Closer Look: Pad and Pant Systems

Posted by on February 9, 2016 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Pad and Pant Systems for Incontinence

While advancements are being made every day in the incontinence product industry, many people still want to rely on good, old underwear. This is possible through pad and pant systems. These systems take regular underwear, create a pocket for a pad, and together they keep the wearer dry.

Many people enjoy the air flow that is allowed by wearing cotton. It should be noted that many incontinence products, like pull-ups or adult diapers, are no longer plastic backed, meaning that air flow is less of an issue for those using these products. But still, the super-soft 100% cotton that these underwear pairs are made from is hard to beat.

At TotalHomeCareSupplies.com, we sell three different types of pant liners that can be used in the underwear, two from the same brand. One is Prevail’s Pant Liners, which are created with elastic to help the pad move with you. The other offering from Prevail is their overnight pads. Both of these Prevail products are latex free.

The third product is Dignity’s double pads, which have no moisture-proof backing or adhesive strip to interfere with either the pad and pant system or a diaper or a pull-up to add absorbance.

Do you have any questions about the pad and pant systems? Leave it below and we’ll try to get to is as soon as possible!

Links for the Spinal Cord Injury Community

Posted by on January 28, 2016 under Resources, Very Urological | Be the First to Comment

Links for the Spinal Cord Community Blog Post Image

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center released figures from 2015 that state: “Given the current population size of 313 million people in the U.S., it is estimated that the annual incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI) is approximately 40 cases per million population in the U.S. or approximately 12,500 new SCI cases each year.” Many individuals with a spinal cord injury often use urological supplies, which we here at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com offer our customers. With that in mind, let’s explore several of the informational and supportive sites online for those with the injury, and please comment below if you have others you’d like us to add!

United Spinal Association
From their About Page: “United Spinal Association is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, and providing support and information to loved ones, care providers and professionals.”

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Their mission statement: “The Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.”

UAB Spinal Cord Injury Model System
“The University of Alabama at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UAB-SCIMS) maintains this Information Network as a resource to promote knowledge in the areas of research, health and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries, their families, and SCI-related professionals.”

Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic offers definitions, symptoms, test explanations, complications, what to expect from the condition and from doctors appointments and more.

Medline Plus – Spinal Cord Injuries
This government site has a basic explanation of the condition, resources to learn more, videos, research, and patient handouts.

MedicineNet
This site is part of the WebMD family, and their About Page states they’re: “an online, healthcare media publishing company. We provide easy-to-read, in-depth, authoritative medical information for consumers via its robust, user-friendly, interactive website.”

Spinal Cord Injury Zone
This site is a “not-for-profit Spinal Cord Injury educational Knowledge Base. The mission of The Spinal Cord Injury Zone is to archive important Spinal Cord Injury News and Spinal Cord Injury Information for education and awareness.” They also offer personal stories of those with spinal cord injuries.

National Hugging Day 2016

Posted by on January 21, 2016 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

National Hugging Day 2016

Today, January 21st, is National Hugging Day. Why have a day devoted to this greeting and display of affection? Isn’t this something all of us do all the time?

Well, no. Some people don’t get hugged on a regular basis, and that’s altogether too bad. There are many reasons why hugs are good for our mental and physical well-being (and you can find at least ten of those reasons on the National Hugging Day website). But allow me to tell you a story that I think will demonstrate the power of hugs and touch.

In college, I took a month-long, school-sponsored trip to Japan with about ten other students. We’d all met each other beforehand, but we had yet to become friends. Each of us was staying with a host family, and most of us were enjoying the polite hospitality they were providing us. One day, all the students were all waiting together at a train station, on our way to visit another school (the purpose of the trip was to learn about education in Japan). We began talking about how much we enjoyed being there and how exciting it was. One of us, though, brought up how they felt like something was missing, and they just couldn’t put their finger on it. We talked a bit more, and eventually, someone else identified the feeling as being too closed-off from everyone. There was no casual touch in our everyday lives, no random hugs when we saw friends. The solution was obvious at that point: group hug. So a bunch of crazy Americans all hugged each other in the middle of this crowded train station, and then proceeded to all get on a train together. In retrospect, I’m sure it looked odd, but it made us all feel so much better. We did that about once a week after that for the rest of the trip, and even ended the trip with a big swing dancing party.

