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Cindie Hood

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Cindie Hood is a Product Manager at AllegroMedical.com with a core focus on products that help active aging adults and caregivers.

Are you spending more time helping your aging family members?   If your elderly parents, spouse, or loved ones are approaching their seventies and are living ‘independently’ in their home, you may notice significantly more time and energy is need to assist them with general tasks.   You aren’t quite a ‘caregiver’ for them, but you worry more about their safety and ability to remain independent.  Keeping your aging parents active and independent or enabling a spouse or other family member to stay self-reliant throughout their elder years delays the costs and emotional drain of hiring or providing caregiving.  AllegroMedical.com offers four “Caregiver Approved” products that will provide you with peace-of-mind and help keep your loved ones independent longer.

Telemergency-2000We’ve all seen the commercials where an elderly lady has fallen and can’t get up.  With one third of adults age 65 and older at risk for falling, it is important to be prepared in advance of a fall.1   The longer your loved remains on the floor after a fall, the more likely they are to develop secondary injuries (i.e., muscle damage, pressure sores, pneumonia, and dehydration).  Additionally, lying on the floor for more than one hour is associated with a higher incidence of death within the next six to 12 months.2   An emergency alert system with a wireless pendant can call for help at the touch of a button.  The Telemergency 2000 Telephone & Wireless Emergency Alert Pendant is affordable without requiring a monthly subscription and doubles as an amplified telephone with large easy-to-read buttons.  The wireless pendant conveniently acts as a speakerphone avoiding a dangerous rush to the phone in addition to an emergency alert.

“Has a pendant to use if you are dizzy or can’t get to phone to call for help. Can turn on or off emergency calling feature and even talk from your bed to person returning your call.”  AllegroMedical.com review by rrc from Geneva,NY

Toilevator

Transitioning from a sit-to-standing position poses many challenges for aging adults, especially when trying to rise from a toilet safely.  The Toilevator, designed by the Center for Studies in Aging, raises the toilet from the floor allowing for an easier transition from a sit-to-stand or stand-to-sit position.  The ability to independently manage toileting allows an aging loved one to maintain their dignity and modesty.

“This toilet riser allowed us to raise the height of our toilet so my husband could sit and rise easier without losing the use of a specialized toilet seat we use for cleanliness. My sons installed it using only a few tools in about an hour.”  AllegroMedical.com review by Jane from Illinois

Elderly adults experience age-associated changes in muscle strength and posture control.  These changes make it more difficult to avoid falling while reaching or bending for a dropped item.3   Pick-up tools like an aluminum reacher with magnetic tip assist your elderly parent in retrieving dropped items or items stored out of reach safely without help. AllegroMedical.com customers use this reacher to remove laundry out of dryer, boxed crackers and cereal out of the cupboard, and to pick up shoes from the floor.

Aluminum Reacher

“If something falls, I can retrieve it myself immediately without help. I can also reach items on shelves that were previously too high. Really makes a difference in everyday living. ” AllegroMedical.com review by Mondel from Illinois

Toileting poses many challenges in elderly people.  Aside from the sitting and standing issues, aging causes biochemical and physiological changes of the body that could result in skin sensitivities.4  Other issues such vision impairments may make it difficult for the elderly to know when they are ‘clean’.  Good personal hygiene is important for physical health.  The EZ Wash Solution ComfortSeat allows your elderly family member to easily clean themselves after toileting with the turn of a dial.  The unit attaches to your toilet and doesn’t require electricity.

“I was worried my husband wouldn’t like this product because it doesn’t heat the water, but he said it was fine. It is very helpful for someone who has difficulty wiping themselves–my husband has Parkinson’s disease. I had it installed in a vacation home. I had a plumber do it, but I believe it is quite easy. It doesn’t require any electricity, only a connection into the water supply line for the toilet.”  AllegroMedical.com review by Pamsc from South Carolina

 Helping an elderly spouse, parent, or loved one remain independent and active benefits everyone’s quality of life.  AllegroMedical.com is here to help keep your aging family members independent and assist you with all of your caregiver needs.

 

1 http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1504022/pdf/bmjcred00642-0022.pdf

3 http://www.nchh.org/Portals/0/Contents/Article0786.pdf

4 Siddons, Sarah.  “Are all soaps safe for people of all ages?”  20 August 2009.  HowStuffWorks.com. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/cleansing/products/soaps-safe-for-people.htm>  28 March 2013.

As adults age, once simple tasks like sitting, standing, and walking can become more challenging, leading to a reduction in physical activity.  Older adults should participate in safe and effective moderate physical activities to achieve an improved quality of life.   Sadly, one-third of adults over the age of 50 lack physical activity in their daily lives. 1   Older adults living a sedentary lifestyle have reduced strength and balance which increases risk of falling2.  Senior adults, age 65 and older, are at high risk for falls with one out of three seniors falling each year.3   Daily living aids are helpful tools that will keep you safe and moving independently.   AllegroMedical.com presents five daily living aids to help you increase physical activity safely.

Sit-To-Stand Position

Movement from a sitting to standing position is an important skill that facilitates independence.   Without the ability to perform this basic skill elderly people are at risk for institutionalization due to limitations in performing daily living activities. 4

Using a seat assist such as a lifting cushion to move from a sit to stand position eliminates the need for standing assistance from caregivers.  This assistive device removes the possibility of inflicting pain or harm to the individual requiring assistance which can occur during manual assist to stand.5   The UPEASY lifting cushion provides users with a gentle and stable automatic boost when leaning forward preparing for a sit-to-stand movement.

