Tag Archives: caregiver support

Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month 2015

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

Caregiver Resources

September is bountiful month, full of fresh produce arriving to your local grocery store. It is beautiful to look at, but can be a lot to take in. Which fruits and vegetables are in season? How many produce items should I buy or not buy so they don’t go bad? What should I do with these things? And possibly even – what is this?

This Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month is the perfect time to learn more about those tasty foods we should be eating more. Did you know over 90% of all adults and children in the US do not eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies? That means if you do, you’re in an elite (and healthy!) minority.

All of us are busy, and caregivers even more so. So what are some easy tips and tricks to get more of that produce on your plate?

For one thing, keep in mind that ALL forms of fruit and veggies count towards your daily recommended amount, so anything canned, frozen, dried or juice that says 100% on the label contains the same goodness as fresh.

With that in mind, smoothies become so much easier! You can have everything ready to go and not have to worry about anything going bad after just a week. Frozen blueberries, yogurt, milk, OJ, leftover kale, canned peaches: toss any or all of it into a smoothie. Smoothies are incredibly forgiving. If you have some spinach that’s about to go bad, you can toss it in with some soy milk, honey, juice, an almost moldy nectarine and even some old cupcakes (believe me, I’ve tried). As long as you have enough liquid and enough sweetness (honey, agave syrup or cocoa powder work great) you can get away with practically any smoothie ingredient.

If you’re wanting to fill your cart with fruit and vegetables but can’t remember while at the grocery store what is in season, print out a pocket-sized guide (your best bet is to find what works for your region, so search for your state and then add “fruits and veggies in season chart”), or download an app onto your smart phone.

Good luck! And if you need more advice, recipes and ideas, be sure to head to The Fruits and Veggies More Matters site, where we found much of the above information!

Seniors and the Weather

Posted by on December 31, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Elder cold weather health tips

Extreme weather can be tougher on seniors than the rest of the population. When it’s dry, their skin becomes very dry. When it’s wet, driving in those conditions can become even more dangerous due to slower reaction times and decreased vision. With less fat than younger people, the cold can be much more uncomfortable, if not unsafe. And the heat can make life nearly unbearable and it can also be hazardous.

2014 has been a rough year weather-wise. The long California drought (which, despite recent rainfall, is not over – it will take about three years of regular rainfall to get the state back to “normal” conditions), the cold winter that started the year off and this was also the hottest year on record.

The ideal way to deal with weather and your senior are just keeping them cooler or warmer than you’d like to be, based on the environment. If it’s winter and you’re cold, your senior is likely colder. If it’s sweater weather outside, be sure to grab a coat for them before heading out for a walk. If it’s hot outside, maybe forgo the neighborhood stroll altogether. In both of these cases, a drive to the mall for some exercise can be a great alternative. Cool in the summer and hot in the winter – and always new products to look at!

Don’t forget about other weather-related hazards like ice on the sidewalks and parking lots. Extremely bright sunlight can also be dangerous, so be sure they have some nice big shades! Diaper rash can also be a problem for those seniors using them – sweat in the summertime (or even in over-heated rooms, which can often get very dry) can lead to more diaper rash than normal. Be sure to use cloth-backed diapers to keep the air circulating. You can find more tips to staying cool in pull-ups in the summer in our blog post here.

What are you favorite tips for keeping seniors safe in all types of weather?

Gifts for Caregivers

Posted by on October 31, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Holiday gift ideas for caregivers

Do you have a friend or family member who is a full-time caregiver? Or part-time? The holidays are just around the bend, and it’s time to start making those lists. But what to get that person who may not have time to enjoy the latest gadget or tickets to the movies? Here are just a few suggestions.

Gift of Time
Are you able to take over for the caregiver for a few hours? If you know their caree well enough and are okay with taking over for your friend (or family member), give them a few hours off. They can do with it what they choose – errand running, visiting a friend, taking a nap. Just try to emphasize that the time should be spent doing something for them. Or, if the caregiver has a backup person they often use, and you can pay for that person to come in for one extra session, that’s a great gift, too.

Have them over for dinner, specifically on a night when you know they’re free. Or take them out to lunch, again when you know they’re able to take off for a bit. Or if they can’t find the time to get away, bring them some coffee and a croissant, and sit and chat with them and their caree. You can offer any of these treats by creating a coupon, or even a homemade coupon book.

On TotalHomeCareSupplies.com’s Pinterest page, we have a whole board devoted to books that are about and for caregivers. It’s a way of saying “I may not understand what you’re going through, but here’s someone who does.” Bonus  – get two copies of the book and offer to read it with them, so they have someone with whom to discuss the content.

Help with Building a Care Team

Posted by on September 19, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

About care teams, or integrated care management

A care team for an elderly person consists of the people who are interested in the health and well-being of that person, and are an active part of their life.