So don’t underestimate the power of welcome touch! Even a brief hand on a shoulder of someone who doesn’t get a lot of human contact can make a big difference. Take today to go ahead and reach out –  you’ll both benefit.

Caregiving Blogs – January Highlight

Posted by on January 14, 2016 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Caregiver Blog - January Highlight

It’s a new year! Is one of your resolutions to read more? Blogs are a great way to connect to your community and get inspiration. Check out these blogs and sites that provide wonderful stories from various contributing authors:

BLOOM
BLOOM is a Canadian site that is more than just a blog. It’s a magazine, blog, e-letter and speaker series that speaks to parents and caregivers of children with special needs. The new stream of content is fairly steady because those parents and caregivers are often the ones creating the blog posts.

The MIGHTY
There has been some controversy about The Mighty (see The Cute Syndrome’s blog post for more information about the special needs community’s complaints), but clearly its 80 million readers must find it intriguing. This site gives a voice to those living with disabilities, disease or mental illness, and their caregivers.

alz.org|blog
Another platform for caregivers, but this site also publishes contributions from those who have Alzheimer’s Disease themselves. It also provides news about the latest Alzheimer’s research, along with keeping the community up-to-date on fundraisers and studies. While the site is sometimes updated as little as once per month, there is a huge amount of information and a backlog of great blog posts.

Foods and Drinks that can Trigger Incontinence

Posted by on January 7, 2016 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Foods and Drinks that can Trigger Incontinence Blog Post

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

Some foods and drinks can aggravate urge incontinence (overactive bladder). There’s no formal “urinary incontinence diet,” so finding out what worsens your symptoms is a process of trial and error. Since we’re all unique individuals, what sends one person running for the bathroom may be just fine for another.

Let’s take a look at six common diet culprits that can irritate the bladder and worsen the symptoms of incontinence.

1. Too Much Water

When you’re bothered by urinary incontinence, there’s a fine line between preventing dehydration and worsening your incontinence. Most sources recommend drinking eight 8 oz. cups of water daily. However, four to six 8 oz. cups may be an amount that prevents dehydration and unexpected trips to the bathroom. Managing fluids helps the symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence.

2. Alcoholic Beverages

If you have urge incontinence or mixed urinary incontinence (a combination of urge and stress), alcoholic beverages can be bad news. Alcohol has a direct effect on the bladder, reduces nerve control, and acts as a diuretic that can cause dehydration. It interferes with the messages your brain sends to your bladder (telling it when to go, when to hold urine, etc.) so you’re more likely to have an incontinence episode.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine stimulates the bladder and also acts as a diuretic. It’s best to eliminate coffee and other caffeine sources (tea, chocolate, soda) completely from your diet when you have urinary incontinence. Giving up your daily “cup of joe” can be difficult because caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches and fatigue. A slow taper may make this process more manageable. If you can’t give it up completely, cut back to one cup of coffee a day and don’t drink it after 7 pm.

4. Spicy Foods

If you have urge incontinence (overactive bladder), you may want to avoid foods that contain hot peppers, chili powder, horseradish, or other pungent spices. Spicy foods can irritate the lining of the bladder and worsen the symptoms of incontinence. Again, pinpointing the spicy culprits is all about trial and error. Eliminate the prime suspects, then add them back one at a time until you identify the source.

5. Acidic Foods

If you have urinary incontinence, it’s wise to avoid acidic foods and drinks, including tomatoes, orange juice, cranberry juice, and other items. Citrus-based foods and drinks are highly acidic and tend to irritate the bladder. Cranberry juice is often used to help bladder infections, but it does not help with overactive bladder and urge incontinence.

6. Carbonated Drinks

The carbon dioxide in carbonated drinks (with or without caffeine) can irritate a sensitive bladder, which can set off urge incontinence. Try to stick to natural beverages, like water or non-acidic fruit and vegetable juices.

Where to Begin

An elimination diet may feel like you’re giving up everything you love, but the likelihood is that you aren’t sensitive to everything on the list of top offenders. Begin by eliminating everything in your diet that you suspect may be causing problems. Once you’ve determined if this approach helps your symptoms, you can begin to add things back one at a time to see if you can tolerate small amounts. If your incontinence symptoms worsen, you will know that the item you added back to your diet is something you need to eliminate permanently. You may want to download and print our Diet Journal Page (PDF) to help keep track of what you’ve eaten and the side effects. Using trial and error, you’ll create a personal diet plan that works for you and your incontinence symptoms.

