10 Daily Affirmations For Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers

Posted by on December 10, 2016 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

dementia caregiver affirmations

Last year, 15.9 million family and friends provided unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The challenges of this caregiving role are palpable, as close to 60% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high.

Source: 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s Association

Considering this is one of the most stressful kinds of caregiving, daily affirmations can be a powerful source of encouragement and provide reassurance.

10 Daily Affirmations For Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers

  1. I am doing the best I can do. I should not fear what tomorrow holds, but take each day as a chance to learn something new and grow my confidence as a caregiver.
  2. When I am frustrated, I will take a few deep breaths and remind myself that patience is a virtue I can and will embrace.
  3. I need to take care of me to be here tomorrow. Is there something I am neglecting to do for my own health and well-being?
  4. Worry is my worst enemy. I am in control of my thoughts and should focus on what I can control, and accept things I can’t change.
  5. If it were me being cared for, I would want my caregiver to (fill in the blank).
  6. The energy I bring to each day has power. It is up to me to make it positive and joyful.
  7. I am thankful for this day and the chance to live, love and provide care to someone who needs me.
  8. Do I need a helping hand today from a friend or family member? Don’t hesitate to call someone.
  9. When it’s time to rest, rest! Sleep is an essential necessity I should never ignore.
  10. I need to give myself credit for what I do every day. It takes a very strong person to do what I do and I should be proud of myself.

TotalHomeCareSupplies.com |  Caregiver Corner

2016 Cyber Monday Savings Event

Posted by on November 28, 2016 under Promotions | Be the First to Comment

2016cybermonday
Save big today with our Cyber Monday Savings Event!

Use Promo code “CYBERMONDAY” to take 10% off all incontinence, ostomy, urological and wound care supplies on TotalHomeCareSupplies.com. There’s no order minimum!  As always, enjoy free shipping on all orders over $50.

Find best selling products by Prevail, Depends, Hollister, Coloplast, ConvaTec, 3M, Kendall and many more. All home care supplies are shipped in discreet, unmarked packages right to your doorstep. Most products ship the same business day that you place your order.

To take advantage of these special Cyber Monday Savings:

  1. Go to Total Home Care Supplies
  2. Add all your items to the shopping cart and select “Secure Checkout”
  3. Enter your Billing and Shipping Information, and click “Save”
  4. Enter promo code: CYBERMONDAY and click “Apply”
  5. For orders over $50, shipping is always free!

Total Home Care Supplies logo

Links for the Caregiving Community

Posted by on March 31, 2016 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Caregiver Links

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP “More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.” That’s a lot of people! The caregiving community needs all the support it can get, and with that we’d like to offer up some helpful links:

A Place for Mom – Senior Living Blog

A Place for Mom “Connects Families to Senior Care” but their blog is full of articles that anyone living wtih, caring for or even just interacting with a senior will find helpful.

Caregiver Action Network

From their About Us: “CAN (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.”

Family Caregiver Alliance

“Family Caregiver Alliance is first and foremost a public voice for caregivers. Founded in the late 1970s, we were the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care for loved ones at home. We illuminate the caregivers’ daily challenges to better the lives of caregivers nationally, provide them the assistance they need and deserve, and champion their cause through education, services, research and advocacy.”

National Alliance for Caregiving

“Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. The Alliance conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues.”

Our Parents – Care Topics

Our Parents is “a free and unbiased service focused on helping families with aging parents find the best senior care solution that meets their loved one’s unique needs, be it an in-home caregiver, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home.” Their Care Topics page contains many great articles about senior care, along with links to the #ElderCareChat on Twitter.

Today’s Caregiver Magazine

This magazine operates as both a print magazine and an informative website. Today’s Caregiver is “a leading provider of information, support and guidance for family and professional caregivers.”

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day 2016; Can You Identify Signs Of The Neurological Disorder?

Posted by on March 25, 2016 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Cerebral Palsy

Original article written by  for MedicalDaily.com

Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood motor disability, affecting 1.5 to four of every 1,000 live births or children worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“When I tell people my story, they are often shocked,” DonnaMarie Comstock wrote in a letter to United Cerebral Palsy. Born three months premature, “the doctor told my mom not to look at me or bond with me,” she wrote. “He was just trying to be kind to her, to spare her the sorrow of losing me.”

