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Archive for December, 2012

A Healthy 2013

Posted on: December 27th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

We covered New Year’s resolutions in our last blog post and to go about keeping your health-related goals for 2013. But not all your health goals for the upcoming New Year need to be based around a resolution that you may or may not keep (the statistics are not in your favor, unfortunately).

"Health" can mean different things to people of various ages, genders, health condition or physical ability.

Good general health practices are learned through habit, and though some of us may lead healthy lives already, there may be a good number of us that do not for whatever reason. Whether it’s eating healthy, getting a regular health check-up or having a healthy social life, there are many small things we can do to keep ourselves in good health.

Make an appointment- if we’re being honest, no one really enjoys going to see the doctor. However, an annual physical checkup does more than give you your height and weight. Knowing your blood pressure reading, cholesterol levels and other vital stats allows your doctor to recommend lifestyle changes that benefit you and those that depend on you.

Eat healthier- yes, we know we’ve said it before, but it is amazing what a switch to a healthier diet can do for you. Regular exercise, while great, can only do so much for you. The rest must be done in the grocery store and in the kitchen. Stay to the outside of the grocery store when shopping, as that is where the fresh items like fruit, vegetables and lean meat will be.

Stay social- humans are social creatures; we aren’t meant to do well in isolation. Meet up with friends for lunch, have family over for dinner and get out and do something fun on the weekend.

Have a healthy brain- the mind is the central hub for all of our actions, so keeping it healthy means an overall healthier you. Challenge it every day and get good, quality sleep at night to help it recharge.

We hope the best for everyone this upcoming year. We promise to continue providing the best assistance we can with your home medical needs, and we look forward to serving you in 2013. From all of us at LA Medical Retail, have a happy New Year!

New Year’s Resolutions: A Fresh and Healthy Start

Posted on: December 25th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

It is getting close to the New Year, meaning that many of you may be trying to figure out what your resolution for 2013 will be. For most people, their resolution will be centered around living better, healthier lives. And while three out of four people who make a resolution this year will mostly fail in trying to achieve their goal, there is no reason that the one that succeeds can’t be you. With that in mind, here are some ways to achieve health-related resolutions for a better you in 2013.

A new year means 365 days to do better than last year? What are your goals for 2013?

Downsize Your Portions, Downsize Yourself- go for smaller portion sizes. You can reduce the size of your meals throughout the day by eating 4-6 smaller meals rather than the traditional three large meals.

Stay Active- do this anyway you can, from simple resistance band exercises at home if you are in a wheelchair to getting out for a walk or run. Strength training also promotes muscle growth, leading to lower body fat and a healthier cardiovascular system.

Reduce Your Stress- the health effects of large levels of stress have been heavily documented, and discussed in our past blog posts. Learn how to say “no,” give up positions or activities that you really don’t need or set aside time every day to meditate and reflect.

Organize Your Finances- while money and health may not have a direct effect on each other, having your finances in line goes a long way to reducing stress and allowing you to focus on the important things in life.

Eat Healthy- you only feel as healthy as what you put into your body. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products are what your body needs. Also, try to get as many antioxidants possible as they help negate the effect of free radicals that can cause infection, heart disease and cancer.

We hope you will join us in working toward a healthier 2013 by following these and other health tips to stay in good shape. Should you need anything from LA Medical Retail to help you in your New Year’s Resolution, please don’t hesitate to call us or visit our website!

Caring for Caregivers

Posted on: December 20th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

It is impossible to fully repay family caregivers for everything that they do. They provide vital care for a loved one or friend, most often with little to no regard for themselves or in addition to working and providing for their own families. They are caring and selfless individuals that give their time to make sure someone important to them is as comfortable as possible.

The ideal caregiver gift should be something that has sentimental meaning and shows how much you appreciate them.

It is the season of giving, and for the all the care and love they have given, caregivers deserve at the very least a token of appreciation. If you know someone who provides for their loved ones day in and day out, here are a few holiday gift ideas to show them their compassion is deeply appreciated.

The gift of relaxation- caregivers often work long or odd hours and too often don’t give themselves time to relax. Gift certificate to a spa, masseuse or other spot of relaxation can go a long way to helping them relax, refresh and regenerate when they need it most.

The gifts of cheer- help spread some cheer to your caregiver by giving the gift of special food or drink. Food and gift baskets come in any size and assortment, as do wine and cheese baskets to help give a festive atmosphere to this time of year.

