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Archive for March, 2013

Injury Prevention Part 3: More Safety Tips for Spring Cleaning

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Part 3- Staying Safe during Spring Cleaning

Keep a phone handy. Cordless phone and cell phones can go with you in and out of the house in case you need to call for help.

Not taking precautions or overworking yourself during spring cleaning can lead to back pain or other injuries or discomfort.

Not taking precautions or overworking yourself during spring cleaning can lead to back pain or other injuries or discomfort.

If you’re shaking out your throw rugs and area rugs, consider “throwing” them right out of your house and life forever for at least rolling them up and putting them away. Countless falls and injuries are caused by tripping on area rugs. Use non-slip rugs on the bathroom or any other room where you must use them and replace those if they lose their backings.

Have a buddy system. Is there another friend that will be doing the same kind of projects?  You help them, they help you. You’ll get twice the work done in half the time and you’ll have more fun, and it’s safer. Separate the days you’ll work together so you don’t overdo it.

Hire it done or ask for help.  Ask friends for recommendations on people that may have used to get their projects done. Could a cleaning service get your whole house deep cleaned in a day or two? Could a person from the neighborhood get your lawn or flowerbeds ready?  Who could haul items from your garage or basement quicker or more safely? Check with your local senior center or church to see if there are individuals or groups looking for short term projects.

And lastly, ask yourself if it really needs to be done?  Many of us think we need to keep a spotless home and yard like we saw our parents or grandparents have.  We live in a different time now and it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay if your second story windows don’t sparkle and your hedge doesn’t look like a 1950’s Better Homes and Gardens; it’s better to have safer and happier homes and gardens.

Ask LA Medical about tips and products to make your home safer and more comfortable.  We carry a wide variety of products both in store and in our online catalog and have experts in the store to answer your questions.

Injury Prevention Part 2: Use Common Sense

Posted on: March 26th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Part 2- Preventing and Avoiding Injury this Spring

Before you jump into spring projects, think ahead and use a little bit of prevention to make sure you avoid injury this season.  Here are more tips to keep you safe.

Your home is full of potential hazards, so use common sense when it comes to your spring cleaning.

Your home is full of potential hazards, so use common sense when it comes to your spring cleaning.

Wear the proper clothing for the job. If you start a project early when it’s chilly, you may heat up as you work and as the day warms. If you get too hot, you may get dizzy and fall.  Dress in comfortable layers that you can add or remove as needed.

Schedule a short day. Oh the feeling of completing a big project in just one day!  But, wait until the next morning when you are so tired and sore that it takes 3 days to recover. Set a time limit. One or two hours may be plenty to start with. If you can do half of a day comfortably that’s great; don’t push it.

Take breaks. A few short breaks will let your body keep up with can-do spirit.

Chairs are for sitting only. Don’t stand on a chair to reach the high cupboards or to paint the wall. Use a proper step stool with a handle and even then, only if your fully able to and have someone else there to assist you (or at least to call 911!)

Like we said, chairs are for sitting, so sit down to do low projects like cleaning out drawers and cleaning the refrigerator for dusting. It will save your back and feet and it’s easier to get out of a chair then off of a floor.

Go easy on chemicals. People with and without respiratory problems can be harmed by breathing too many cleaning products and products that are too strong such as bleach, cleaners, bug sprays, etc. Read the directions carefully and use vented fans of open windows for ventilation.  Speaking of good respiratory health, if you need better respiratory supplies or equipment of any kind, see LA Medical today. Please browse our online catalog to find the products and equipment you need.

Don’t spring into action too soon! Be smart and prevent injuries this spring

Posted on: March 21st, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Part 1- Before You Start that Big Project

Everybody loves spring!  Maybe it’s that sense of newness and spring renewal that gets us to start thinking about cleaning the whole house, sprucing up the yard or other chores we’ve been putting off.  But before you jump into these big projects, think ahead and use a little bit of prevention to make sure “spring” doesn’t get “sprung.”

Warming up and stretching before your return to activity this spring are easy ways to prevent injuries.

Warming up and stretching before your return to activity this spring are easy ways to prevent injuries.

If you have been sitting most of the winter, your body probably isn’t ready to just tackle the big projects.  There are several simple ways to prevent injuries.

Warm up stretches are a simple and essential step to a busy day.  Stretching is not just for runners, it’s a way to prepare the body to use the muscle groups that may be a bit underused. Take a look at these stretching techniques from Function Fitness Facts. You may not be able to stretch as well as these models, but just do as much as you can, it’s still beneficial.

Take a walk. Walking is a great way to get your body woken up warmed up and loosened up before your tasks. Don’t overdo it; you may want to walk after your chores too as a cool down.