What are some foods and drinks that irritate your incontinence symptoms? What steps have you taken to modify your diet to avoid these items? Head over to our incontinence forum to share your experiences!

Closer Look: Underpads

Posted by on December 31, 2015 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Closer Look Series Underpads Blog Post

As part of our continuing Closer Look series, we thought we’d wrap up 2015 by checking out underpads. These items come in a variety of sizes and come in both disposable and reusable types. We sell both types on TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.

Underpads are sold in different sizes, and it may take some experimenting to decide which you like best. One also needs to consider where the underpad will be used. Common places are in a bed, on a chair or a wheelchair. Our largest underpad is Prevail’s 30×36 (inches). Our most narrow underpad (which is great for dining room chairs or narrow wheelchairs) is Prevail’s 23×36. Our most popular underpad is Prevail’s 30×30. Not sure which size will suit your needs best? We offer a two-pack sample of Prevail’s 30×30 underpad. From there you can decided if you need something smaller or larger or if the 30×30 is perfect.

We also sell a reusable underpad, LewJan’s 34×36. If incontinence is a long-term problem or you’re concerned about creating waste, this product may be what you’re looking for. The product is made from 80% polyester and 20% cotton, and does contain latex. Because of the waterproof binding this item is created with, moisture is unable to leak over the edges. With daily use, this underpad can last several months, if the washing instructions are followed carefully.

Underpads are a great backup item for anyone with incontinence issues, but can also be used to give skin a break. In a private moment, underpads can be placed on a chair and the wearer of the incontinence products can sit on them, diaper or pull-up free, to watch a show or nap. This can allow skin some much needed fresh air time that can help keep the user healthy.

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week

Posted by on December 10, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week Blog Post

This second week in December marks Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. That’s a great reason to broach the subject with your senior about what their future plans are for when their driving becomes less than reliable.

Bringing it up early – well before you think there’s a problem – can help plant the seed in their mind and yours. Be sure that when you discuss the issue, it’s a dialogue, not a lecture. Ask them about their thoughts: How would they get around? How would it make them feel? Would they need to be living elsewhere? What kind of family and friend support would they need?

Getting started early means that it’s not a threat, so it’s easier to talk about it. And then the ideas and the contingency plans are there for later. And you can settle on times to discuss the idea again: in six months or a year, after a traffic ticket, after a minor accident.

But what if you’re already concerned about their driving, and they’re simply not willing to discuss the issue? There are still things you can do. If you have power of attorney for your parent, or your parent has said its okay for you to talk to the doctor, you can bring up the issue with their physician. State your concerns and then listen to what they think are the next best steps. The doctor may be willing to speak to them about the issue, or give them some tests that may answer questions about how they’re doing with their sight, hearing and more. You can also request that your senior take a driving refresher course from AAA or AARP. This way, the senior can be given an opportunity to show you that they’re fine. Try taking the “blame” for the idea: say you’re worried and they could make you feel better if they’re willing to take the course for you.

Open communication is best, so even if it may be awkward, give it a shot. And keep in mind that self-driving cars are probably just around the corner!

Caregiving Blogs – December Highlight

Posted by on December 3, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Caregiving Blogs - December Highlight

As the holidays make everyone busier, it’s hard to find time to just settle in and read a few great blogs. But blogs can be the perfect length to read during a quiet breakfast, or during your public transit commute. Let’s take a look at a few of the blogs we’ve been reading lately:

Fifty Shades of Dementia
This blog is written by two British sisters about their parents, both of whom have had dementia for the past several years. Their mother just passed away in September, which they wrote about in a beautiful post. They manage to add humor into their posts, along with giving good advice while chronicling their journey.

The Cute Syndrome
Hillary is the mom and caregiver to Esmé, a four-year-old medically complex child. The title of this blog comes from Hillary discussing Ezzy’s condition with a friend, and how the doctors were telling her that her daughter had a syndrome. “Yeah, a cute syndrome,” came the response from her friend. Thus was born not only the name of the blog, but also the foundation to help children like Esmé.