Who is in a care team?
The main caregiver and the senior are the focus of the team. But as a caregiver, you’re still a part of it: communication needs to happen between yourself and the rest of the team, and of course the senior. In addition, there is also the main doctor and the specialists. The physical therapists and pharmacists are in there, too. And then if there are secondary caregivers, or elder daycare helpers, they’re part of the team as well. Include anyone who is in regular contact and communication with the senior about their health.

What is the goal of the team?
The goal of a care team is to keep the senior as healthy and as comfortable as possible. Happiness is also a good ideal, but may not always be possible. The way they accomplish these goals is through communication. In the best cases, each team member would be in contact with one another. But it may not be possible for the dentist to be in contact with the physical therapist to let them know that they may be less focused at their next session because of some residual tooth pain. Or the secondary caregiver may not be in contact with the primary doctor to discuss a change in incontinence products. That’s why the caregiver has to be the main input and output of information. And that information has to be explained in a way that is clear enough to them for them to be able to share it with others.

Remember, if someone in your care team makes either the caregiver or the caree uncomfortable, there’s nothing wrong with reevaluating whether or not that person should be there. Everyone should feel able to communicate freely within the team. We here at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com would love to hear about your best practices in a care team, and we wish you and your teammates much luck!

Being Smart About Incontinence

Posted by on July 29, 2014 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Adult Incontinence Supplies and reasons

Living with incontinence can be inconvenient, and can even have the potential for embarrassment. But! With the right knowledge, supplies and attitude, everything runs more smoothly and the feeling of any embarrassment becomes a thing of the past. Those who are incontinent can take action so that life can be lived on their terms.

Finding the cause:
Of course, many times, just because the cause of incontinence is known, that doesn’t mean that there’s a cure. But knowing the reason for one’s incontinence is helpful, even if only in a mental capacity. It can also help with determining what type of protection is necessary. Once the type is known, one may be able to predict the level of protection needed. A list of the types of incontinence can be found here. Getting educated: ✓

Leaks, crinkles and unsightly lines:
Most adult diaper leaks are caused by one of three things: the size is too large, a proper leg seal hasn’t been established, or the wrong type of insert has been placed in the diaper. You can find more information about these leaks and how to prevent them here. The crinkle-factor can be minimized by purchasing the right fit, and purchasing items with the words “cloth-like outer fabric,” like it says on these Prevail Per-Fit Adult Protective Underwear. The less plastic on the outside of the diaper, the less likely the wearer is to hear anything while moving. And the cloth outer fabric diapers are just as absorbent and leak-proof as plastic backed diapers.  Panty lines can be minimized by wearing more organic fabrics, and experimenting with different types of diapers. Mess and fuss: ✓

Buying adult diapers and accessories:
Many people do not enjoy the stigma that comes with purchasing adult diapers in person, whether or not they are for themselves. Ease that concern by getting all needed supplies shipped directly to your home in a discreet box. This solution is not only subtle, it’s convenient. This is a service TotalHomeCareSupplies.com offers for all customers, and all orders over $40 receive free shipping. Plus, be sure to check out our promotions page for any coupons we currently offer. Purchasing: ✓

It’s easy to be fully prepared when presented with all the facts. When you’re informed and equipped, a full life is still easily in reach.

Staying Cool in the Summer

Posted by on June 26, 2014 under BladderMatters | Read the First Comment


It is officially the first week of summer – and things are heating up in most parts of the country. It’s hard enough to stay cool in the summer and even harder when wearing an adult diaper for incontinence. Since staying inside where it is air-conditioned is not always an option – we have a few tips and guidelines to help beat the heat.

  1. Keep the air moving. Today’s new adult diapers are made of fabric-like material – no more plastic-backed diapers that trap the heat. Breathable briefs are typically thinner and allow for air circulation. A popular option is the Prevail Extra Adult Pull-Up that includes ventilated panels that help prevent heat build-up.
  2. Powder up. If you don’t have any skin issues – baby powder or a corn starch-type powder can help keep you feeling cool when temperatures are rising. If using a diaper with side tape tabs – be sure to not get any powder on these since it might prevent them from sticking.
  3. Keep it clean. Change your adult diaper more often in the summer and be sure to keep all areas clean. Moisture plus warmer temperatures can increase the chance of skin irritation. Be sure to carry extra disposable adult wipes during summer travels so that you are always prepared.
  4. Air it out. If time and the situation allows – take a little break between diaper changes and allow the area to get some air or wear cotton underpants for an hour or two.
  5. Dress appropriately. Cotton skirts and dresses for women and shorts for men are your best bets during the summer. Light-colored and loose fitting clothing is a great choice for beating the heat. Stay away from dark colors and synthetic (especially polyester) materials – save those for the winter months.
  6. Drink up. Becoming dehydrated is the last thing that you want. Drinking plenty of water will keep your body hydrated and better able to regulate your temperature. Many fruits and vegetables are comprised of over 90% water – so take advantage of summer produce to help with hydration.