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Archive for December, 2014

Gotta Go Right Now

Posted on: December 30th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Urinary incontinence is a common problem, especially among aging adults.

Urinary incontinence is a common problem, especially among aging adults.

Urinary incontinence occurs when you are not able to keep urine from leaking out of your urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body from your bladder. This is often a problem with older individuals. You may occasionally leak urine or you may not be able to hold any urine. There are different types, causes and treatments for incontinence that you may not be aware of.

There are five types of urinary incontinence:

Stress incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence and happens when a person leaks urine when they cough, sneeze, exercise or do anything that puts pressure on the bladder.

Urge incontinence occurs when the bladder muscles are too active. People with urge incontinence lose urine as soon as they feel a strong desire to go to the bathroom.

Overflow incontinence is the feeling of never completely emptying the bladder.

Mixed incontinence is the combination of stress and urge incontinence.

Functional or environmental incontinence occurs when people cannot get to the toilet or get a bedpan when they need it. The urinary system may work well, but physical or psychological disabilities prevent normal toilet usage.

Urinary incontinence can be caused by temporary problems, such as urinary tract infection, vaginal infection, constipation, obesity, smoking, high-impact aerobics or effects of medicine. Incontinence can also be caused by other permanent conditions, such as:

  • Aging (bladder holds less and urine stream may be weaker)
  • Weakness of bladder
  • Hormone imbalance in women
  • Immobility
  • Diabetes

If you think you may have urinary incontinence, contact your doctor. Some questions to ask could be:

  • What type of incontinence is it?
  • What is causing it?
  • What are treatment options?
  • How can the bladder be strengthened?

If you or your loved ones are experiencing bladder issues, LA Medical offers a range of incontinence products to fit your lifestyle and help you live comfortably.

Make 2015 a Healthy New Year

Posted on: December 28th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
The start of a new year is a great time to make some healthy commitments.

The start of a new year is a great time to make some healthy commitments.

The holidays are over and everyone is thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. This is a great time to start fresh and commit to making healthy decisions. According to research by the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people who make a resolution actually keep them for the entire year. If you are still trying to think of a healthy resolution, we can help! LA Medical believes that you can be one of those 8 percent and create healthy habits that stick all year long.

  1. Exercise regularly – Walking is one of the simplest and safest forms of exercise. Walking for just 30 minutes a day adds 1.3 years to a person’s life. Exercises that involve balance and lightweight lifting can also help prevent falls. Be sure to stretch first!
  2. Kick bad habits – There are so many bad habits out there! Some of the main ones are smoking, drinking too much, excessive caffeine consumption, and improper use of medications. There are different treatment options for each that can give you the support you need to make a positive change.
  3. Drink more water – Drink approximately eight glasses of water each day. Carbonated drinks don’t count! The amount of water that you drink should be determined by activity, humidity and age. We tend to drink less water in the winter but the air’s lower humidity can increase our risk for dehydration.
  4. Keep up with physicals – An annual physical is necessary for both you and your doctor to evaluate your overall health, go over medications, and prescribe any changes or tests. Preventative maintenance is just as important as treating a pre-existing condition.
  5. Follow disease management regimens – As we age, we develop more health problems. Individuals with heart disease, arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes and other common problems should be receiving care from a physician who can help you develop a plan for living with any medical issues.
  6. Keep up with the LA Medical blog Each month, we provide information on different health-related information and tips to keep you healthy. We feature products and spotlight wellness issues to keep you healthy. In the end, your health is your responsibility and it is important to be educated.

The Skinny on Winter Skin Care

Posted on: December 21st, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Dry winter air is hard on skin. But you can take some steps to keep your skin healthy this winter.

Dry winter air is hard on skin. But you can take some steps to keep your skin healthy this winter.

We may not think as much about skin care in the winter as we do in the hot summer months, but our skin needs love all year long. LA Medical cares for the whole person, inside and out and wants you to be healthy. So what are some ways to take care of your skin this winter?

Use sunscreen-Protect your skin from the sun even in the winter. Using sunscreen helps prevent the risk of skin cancer and reduces sun damage and aging. Have you ever seen a skier after a day on the slopes or a face with wind-burn? That is skin damage. Wear sunscreen.

Protect your eyes– Wear sunglasses even in the winter. If you live somewhere that has a white winter, the reflection off of the snow can be very harmful to your eyes. There may not be as much sun in the winter months, but the sun is lower in the sky and very powerful this time of year, so protect your eyes and the skin around them.

