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Archive for March, 2015

Why Won’t My Aging Parent Eat?

Posted on: March 31st, 2015 by vgmforbin
As adults age, their appetite may change. We have some advice for helping them maintain a healthy diet.

As adults age, their appetite may change. We have some advice for helping them maintain a healthy diet.

A balanced diet is important for maintaining health, building bone mass and enabling medications to work effectively – especially in senior adults. But if you are caring for an aging loved one, you may find that they do not want to eat properly, or sometimes at all. This can be challenging as a caregiver. LA Medical wants to help you uncover the reasons behind your parent’s eating habits and find the underlying issue. Here are some common reasons why seniors don’t eat properly:

Lessened sense of smell and taste – Eating involves a number of different senses involving smells, colors and tastes. But these senses are often reduced during the aging process. This also lessens an individual’s desire for food. Altering recipes and adding different herbs and spices may help add flavor to dishes that seem bland.

Reduced vision – Favorite dishes may now appear boring as cataracts and other eye conditions affect your parent’s vision. Use colorful foods like salads, red potatoes and orange carrots. Separate each food so that the colors can be easily defined and differentiated.

 Medications – There are some medications that your parent may be taking that affect their sense of taste or appetite. Talk to their doctor to see if there is a substitute medication or an additional prescription that can be used to correct the problem.

Difficulty chewing – Tooth pain, gum problems and dentures can also cause older individuals to experience problems with chewing. Try serving softer foods. Replace raw fruits and vegetables with cooked vegetables or juices. Ground or shredded meats are also easier to chew.

If all of the above attempts fail to motivate your aging parent to eat, talk with a doctor. As a caregiver, it is important that you focus on your loved one’s nutrition. Taking care of someone who is sick or aging can be very draining, both emotionally and physically. LA Medical offers products in our online catalog that can ease your burden.

Super foods for Your Kidneys

Posted on: March 26th, 2015 by vgmforbin
March is National Kidney Month. Do your kidneys a favor and fill up on these superfoods.

March is National Kidney Month. Do your kidneys a favor and fill up on these superfoods.

In recent years, scientists have pinpointed certain foods as “super foods”. In addition to stimulating overall health, these foods are great for kidney health as well. Many super foods contain antioxidants and other health-promoting properties that are good for your kidneys. While super foods are good for everyone, the following items have been shown to have a positive effect on kidney health:

Red bell peppers are low in potassium and are packed with vitamins A, C, B6, folic acid and fiber. Red bell peppers can be mixed into salads or used to top sandwiches.

Garlic may not smell so good, but it has been shown to reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol. Use garlic powder to add extra flavor to your meals without adding extra sodium.

Apples are high in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. They also help reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease, and decrease your risk of cancer.

Blueberries get their blue color from antioxidant compounds and contain lots of vitamin C and fiber. Like most berries, they are delicious on cereal or in smoothies.

Egg whites are pure protein along with all of the essential amino acids. Use them for omelets or egg white sandwiches.

Olive oil contains an anti-inflammatory fatty acid as well as antioxidant compounds that prevent inflammation. It can be used in cooking or to make salad dressing.

Red grapes get their color from several flavonoids which help prevent blood clots and inflammation. Grapes make a tasty snack or can be added to fruit or chicken salad.

March is National Kidney Month and LA Medical urges you to give your kidneys a thought and a check up to make sure that they are working properly. If you aren’t in as good of health as you used to be, we can also help you find the products from our online catalog that you need to keep you happy and independent in your home.

What Can Spinach Do For You

Posted on: March 24th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Spinach is loaded with health benefits and low in calories, making it a great addition to any diet.

Spinach is loaded with health benefits and low in calories, making it a great addition to any diet.

Our old friend Popeye was definitely on to something – spinach is a great addition to your diet! Spinach is low in calories but packed with nutrients. Dark leafy greens are good for your skin, hair and bone health. They also provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. This can offer a host of positive health effects.

Check out some of the possible health benefits of a spinach-rich diet:

Diabetes management – Spinach contains antioxidants that have been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes.

