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Archive for April, 2013

Let the Good Times Roll with a Knee Walker

Posted on: April 25th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Let the good times roll! Well maybe not good times, but you can still roll with a knee walker from LA Medical. Knee walkers are a somewhat new idea and a great alternative to crutches for many people. These small, four-wheeled devices may look like a child’s plaything, but are designed to take the weight off of legs that have been broken or have been through any number of surgeries. Keep in mind that if you have had knee surgery, the knee walker is not for you (sorry.)

Knee walkers are ideal for someone with a lower leg injury like the one shown here.

Knee walkers are ideal for someone with a lower leg injury like the one shown here.

Here are a few reasons why you may choose a knee walker from LA Medical.

No arm strength needed. Crutches rely on arms and upper body strength. Walk around on crutches all day and your leg will not be the only thing hurting. You may notice the strain in your forearms and more than likely some chafing in your arm pits. The only upper body strength you need to operate a knee walker is just enough to steer and to lightly apply the hand brake.

Four wheels are better than two rubber tips. Knee walkers offer more stability than crutches because of their four wheels that are always touching the ground. Try standing crutches up by themselves and see what happens. Going across a rain soaked parking lot or sidewalk with a knee walker is also much safer than crutches.

They are cheat proof. When you use a knee walker, your injured leg is 100% off of the ground. Most people will put too much weight on an injured leg when using crutches, even if it hurts to do so. We assume it’s normal, but it shouldn’t be.

You’re hands stay cleaner. When you use crutches, both of your hands are constantly in a death grip on the rubber grips. Everything on your hands goes on the grips and then back to your hands and then back to the grips and…you get the idea. The non-porous handles on the knee walker are easier to wipe off and keep clean.

You have one hand free. Try getting a cup of hot coffee or your lunch back to your desk or chair with a pair of crutches. If both hands are clinging to afore mentioned germy grips, how do you carry anything?

You always have a place to sit. Have you ever seen a crutch with a built in seat? With a knee walker, you can (carefully) be seated on the cushioned seat and have a rest, a conversation or a bite to eat.

Darn it, they just look cool! Knee walkers can be fitted with baskets to make them even more useful and let’s be honest; they look more fun than crutches. People in your family or office will more than likely try to steal your knee walker and may even let out a “wheeee” as they zoom around the room. Guard your knee walker carefully.

If you or a loved one is having surgery or recovering from a broken leg or ankle or a foot ulcer, see LA Medical today and let us show you what a knee walker can do for you.

Find a Need and Fill It: The Power of Volunteering

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

It’s National Volunteer Week! We are proud to be part of our community and see the need for great volunteers around us every day. LA Medical wants to “volunteer” some ideas on how and where you can volunteer your time to help others.

Volunteering can be as easy as helping an older or disabled person paint their house.

Volunteering can be as easy as helping an older or disabled person paint their house.

1. Meals on Wheels. Check with your local Area on Aging Agency. You’ll be delivering food and a friendly face to someone who may not have another visitor that day.

2. If you like books, ask your local library for volunteer opportunities. From putting away books to reading to children, they have a spot for you.

3. Soup kitchens and food pantries are always in need of drivers to pick up donated food, organize shelves, pack food boxes and serve meals. Click here to find one in your area.

4. Your church or synagogue will always welcome free help. Ask about teaching a class, helping in the nursery, working in the kitchen for funerals and special events, or with mailings in the office.

5. Do you like animals? Talk to one of our local animal shelter. They always have dogs to walk and cats to play with. Consider fostering an animal. Think bigger and consider volunteering with a local therapeutic horse riding stable that provides services for people with disabilities or go wild and volunteer with wildlife rescue group.

6. Senior Citizen Centers and Nursing Homes are great places to volunteer. Play games, read a book or newspapers to residents, sing or play the piano.

LA Medical offers this list to get you thinking, but the possibilities are endless. We enjoy being part of this community and see people and groups with needs every day. Tell us where and how you volunteer in the community and share with us how volunteering has changed your life.

Thank you for the work you do!

2 Surprisingly Simple and Affordable Keys to Greater Independence

Posted on: April 18th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Home medical equipment runs the gambit from large and complicated to some really cleaver and low cost items to assist you in your everyday lives.  Here are two products from LA Medical that you may have never thought about, but soon may never want to be without again.

For those in wheelchairs, a reacher can provide flexibility in difficult areas like the kitchen

For those in wheelchairs, a reacher can provide flexibility in difficult areas like the kitchen

Sometimes you don’t need more hands, you just need longer arms.  For people who use a wheelchair, are unable to stand carefully or just aren’t as tall as they need to be, a hand held reacher is a wonderful tool.  These collapsible reachers have a large trigger to squeeze on one end and a mechanical “hand” on the other. The trigger only requires 7 ounces of pressure to operate, so it’s great for people with arthritis and limited strength.

The gripping hand (or jaw) acts like your own hand with a similar grip size that can hold everything from medium size and weight objects all the way down to small, hard to reach items.  These reachers can be used by anyone and are great for reaching dropped items in hard to reach places where arms and hands can’t (or shouldn’t) go.  See one for yourself at LA Medical today.