 The gift of heart- a more intimate gift may be appropriate since caregivers play such a close role in our lives. A photo album of them with their loved one or a card signed by those who appreciate the care they provide would be a nice touch to show you gratitude.

These are just a few ideas for caregivers in your life, but there are dozens of options out there. In most cases, the more personal the gift the more your favorite caregiver will appreciate it. Join LA Medical in thanking family caregivers during the holiday season and give them something to show your thanks for their amazing and kindhearted work.

Mobility Aids: What to Look For

Posted on: December 18th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

At LA Medical Retail we offer a variety of mobility aids for those with various levels of mobility and stability needs. While we offer a large amount of options, it is not always easy for our customers to know exactly which item suits their level of mobility. To make sure that you know which aid is ideal for you, here are the mobility aids we offer and which level(s) of mobility they are suited for.

Manual wheelchairs are just one of many mobility aids we carry for people with varying levels of mobility.

Crutchesonly ideal for very short periods of time and for those recovering from injuries or a surgery. When using crutches, your hand supports should be at waist height with your elbows slightly bent.

Canesavailable in regular and quad, canes can be used for added balance and to help bear weight for those that can still walk well on their own. Ideally, your cane should be even with the back of your wrist when your arms are at your sides.

Rollatorsthese provide some balance to those that can still move around quickly, but require a little added stability. You know you have the best height for your rollator when the angle between your hip and arms when holding the hand grips is 20-30 degrees.

Walkersproviding more stability than rollators, walkers are for slower movers that need more weight bearing assistance. When standing behind your walker with hands on the grips, your elbows should only be slightly bent, and your back should stay upright when walking.

Manual wheelchairscan be used by anyone with partial to no mobility in their lower body, both independently and with assistance from a caregiver. Body width, depth and height measurements will be needed to fit a wheelchair properly.

Power wheelchairsa perfect option for those with very low mobility and function in both upper and lower body. Again, just like manual wheelchairs various measurements of you or your loved one’s body will be needed to fit the chair correctly.

Mobility Scootersmore of an outdoor option because of their larger size and turn radius, mobility scooters work well for those that cannot walk long distances. Height and weight measurements will need to be taken into account when purchasing a mobility scooter.

LA Medical Retail is happy to assist you or your loved one with your mobility aid needs, and we can answer any question you have regarding our mobility products. Feel free to give us a call or browse our online catalog for improvement in your mobility today!

Avoiding the Blues and Beating the Stress

Posted on: December 13th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

This time of year always comes with a supersized amount of two things: darkness and stress. The sun is out for less time, and the constant whirlwind of things to do for holidays and family get-togethers seems like it never ends. However, if we take a step back and identify what is causing our stress or depression levels to increase, we can take steps to reduce them and have a more enjoyable holiday season.

Don't be stressed these holidays! make time for yourself, organize your time and delegate!

Stop doing so much- cooking, running errands, keeping the kids in line, organizing family gatherings, volunteering for projects at work and gift shopping are just a few of the activities that keep us running around. Recognize which ones are truly important and leave the others for another time. Delegating tasks to other family members can help as well.

Be merry in moderation- the holidays are a great time for amazing food, drink and gift giving. However, excess of any of those can bring depression in hindsight, whether it’s from weight gain or spending too much. Keep tabs on how much you eat, drink and spend on gifts to limit the post-holiday regret.

Find the right amount of “togetherness”- too much time with family members can make you resent them, while not enough can make you feel left out and unloved. Find the perfect balance and stick to it for the right amount of family time.

Don’t be SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) occurs during the winter months because of the lack of sunshine, fresh air and staying indoors. This can lull us into a temporary depression, so get outside as much as the weather allows or get out and see friends, anything to get out of the house.

This time of year is meant to be enjoyed with the ones we hold closest to us. Use these tips to help reduce the stress and blues in your life so that you can cherish the memories you’ll make. Whatever holidays you celebrate, LA Medical Retail hopes that they are full of family, happiness and cheer!

Getting a Handle on Bathroom Safety

Posted on: December 11th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

By now we have discussed bathroom safety enough for most of you to know that it is a dangerous place for yourselves if you and your partner are over 65, or if you have aging parents. The slick nature of bathroom surfaces creates a hazardous environment that promotes slips, falls and other accidents that can result in bruises, concussions and broken bones.

Grab bars are an easy, but efficient addition to your bathroom for more safety.