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term referring to a group of neurological disorders that permanently affect body movement, muscle coordination, and balance. It’s not always detected immediately, but most children are born with it, and early signs generally appear before a child reaches 3 years old. Such was the case with Comstock; because she wasn’t developing as her older brother had, her mother suspected something might be wrong. However, confiding her fears, the pediatrician’s first response was a disheartening, “no, she’s just lazy.” Soon enough, though, Comstock received a formal diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

The most common physical symptoms of the disease include a lack of coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia); stiff or tight muscles, and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity); walking with one foot dragging, on the toes, with a crouched or scissored gait; and muscle tone that’s either too stiff or too floppy. Common neurological symptoms include seizures, hearing loss, impaired vision, bladder and bowel control issues, pain, and abnormal sensations.

Cerebral palsy is not hereditary or progressive, meaning it doesn’t get worse over time. It generally occurs when there’s damage to the developing brain, specifically in the part that controls muscle movement, during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. For the small number of children who develop the disease within their first years, the cause is usually neurological damage from brain infections, such as bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis. Head injuries, falls, and child abuse may also contribute.

You can read the full article on Medical Daily.

Does Estrogen Replacement Therapy Help with Incontinence?

Posted by on March 17, 2016 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Estrogen Replacement

Original post written by Dr. Anna Garrett for LiveConfidently.com

As women age, they experience a gradual loss of estrogen. The rate of loss increases as menopause approaches. Low estrogen levels are associated with a number of symptoms, one of which is urinary incontinence. This happens because estrogen helps maintain connective tissue and muscle tone in areas that have many estrogen receptors, such as the vagina, urethra, and bladder.

Given that estrogen plays such a significant role in the function of these tissues, it makes sense that replacing the estrogen might be a good idea. For years, millions of women took synthetic estrogen to manage the symptoms of menopause, but in 2002 the Women’s Health Initiative study data showed that estrogen replacement might be causing more harm than good. In that study, oral estrogen replacement, in combination with medroxyprogesterone (a derivative of progestin), was associated with increased risk of cancer, stroke, and blood clots.

The majority of studies of oral estrogen for treatment of incontinence have shown that it actually makes symptoms worse in women who already have incontinence and can trigger incontinence in women who don’t already have it. Therefore, oral estrogen is not recommended as an option for treatment of incontinence.

However, there is some data that suggests that using topical estrogen may be of benefit. Direct application of the cream to the walls of the vagina and urethral tissue has been shown to increase tissue integrity and strength, often reducing the symptoms of incontinence and vaginal dryness that are common in menopause. Since the estrogen is not absorbed into the body in significant amounts, the risk of side effects is low.

Topical estrogen may be most effective when used in combination with other therapies, such as pelvic floor muscle training, also known as Kegel exercises. You’ll need a prescription for estrogen cream, so discuss the options with your doctor and be aware that side effects may occur, including breast tenderness, vaginal bleeding, headache, nausea, and bloating. Typically, you need four to 12 weeks of treatment before you notice improvements, and symptoms usually return about four to six weeks after therapy ends. Treatment plans will vary according to patient needs; follow your physician’s orders and continue with 3-6 month checkups with your prescribing doctor.

Do you have any experience with estrogen replacement therapy, or have you experienced incontinence issues during menopause? To connect with other women just like you, visit our incontinence forum. We’d love to hear your experiences, questions, and suggestions.

Additionally, you can find varying levels of products for incontinence at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.

Product Reviews on TotalHomeCareSupplies.com

Posted by on March 10, 2016 under BladderMatters, Ostomy Care, Very Urological | Be the First to Comment

Product Reviews

Hey – let’s check in with a few product reviews, shall we?

Review of Ca-Rezz Cream
“Mother-in-law has very very dry skin on her legs and we’ve tried all kinds of different creams. The aids at the assisted living said to her after she started using this ‘Whatever your’re doing don’t stop because it’s doing an amazing job’. That’s a #1 rating if you ask me.”

