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Archive for January, 2013

Lightweight Wheelchairs: Light in Weight, Heavy in Assistance

Posted on: January 31st, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Though it may be seen as something of an “antique” when put next to much of the other mobility and home medical equipment that is available these days, the manual wheelchair still provides support to millions of people around the country. This can be accounted to its ease of use, relatively low cost and the advances in wheelchair technology that make them more efficient while keeping their cost low.

Lightweight wheelchairs provide a solid ride and durability in a surprisingly light form.

One good example of this is the lightweight wheelchair. With most models weighting between 15 and 34 lbs., lightweight wheelchairs are easy to propel for both those in the chair and those pushing the chair. The lack of mass also makes these wheelchairs easy to transport from place to place.

Despite their lack of weight, lightweight wheelchairs are incredibly strong, with most being able to handle around 300 lbs. This hidden strength is in the titanium used in the frame. Titanium is much stronger, lighter and durable than aluminum, and is also better with shock absorption. Combine this with the ability to fold for convenient storage and transportation, and you have a fully functional and easy-to-use wheelchair.

Although they are lighter, lightweight wheelchairs don’t sacrifice in the amenities they provide to users. Most models come with padded armrests, removable footrests, adjustable front casters and other adjustable parts for more comfort. There are also many optional items such as elevating legrests, seat and back cushions and other accessories that can be purchased along with a lightweight wheelchair for a more custom fit.

As far as mobility devices are concerned, the wheelchair is the standard that all others should live up to. They have withstood the test of time, provide their users with numerous benefits and are readily available. LA Medical Retail carries a variety of lightweight, standard and transport chairs to choose from, so be sure to go to our online catalog if you or a loved one are looking to purchase a wheelchair.

Blood Donation: Helping Others and Yourself

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

We all know that the blood in our bodies is what keeps us alive, that this life-giving red liquid carries with it the vital elements our body needs to sustain life. We also know that in times of accidents, disasters and other tragic events, others may be in need of extra blood to help them live. It is situations like these that the creators of National Volunteer Blood Donor Month had in mind when putting together a month dedicated to helping people learn about blood donation, the benefits it has and when and how to donate.

Donating blood can help up to three people in dire circumstances where extra blood is needed.

Simply put, donating a pint of your blood could help someone else in need of blood live or live a better life. It could help a child in a pediatric unit, a middle-aged woman in an emergency room or an older man after a surgery. You never know who you will be helping, but recent research has shown that you will not only be helping someone else’s health, but also your own.

According to a study published by the American Medical Association, giving blood once every six months helps to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people ages 43 to 61. High iron levels in blood is an early contributor to heart disease, but donating blood on a regular basis helps to balance out high iron levels, the study showed. So, not only are you giving your blood to someone who needs it, you are also helping your own heart.

Aside from organ donation, blood donation is one of the most selfless gifts we as human beings can give to one another. Join us during National Volunteer Blood Donor Month and find out where you can donate in the Los Angeles area. You never know who could be counting on the life-giving power of your blood!

Ramping up the Benefits

Posted on: January 24th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Let’s say that you have just purchased a manual or power wheelchair for yourself or a loved one that you care for. Your mobility has increased phenomenally throughout your home, and it is much easier for you or your loved one to get around and live more independently. However, the front steps of your home make getting in and out of your home an enormous task itself. You have thought about home accessibility remodeling, but need a more immediate and less expensive option. What choices do you have? Portable ramps like those offered by LA Medical Retail are an efficient solution.

If you use a manual or power wheelchair or mobility scooter at home, an access ramp into your home is crucial for easy entrance and exit.

Portable ramps offer a wide variety of benefits to users. First and foremost, as their name implies, that can easily be taken from one place to another. Unfolded, they can be anywhere from two feet to 10 feet long and can support up to 600 lbs. while being incredibly lightweight. After they are done being used, they can then be folded up and conveniently brought along to your destination.

They can also be used in a variety of roles. Need to get out your front door or into a family member’s home, but there are steps in the way? A portable ramp can help you bridge the gap. They can also be used to if you need to stow a mobility device in the back of your van or SUV. Once you have your loved one in their seat, you can set up the ramp into the back of your van and SUV and use it to securely store the power wheelchair or mobility scooter in the back of your vehicle.

