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Posts Tagged ‘Caregiver’

Tips for Caring for Seniors with Arthritis

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Caring for someone who has arthritis is best done by understanding the specific condition and learning how you can help.

Caring for someone who has arthritis is best done by understanding the specific condition and learning how you can help.

 

There are an estimated 52.5 million adults in the United States that have been told they have some kind of arthritis. There are two different kinds of arthritis that affect the joints as well as the connective tissue surrounding them. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the joints to swell. Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage between the joints disintegrates, causing the bones to rub against one another. Both of these cause stiffness and pain the joints which make it hard for those affected to move their joints. The key to caring for those who live with arthritis is to understand their condition. That is why we are offering some tips for those who are assisting elderly people cope with their arthritis.

Medications

Familiarize yourself with the medications that your loved one is prescribed. Many seniors simply forget to take their medications and need a reminder. Sometimes the arthritis makes it difficult to reach higher shelves or open bottles. If this is the case, separate the medications into easy-to-open containers or accessible drawers.

Exercise and Nutrition

Physical activity should be part of everyone’s routine, including those with arthritis. Low impact exercises like yoga, swimming, walking, or riding a bike will only put minimal pressure on the joints. It is important for individuals with arthritis to manage their weight because excess weight can put more strain on the muscles and joints, making arthritis symptoms worse. Family caregivers can help their loved ones exercise regularly. Diet also plays a role in helping seniors with arthritis manage their weight. Help your loved one avoid foods full of sugar, fat and salt. Encourage them to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Accessibility

An important part of helping loved ones with arthritis live in their home is to make things easily accessible. Keep a scissors in an easily accessible drawer to open packages that can be difficult for those with pain in their hands. Electric can openers and other tools can help seniors open things without relying on a caregiver or causing pain. While your loved one may not think to buy these things on their own, making these purchases for them is an easy and inexpensive way for caregivers to help.

Those who are offering care to individuals with arthritis need to understand that inflammation and pain can make simple daily tasks difficult. Keep your patience and be ready to help before your loved one even asks. LA Medical offers different aids to daily living that can help your loved ones live comfortably with their arthritis. You can view these products and more in our online catalog.

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.

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.

Caring for our Best Caregivers

Posted on: May 7th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Mothers have always been the caregivers in most homes. Kissing scrapes and scratches, giving baths and tending to sick kids was caretaking at its best. Many of us are seeing our moms age and the roll of caregiver has reversed and gone to us. Since Mother’s Day is in May, we think it’s the perfect time to talk about caring for our aging moms and dads. Here are some caregiving tips and advice to make the process easier.

Caring for caregivers

Our parents were the best caregivers for us, so now it’s time to return the favor!

  • Don’t forget to take care of yourself. You are no good to them if you are mentally and physically worn out or let you own health slide. Watch out for signs of depression. Watching the people you love age and fail is hard to deal with. Don’t hesitate to seek treatment.
  • Trust your instincts. If any part of the caring process or even what the professional says doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
  • Educate yourself on any conditions that are impacting your parents. The internet is a great source for information, but don’t trust very source blindly.
  • Seek help. Just because you are the caregiver doesn’t mean you need to be the only caregiver. Reach out for help with other family and local agencies.
  • Talk to other caregivers. Talk about the unique trials of caregiving and swap stories. You’ll learn more and learn that you’re not alone.
  • Don’t hurt yourself or your back. There are many lifts and other equipment available to take the heavy lifting from you. Talk to the experts at LA Medical and let us help you.
  • If friends and family ask how you’re doing, tell them and tell them honestly. They may not have any idea what’s going on in the situation and may be willing to help.
  • Speaking of helping, if people are willing to help, let them. You’ll get a break and your mother or father will get to see a new face too.

If you need assistance in providing care for your aging parents LA Medical is here to help, so don’t hesitate in contacting us. We would like to wish an early Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and the best caregivers around!

