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Archive for November, 2013

Detecting Alzheimer’s Disease Part 2

Posted on: November 28th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

In our first blog about Alzheimer’s Disease, we discussed how to notice signs if a loved one has this dreadful disease.  In November, LA Medical supports and promotes awareness for Alzheimer’s Month. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that deteriorates the brain over time and affects how someone thinks and performs daily functions.  Let’s continue to learn about more signs that coDetecting Alzheimer's 2uld result in a loved one being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Someone with Alzheimer’s can easily get confused with where they’re at and what time it is.  People who are affected can lose track of important dates like doctor appointments, birthdays or even what the current date is.

People with Alzheimer’s may have issues with their visual perceptions such as reading, misunderstanding the distance to something or determining the color of something, like a red light versus a green light at a four way intersection.

Along with date and time, people with Alzheimer’s may have trouble planning events or solving problems. They lose track of times and dates and forget simple rules to a recipe or balancing a check book.

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is getting lost.  This can be very scary when it happens, wondering where your loved one may be at. While they’re getting into a car, they may understand where they’re going, but as they’re traveling, they forget the original destination and end up driving till they’re out of fuel. Another scare is walking around the neighborhood forgetting which house home is.

The biggest and one of the most devastating to families is memory loss.  Forgetting family member’s names, important dates and the difference between right and wrong or requesting the same information over and over again are very common signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

LA Medical hopes you’ve gotten a better understanding of how Alzheimer’s Disease can affect someone’s daily abilities.  Please contact LA Medical for mobility options or bathroom safety equipment.

Detecting Alzheimer’s Disease Part 1

Posted on: November 26th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

LA Medical would like to provide you with information regarding how to determine if someone has Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is a brain deteriorating disease that affects how someone thinks, makes decisions or lives doing daily functions.  Although there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s, the information below will help you see if a loved one may have signs of this deadly and scary disease.

Alzheimer's

People who start to have early signs of Alzheimer’s go through many mood and personality changes.  One second they could be happy and the next very agitated.  People who have this disease may experience multiple mood swings when they’re in an unfamiliar setting or have one break from a routine.

Over time, people with Alzheimer’s will have difficulty talking or writing down words.  Their conversations will make them forget what they’re talking about and pronounce words that don’t make sense.  Sometimes, they’ll repeat themselves not knowing they’ve already said the same thing.  Also, finding the right word or calling things by the wrong name are common signs.

People who have Alzheimer’s may feel withdrawn from social activities because they can’t remember how to respond or do something.  They tend to pay attention to something else and not pay attention to what’s going on right in front of them.

Another very common sign of someone having Alzheimer’s doesn’t know how to use their senses properly, like the sense of touch.  An example of this would be touching a hot stove after cooking something and burning themselves, not remembering to not touch a stove when it’s hot.

The last thing to look for in the first part of this blog is to see how often a loved one misplaces an item and where they put it.  People who don’t show signs of  Alzheimer’s usually remember or do something to jog their memory, but people with Alzheimer’s can’t jog their memory.  They may accuse someone or you of stealing or moving the item. Their mood may change toward you because they may need money or reading glasses.

Make sure to read our next blog to find out more signs if a loved one may have Alzheimer’s.  Stop in and see LA Medical for a wide selection of aids to daily living for you or a loved one.

Caring for the Family Caregiver #3

Posted on: November 19th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

November is National Family Caregiver Month and LA Medical is offering strategies for caring for the caregiver and keeping them healthy while they do this incredibly tough but rewarding job.

Final  Caregiver

Last time we talked about finding support and setting limits. There are more strategies including letting go of guilt, taking care of your health and taking breaks.

We all logically know that guilt is a wasted emotion, but telling our hearts that may be tougher. If you are a caregiver, try writing down every time you use the word “should” for one week. Should and shouldn’t are guilt words. Phrases like “I should keep the house cleaner or bake cookies like my mom did,” “I shouldn’t take naps when my husband does, I should clean,” are all filled with guilt. Let go of perfect and accept what is in the situation. A little bit of dust and store bought cookies never killed anyone. You’re doing fine.

Taking care of your own health is vital to a family caregiver. Getting enough sleep, eating right, getting exercise and having mental and physical breaks are a must. Remember that hospitals and care facilities hire a staff of nursing professionals and staff that only work for so many hours and so many days a week for a reason, it’s really hard work! If you wear yourself out or get sick taking care of them now, you won’t be any good to the person your caring for. Ask for help and tend to your own health too.

Take a break from caregiving. Look online for agencies to help while you take a break. Services include day programs outside of the house, respite programs both in the home and at other locations and care providers and home health people to assist you in your home. Take a break for an hour, an afternoon or even a week and see how much better of a caregiver you are when you come back.

LA Medical carries hundreds of products to assist any giver in their task. Contact us about finding ramps, power wheelchairs or incontinence supplies you may need.

Caring for the Family Caregivers #2

Posted on: November 14th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Caregivers 2November is National Family Caregiver Month and LA Medical wants all of the family caregivers out there to know how much they are appreciated not just in November, but every day of every month all year long! We know that being a family caregiver is not an easy job.

Family caregivers are notorious for putting everyone else’s needs before their own and putting themselves last. While that may sound noble and loving, studies show that doing that too much and for too long hurts everyone involved.

Even though there are more than 65 million family caregivers in this country, the caregiver often feels isolated. This isolation is not good for either the caregiver or the people they are caring for. The Family Caregiver Alliance is a great source of support and information for all family caregivers anywhere in the country. Some of their tips include finding support, setting limits, letting go of guilt, taking care of your health and taking breaks.