When you look at it, a portable ramp may be just as valuable as the wheelchair or mobility scooter or your loved one use. It help you transition from one place to another seamlessly and easily. LA Medical Retail carries a variety of portable ramps in various lengths to fit your individual needs, so contact us or browse our online catalog today!

Finding the Ideal Number- National Healthy Weight Week

Posted on: January 22nd, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

While the obesity epidemic in this country is unhealthy and has severe consequences, so does going in the opposite direction. We see it almost every day, the push to be skinnier. We see it in tabloids when we see stars that shrunk from a healthy weight to skin and bones. This situation is no healthier than being obese, which is why National Healthy Weight Week focuses on exercising and eating well for a healthy weight, not to look skinny.

Achieving a healthy weight -- neither too high or too low -- is ideal for better longevity in life.

Skinny and healthy are different things. One deals with how you look, while the other deals with how you feel. And the best part is that anyone at any age can achieve a healthy weight by following certain simple lifestyle habits:

Feel good about yourself- take time to appreciate yourself, your unique talents and all the good things you can do, as well as loving your body its qualities.

Live actively- incorporate activity into your life daily. That can mean anything from going for a walk to light exercises at home to working out at the gym.

Eat normally and nutritiously- all that crash diets do is make your body crash along with it. Instead, focus on balance, variety and moderation. Lean meats, fresh vegetables, fruits and dairy are your new friends. Think of everything you eat as fuel for your body, the “engine.” The wrong kind of fuel and too much or too little of the right fuel can throw off your engine.

Strengthen social support- involve yourself in healthy, supportive relationships and rid yourself of ones that make you feel negative. When you have people supporting you, it is much easier to feel good about yourself.

LA Medical Retail encourages everyone to strive for the long lasting benefits of a healthy lifestyle, not the short term shallow feeling of being skinny. Please join us in living for a better, longer, healthier life.

National Bath Safety Month: Safety for All

Posted on: January 17th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Bathroom safety, the topic of many of our past blog posts, is a topic that revolves around those who are older and need a little added security and safety in the bathroom, and deservedly so. The bathroom is the most dangerous place for those over age 65. On the other hand, bathrooms are also hazardous for young children as well. January is National Bath Safety Month, and as part of that we would like to discuss proper safety for young children, as well as the older generations.

The right safety equipment in the bathroom can make all the difference.

For young children, it is imperative to always keep watch on them if they are in or near a tub, even if there is very little water in it. You should also:

  • Safeguard bathtubs with non-slip mats and faucet guards
  • Gather everything you need (shampoo, soap, etc.) before turning the water on when bathing a small child
  • Test the water to make sure it is not too hot
  • Do not ever leave your child alone in the water for any reason. A small child can drown in even the smallest amounts of water

There are also care guidelines for older adults, especially those that are not completely independent.

  • If you are assisting someone who is elderly, check the temperature of the water. Many older people have lost sensation in the hands and feet and cannot properly gauge the temperature of the water
  • To help with entry and exit into the shower or tub, grab bar installation is a cheap and effective option. Further safety in the shower or tub can achieved through use of a shower chair or transfer bench.

While bathrooms can be dangerous places for those of all ages, using the proper protocols and/or bathroom safety equipment can eliminate these risks. LA Medical can provide bathroom safety equipment to those that need it. Simply check our online catalog or give us a call!

Bariatric Equipment: Strong and Durable by Design

Posted on: January 15th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

In past posts we have touched on bariatric equipment and the benefits it provides to both the obese patients that use the equipment on a daily basis, as well as the caregiver(s) that provide home health care to these patients. Bariatric equipmentis designed to handle weights over 300 pounds, but how is that accomplished? What differentiates a regular wheelchair from a bariatric wheelchair, or a walker from a bariatric walker?

The added weight of bariatric patients provides more difficulties, both in treatment and home care.

Most people would say size, which is not completely wrong, but it is not a complete answer. Bariatric equipment manufacturers have to keep the products small enough to not be too bulky around a home, yet incredibly strong as well. So, how do they go about doing this? Here are two examples.

Wheelchairs- most bariatric wheelchairs are built wider, but they also use reinforced metal in the frame and seat, as well as wheels, casters and smaller parts that are made for heavier weights. The rear axle in a bariatric wheelchair is also moved forward when compared to normal wheelchair to compensate for the different center of body weight in bariatric patients.