Be pale and be proud- Just say “no” to tanning beds! We know it can be tempting to get a little color and light in the dark winter months, but the ultraviolet light from tanning beds has been proven to cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.  Look for good, safe self-tanners or just learn to love your pale skin.

Eat more fish- Look for foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like cold water fish. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t care for fish, look for omega-3 supplements in the drug store. This oil is great for your skin, eyes and heart.

Avoid hot water- A long hot shower or soak in a hot tub seems like a great end to a cold winter day, but too hot of water is hard on the skin. If it feels too hot when you get in, it probably is. Try a more moderate temp in the tub or shower and be sure to moisturize right after bathing while your skin is still hydrated.

Moisturize. Find a lotion that works for you and use it! Take care of yourself and your skin! We offer the ReadyBath Premium Washcloth for those who have a hard time taking care of their skin. These soft, disposable cloths are pre-moistened and leave skin soothed, moisturized, and conditioned.

Our skin is the largest organ we have so show it some love! LA Medical cares about you and wants to help you find the right products to keep you happy and healthy all year long.

5 Ways to Keep Your Holiday Senior-Friendly

Posted on: December 16th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
As parents age, holiday traditions may need to change to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment.

As parents age, holiday traditions may need to change to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

We all have our favorite holiday traditions. Whether it is mom’s famous green bean casserole, opening gifts around the tree on Christmas morning, or singing a beloved carol, there are certain things that we look forward to doing just once a year. But as our loved ones age, they may not be able to fully participate in all these traditions anymore. The following is a list of ways you can modify your holiday traditions to ensure that aging adults will still enjoy the festivities.

 

  1. Help with the menu. As mom ages, she may not be able to handle cooking up a turkey and potatoes with all the fixings for a growing family. Make it a group effort! If everyone helps with a dish or two, the burden is lighter on everyone. It is also a great way to pass on recipes and secrets for favorite family recipes to the next generation.
  2. Hauling boxes of decorations and lights may be impossible for a senior that struggles with mobility or balance. Get together with family and friends to decide which holiday decorations to keep and which ones to give up. If you live close enough, relive your childhood and help them decorate!
  3. Hit the road. Holiday light tours are a tradition for many and one that your parents probably love. This is an easy way to bring joy to an older adult who may no longer be able to decorate or get out of the house much.
  4. Reminisce on memories. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory disorders will appreciate the opportunity to tap into old memories with loved ones. Ask them to share vivid memories from their childhood. Most elderly people will love the opportunity to share these stories with an interested audience.
  5. Be their eyes, hands and feet.Things like arthritis, diabetes and poor eyesight can keep seniors from being able to shop for gifts or write holiday cards. Offer to take on those tasks alongside them!

 

LA Medical wants you to have a holiday that everyone can enjoy. We have a variety of products in our online catalog if you need to make your home more accessible or safe for an aging loved one. If you are still working on your holiday shopping, we also featured a blog with a number of gift ideas for your aging loved one (link to blog about gifts) who may be hard to shop for.

How to Stay Merry and Bright This Holiday Season

Posted on: December 14th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Holiday gatherings are full of germs. Protect yourself against illness this season.

Holiday gatherings are full of germs. Protect yourself against illness this season.

The holidays are a time of year when you want to be feeling your best. There is nothing worse than being home sick while there is a Christmas party going on! However, these holiday gatherings are also a minefield of germs. There are many ways you can do to stay healthy while you eat, travel and shop this holiday season.

Wipe Things Down

Whether you are hopping on a plane, train, or bus to get home for the holidays, rub down anything you will touch with a disinfectant wipe. Don’t pick up germs that other people may have left behind for you.

Wash Your Hands

Purchase an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, place it in your desk or purse and use it. Germs from your hands are the biggest threat to your health; making doors, rails, and buttons a minefield for germs.

Rest Up

If you run around all day and don’t get a good night’s sleep, you risk getting sick just by wearing down your body’s natural defenses. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who slept  for less than seven.

Stay Hydrated

The lower humidity makes our airways vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Keeping yourself well-hydrated keeps your mucous membranes moist so they can better keep bugs out of our systems.

Manage Stress

Over commitment is the biggest cause of stress during the holiday season. Keep your commitments and your spending in check to save your mind and your wallet. Balance your work and home life with play to keep a positive outlook all winter long.

LA Medical is committed to keeping you and your loved ones healthy. We don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun with friends and family. Take precautions to keep yourself healthy during this germ-filled season and you will thank yourself later.