Eat a light meal before your start your projects. No big meals that may weigh you down, just enough to give your body fuel. Save the big meal or restaurant as a reward for a job well-done.

Stay hydrated. Keep water with you or close by as you work. Dry muscles are sore muscles and that goes for your brain too.

Is it time to “spring clean” your home medical equipment? If you’ve been waiting for a time to replace worn out equipment or supplies or to have your wheelchair inspected, spring is a great time! Our online catalog is full of new equipment and we can help you with any questions or concerns. See LA Medical today.  Look for more injury prevention tips in our next post and share them with a friend.

LA Medical Wants You to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” and Be Healthy

Posted on: March 19th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger
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Portion control, eating more fresh veggies and fruit, and consuming less high sodium food are three easy ways to better your nutrition.

March is National Nutrition Month. The theme for 2013 is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” LA Medical wants all of our friends and customers to be healthy and informed about good nutrition.

What is nutrition? Nutrition is not just having enough to eat. Watch any TV news and you’ll see shots of people who had had too much to eat and are overweight or obese.  They have certainly had enough to eat, but not necessarily enough nutritious food. On the reverse of that, seeing a super skinny actress or model doesn’t mean they are eating the right amount of nutritious food either.  How do you strike the right balance?

Proper nutrition focuses on the type of food you eat and the amount of food you eat and encouragers making good food choices every day in ways that work for each person.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics try to make it simple to understand and follow in our everyday lives. The old fashioned food pyramid has been replaced by a colorful plate (who ate off of a pyramid anyway?) that shows a simple way to eat more nutritious meals.  The plate shows a place for fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins and a side of dairy with suggested amounts indicated by color.

Health.gov offers these easy tips for eating more nutritiously:

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles are the keys to avoiding many of the health problems that LA Medical sees in our customers every day.  We love our customers and want to see you all live as well and healthy as possible. When you do need any type of home medical equipment, please visit our online catalog or visit is in person.

Concussions: They’re Kind of a Big Deal. Do You Know the Warning Signs?

Posted on: March 14th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

In the United States alone, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a brain injury annually. Of those injured, nearly 80 percent are treated and released from an emergency department. Most of those 80 percent are for concussions. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and everyone at LA Medical wants you to be aware of the signs and dangers of a concussion.

Concussions are the most common brain injury, and most occur without a loss of consciousness.

Concussions are the most common brain injury, and most occur without a loss of consciousness.

What is a concussion? A concussion is a mild type of traumatic brain injury, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.

Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

Concussions affect people of every age. They are and more dangerous to children and older people. Did you know that most concussions occur without loss of consciousness? That’s why it’s so important to recognize and respond to concussions when they first occur to help prevent further injury or even death.

What are the signs of a concussion? Some of the most common are:

Headache or “pressure” in head

Nausea or vomiting

Balance problems or dizziness

Double or blurry vision

Sensitivity to light and/or noise

Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy,

Concentration or memory problems

Confusion

Not “feeling right” or is “feeling down.”

A concussion may be considered a “mild” brain injury but should never be dismissed a “no big deal”.

Remember, you can’t see a concussion, only the signs. Some people may not experience and/or report symptoms until hours or even days after the injury. Most people with a concussion will recover quickly and fully but concussions can last for days, weeks, or longer for other people. Don’t take chances, see a doctor right away.

Safety equipment for the home, especially the bathroom and bedroom is a great way to prevent falls that cause concussions. Let the LA Medical help you. Visit our online catalog or stop in and see us in person and let show you the many options available.

Sources: the Brain Injury Alliance of America, CDC.org

Use Your Head and Protect Your Brain during Brain Injury Awareness Month

Posted on: March 12th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month.  Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) can affect any person at any age. According to the CDC, in 2007, 29,354 patients were hospitalized with a TBI in California of these 7 percent died, and 25% were sent to another facility for further, long-term treatment. LA Medical offers supplies for people living with TBI both at home or in out-of-home facilities.

Brain injuries, while seemingly mild on the outside, can lead to severe health consequences.

Brain injuries, while seemingly mild on the outside, can lead to severe health consequences.

There are several levels and degrees of brain injury. The most common level is the concussion.  Web MD defines a concussion as when the head sustains a hard blow and the impact jars or shakes the brain inside the skull, interrupting the brain’s normal activities. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.

Symptoms of a concussion can include any of the following changes in the person’s level of consciousness, such as:

Loss of consciousness.

Inability to remember what happened immediately before or after the injury (amnesia).

Confusion.

Asking the same question over and over.

Dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness, or unsteadiness.

Blurred or double vision.

Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Changes in personality.

A decreased ability to talk or feed himself or herself.

Changes in how well a child is able to do physical activities, such as increased
unsteadiness that makes it hard for the child to walk or stand.

In a small child, increased fussiness or lack of energy.

