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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.

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.

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!

Staying Stable When Your Loved One Has Alzheimer’s

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Supporting a loved one with Alzheimer's can be stressful and wearing on any caretaker.

Supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be stressful and wearing on any caretaker.

The memory loss that occurs with Alzheimer’s disease can be disruptive to daily life for not only the Alzheimer’s patient, but their family caregivers as well. Keep some of these tips in mind to maintain your loved one’s sense of independence and dignity as their disease progresses.

Reduce frustrations

Individuals with Alzheimer’s may be easily agitated when something that used to be simple becomes difficult or impossible. To limit these challenges:

  • Establish a routine so each day is predictable. Schedule the most difficult tasks for the time of day when your loved one tends to be the most agreeable.
  • When you ask your loved one to complete a task, do it one step at a time. Also, expect things to take longer than they used to.
  • Limit their options so it is easier to decide then provide simple instructions to complete the task

Create a safe environment

Your loved one’s risk of injury increases as their judgment and problem-solving skills are impaired due to Alzheimer’s disease. To keep them safe:

  • Prevent falls with handrails or grab bars in areas that are easy for a loved one to trip or fall in.
  • Keep things like matches and lighters out of reach from your loved one to prevent the risk of a fire.
  • Install locks on cabinets that contain dangerous materials like medicine, alcohol, guns or toxic substances.

Be flexible

Each Alzheimer’s case will need to be handled differently. Tailor our tips to fit the individual needs of your loved one. Patience and flexibility are the key to providing care and care.

November is both National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Family Caregivers Month. LA Medical wants to recognize the lives affected by Alzheimer’s – both patients and caregivers. There are many resources available to you for additional tips and support when you are caring for a sick loved one. Check out our online catalog for different in home products that can keep your loved one safe and independent.

Helping You Help Them: Tips for Caregivers of Patients with Cancer

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Week 4 Post 1

It is important to take care of yourself if you are helping care for the health of a loved one

 

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, they are not the only one affected. Family, friends and supporters are also affected by the health changes in someone that they love. LA Medical recognizes that not only do those diagnosed with cancer need support, but also their friends and relatives. That’s why we have provided these ideas for helping a cancer patient cope with their illness.

  • Be prepared for behavioral and mood changes in your loved ones. Different medications and discomforts can cause them to become depressed, fatigued or irritable.
  • Encourage your loved one to be as active and independent as possible. Not only can this be a mood-booster but also serves as a motivator to become more self-reliable and in control.
  • Remember your own needs. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and eating properly. If you take care of yourself, it may be easier to help take care of the needs of your loved one.

Keeping a positive attitude when you are helping with the care of a loved one dealing with cancer can cause a lot of stress. But feeling this kind of burden not only harms you, but can affect the care that you give your loved one. Some ideas for reducing your own stress are:

  • Assert your feelings rather than becoming aggressive, angry or passive
  • Exercise regularly
  • Accept help from other family members or friends who offer
  • Consider joining a support group

Hearing the news that a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming. There are many online and in person resources available to provide support to the caregivers of those with cancer. Cancer Support Community offers free support groups and educational programs for both patients and caregivers.  In order to offer the best possible care to your loved one, it is important to keep yourself healthy and taken care of. Neither of you can do this alone. LA Medical wants to help! Take a look at our online catalog to view products to aid the well-being of your loved one.

National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Posted on: September 2nd, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

 

We have important information for all women to pay attention to.

We have important information for all women to pay attention to.

National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to draw attention to the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options of ovarian cancer. Opposite of prostate cancer, ovarian cancer is only present in women. It begins in the ovaries, which produce eggs, estrogen and progesterone. They are located in the pelvis and are vital organs for reproduction. Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread to other organs and becomes more difficult to treat. LA Medical believes it is important for every woman to be educated of ovarian cancer how it can be prevented or controlled.

Symptoms: There are few warning signs of ovarian cancer in the early stages. It often goes undetected until it spreads and becomes more severe. If you sense any of these or other abnormal symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Change in bowel movements or constipation
  • Pelvis pain
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent urinating

Risk Factors: Being aware of risk factors can allow women to take extra precaution as needed.  When they are educated of how their family history and lifestyle choices affect their health, they can make appropriate adjustments.

  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer can heighten the risks
  • Most common in women age 50 and 60
  • The use of estrogen replacement therapy
  • Never being pregnant
  • Fertility treatment
  • Smoking, and more

Treatment Options:  Depending on how far the cancer has spread often determines which treatment option is best.

  • Surgical removal of ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the uterus, and nearby lymph nodes and abdominal tissue where the cancer may spread, is usually necessary unless the cancer is detected very early on.
  • Chemotherapy is typically performed after surgery to kill of any more cancer cells.

