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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.

The Dangers of Dehydration

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Dehydration becomes more common as the summer gets warmer, so it is important to learn the signs of dehydration and protect yourself.

Dehydration becomes more common as the summer gets warmer, so it is important to learn the signs of dehydration and protect yourself.

 

Dehydration happens when you lose more fluid than you take in so your body doesn’t have the water it needs to carry out normal functions. If these fluids aren’t replaced, you will get dehydrated. Although anyone may become dehydrated, young children, elderly people and those with chronic illnesses are most at risk.

Causes

  • Excessive sweating – You lose water when you sweat and if those fluids aren’t replaced as you go along, you can become dehydrated. You lose the most fluids in hot, humid weather.
  • Fever – Generally speaking, the higher your body temperature, the more dehydrated you may become.
  • Diarrhea, vomiting – Diarrhea that comes on suddenly and violently can cause a huge loss of water and electrolytes in a short amount of time. You lose even more fluids when you are vomiting as well.
  • Increased urination – This may be due to undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes. Some medications can also lead to dehydration because they cause you to urinate or perspire more than normal.

Symptoms

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Decreased urine output
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation

Thirst is not always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water. The best indicator is the color of your urine. Dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration while light-colored urine means you are well hydrated.

Treatment

Mild to moderate dehydration can usually be reversed by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration should be medically treated immediately. The best thing you can do is prevent dehydration in the first place. Be mindful of how much fluid you lose during warm weather, illness or exercise and drink enough liquids to replenish yourself.

Our goal at LA Medical is to keep your informed about things you can do to live an active and healthy life. For more health tips, keep up with our blog and check out the solutions we offer in our online catalog.

5 Reasons Why Women Live Longer Than Men

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
There are a number of reasons why women typically live longer than men. Find out why!

There are a number of reasons why women typically live longer than men. Find out why!

 

Do you want to live a long life? Of course! There are a number of things you can do to increase the longevity of your life. One of them is being a woman. Women live an average of five to 10 years longer than men. Throughout every stage of life, men are more likely to die than women. Factors such as culture, genetics and other influences can play a role in life longevity. Check out five of the reasons why women tend to live longer.

  1. Heart disease

The higher level of estrogen that women possess protects them from heart disease for 10 to 15 years longer than men. Estrogen raises good cholesterol, lowers bad cholesterol and makes the inner lining of the coronary arteries more flexible.

  1. Higher metabolic rates

While being able to burn calories at a higher rate helps men lose weight faster, it also means that they burn through their stem cells faster. Frequent injuries or surgeries can also use up a man’s reserves faster.

  1. Weaker social connections

Women have a tendency to interact more with people and form connections that are linked to a longer life. Women also tend to be more verbal and talk frequently with friends, which strengthens life-prolonging relationships.

  1. Riskier lifestyle habits

Although the lifestyle gap between men and women is closing, habits like smoking, eating and drinking too much, along with holding in stress, can contribute to higher blood pressure and heart disease risk.

  1. Immune system challenges

Another reason why men don’t live as long as women is associated with the immune system. Women are usually born with longer telomeres. Telomeres are the components at the end of chromosomes that act as a guide of cell age. Longer telomeres allow the immune system to function longer and healthier, causing individuals who have them to live longer.

There are other contributors to men dying sooner than women, such as their bigger body size, greater susceptibility to disease, high-risk occupations and chromosomes. Whether you are a man or woman, old or young, LA Medical has solutions to help you live a longer, better life. Contact us or check out our products in our online catalog!

Age is Just a Number

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
It is never too late to become active and improve your health!

It is never too late to become active and improve your health!

 

We have all heard this quote time and time again and research shows that this is true! It isn’t just about the number of birthday candles on your cake, but your levels of activity. Research has shown that sedentary lifestyles are harmful to health, while active lifestyles help people to live age with fewer health problems. Many older individuals know this, but think they have missed their window and it is too late to live active. Think again! We have some fun ways that you can enjoy sports, adventure and healthy living!

Swimming

Swimming improves both strength and cardiovascular fitness. Working out in water is an ideal choice for older individuals because it is easy on the joints, safe and effective. Other perks of underwater activity include increased flexibility, better bone density and a healthier heart.

Yoga

Uniting the mind, body and breath can help increase flexibility and ease stress. Whether you practice in your home or join a group, yoga has been shown to increase strength and improve circulation.

Cycle

Cycling is easier on your legs and joints than running, but offers the same cardiovascular benefits. Take a spin around the block or join a cycling club to meet new people and spend time outdoors!

Hike

Going for a hike will connect you with nature, get active and reap health benefits such as better circulation, mobility and a reduced risk of hospitalization. Another benefit of hiking is the sense of independence that escaping into nature can bring.

Volunteer

Last month, we featured a blog about 5 Benefits of Volunteering. Volunteer opportunities keep you active and give you fun opportunities to help others. A few ideas to get you started are walking dogs at the shelter, helping clean or plant flowers at your local park or lend your energy to a local project.