A tisket, a tasket, you need a basket. Not just any basket, but a Winnie Wagon from LA Medical.  These sturdy, all-purpose carts have 4 rubber casters for a smooth ride and stability. You’ll find a thousand ways to use these practical carts from groceries and laundry to getting items from room to room and even outside.  These carts are great for people with limited strength or who only have use of one arm or hand. The 37 inch high handle makes the cart easy to pull or push.  It’s light enough to put in the car, but sturdy enough to get the job done.  Bring it to the beach, the farmers market or the mall to hold your purchases.  Come in to LA Medical for a “test drive” today.

These items and many others are available online and in our store. They would make great gifts for someone special or just for you.  We look forward to seeing you and helping you stay independent.

Alarming Numbers about Cancer in the Hispanic Community

Posted on: April 16th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Cancer can affect anyone, but some minority groups, including Hispanics, have higher occurrence rates and lower survival rates than others.  With roughly 48 percent of the Los Angeles population being Hispanic, this greatly impacts many of our friends and neighbors.  LA Medical wants everyone to have the best health possible and encourages healthy lifestyles, disease management and cancer screenings for all people.

Colon cancer, shown here, is more prominent in Hispanic Americans.

Colon cancer, shown here, is more prominent in Hispanic Americans.

Here are some alarming facts about cancer and the Hispanic culture:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanics.  Poverty and reduced access to medical services worsen the Hispanic cancer burden resulting in Hispanics having lower cancer screening rates and are diagnosed with cancer at later stages, when treatment options are more limited and less successful.
  • Colorectal (colon) cancer among Mexicans living in Florida is more than double that of Mexicans in Mexico mostly due to the adopted “American lifestyles”. More research is being done on this problem.
  • Although Hispanics have a lower risk than Caucasians or African Americans for the most common types of cancer (lung, breast, prostate, and colon), they have a higher risk for cancers related to infectious agents like the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV related cervical cancer incidence rates among Hispanic women are about 60% higher than those among non-Hispanic.
  • The overall cancer death rate among Cuban men was double that among Mexican men, 328 (per 100,000 men) versus 163, respectively. This is largely because Cuban men are statistically more likely than Mexican men to smoke, which increases their risk of about 20 different cancers.

Lifestyle changes and screenings are the best weapons against cancer. Follow-up care is vital for those that have been diagnosed and are being treated for any types of cancer. For people living with cancers, LA Medical has equipment and supplies to improve your life and comfort. Please see us for wheelchairs, hospital beds, personal care items or anything else that will make the journey through cancer safer and more comfortable.

Sources: The Center for Disease Control, The American Society, The Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC)

5 Signs that You Need a Mobility Scooter

Posted on: April 11th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Is a mobility scooter right for you or an aging parent?  Are you or someone in your family struggling with getting around due to age or disease?  The decision to get a mobility scooter is not always an easy one.  Some may see it as a way to increase their independence while others see it as giving up on walking.

Mobility scooters provide a great way for those who have limitations to get around.

Mobility scooters provide a great way for those who have limitations to get around.

Here are some indicators that you may benefit from a mobility scooter from LA Medical.

Balance issues– Many people have trouble with balance as they age or because of certain diseases. Poor balance leads to falls that may lead to many more serious injuries, hospitalizations and even death.  Many older or disabled people will simply choose to limit their movements, stop moving around their houses and not go outside for fear of falling. This sedentary life leads to more problems with health, isolation and quality of life.

Frequent falls – Balance and falls go hand in hand, but poor eyesight, loss of sensation in the feet and legs and fast changes in blood pressure can also contribute to falls. Even if the falls are major, the fear of falling often causes people to stop walking.

Trouble getting up from a chair or bed– As we age or progress in our disease, we lose strength in our legs and getting out of a low, flat bed or chair can become difficult and even dangerous. The person who doesn’t have help getting up safely may stay in their bed or favorite chair longer and risk losing muscle or the development of pressure sores. Housekeeping stops and preparing meals doesn’t happen which can lead to more problems.

Trouble walking– Many people have trouble walking longer distances or for longer periods of time. Canes and walkers can help, but may not be enough or many people.  Once again, their world becomes smaller and smaller and quality of life declines.

Illness and treatments– The cures and treatments for some illnesses are as hard on the body as the disease itself. Surgeries can take months to recover from and chemotherapy can leave a person weak.  Certain diseases and conditions from arthritis to MS can also wear on the body and cause increasing weakness and problems. Staying active is often the best treatment for these recoveries, but that becomes impossible without a way to stay mobile.

LA Medical has mobility scooters in our online catalog and in our store and more available upon request. We can help you find the right scooter for you and your lifestyle; we’ll even help you find the right color.  Get moving with help from your friends at LA Medical!

Mobility Scooters vs. Electric Wheelchairs: Knowing the Difference

Posted on: April 9th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Both mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs have similar end results; they are both used for safe and comfortable mobility. Many people use the terms interchangeably and confuse the two product groups. There are many differences that make choosing the correct one very important. The mobility and seating experts at LA Medical can work with you, your physician and your therapists to determine which device best fits your needs.