Caregiving from the Heart

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

It is quite possible that you see many family caregivers every day without knowing it: the guy who sits next to you at work, the young woman who always rings you up at the grocery store or the cashier at your bank. Family caregivers are people of all ages who decide, whether out of compassion or necessity, that their chronically ill or physically disabled family member or friend needs their support. They are selfless individuals that put the needs of their “patient” above their own. For these 65 million amazing people, November has been dedicated as National Family Caregiver Month.

Family caregivers provide compassionate and efficient care for their loved ones.

Family caregivers provide a unique perspective for patient care. Since many of them are with their loved one for a large part of the day, family caregivers best know the medicinal , treatment, dietary and other needs of their loved one. This makes them very important in the care process despite the fact that most family caregivers do not have a medical background.

That is where the National Family Caregivers Association comes in. Providing educational materials to family caregivers across the country, the NFCA works to promote family caregiver issues, celebrate the efforts of family caregivers, educate family caregivers about self-identification and increase support for family caregivers during the month.

The best way to celebrate National Family Caregiver Month is to join the NFCA; family caregivers can join for free! You can also go here to see how you can spread this month-long celebration to others in your community.

At LA Medical Retail, we recognize the importance of family caregivers in our community. The work of these self-sacrificing individuals drives us to better serve all of our customers. Many of the products that you see in our online catalog help to make the care provided by family caregivers more efficient and easier. We are proud of all the family caregivers in our community and hold you all in the highest regard. Thank you all!

A Thank You to Caregivers

Posted on: August 23rd, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

There are certain jobs or tasks in life that require extra personality, strength, compassion or other feats of character. One of those is a caregiver, where the job is quite literally to care for another person who cannot care for themselves.

Sometimes these are professionals who have forgone other lucrative career paths in the medical field to help those who are helpless. More often, caregivers are family members who balance working and other activities with providing a family member with the care they need. Either way, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) estimates that around 61.6 million people have provided care for a chronically ill or disabled family member or friend since 2009.

We would like to take the time to thank the caregivers, professional or family, for everything they do, for giving more of themselves than they probably can and for being a special type of person. Most of us have no idea what it’s like to have to be crutch someone leans on day in and day out, or the kind of devotion it takes to balance our stressful jobs with the added stress of having to take care of another person. While many of us may see having to care for a stranger, family member or friend as a chore, caregivers see it as their personal duty because it’s the right thing to do.

Statistics show that most caregivers find what they do rewarding, even though in the case of many family caregivers they didn’t ask for that burden to be placed on them. Statistics also show that many times caregivers spend more on the person they care for than themselves, just another act of selflessness exhibited by a special group of people.

Again we’d like to say thank you to every caregiver, no matter how big or small your role is or if you’re a professional, family member or friend. You help to make the world a much better place.

Beat the Heat: Summer Tips for Caregivers

Posted on: July 19th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Everyone knows the risks of being out in the sun and heat during the often brutal summer months, though not many professions have to deal with the heat. As a caregiver, you have to assist your patients in perhaps both indoor and outdoor settings, or you are exposed to the heat when traveling from one patient to another or going home at the end of the day. You are also in a physically demanding job on top of that, so heat exhaustion and a lack of energy can be real issues you have to deal with. Here are some tips to keep you healthy and ready to care for your patients to the best of your ability.

Stay hydrated. Yes, this may seem basic or redundant at this point, but it must be said. With hotter temperatures and higher humidity levels on top of being in a physically demanding job, you can lose fluid very quickly. Try carrying around your own reusable water bottle and take a few gulps from it after every activity to replenish your fluids. No matter how tired you are, stay away from coffee and energy drinks as these act like diuretics and dehydrate you more.

Rest in a cool place. When you do get a chance to sit down and rest for a short period of time, make sure it’s near a vent or window air conditioning unit. If it’s in your car, allow your air to get cold before you start driving. Keeping your body temperature down is the easiest way to prevent heat illness.

Think about how you dress.  Go for looser clothing made of lighter fabrics that are lighter in color. Tight clothing traps your body’s heat, and darker colors absorb more of the sun’s heat in the fabric.

Hopefully these tips will help keep you from feeling the effects of heat illness and will keep you on your feet and caring for your patients.