As you can see, it is never too late to get active. Set a goal for yourself and go for it! LA Medical wants to help you live an active and healthy life. We have mobility products that can help you get moving. Check out these and our other products in our online catalog.

Switching Roles: Caring for an Aging Parent

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Mother and daughter hugging each other

Here are some questions to consider when asking yourself about your aging parents safety.

Are you concerned about the health of your aging parents? As your parents get older, it can be difficult to be sure that they are taking proper care of themselves and living a healthy lifestyle. In order to make sure that your parents are still able to live as they have been, you will need to ask yourself a series of questions when you visit their house.

  1. Are your parents able to take care of themselves?

Failure to keep up daily routines like bathing could be an indication of dementia or depression. Pay attention to their home as well. Are they neglecting housework? Is the yard overgrown? Changes like this can be indicators of their health.

  1. Are your parents experiencing memory loss?

We all forget things from time to time, especially when we get older. However, there is a difference between these normal changes and memory loss that is associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. While misplacing glasses is one thing, getting lost in familiar neighborhoods or forgetting common words could be more serious.

  1. Are you parents safe on the road?

Driving can be a challenge for aging adults. If your parents have been confused while driving or you are worried about their ability to get places safely, it is probably time for them to stop driving.

  1. Have your parents lost weight?

Losing weight could mean that your parents are having a hard time cooking, have lost their sense of taste or some underlying condition like depression, cancer or dementia.

  1. Are your parents able to get around?

Pay attention to how well your parents are able to walk and maneuver around the house. Have they fallen lately or act reluctant to walk usual distances? Issues like muscle weakness and joint pain can make it difficult to get around.

It is not easy to accept that your parents may need some extra help. LA Medical has a number of solutions like canes, scooters, bathroom safety products and other aids to help them live safely in their home. You can find our products and solutions in our online catalog.

5 Lesser-Known Ways to Protect Yourself From a Stroke

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Although women area bout twice as likely to suffer a stroke midlife than men, it is important that everyone knows how to reduce your own risk of stroke.

Although women area bout twice as likely to suffer a stroke midlife than men, it is important that everyone knows how to reduce your own risk of stroke.

 

Did you know that midlife women are about twice as likely as men to have strokes? Despite men smoking more, drinking more and seeing their doctors less, 55,000 more women will suffer from a stroke than men. While limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, eating a healthier diet and lowering your blood pressure will lower your likelihood of a stroke; LA Medical has five lesser-known ways that you can protect yourself.

Walk 20 minutes a day

We know that it is hard to find the time to exercise in the middle of a busy schedule but it is important to make the time to get active for 20 minutes! Try breaking the 20 minutes up into two 10-minute sessions if you can’t find a large enough window of time. Walking a total of 2 hours each week can cut your risk of stroke by 30%.

Set your alarm for 7 hours of sleep

Scientists at Harvard have found that getting more than 10 hours of sleep each night can increase your risk of stroke by up to 63%, compared with the recommended 7 hours.

Recognize the difference between being sad and depressed

Depression makes you 29% more likely to suffer from a stroke. This is because depressed women tend to smoke more, weigh more and exercise less. When you recognize depression symptoms, you can get proper treatment. Watch for persistent sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, guilt, irritability and exhaustion.

Think FAST

Surveys show that less than 30% of women can name more than two symptoms of a stroke. To recognize symptoms, remember FAST:

Face: uneven smile, droopiness, numbness, disturbed vision

Arms and legs: weakness, numbness, difficulty walking

Speech: slurred speech, inappropriate words, mute

Time: If you notice any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately. When it comes to strokes,

time lost is brain lost.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month and LA Medical wants to get the word out about strokes and the things you can do to prevent them. For more information or the solutions we have for those who have suffered a stroke, please contact us.

7 Powerful Foods to Add to Your Diet

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Find out about these "superfoods" and how they can help you look and feel healthier!

These “superfoods” can help you look and feel healthier!

 

While popping a multivitamin each day might be beneficial and worthwhile, it is a lot more fun to eat real food! You can get most, if not all, of your essential nutrients by selecting the right combination of foods. It is all about which ones you choose!

The list of “superfoods” is always growing, but we want to highlight a few different items that can boost your immunity, decrease inflammation, build muscle and fight off disease. Try to work the following foods into your diet:

Dried plums: Dried plums, also called prunes, are rich in copper and boron, both of which can help prevent osteoporosis. Try four or five a day to increase your bone strength and boost your energy.

Spinach: Usually known as a muscle building, spinach is also rich in vitamin K, making it a bone builder. Spinach is also high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Blueberries: Blueberries are a small, but mighty, immunity booster. They can help prevent diseases from cancer to heart disease. Just one serving of blueberries contains more antioxidants than any other fruit.

Chocolate milk: Research shows that the calcium and vitamin D in chocolate milk helps preserve cartilage and joint health. Drinking one large glass after you work out will boost your muscle growth and speed up recovery.

Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which can reduce inflammation in cells and joints.