Practical Gifts or the People in Your Life- Part 2

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Christmas is a great time to show those who dedicate themselves to you or a loved one.

Christmas is a great time to show those who dedicate themselves to you or a loved one how much you appreciate them.

The holidays are here again and LA Medical has already been giving you some practical gift ideas for the people in your life that are older, practical or just really hard to buy for. But what about the caregiver?

Caregivers are priceless whether they are paid or unpaid. Caregivers can be children, spouses, siblings or friends. They can also be professional caregivers that are hired through home health and nursing agencies. It’s a great time of year to really show them how much we appreciate them, but knowing what to get them can be tough.

If the caregiver in your life or your parent’s life is paid through a company or agency, there may be restrictions on gifts they can receive. Check with the agency they work for before any gift is given to avoid any problems. If there are rules and restrictions about gifts, express your thanks in a handwritten note in a nice card to the caregiver. Make a copy of the note and send it to their supervisor so they know what a great job their employee is doing.

A gift card for a service is another good option. See where they get their haircut or a massage and treat them to something you know they will use.

Consider a handmade gift or gift of food if that is allowed. A pie or candy tray would be nice for almost anyone. If you aren’t a baker or cook, consider making a donation to charity in that person’s name. There are endless options from the United Way or Humane Society to a local park. Again, ask before you give to avoid trouble later.

Remember that an honest heart felt thank you is the best gift you can give a caregiver, whether paid or unpaid, family or professional.  The holidays are not about the gifts, but about the people in our lives. LA Medical is glad that you are in our lives and we wish you a very happy holiday season.

Practical Gifts or the People in Your Life- Part 1

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Older people can be hard to shop for but practical gifts go a long way.

Older people can be hard to shop for but practical gifts go a long way.

The holidays are here again! No matter what you celebrate, there are probably some gifts involved.  Buying for kids is fun, buying for teenagers is tough and buying for some adults – especially older adults – gets harder.  As our parents and grandparents get older there is very little they need, want or have room for.

Here are a few practical gifts ideas from your friends at LA Medical.

Stamps may not be the gift that you dream about, but for many older people on fixed incomes and those who have trouble getting around, stamp and stationary can be great gifts. Many older people still send bills through the mail and send cards and letters instead of emails and Facebook posts. Stamps are not cheap and are always appreciated.

Gift cards for a local restaurants and drug stores are always good too.  The cost of living is always going up and often more than a person’s Social Security.  The price of food, prescription and medications seem to go up every day and often tighten the budget on other things that an older person may need. A gift card for a favorite eatery is a great reason for an older person to enjoy a night out that they might otherwise not spend the money on.

LA Medical carries many items in our online catalog that would also make great gifts. Something small like a reacher can be used in the home to help a person reach something without needing to stretch or bend over. A new heating pad is a thoughtful and practical gift for someone suffering from arthritis, sprains, neck pain or headaches.

There’s still time to shop for some great gift ideas your loved ones at LA Medical, so visit our online store today!

Handling Holiday Stress for Caregivers

Posted on: December 4th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
When you are helping to care for another person, you need to make to care for yourself too in order to manage stress.

When you are helping to care for another person, you need to make to care for yourself too in order to manage stress.

Along with jolly and cheer, the holiday season brings extra-long to-do lists and stress. The holidays are always hectic, but adding the responsibilities of caregiving to the mix makes it difficult for an individual to maintain a balanced life. Instead of letting that stress ruin the time that is meant to be enjoyed with loved ones, try some of these stress-eliminating tips designed especially for caregivers.

Stay flexible – The holidays are full of personal, family and religious traditions. As an adult child caring for aging parents, that brings a lot of responsibility. You may need to ask yourself what is important to continue and what can be either changed or let go.

Plan ahead – Take care of holiday pr

eparations well in advance. Make a list of what needs to be done and delegate responsibilities to each person so nobody carries the majority of the work.

Take care of yourself – Exercise is important to relieve your body of both mental and physical stress. Schedule at least 20 minutes of your day to do an activity that you enjoy.

Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to ask a neighbor or friend to take the kids to school or run and errand. There are probably a number of friends who would love to help you, but don’t know how. This is the season of giving and good friends and family will jump at the opportunity to give you some of their time.

It is important to care for yourself in order to care for another. LA Medical appreciates all that you do to help your loved ones. We have a number of products in our online catalog that could make the task of caregiving easier. A walking aid, mobility device, or bathroom safety equipment could relieve you of some of the burden that caring for another brings. These items make excellent gifts too!