Shower Chairs- not only is there added strength in the reinforced metal in the legs and frame, but also in the design of the frame, which for most is a cross-bracing system. Picture the normal four legs of a chair, but with an added “X” of crossing metal in the middle them. This helps the chair to support the heavier weight of bariatric patients.

The recipe is essentially the same in most other bariatric equipment that LA Medical Retail offers like walkers, rollators, canes and other bathroom safety equipment. The added strength of bariatric equipment comes from the reinforced, but still lightweight, metal used in frames, as well as the shape and position of the frames.

If you or someone you know cares for a larger patient or loved one, suggest our online catalog to them. We could offer the very item the need to make their bariatric care easier and safer.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Stop it Before it Starts

Posted on: January 10th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

We have discussed Alzheimer’s Disease in the past: what it looks like, what the warning signs are and a few brain exercises to try out. Unfortunately, the fact remains that there is no way to completely prevent this form of dementia from developing. However, there has been promise shown that living by the Six Pillars of a Brain Healthy Lifestyle can greatly reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. The following are the six pillars and how you can incorporate them into your life.

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease can be improved or staved off by living a brain-healthy lifestyle.

Have an active social life- humans flourish when socializing, not when isolated and alone. This can be achieved through volunteering, joining a social group, getting to know your neighbors or taking a group class.

Keep a handle on your stress- chronic stress has been shown to have a negative effect on the brain and even shrinking key memory areas of the brain. You can combat this by planning a daily relaxation time into your day and calm your breathing when you are feeling stretched too thin.

Get more quality sleep- sleep gives our brains a chance to recharge and be ready for tomorrow. Set a regular sleep schedule, create a bedtime ritual (such as reading) and nap responsibly to keep your brain rested and ready.

Challenge your mind- your brain needs to be exercised too, so work it out by learning a new language, doing the daily crossword or play strategy games. These things help create new neuro-pathways and help the mind grow, not shrink.

Eat for your brain- diet plays more of a role in brain health than most people know. Load up on fresh vegetables, lean meat (chicken, turkey, and fish), whole grains and foods full of omega-3 fats.

Engage in regular exercise- if it helps your heart and cardiovascular function better, it does the same for your brain. Get at least 30 minutes four to five times a week with a combination of aerobic exercise and muscle building exercises, and you are well on your way.

Living a brain-healthy lifestyle can help prevent Alzheimer’s from developing, slow down its symptoms or even reverse its effect. While these pillars are not a fool-proof way to stay Alzheimer’s-free, they will help you and your loved ones to live healthier, longer lives. We hope you will join us at LA Medical Retail in working to live free of Alzheimer’s disease!

New Hope for the New Year

Posted on: January 8th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

As a kid, I remember having this need for various cool toys or other things and thinking, “If I just had this, everything would be better.” Well, despite the fact that the holidays are now over, there are still those who may have the same feeling I had as a kid, but instead of toys or clothes, they or someone they provide care for needs a certain piece of medical equipment or supply item to help fill a need.

Our online store carries a wide selection of products to help you or your loved one improve their health and life this year.

As a home medical equipment supplier, LA Medical Retail is in the business of filling the needs of those who need help the most. The best part about all of the products we offer is that they provide numerous benefits to those that use them for a more comfortable and independent life.

For those that need help with mobility, we offer all sorts of options to fit your degree of mobility. We carry everything from crutches and canes to walkers, rollators and manual wheelchairs to power mobility like mobility scooters and powerchairs.

You will also find a variety of patient room equipment for efficient and complete home care. Home hospital beds, mattresses, accessories and daily living aids just a few of the products we offer to make home care easier and more comfortable.

Our online catalog also boasts a whole line of bathroom safety equipment to prevent accidents, as well as incontinence products for better incontinence management.

This wide variety of products allows us to assist more people who need help with their own health care or caring for someone they love. Our expert representatives will help you find the precise product fit, and can answer any questions you have.

We hope in this new calendar year that you try to live life to its healthiest. LA Medical is here to help any way we can with your health or the health of a loved one, so please get in contact with us or visit our online catalog to see what we can do.