Cancer prevention – Spinach and other leafy greens contain chlorophyll. This has been shown to help block the carcinogenic effects that are generated when grilling foods at high temperatures.

Lowering blood pressure – Spinach has a high potassium content which helps negate the effects of sodium in the body. Low potassium intake can be just as big of a risk factor in developing high blood pressure as eating a lot of sodium.

Healthy bones – Getting enough vitamin K improves bones’ calcium absorption and helps reduce urinary excretion of calcium. Not getting enough vitamin K has been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture in older adults.

Healthy skin and hair – Spinach is rich in vitamin A, which keeps hair moisturized and is necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues. Dark, leafy greens are also a good source of vitamin C, which provides structure to the skin and hair.

Spinach is very versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. Here are a few ideas for how to add more spinach to your diet:

  • Incorporate it into pastas, soups and casseroles.
  • Add spinach to your wrap or sandwich
  • Add a handful to an omelet or smoothie
  • Make a dip using spinach, like spinach artichoke

As you can see, spinach is loaded with tons of nutrients and health benefits. So take a tip from Popeye and try to incorporate more spinach and greens into you and your family’s daily diet. LA Medical is dedicated to keeping you and your loved ones in the best health possible. Check out our online catalog for more solutions to living an active and healthy life.

Nutrition Tips for Aging Parents

Posted on: March 22nd, 2015 by vgmforbin
While everyone should eat a balanced diet, senior citizens need some additional nutrients to stay healthy and active.

While everyone should eat a balanced diet, senior citizens need some additional nutrients to stay healthy and active.

It is usually recommended that elderly individuals should try to get a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains. But there are some specific nutrients that caregivers can incorporate into their parent’s diet to help them maintain and improve overall health.

When preparing meals for your elderly parents, consider following these nutritional guidelines:

Omega 3 fatty acids

Try to serve an omega 3 fatty acid-rich food to elderly parents twice per week. These have been found to reduce the inflammation that can cause heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Fatty acids are found in different types of fish as well as flaxseed oil. Omega 3 supplements are also available so check with their doctor to see if that would be beneficial.

Calcium and Vitamin D

The need for these nutrients increases as people age, mostly to preserve bone health. Calcium also helps lower blood pressure. Many adults find it difficult to consume the four cups of milk per day that is needed to get the ideal amount of calcium. Check with your parent’s doctor to see if he or she should try taking a calcium supplement to get a good amount.

Limit sodium content

Many aging adults have high blood pressure. One of the most important things a child can do to reduce their parent’s blood pressure is to prepare meals that are low in sodium. This doesn’t just mean table salt. Avoid frozen, processed or restaurant foods, as these are usually high in sodium. Fruits and vegetables have the lowest sodium content so try to incorporate these into meals as much as possible.

When you are trying to make changes to an aging parent’s diet, it is important to incorporate them slowly. You can help them overcome their skeptical feelings by setting a good example. Eating with your parents is a social activity and it is important that you eat the same foods as them when you eat together. This will make the dietary changes less drastic.

Our goal at LA Medical is to help you and your loved ones live a comfortable life. We offer a full line of products to help both patients and caregivers in our online catalog.

Diabetes and Depression

Posted on: March 17th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Diabetes and depression often go together and work in a vicious cycle.

Diabetes and depression often go together and work in a frightening cycle.

Living with diabetes can be challenging at any age. Doctors have coined the term “diabetes distress” to describe the emotional worry and stress that those with diabetes are often plagued with. But if these anxious feelings don’t relent and you feel hopeless for weeks on end, there could be a more serious issue to deal with. Depression affects thousands of people and often goes untreated.  Individuals affected by diabetes are found to be about twice as likely to have depression compared to those who don’t have diabetes.

Being diagnosed with diabetes can cause a number of difficult emotions. Doctors haven’t pinpointed exactly why diabetes and depression often go together. But it has been made clear that diabetes can make diabetes worse. Depression often causes tiredness, problems concentrating and feelings of helplessness. It is hard to take good proper care of yourself when you feel like this and you may eat a poor diet, forget medications or neglect self-care. This can lead to more serious diabetes problems.