Almonds: Another tasty inflammation fighter is almonds. This energy-rich snack helps lower bad cholesterol and can lower blood sugar in those with diabetes. Be sure to keep the skins on – they are full of antioxidants!

Pineapple: Pineapples have a mix of vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes that benefits the entire body. They can protect against colon cancer, arthritis and macular degeneration. Dish up half a cup, two or three times a week!

LA Medical recognizes that the fuel you give your body is important for keeping it healthy. You can find more information about nutrition and healthy living in our previous blog posts.

Habits to Make You Happy

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Women who live happy lives have healthy habits!

Women who live happy lives have healthy habits!

 

Since this week is National Women’s Health Week, we want to write a special blog post for all of our lady readers! Women’s health is very important, as is their happiness. LA Medical wants to take a look at some of the things that happy women have made a habit of. Maybe one (or all!) of these sound like something you want to start incorporating into your daily life.

Happy women…

  • Make time for themselves

Even if it is just 10 or 15 minutes a day, find time to do something relaxing that you enjoy. Have a cup of coffee alone, take a bubble bath and just lie on your bed for a while. The point is to carve out time where it is all about you and your thoughts and feelings.

  • Have a creative outlet

Whether knitting, painting, crafting or baking, you tend to feel better about yourself when you can nurture your creative side.

  • Learn from their mistakes

Instead of getting down about the things you do wrong, learn from your mistakes to advance your personal growth.

  • Practice gratitude

An easy way to recognize the things you are grateful for is to write them down every day. When things aren’t going as you’d like, you can focus on the small things that help you get through the day.

  • Keep a journal

Journaling helps you sort out your feelings and forces you to assess what is really going on in your life.

  • Meditate

Don’t be scared by the word meditation. Just five to 10 minutes in the morning will help you stay focused throughout the day. The key is to do it regularly. All you need to do is sit quietly and quiet your mind.

Living a happy life starts with healthy habits! LA Medical wants to help inform you about ways you can live a healthier and happier life.

The Dangers of Prehypertension

Posted on: April 28th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Catching hypertension early will help you and your doctor treat and monitor your condition.

Catching hypertension early will help you and your doctor treat and monitor your condition.

We often hear warnings about hypertension, but the issue of prehypertension is often overlooked. Prehypertension is slightly elevated blood pressure. This may not sound serious, but it is our body’s warning sign that we need to take action to lower our blood pressure. Prehypertension often turns into high blood pressure if lifestyle changes aren’t made. Not treating it and allowing prehypertension to worsen will increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

So how do you know if you have prehypertension? Unfortunately, it doesn’t cause symptoms that would indicate a growing problem. Blood pressure readings are the only way to detect it. See your doctor at least once every two years to have your blood pressure checked. You may need to get a checkup more often if you have a family history of hypertension or heart disease.

LA Medical has some tips to help you fight prehypertension and the health problems it leads to.

Maintain a healthy weight – Losing just 5 pounds can lower your blood pressure. Talk with your doctor about what your healthy weight should be and find small weight loss solutions.

Increase physical activity – Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. If you aren’t used to exercise, start slow, increasing to at least 30 minutes of activity a day. Walking is one of the best and easiest options!

Limit your salt intake – You don’t need to cut out salt completely, but if you reduce it a little bit at each meal, you won’t even notice the loss. Make a habit of checking labels and avoid foods high in sodium like soups, frozen meals and bread.

Limit alcohol – If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. One to two drinks a day is the recommended amount for healthy adults.

LA Medical wants to help you prevent the issues that could lead to life-altering problems later on down the road. For more information about leading a healthy lifestyle, keep up with our blog!

Safe Spring Cleaning

Posted on: April 26th, 2015 by vgmforbin
If you are getting ready to deep clean your home, we have solutions to keep you safe.

If you are getting ready to deep clean your home, we have solutions to keep you safe.

Leo Tolstoy once said, “Spring is the time of plans and projects”. The fresh air of spring often inspires us to start working our way down the to-do list that built up all winter. But before you jump into any of those spring projects, think ahead and use caution to make sure that you don’t start spring with an injury. We have some tips to keep you safe while you get active this month.

Dress appropriately – If you start working when it is still chilly, you may warm up as the day goes on. If you get too warm, you may get dizzy and fall. Dress comfortably in layers that can be removed as needed.

Schedule a shorter day – While it is satisfying to knock out a big project in just a day, it could take another three days to recover! Set a time limit for yourself. Just a couple hours each day might be plenty to start with. Be sure to take breaks too!

Chairs are for sitting – Don’t stand on chairs to reach higher surfaces. Use a step stool with a handle if you are fully able to and have someone else there that can help you up and down. A simple reacher can also help you grab objects that are too high or low for you to safely grab them. If you are working on a lower project, sit down. It will save your back and feet, plus it is easier to get out of a chair than up from the ground!

Before starting any major DIY projects, ask yourself if it really needs to be done. Many of us think that we need a spotless home and yard but it is ok to not be perfect. It is always better to have a safer and happier home than a clean one. LA Medical offers different safety products that can be used in the home to prevent accidents. Check out our online catalog for solutions!