Finding support may mean giving up some control in the caregiving. Letting go of the “no one can care for them the way I do” feeling may be hard, but necessary. There may be things that others, either family members or professionals, can do just as well or better than you can. A home health agency may be able help with bathing or house cleaning allowing you to focus on other things and save your strength. Finding support may be saying “yes” when someone offers to help you. It may also mean just talking to someone is having a similar experience and sharing your fears and frustrations.

Setting limits is vital to a healthy caregiver. It may be learning to say “no” and sticking to it when either the person receiving the care or outside people ask things of you. It may mean that you won’t host Thanksgiving this year or throw the usual big holiday party. It may be a tough thing to learn, but can save your sanity. Practice it.

LA Medical carries hundreds of products to assist any giver in their task. Contact us about finding the right walker, wheelchair or bathroom safety equipment you may need.

 

Caring for the Family Caregivers #1

Posted on: November 12th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Care Giving 1The family caregiver is probably one of the most overworked and under-appreciated groups of people in this country.  November is National Family Caregiver Month and LA Medical wants all of the family caregivers out there to know how much they are appreciated not just in November, but every day of the year!

The National Family Caregivers Association began promoting the celebration of family caregivers during the week of Thanksgiving in 1994. Realizing that one week was not enough, President Clinton signed the first presidential proclamation in 1997 to turn National Family Caregivers Week into National Family Caregivers Month.

If you are a family caregiver caring for aging parents, a spouse living with a serious illness or a son or daughter with a disability; thank you. You are not alone. There are more than 65 million family caregivers in this country alone that spend at least 20 hours a week providing care (with many providing 24-hour care). While many, if not most, of these caregivers receive no payment for their caregiving services, the care they provide is valued at $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is spent on homecare and nursing home services combined.

One of the newest categories of family caregiver is the family member of a person with brain injury, especially military personnel returning home from combat in the Middle East. Thousands of younger men and women have returned from serving their country with life-changing injuries often requiring part-time to full-time care. Problems can range from short-term memory loss, seizures, explosive anger and outburst to needing walkers and wheelchairs to get around. Many times these younger men and women are married and have young children, adding to the stress of caregiving for the spouse.

Contacting a support group online or in-person can help to lessen the stress of this new life for everyone involved.

LA Medical carries hundreds of products to assist any giver in their task. Contact us about finding the right walker, wheelchair or bathroom safety equipment you may need.

Bladder Health Month – Building a Better Bladder

Posted on: November 7th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

November is Bladder Health Month and LA Medical knows a lot about bladder health and incontinence. We know that incontinence affects 1 in 6 adults and that it is more common as we age and more common in women. But do you know how to have a better bladder?

Bladder Health Month

Tip #1- Hit the road! Walking and being mobile helps with incon

tinence especially for those with edema and heart disease. Heart disease can cause fluid to build up in the legs and arms. When you lay down and the fluid redistributes, it can cause a strong urge to urinate and even incontinence. Walking more (within reason and talk to your doctor first) during the day will help to keep that fluid from building up.

Tip #2- Stop smoking. If there weren’t enough health reasons to stop smoking already, bladder health is one more compelling reason. More than 50,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year.  Studies show that people who smoke are 2 to 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, talk to your doctor about programs to quit. Your whole body will thank you.

Tip #3- Drink more water. From the tap or from a bottle, drinking water helps to flush the kidneys which in turn flushes the bladder and promotes a healthy bladder. If you aren’t a water drinker now, start slowly and let your body get used to it and slowly increase your intake until you can drink the recommended 8 glasses/64 ounces a day. Make sure to stop drinking early enough in the evening so you’re not getting up in the night to use the bathroom.

Tip #4- Incorporate cranberry juice in your diet. It may sound cliché, but there are things in cranberry juice that encourage urinary health. Drink a glass a day and prevent future problems.

Tip #5- Talk to the experts at LA medical about our variety of adult briefs and undergarmentsabsorbent underpads and other incontinence products.

Bladder Health Month – Talking about Incontinence

Posted on: November 5th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

November is Bladder Health Month, but healthy bladders and incontinence are always important to the people at LA Medical!  Bladders are hardworking organs that really get no thought until they are full or until we lose the ability to control them. That’s why keeping your bladder healthy is so important.

Incontinence

What is the bladder? The human bladder is a hollow balloon like organ and holding tank that collects urine that leaves the kidneys through long tubes. We usually only even feel our bladder when we have drank a lot of liquids and we feel the strong urge to urinate or we have some kind of bladder infection that causes us pain.

We learn to control our bladders as children and normally don’t worry about them again until we age and start having bladder issues and incontinence problems. Nobody likes to talk about incontinence, but reports say that 1 out of every 6 adults have issues with incontinence. Treatments, medications and products to deal with incontinence is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Urinary incontinence is the just a fancier term for loss of bladder control. Urinary incontinence can be mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting and can have many causes. Incontinence is most common in women, but happens to both genders. Women are twice as likely as men to experience urinary incontinence.

There are several causes of incontinence. Urinary incontinence can happen when muscles are either too weak or too active. One of the most common types is stress incontinence. It occurs when the muscles that keep your bladder closed become weak. It’s common or people to “leak” when they sneeze, laugh too hard or lift a heavy object. This is very common in older women.

On the other side of the incontinence coin is overactive bladder. This occurs when the bladder muscles become too active and results in a strong urge to urinate even when you have little urine in your bladder. Overactive bladder can also happen to men and women, but is often a sign of prostate problems in older men.

If you or a loved one are experience urinary incontinence, see LA Medical today. We offer a variety of adult briefs and undergarments and absorbent underpads.