“Recent knee surgery has made rising from seated position difficult. Using the uplift seat assist has made a significant difference. I will likely use the seat assist throughout my recovery and beyond. ”  Review by AllegroMedical.com customer Lameduck from Aptos, CA

Since lifting cushions are designed for use only on your chair or sofa a security pole and curve grab bar is another independent living aid that assists with movement from a sitting to standing position.  Tension mounted security poles don’t require permanent installation making them a great option for individual changing needs.  Simply grasp the curved grab bar to climb up to a standing position.

“Bought this for my mom. She is recovering from a broken hip. We use it in the bathroom to help her with her transfer to a bath bench. It is also used to assist rising from the toilet. I have to be honest, I automatically reach for it , too. I am 61 &; need to protect my back. I care for an 84 year old mom &; a disabled 16 year old daughter. This pole is incredibly sturdy, stable &; easy to install. I can’t find any cons. The price was great.”  Review by AllegroMedical.com customer Barb the Builder from DHS, CA

Seniors with sit-to-stand movement issues are less inclined to drive due to the difficulty of exiting the vehicle into a standing position.  Losing driving ability for many aging adults decreases independence and fosters a sedentary life style.  Leverage support exiting a vehicle by inserting a heavy duty steel Handy Bar into the side door locking mechanism and stand with confidence.

Grab bars are essential daily living aids that provide assistance and added safety for sitting and standing.  Suction cup grab bars install without tools or holes and are completely portable.  These grab bars are like having an extra hand to help provide support for standing up from the commode, bathtub, or any place extra balance support is needed.

“My father refused to allow us to drill ‘holes’ and screws into the fiberglass shower. These were perfect for our use. I liked the ability to adjust and move them to where they worked best for him. I did have to lean hard onto one wall to get the best suction and securement due to a small wave within the wall. I wish there was something similar to these for dry wall surface walls by the commode. Another area he will not allow us to drill holes into.”  Review by AllegroMedical.com customer, Vicster from Danville, Ky

Walking

Elderly adults with unstable gait who have experienced falls tend to diminish physical activity such as walking out of fear of falling again.  This lack of activity promotes physical weakness and makes the individuals more susceptible to falling. 3

Walking aids such as rollators are safe and effective in helping individuals with unstable gait. 6   Rollators are walkers for indoor or outdoor use with typically four wheels, a seat, and hand brakes and are for people with limited upper body strength.  The convenience of the seat allows users experiencing fatigue to rest for a few minutes while walking.

 

I am 63 years old. I fell down a flight of stairs and have severe damage to my spine and partial paralysis of my right leg. I was using a standard walker but when I saw this beauty on your web site, I knew that it would work better for me. Standing in line at the market, etc. is just intolerably painful for me. This little beauty helps keep me more independent and able to function. Thank you for offering this little lady.”  Review by AllegroMedical.com customer IrishTeaCup from Sunland, CA

Don’t lose your independence.  If you have difficulty sitting, standing, or walking, seek the guidance of a physician to see what aids are right for you.  Return to AllegroMedical.com for all of your solutions for maintaining an active and self-reliant lifestyle.

1                   http://www.cdc.gov/aging/han/health-promotion.htm (10 Strategies…Active Aging)

2                   http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198812293192604

3                   http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

4                   http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/82/9/866.full

5                   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15698379

6                   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1990737

Are coughing, sneezing and laughing causing frequent changes of underpants and clothes?  Are you declining invitations to movies, dinner, shopping, or exercise classes with friends out of fear you might have an accident?    Don’t let stress incontinence limit your social life.  You can stay active without the risk of embarrassing leaks.   Stress incontinence is much more common in women than men since pelvic floor muscles can be weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.  Men may experience stress incontinence after surgery for prostate problems.  For all the ladies out there, try these simple protect and defend techniques designed to regain your confidence and keep you moving.

Protect

The simplest method of protection is to use an incontinence pad NOT a menstrual pad.  Incontinence pads are designed specifically for leakage protection and odor control.  Products that are best suited for stress incontinence should have at least an absorbency level of light to moderate.  Today’s incontinence products are more discreet and comfortable.  A few of the more popular and innovative pads according to AllegroMedical.com are the Poise, Prevail, and eco-friendly premium European Abri-San pads.  If you prefer an item that more closely resembles protective underwear you might try the ultra-sleek and smooth fitting Depend Silhouettes or the eco-friendly premium Abri-Flex.

Defend

Training your pelvic floor muscles is a great defense to stress incontinence.  You are never too old to perform these exercises.  Kegel exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.1 Just like any exercise regimen performing them regularly will give you optimum results.  You can feel whether you are using the correct “squeeze” muscle by stopping your urine stream during a visit to the toilet.  This is only a technique for you to identify the “correct” squeeze.  Start with small, short squeezes to build up the strength of your muscles.  Squeeze for 3 seconds and relax for 3 seconds.  Repeat 10-15 times.  Kegel exercises 5 minutes, three times a day  should make it easier for your pelvic floor muscles to react to the increased abdominal pressures of sneezing and coughing.

You are not alone with 1 out of 3 women over the age of 45, and 1 out of every 2 women over 65 suffering from stress incontinence.2  You might consider joining a support group where you can voice concerns or listen to others share their stories. Organizations such as the National Association For Continence can provide you with resources and information about people who experience stress incontinence.  Stop stressing about stress incontinence and start enjoying life!

Sources:

1Kegel exercise tips. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/bcw_ez/bcw_508.pdf

2US markets for Urological Devices. Millennium. Oct 2010. Report US3IURI0

 

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