If you enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors, then a mobility scooter may be right for you.

If you enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors, then a mobility scooter may be right for you.

Mobility scooters are designed for short-term, temporary purposes. Short term and temporary means as you recover from an injury and how long you use the scooter on any given day. They are considered more for assistance when the user is mobile, but can’t walk for long without tiring.

Electric wheelchairs are designed for people who sit the majority if not all day. Electric wheelchairs offer more support for posture and more specialized cushioning in the seat. People with spinal cord injuries and many other challenges use electric wheelchairs, not scooters.

Mobility scooters are not designed or built to be as complex and are usually much lighter. Scooters are always designed to be easier to collapse for simple transport. Most scooters are carried on the back of the vehicle with the person riding in the vehicle.

Electric wheelchairs are normally built more solidly with more complex features. They can be broken down for transport, but the majority of times the person remains in the chair inside the vehicle. Vans can be modified so the person using the wheelchair can drive the van; this is not true of scooters.

Scooters are built lighter making them easier to move more frequently. But their lighter weight means they are less stable on uneven terrain (lawns, hills, rocks, etc.).

Steering and control in a mobility scooter is more like a bicycle. The driver’s arms are extended to the steering handle and hand brakes are normally used. It requires better range of motion and upper body strength.

Electric wheelchairs are controlled by a joystick that is pre-programmed. They can be located on the left or right arm of the chair.  Controllers can be modified to respond to work with head movement and a “sip and puff” device for people with more complete paralysis.

Now that you know about the two groups, we invite you to see some of the choices available in our online catalog. We encourage you to come in for a “test drive” soon and let the seating experts at LA Medical tell you more.

World Health Day- Tackling High Blood Pressure

Posted on: April 4th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger
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Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can affect all aspects of your circulatory system and many different organ systems.

April 7 is World Health Day. A different health topic or concern is chosen each year to highlight health concerns both here and around the world. The theme for 2013 is high blood pressure. LA Medical supports any efforts to keep our city and our world healthy.

High blood pressure is a common problem in the U.S. and around the world that leads to many other health related issues. The goal of the World Health Organization is greater awareness, healthy behaviors, improved detection and enabling environments.

How much do you know about high blood pressure?

  • High blood pressure is also known as raised blood pressure or hypertension.
  • High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks.
  • High blood pressure increases strokes and kidney failure in both men and women.
  • High blood pressure can also cause blindness, irregularities of the heartbeat and heart failure if it is not properly diagnosed and treated

These risks of complications increase if there are other factors such as diabetes present. This makes diabetes diagnosis, treatment and management even more important.

How common is high blood pressure? Are you are risk?

  • One in three adults worldwide has high blood pressure.
  • In the U.S., 1 in 10 people in their 20s and 30s have high blood pressure.
  • 5 in 10 people in their 50s have high blood pressure.
  • Blood pressure generally increases with age.

High blood pressure is both preventable and treatable. The risk of developing high blood pressure can be reduced by:

  • Reducing salt intake.
  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Avoiding harmful use of alcohol.
  • Regular physical activity/exercise.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Avoiding tobacco use (all kinds).

LA Medical encourages you to take care of your health and avoid high blood pressure. Like most every disease, it’s easier and better to prevent it than to treat it. Even if you have limited mobility, see us for the canes and walkers that can keep you moving and keep your blood pressure in check. See us today to learn more.

Lean more about World Health Day at www.who.int , Source World Health Organization

Private Health Lessons from Public Health Week

Posted on: April 2nd, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

LA Medical is putting a focus on preventative care all month long to mark National Public Health Week that happens each April.

Whether you're helping yourself or others, National Public Health Week is about getting better together.

Whether you’re helping yourself or others, National Public Health Week is about getting better together.

“ROI: Save Lives, Save Money” is the theme for 2013. The theme highlights prevention of many kinds of illnesses and health conditions through preventative screenings, eating healthier and getting regular exercise and recognizes the contributions of public health.

Public health teaches us many simple and useful suggestions that we can all use including:

  • Assess to your home, or the home of a loved one for factors that could contribute to a fall, such as poor lighting, uneven flooring and clutter.
  • Put the number for poison control on your refrigerator and in your cell phone: 1-800-222-1222. It will automatically connect you to your regional poison control center and often life-saving information.
  • Keep potentially dangerous household products such as cleaning products, cosmetics and prescription medications locked up and out of children’s reach. Also, never store household chemicals in old food containers or in the same place you keep food items. Learn more at www.upandaway.org.

LA Medical wants you and your family to be as healthy as possible, no matter your age or medical conditions. Here a items we offer to help:

The right products like proper wheelchair fitting and seat cushions and specialty mattresses can help prevent pressure sores. A properly fit cane, walker, or hospital bed can prevent falls and further injuries. What equipment would help you have the best health possible? We can help you find out.

We are all part of this bigger health community and we all need to work together. Click on the link below to learn more.

Learn more about public health and getting involved in your community at www.nphw.org.

 

  • Source National Public Health Week and the American Public Health Association