Review of Prevail Belted Shield
“Exactly what I was looking for.”

Review of Hollister New Image 2-pc Convex Flextend Barrier Cut-to-Fit
“I have tried several brands of ostomy bags, and Hollister New Image Flextend is the only one that lasts more days. I have to change mine every 4 days. My output is liquid consistency due to my recent surgery and liquid diet. I have to use strip paste in addition to prevent leakages.
Easy to use.”

Review of First Quality Adult Briefs
“Just GREAT!”

Review of Hollister M9 Deodorizer Drops
“I used this product in the 1980 when I first had to have an Ostomy and it was great then and everything that I have tried never really did the job. then I found this site and was able to locate the Product and have been over joyed ever since, it really does work and only a few drops and no odor. Fantastic!!!!”

Review of Dale Foley Tube Catheter Leg Band
“My mother has difficulty using her hands and hand strength and this was just what she needed so she could do it herself!”

Review of Secure Personal Care Waterproof Sheeting
“This was exactly what I was looking for. My father is 93 years old and completely incontinent. We, of course, have a pad on his bed at night, but it was not big enough to protect the sheet and mattress cover. Therefore, we were having to wash all of it most every day. Thanks for providing a great product.”

Thanks so much for the great reviews, everyone! If you’d like to write some of your own to help out your fellow customers, feel free. Just follow the links on each individual product page.

Links for the Incontinence Community

Posted by on March 3, 2016 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Incontinence Resources

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over half of seniors in the United States are afflicted with incontinence. Of course, it’s not just seniors who experience incontinence. People of all ages can be affected, due to a large number of factors. Whatever the reason you or the person you care for may find for being incontinent, we’d like to help with these great resources for both urinary and fecal incontinence:

Simon Foundation for Continence

The mission of the Simon Foundation is to: “Bring the topic of incontinence out into the open, remove the stigma surrounding incontinence, and provide help and hope to people with incontinence, their families and the health professionals who provide their care.”

National Association for Incontinence

From their About Us: “National Association for Continence is a national, private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with incontinence, voiding dysfunction, and related pelvic floor disorders. NAFC’s purpose is to be the leading source for public education and advocacy about the causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatments, and management alternatives for incontinence.”

Urology Care Foundation

“The Urology Care Foundation advances urologic research and education. We work with health care providers, researchers, patients and caregivers to improve patients’ lives. The Urology Care Foundation is the official foundation of the American Urological Association.”

Medline Plus – Urinary Incontinence

This government site has a basic explanation of the condition, resources to learn more, videos, research, and patient handouts.

Health in Aging

This site was created by the American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation, to “provide consumers and caregivers with up-to-date information on health and aging.”

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – Fecal Incontinence Article

“The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducts, supports, and coordinates research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health. The Institute supports clinical research on the diseases of internal medicine and related subspecialty fields, as well as many basic science disciplines.”

American Heart Month 2016

Posted by on February 25, 2016 under Resources | Be the First to Comment

Heart Health

February is American Heart Month and now’s the time to learn more about not only what you can do to prevent having a heart attack, but what the symptoms are for both men and women. Check out the infographic below, originally published on HCA’s blog, to learn more about heart health and heart attack prevention, and these symptoms for men and women, from the American Heart Association:

Heart Attack Signs in Women

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away. 

Heart Attack Signs in Men and Women

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Heart Health

Caregiving Blogs – February 2016 Highlight

Posted by on February 23, 2016 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Caregiver Blog

We have some great caregiving blogs to share with you this month. They’re diverse and each of them is relatable in its own way. And all of them is trying to help out those who may be affected by their diagnosis or provide information in general.

Swallow, My Sunshine

Swallow My Sunshine should be read from the beginning. This blog is written from the perspective of a mom with a daughter whose diagnosis took years to fully determine. The daughter is well now, but there are some scary moments when reading through the past posts. And the author, Debi Lewis, has a wonderful writing style – and she hasn’t even written up to the present day. She takes you on the journey from her medically complex infant who had heart surgery at 13 months, to her now 10-year-old daughter who is living for the first time without medical intervention.