The best way to take care of yourself is to recognize the signs of depression. Watch out for the following warning signs:

  • Contact tiredness
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of appetite or overeating
  • Loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy
  • Sleep too much or restlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Problems with concentration and memory

If you experience any of these symptoms for two or more weeks, talk with your doctor. Depression can be treated in a number of ways.

It is important to take care of yourself through a balanced diet and blood glucose control when you are affected by diabetes. Ignoring signs of depression could cause both conditions to worsen. Diabetes affects many facets of life. Some products from LA Medical can keep you safer and more mobile. Check out our online catalog to view our selection.

Poison Prevention 101

Posted on: March 12th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Learn how to protect yourself and your family from potential poisoning risks during Poison Prevention Week.

Learn how to protect yourself and your family from potential poisoning risks during Poison Prevention Week.

This week is National Poison Prevention Week. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that poisoning is now the leading cause of death from injuries in the United States. A poison is classified as any substance that can harm someone if used in the wrong way, by the wrong person or in the wrong amount. Since more people die from poisoning each year than motor vehicle accidents and other causes, LA Medical thought it was important to address poison prevention so we can help reduce the death and injuries in the United States. Many of our customers take a number of medications for various reasons. While medicines are made to help us, they can also bring us harm if precautions are not taken.

The following tips can protect you and your family from poisoning:

  • Read medication labels before each use and follow the directions exactly.
  • Install safety latches on cabinets that contain medicines and household products.
  • Keep the toll-free Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, near your phone.
  • Buy products with child-resistant packaging when possible
  • Always turn on lights when giving or taking medications. Be sure to check the proper dosage each time.
  • Put on glasses to read labels when you are taking medicines
  • Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically
  • Only use the cup, syringe or dropper that is given with your medicine
  • Keep medicines in their original containers whenever possible. If you use a pill organizer, store it in a place that is too high for a child to reach or see.
  • Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement or herb, as these can interfere with medications

Use Poison Prevention Week as a time to educate yourself and your loved ones on how to prevent poisoning with medications. Be mindful when dealing with prescriptions to be sure that you are taking the right dosage of the correct medicine at the proper time.  Contact LA Medical with any health-related questions or concerns.

The All-Purpose Pill

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Aspirin has a number of household uses. Find out more in our blog.

Aspirin has a number of household uses. Find out more in our blog.

Most of us have probably popped an aspirin to relieve pain at some point in our life. But it turns out that this anti-inflammatory is good for a lot of things. In addition to its health-boosting potential, aspirin offers household and personal-hygiene uses too. Check out some of these amazing uses for aspirin:

Get rid of stains – Aspirin is great for removing stains, especially those yellow underarm ones. Mix crushed, uncoated aspirin with warm water and soak clothing for a few hours to help release the stains before washing them.

Eliminate dandruff – The salicylic acid found in aspirin is what is used in medicated shampoos that are created to control dandruff. Crush up two uncoated aspirins and mix them with a tablespoon of shampoo. Adding aspirin to your shampoo will help exfoliate the scalp and remove dead skin layers that are responsible for dandruff.

Charge your car battery – If you are stranded with a dead battery, you can drop two aspirin pills into the battery cells. The sulfuric acid in the battery mixes with the aspirin to create one charge that can jump-start your battery.

Clean the bathroom – Aspirin can work the same exfoliating properties on bathroom surfaces as cleaning supplies to remove soap scum. Dissolve two uncoated aspirin pills into a paste with warm water.

Soothe bug bites – Itchy bug bits can seem unbearable. To get rid of this irritation, wet one plain aspirin pill and rub it directly on the bite.

Protect your heart – If you have major risk factors for heart disease, popping an aspirin regularly can help keep your heart in good health. These risk factors include increasing age, heart disease in the family or a personal history of heart problems. Aspirin helps to thin the blood so it is not a pill to be taken lightly. Be sure to consult your doctor.

As you can see, this popular pain reliever has all kind of uses! Keeping a bottle stashed in a safe, yet accessible place could get you out of a number of binds. LA Medical works to find solutions to all of your problems. Contact us with any health questions or concerns you have!