Fortunately, there is a very easy fix to add more security and safety to your bathroom, and it’s something we have touched briefly on before: grab bars. When it comes to assistive devices for bathroom safety, no item is as easy to use or multipurpose as the grab bar.

There are three types of grab bars to choose from: wall-mounted, tub-mounted and suction cup grab bars. All three types are designed to bear up to around 250 lbs. Wall-mounted grab bars can be positioned near tubs and toilets and even inside showers, and are secured to the wall permanently.

Suction cup grab bars provide a more temporary grab bar solution as they can be removed and placed elsewhere around the bathroom if needed. Simple to install, the suction cups just need to be pressed against a smooth surface and then locked into place using the lock and release levers.

Tub-mounted grab rails or clamps are secured to the top of the tub and held in place by non-damaging clamps. They provide a source of stability when entering or exiting the tub for those who prefer a hot bath to a shower.

Grab rails provide safety, are simple to install and help keep you safe in the bathroom. LA Medical Retail carries all three types of grab bars, as well as other safety equipment for your bathroom. Contact us today or check out our online catalog to see how we can help secure your bathroom environment today.

Incontinence Issues: Triggering the Alarm

Posted on: December 7th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Those with urinary incontinence have to live with the constant fear of having an embarrassing accident or not being able to find a bathroom when the urge comes. While incontinence productslike the ones offered by LA Medical Retail help prevent this private problem from becoming public, you can reduce your urges and bladder irritability by keeping a close eye on what you are eating and drinking.

The acid from citrus fruits like these can irritate your bladder and cause more frequent urges.

What you eat and drink and the quantity you ingest plays a huge role in urinary incontinence. Here are some nutritional tips to help prevent urges, especially during the holiday season.

  • Drink the right amount of water- while drinking too much fluid is a no-brainer, not drinking enough water can cause bladder irritation and even infection. Six to eight glasses of water per day is adequate enough to keep you hydrated without causing issues.
  • Drink the right fluids- water, yes. Alcohol, coffee and soda, not so much. Alcohol is a natural diuretic (forces water out of your body), as is the caffeine found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc.
  • Avoid the Acid- acidic fruits and juices, while delicious, can cause bladder irritability. These include oranges, clementines, lemons, limes, pineapple, and tomatoes to name a few.
  • Beware the Spice- fiery foods could spell more bathroom visits for you, but you can still have a little kick to your meals. Everyone’s heat tolerance differs, so go through trial and error to see where your limit is.
  • Limit the Sweeteners- from sugar to artificial sweeteners to natural honey, these items have been shown to affect bladder activity. Again, try trial and error to see how much of which sweeteners you can use.

When it comes to urinary incontinence, any lifestyle change you can make to reduce your urges is worth a shot. If you still need help managing your incontinence, LA Medical Retail can provide you with the products you need to keep your incontinence under control.

Keeping it Clean

Posted on: December 6th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

As we discussed in a previous blog post last month, it is cold and flu season again. Yes, the time of year where everywhere you go someone is sneezing, coughing, sniffling or blowing their nose it seems, filling the air and covering virtually all surfaces with germs. While many people take precautions such as carrying hand sanitizer with them, there is evidence that the clear goo doesn’t actually help with immunity. So, how can we help prevent the cold and flu from getting to us this season? Get back to basics.

Washing your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap is the easiest way to stay healthy this Cold and Flu Season.

This week is National Handwashing Awareness Week, and it was placed specifically at the beginning of cold and flu season to help people create good habits. There are 4 Principles of Hand Awareness:

  1. WASH your hands when they are dirty and BEFORE eating.
  2. DO NOT cough into your hands
  3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands
  4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers in your eyes, nose or mouth

Washing with warm water and soap, while seemingly old-fashioned, does a better job at killing germs and increasing immunity than using hand sanitizer. If you have to cough or sneeze, do it into your sleeve or a tissue if you have time to grab one. Coughing or sneezing into your hands just creates a higher chance of spreading germs to others.

The last principle is perhaps the most important besides washing your hands regularly. Your eyes, nose and mouth are portals into your body for germs. You should be aware of how much you touch your face in general throughout the day to help prevent catching the cold or flu.

Feel free to help us at LA Medical Retail pass along the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness to your friends and family to help them make it through this cold and flu season unscathed. We hope you all stay cold and flu-free throughout the holiday season!