Sharing My Life with Lewy Body Dementia

This blog has a very interesting perspective. It’s written by a man, “Silverfox,” who has Lewy Body Dementia, or LBD. He writes about his difficulties with the nighttime, with having the television on, with keeping his sense of self alive. It can be a depressing read, but at the same time it’s refreshing to learn more about someone who has faced the facts and is simply moving forward.

Huffington Post – Post 50

The Huffington Post is a very popular website – but did you know there’s a section for readers over 50? This “Post 50” section discusses issues relevant to adults in middle age and beyond. The majority of family caregivers are women over 50, and so these articles may just be the right mix. Today, for instance, the top three stories are about dating in middle age, how to find self-identity after the loss of a spouse, and an author’s decision to stop drinking. Keep in mind that it’s still part of the Huffington Post, and so there is a lot of “click-bait” happening, or sensational article titles that attempt to lure readers in. But overall, the articles are thoughtful and interesting.

Five Simple Tips to Manage Bladder Leakage in Menopause

Posted by on February 16, 2016 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Incontinence Menopause

Original post written by Dr. Anna Garrett for LiveConfidently.com

When you go through menopause, estrogen levels drop. For some women, this can result in weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that support bladder control, causing LBL (light bladder leakage). You’ve probably heard about LBL. It’s that little leak that comes with a big sneeze or a hearty laugh. A range of things, from exercise to caffeinated drinks, can trigger it. It’s also part of that urgent “gotta go right now” feeling you might get on the way to the restroom.

But there’s good news! It’s a myth that LBL is something all women will experience because of menopause, and there are things you can do to manage any unwelcome leaks. Here are five simple tips to help keep you dry and comfortable.

1. Wear the Right Protective Products

Wear an absorbent pad or pantiliner designed just for bladder leaks if you’re going to be out and about. These pads and liners look and feel very similar to menstrual pads and liners, but are designed for very different needs. Because they are specifically designed to absorb bladder leaks, they can often hold two to three times as much urine as a menstrual pad or liner. They also do a better job of controlling odors caused by urine. Our blog post on Incontinence Products vs. Feminine Products further explores the differences between these products.

2. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause constipation, and constipation can contribute to bladder leakage for some women. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day (although not too much), eat plenty of fiber, and exercise regularly to keep things moving.

3. Manage Your Schedule

When scheduling your workday, consider scheduling visits to the bathroom on regular, timed intervals throughout the day. This will give you time to change your protective products and help with training your bladder. It may be helpful to keep an incontinence journal for 5-7 days to pinpoint when you’re most likely to visit the bathroom, and then build your schedule from there.

4. Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks

Avoid caffeine and other drinks or foods that can irritate the lining of the bladder. If you don’t like drinking plain water, find one or two alternative drinks that are caffeine and acid free to substitute. And please note, sodas (even if caffeine-free) are very acidic and should be avoided. Our blog post on Foods and Drinks that can Trigger Incontinence has more information on items that can irritate the bladder.

5. Keep Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Strong

Try pelvic floor muscle exercises, also known as Kegel exercises. These exercises are most effective for LBL, not heavier incontinence. To do this exercise, lie on the ground with your legs apart and feet flat on the floor. Gently contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. Hold this contraction for a few seconds and then release. Continue these exercises, completing three sets of 15 each day. With regular exercise, you should see an improvement within a few months.

If heavier incontinence is a problem, consider having a thorough evaluation of your pelvic floor.  It’s possible, especially in menopause, that there is pelvic floor prolapse. In this situation, the nerves that control the bladder may not be connecting well with the pelvic muscles. This requires physical therapy and core strengthening. Kegel exercises could make incontinence worse if you have an undiagnosed pelvic floor muscle spasm, so be sure to check with your physician before getting started.

Remember, one in three women who are experiencing menopause are also experiencing LBL. You’re NOT alone! To connect with other women experiencing light bladder leakage in menopause, visit our incontinence forum. We’d love to hear your experiences, questions, and suggestions.