Whether ovarian cancer runs in your family or not, LA Medical believes it is valuable to be aware of signs and symptoms to detect it as early as possible. We hope you avoid risk factors that are in your control and be knowledgeable about your family history. Contact LA Medical for safety and health supplies today!

Differences between Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes

Posted on: July 28th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Make the right decision for your loved one.

Make the right decision for your loved one.

It can be a difficult decision to move a loved one into an assisted living facility or nursing home. As people age, their need for care increases and they can find assistance in a home designed for their comfort and health.  It’s important to weigh the different options to ensure your loved one has access to the care they need.  LA Medical has bathroom safety products and other supplies available to provide you or a loved one with better safety and care within the home. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are open and welcoming to anyone in need. Here we have provided the definitions and differences of assisted living facilities and nursing homes to select the best option for you.

Assisted Living Facilities provide a place for elders to become a part of a community and maintain independence. They are often given a space they can decorate themselves. They have group meals, laundry services, and housekeeping available. Individuals who need little to no help performing daily tasks will find comfort in an assisted living home. Aids are always on staff and available for patients to call upon when needed. Assisted living homes provide an atmosphere that is welcoming and appealing to many.

Nursing homes provide additional help to patients suffering with a cognitive impairment, debilitating medical problem, or need help with daily living tasks. Individuals who need special medical treatment and additional attention can find expertise in a nursing home. Families can feel better knowing their loved one is under the care of professionals who will provide 24-hour medical services. Nursing homes provide a comfortable atmosphere for the elderly to socialize and spend their days with the best assistance.

Deciding between an assisted living facility and a nursing home can be difficult. Make sure to take your loved one’s unique characteristics into consideration. Be conscious of their health and safety needs and ensure they are met as best possible with either option. LA Medical invites you to visit our site for safety and health equipment.

Note to Nurse: Celebrate National Nurse’s Week

Posted on: May 5th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Thank you nurses

Thank you nurses

LA Medical wants to acknowledge the hard work of nurses May 6 through May 12, as it is National Nurse’s Week.

With healthcare constantly changing, nurses are stepping out of their comfort zones and are becoming active contributors and innovators in the health care system. Each day, nurses around the country work to embrace new technologies, resolve health crises, and accept the ever-changing aspects their career brings.

LA Medical wants you to celebrate the nurses who have helped care for you or a loved one. Check out these four inexpensive ways to honor the special nurses that have impacted your life.

  1. Hand out Lifesavers with a note, “You are a lifesaver.”
  2. Post pictures of nurse teams in waiting rooms. Include their name and tell about one of their great qualities.
  3. Host a small open house with treats and beverages in a break room to thank nurses.
  4. Team up with a local elementary school or daycare to create art and thank-you notes for nurses.

So many nurses in the profession show daily dedication for the work that they do. Nurses serve many roles that all come with various challenges, but they continuously show the strength to return to work day after day to face those uncertainties.

A nurse’s commitment to continuing knowledge, clinical skill, and patience is combined with a sincere commitment to patients and compassion for their families. National Nurse’s Week should be celebrated by people who have made nursing their profession, families who have had contact with nurses and their services, and the people nurses work with daily.

Nurses are leaders for their patients, colleagues, organizations, and health care industry. LA Medical encourages you to thank a nurse for all that they do for our communities.

 

Gifts for the Caregiver in your Life

Posted on: December 19th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Caregiver GiftsThe holidays are here again! Do you have your shopping done? What about gifts for those who give so much all year: the caregiver?

Who is a caregiver? Many people can be considered caregivers. They can be paid or unpaid, a family member including spouses, adult children, siblings or friends or they can be hired professional caregivers. Those professionals can be hired through a home health and nursing agency or other similar businesses.  No matter their title or how they came into your lives, they work hard and often do more than they are expected. This is a great time of year to really show them how much you appreciate them, even if they don’t know they are doing anything special.

If the caregiver is a non-paid volunteer, family, a neighbor or someone not hired through an agency with restrictions, gift giving is easier. Caregivers often take better care of others than they care for themselves. Consider giving a gift card for a favorite theater, eatery, a massage or for a hair cut from their favorite salon.  Gift cards are available from almost everywhere for any age or taste, and fit in well with a nice holiday card.

If the caregiver is a paid professional, please ask about restrictions before buying or giving any gifts. Many companies and agencies have restrictions on gifts the employees can receive. Sometime there are price limits in place or simple guidelines. If there are restrictions, try expressing your thanks in a handwritten note in a nice card. Before you give or send the card, make a copy of the note and send it to their supervisor so they know what a great job their employee is doing.

LA Medical can assist any caregiver in finding the equipment they need to make lives easier and safer. We offer a variety of walkers, rollators and personal care products to you every day, all year long.

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.