Working Daughter
This site is not only a blog, it’s a community. The site is run by Liz O’Donnell, who has balanced being a caregiver with her other roles in her life. There’s lots of different resources on the site, and it is updated regularly.

Links for the Ostomy Community

Posted by on November 19, 2015 under Ostomy Care | Be the First to Comment

Links for the Ostomy Community Blog Post Image

The ostomy community has come a long way since the Internet arrived. In the past, individuals did have books or group meetings, or when necessary, they could make an appointment with their WOCNs (wound, ostomy, continence nurses), but going through all that to talk about some minor skin issue was often more hassle than it was worth.

Now there are many sites where those with ostomies or those faced with the prospect of having one can learn, discuss and share. Take a look at the sites below, and comment if you have any you’d like us to add!

United Ostomy Association of America
The UOAA has a wealth of information, and there are smaller chapters all over the US. You can find online support as well as in-person!

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America
The CCFA supports those with these two different diseases during all stages, including when an individual has an ostomy. The CCFA supports the Take Steps fundraising challenge which everyone, including family and friends, can get involved in.

Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse Society
If you don’t have a regular WOCN you see, or you’ve moved, this site can help you find one in your area. There is also an entire section on patient information.

Youth Rally
Youth Rally is a great camp program that is for kids and teens with all types of bowel and bladder conditions.

Awestomy!
Awestomy is a site that sells undergarments for those with an ostomy. There’s also a blog, which hasn’t been updated recently, but contains great, fun information for those with an ostomy.

Inflamed and Untamed
Sara Ringer has moved past her ostomy to a j-pouch, but has chronicled her entire experience with IBD on her blog, and continues to be a supportive member of the ostomy community.

Dan Sharp
Dan Sharp is Sara Ringer’s boyfriend, and faces IBD himself. He is also very involved in the IBD community and is good for a laugh.

Four Easy Ways to Stay Healthy while Traveling

Posted by on November 12, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Four Easy Ways to Stay Healthy while Traveling

Original post written by Leslie Gaillard for LiveConfidently.com

Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or train this season, you are bound to encounter some obstacles in your path to staying healthy. However, a little preparation and forethought can go a long way to make your travel experience more enjoyable and healthy.

1. Stay Properly Hydrated

Staying properly hydrated especially during the hot summer months is important. Carry a reusable bottle (BPA-free) with you at all times that you can fill from a water fountain regularly. If you find water boring, spruce it up by adding a sprig of mint or a slice of lemon, lime, or orange. Avoid calorie-laden beverages like regular soda, sweet tea, and fruit drinks. It’s also best to limit your consumption of caffeinated beverages such as coffee and cola, as these stimulate greater urine output and increase the potential for dehydration as well as incontinence for those who are susceptible.

2. Pack Healthy Snacks

Regardless of your method of travel, bring some healthy, non-perishable snacks like nuts, instant oatmeal packs (cook using heated water from coffee pot), high fiber granola bars, vacuum sealed pouches of tuna or wild salmon, lower sodium turkey jerky, and even some dried fruit. If you are traveling by car, you may want to also consider packing a cooler with some refreshing low or no calorie beverages along with some fresh fruit and vegetables. With these supplies, you are much less likely to be tempted by high calorie, high sodium foods at fast food or chain restaurants that you encounter along the highway.

3. Watch Out for Calories

When you do eat out in restaurants, steer clear of fried foods and those with high fat or creamy sauces. If a sandwich comes with mayonnaise or a dressing, ask for it on the side or order a low fat alternative like mustard. Look for restaurants that also post their calorie information online so you can make informed decisions prior to dining out. Most fast food and chain restaurants post their nutrition facts online or via smartphone applications, and some even make it available in the restaurant.

4. Get Moving

Stay physically fit during your travel and pack a pair of comfortable shoes. Traveling to new places is a great opportunity to get some extra exercise. Invest in a pedometer and watch your steps accumulate throughout the day. Book a hotel that has lots of interesting sights within walking distance; if your destination is one mile or less away, consider walking instead of taking another mode of transportation. Look into walking tours, parks, and even bikes that you can rent to make your vacation even more interesting and environmentally friendly as you embark on your next memorable summer outing.

How do you stay healthy while traveling? Head to our forum to share your thoughts with people just like you!

You can find the original article here.