Tag Archives: Total Home Care Supplies

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.

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

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!

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.

Caregiving Blogs – October Highlight

Posted by on October 8, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Caregiver Blog - October Highlight

As we get further into fall, we thought it might be a nice idea to highlight a few blogs that you can bookmark to read as you settle into your favorite comfy chair with a mug of cocoa.

Noah’s Dad
Noah’s parents were surprised when their son was born with Down’s Syndrome. Noah’s dad, Rick, immediately started journaling their story. The blog is full of positivity and super-cute pictures of Noah. There’s lots of advice available for parents of children with Down’s Syndrome, other children with special needs and typical children.

Geriatric OT
This post hasn’t been updated in quite some time, but it still is a great resource for anyone looking for information about how to improve the lives of geriatrics, especially those with disabilities. There are lots of links to sites with great therapeutic suggestions.

Gastroparesis Crusader
Trisha Bundy describes herself as, “a proud mother, teacher, Gastroparesis Advocate, GJ Tubie.” Hers is less a caregiving blog and more of blog from a caree point-of-view. Even with the invisible illnesses Trisha struggles with, she maintains a positive attitude and her writing is very creative.