Ongoing headaches.

Symptoms of a concussion can be mild to severe, depending on the severity of the injury. If the injury is more serious, symptoms will usually develop within the first 24 hours after the accident. Symptoms may last for days, weeks, or even months following the injury.

A single concussion from a fall, a blow to the head, or a motor vehicle accident is serious, but usually only lasts a relatively short amount of time.  There are growing concerns and increased attention regarding athletes and concussions, especially repeated concussions. These concerns are being explored from the young athletes in school based physical sports like tackle football, wrestling and hockey up to professional NFL football players, NHL hockey players and those involved in types of boxing. The link between repeated concussions and a condition called chronic encephalopathy is being studied in the brain of many deceased athletes. The studies show consistent patterns of damage to the brain not found in the average person and brain disorders in younger people that would normally show up in people many years older including Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

LA Medical encourages safety and prevention of any kind of brain injury or concussion and helpful assistance with medical equipment and supplies. We carry a wide range of bathroom safety equipment, canes and walkers to promote safety and injury prevention. Protect your brain; it’s the only one you have.

Source:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Wheelchair Accessories: Put Some Bling on that Thing!

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

We love to accessorize. Earrings and bracelets, ties and cufflinks, cases for our phones and computers, spoilers on our cars; you name it, we love accessorize it. What about your wheelchair, walker or mobility scooter? LA Medical can help you find just the right accessories in our store or in our online catalog. These accessories can add comfort, convenience and safety. How can you accessorize your walker, scooter or wheelchair today?

Wheelchair accessories are an easy way to bring more function to your wheelchair.

Wheelchair accessories are an easy way to bring more function to your wheelchair.

We all have a lot of stuff and if you need a place to hold your stuff, LA Medical has pouches, saddle bags and baskets perfect for your wheelchair and walker.  They attach securely and keep your belongings safe and at your fingertips.

Keep your hands free and your drink safe with a cup holder specially made for walkers, wheelchairs and bed rails. Stay hydrated and spill free with these cleaver cup holders.

If you use oxygen and a wheelchair, you know how hard it can be to use both together.  We carry several oxygen holders to keep your oxygen safe and going everywhere you go.  We have devices for carrying canes and IV poles too.

Cushions are probably the most important accessory for any wheelchair user.  Having the right cushion and having it in good shape is more than just for looks; it’s crucial for comfort, safety and skin health. Improper cushions can cause pressure sores which, if left untreated, can lead to major infections, amputations, and death.  LA Medical carries a variety of wheelchair cushions in gel and foam varieties to fit wheelchairs of every make and size. We have cushions for added lumbar and back support too.

If you’re tired of bouncing through doorways in your wheelchair or having to have assistance to move up small steps, LA Medical carries a variety of ramps perfect for the job.  Lightweight and easy to install, these ramps will increase your comfort and independence immediately.

Stop in and see us today and let our experts show you some of the great accessories LA Medical has waiting for you. We know that a satisfied smile is the best accessory of all.

2.5 million People Live with Multiple Sclerosis, Are You at Risk?

Posted on: March 5th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a disease that continues to be a mystery in the healthcare world. First diagnosed in 1868, the cause and cure for MS remain a mystery. There is a belief that it is an auto immune disease where the body attacks itself doing more damage as it progresses.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). LA Medical is proud to be a provider of home medical equipment that makes the lives of people with MS better.

MS causes the body's immune system to attack it's own nerve cells, causing damage to various systems in the body.

MS causes the body’s immune system to attack it’s own nerve cells, causing damage to various systems in the body.

How common is MS? Statistics indicate that there are currently 350,000 to 500,000 people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with MS. Two hundred people are diagnosed with MS every week and over 2.5 million people are living with the disease worldwide.

MS can strike both men and women, but is more common in women.  It appears more frequently in Caucasians than in Hispanics or African Americans, and is relatively rare among Asians and certain other ethnic groups. Although MS can develop in young children and teens as well as older adults, it is most commonly diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50.

There are common symptoms of MS, but not all people will share the same ones. Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, weakness, spasticity, balance problems, bladder and bowel problems, numbness, vision loss, tremors and depression. Many of these symptoms are shared with other diseases and disorders as well, so it’s best to be tested.

Even if you are diagnosed with MS, there is no certain timeline for the progression of the disease. The disease can progress quickly or slowly and has times of remission. That’s why having the right medical care and the right medical equipment is so important.

Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in the MS population than in the general population. We carry canes, crutches and walkers to assist with balance and strength issues and manual and power wheelchairs for people with more mobility needs. See our online catalog for a full list of our products or if you’re in the LA Medical area, stop in and see us today with more questions about beneficial equipment and supplies. Please visit the www.nationalmssociety.org for more information on the disease.