scooter is a necessity for them, but in Las Vegas this isn’t the case.

On my last visit to Las Vegas, I noticed many people in mobility scooters.  At first glance, it looked like there was a large population of physically impaired people staying at my hotel, but when I looked closer I could see that most of these individuals were young, fit and consuming alcohol.  There were large signs posted on the backs of these scooters with a number to call if you would like to rent one for the day.

My first thought was the safety concern.  Many of these individuals are consuming alcohol and also driving the scooter on a very crowded Las Vegas Strip.  It seems hard to believe that these rental mobility scooters can be operated safely in that atmosphere.

There is also an ethical concern.  Now, I understand that the Vegas Strip is four miles long and the casinos are very large, but is it ethical to rent a mobility scooter as an able-bodied individual?  Some feel that it should be considered similar to parking in a handicap parking spot.

I’m very interested to hear your opinion on this issue?  Is it acceptable for able-bodied individuals to rent mobility scooters in the atmosphere referenced above?  Have you seen this displayed in other areas besides Las Vegas?

Mobility Scooter Owners: Drive Responsibly

Posted on: December 13th, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

If you search for mobility scooter accidents, you can find news stories of individuals on mobility scooters getting hit by cars, hitting and injuring other pedestrians and loosing control of their scooter.  These stories have attached a stigma to mobility scooter safety.  Truth be told, scooters can be dangerous if you are not capable of operating responsibly, but so can walking.  As a preoccupied mom with a million things on my mind, I too am guilty of walking without thinking.  Don’t be discouraged by mobility scooter accident stories, but instead make sure you are capable of operating a scooter safely and get the right one for you.

Before purchasing this high quality home medical device, take a close look at yourself and your needs.

Are you physically capable of operating a mobility scooter?  You will need good eyesight and upper body motor skills in order to steer.  Mobility scooters are mainly built for those who easily able to transfer from vehicle to scooter and walk short distances, but not designed for individuals who are unable to walk.

Will you be driving on sidewalks only or also on roadways?  There are different kinds of mobility scooters available for rougher terrain or heavier individuals.  Be sure to give us a call or consult your physician to determine the right kind of mobility scooter for you.

How are you going to transport your mobility scooter when traveling outside of your neighborhood?  Some mobility scooters are small enough to transport using an attachment for the back of your vehicle, but some will require a minivan with special attachments.

Are you fully capable of keeping your scooter maintained and have knowledge of every feature of the mobility scooter?  Maintenance includes keeping your scooter battery charged and having it regularly serviced by a scooter engineer.  Also, be sure to know what every control does on your scooter before you set out on your journey.

Take a look at our scooters to learn more about specific features each scooter has.

LA Medical Retail Mobility Scooters

The Role of the Caregiver: Bathing

Posted on: December 8th, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

Are you looking after a spouse or parent with deteriorating health and worrying about how to continue to satisfy their basic needs after they can no longer help themselves?  Last week, we talked about incontinence and the products that make your job easier including adult diapers, antimicrobial cleanser and Ca-Rezz cream.  Today, we will address another basic need: bathing.

In everyday life, bathing is considered a highly person and complex task for a person to do which requires a high level of dexterity, muscle control and coordination.  For a person to lose their ability to bathe him/herself can cause a lot of mental pain and anguish.  Prepare yourself because the process will take a lot of patience and understanding.

How do you bathe your spouse or parent who is unable to bathe him/herself?  Without proper training or experience working for a nursing facility, this task might seem daunting, but there is hope.  There are products that make the bathing process easier on both the patient and the caregiver:

Cleansing Shower Cap

We offer the ReadyBath Shower Cap.  This product keeps hair clean while massaging and heating the scalp.  The disposable cap cleanses the hair of iodine and gels and is a one-step system to be used instead of conventional shampooing.

Disposable Washcloths

The ReadyBath Premium Washcloth is a premoistened washcloth used to clean, soothe, moisturize and condition the body.  These washcloths are premoistened with a no-rinse, pH balanced hydrating cleanser.

There are many ideas available on bathing methods, but the most important goals are to keep the patient’s dignity in tact while maintaining a high level of hygiene to avoid infections and other health complications.

We would encourage you to give us a call or contact your local doctor to learn more about proper caregiving methods.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Elderly or Aging Loved Ones

Posted on: December 6th, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

For some of you, your elderly family members are in a nursing home and are limited in their space allowable for gifts and personal items.  For others, your aging loved ones seem to have everything already.  This is a common struggle for this time of year because we love our grandparents and parents so much and desire to give them a wonderful gift that truly shows how much we care for them, but sometimes the smallest gesture is all they’ve ever wanted from you.

My go-to gift for aging family members year after year is a photo calendar.  I gather the best digital photos from the previous year and load them into a website like or and create a calendar.  You can even add family members’ birthdays into the calendar.  It worked perfectly every year except for the year when my cousins all had the same idea and grandma ended up with family calendars for each room of the house.

Here are some other ideas:

Some of the best gifts come in small packages of everyday items.  Find out what your loved one uses and enjoys on a regular basis and create a Christmas care package for them.  Fill it with their favorite creams, tissues, baked goods and favorite beverages.

If you’d like to give them a gift that will strengthen them mentally or physically, go with a simple exercise machine for them to use while seated or a pack of memory games and puzzles.  Now, I don’t know if downloading the app Words With Friends on to their phone would work, but some crossword puzzles or Sudoku could be fun and very beneficial for them.

Another great idea is making a donation in their name to a charitable organization that you know they would be passionate about or a local nonprofit business that they may have been involved in.

Thank you for reading and please share your great elderly gift ideas with us.  We’d love to hear them!

Talking to the Incontinent about Incontinence

Posted on: December 1st, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

If you notice your parent may need adult diapers or some type of absorbent product, take action immediately.  In watching out for your aging parents needs, incontinence is a very common problem.  It is important to bring it up and have it checked out right away as there may be a bigger health issue going on.  The most important issue is their health.  There may be an underlying health problem causing their overactive bladder such as a cancerous tumor, issues with the prostate or the onset of senility.

When bringing up the topic of incontinence, it is best to just be straight forward.  Discussing the issue and getting medical help for your aging parent is much less embarrassing than if they were to have an accident in public.

After getting diagnosed with incontinence or overactive bladder, take your parents through the shopping process to get the best management products available.  We carry a variety of adult diapers designed for different activity levels and protection needs. You will not only be looking at adult diapers, but also skincare products.

Skin care is very important when dealing with incontinence.  Be sure your parents have the appropriate creams, ointments and washes to keep skin in the affected area clean and moisturized to avoid infections and rashes.  Our Ca-Rezz Cream is an antimicrobial cream specifically made to soothe irritated skin, kill germs and eliminate odors.  We also have an antimicrobial wash meant to be used frequently in incontinence called Ca-Rezz Wash.

We hope these simple tips have helped you decide how to approach your aging parent about incontinence.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or if you are going through the same issues with your parents right now, we’d love to hear from you on our blog.  Submit a comment about your approach to your parents and what products have been helpful!