Tag Archives: totalhomecaresupplies.com

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.

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!

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!

Incontinence Products vs. Feminine Products

Posted by on July 28, 2015 under BladderMatters | Read the First Comment

Pads and liners

Original post written for LiveConfidently.com

For women, bladder control issues can occur at various stages of life. Light bladder leakage is most commonly experienced during pregnancy, after childbirth, and throughout menopause. When these symptoms of incontinence arise, many women use feminine hygiene products for protection due to convenience or their level of comfort selecting and purchasing these products in the store. However, not all absorbent products are equal, and using feminine hygiene products for incontinence needs can lead to issues with odor and leakage.

Consider this example. While pantiliners for feminine hygiene and incontinence needs appear similar at a glance, there are important product differences. Pantiliners for feminine hygiene are designed to absorb small amounts of occasional discharge, while pantiliners for incontinence protection are designed to rapidly absorb and lock away urine flow. Incontinence protection products for women are also available for a multitude of absorbency needs, ranging from very light liners to more absorbent pads. In general, these products are designed to lock fluid away so an active person doesn’t have to worry about leakage during normal daily activities.

Many modern incontinence protection products also include odor control systems that neutralize the creation of odors caused by urine. This means that the products actually prevent odors from forming instead of attempting to conceal odors by masking them with a fragrance. To find out which incontinence protection products are available for your needs, take a look at our incontinence product selector tool.

On occasion, women are embarrassed to purchase incontinence products and instead buy feminine hygiene products for their light bladder leakage needs. This occurs because feminine care products are considered a normal part of women’s protection needs, while incontinence may be viewed as a medical issue or problem. Increasingly, incontinence products are being designed to look and feel like feminine hygiene pads and pantiliners to reinforce a sense of normalcy when purchasing or using these products. In addition to retail store locations, products are available through online retailers for worry-free shipping and convenience. You may want to refer to our product retailer locator for a list of stores and websites that sell incontinence protection products.

What factors do you take into consideration when purchasing products for light bladder leakage? Let us know on our female incontinence forum!

You can find the original article here.

Caregiver Blogs – July Highlight

Posted by on July 9, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Blogs written by caregivers

Wow! We’re already well into summer, but before it passes us by, we’d like to take another moment to highlight a few caregiver blogs that we’ve really been enjoying lately.

The Cute Syndrome
Hillary Savoy decided to call her blog “The Cute Syndrome” because while she was discussing her daughter’s un-diagnosed genetic disorders and various syndromes with a friend, the friend commented, “yeah, she has a syndrome. A cute syndrome.” And the pictures of Esme on this blog are really very cute. Hilary has also written a book about her journey with Esme through the world of genetic testing that is available through her site.

The Purple Jacket
This blog is written by Chris MacLellan, AKA, The Bow Tie Guy. Chris was a caregiver of his partner, Richard, until Richard passed away in 2014. Now Chris helps advocate for caregivers. The story of him caring for Richard during his last days was told in the Sun Sentinel newspaper and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Chasing Rainbows
Kate Leong’s tale is one of both sadness and hope. Her first child, Gavin, was born with some disabilities, exacerbated by bouts with both Botulism and Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV) while he was still under six months  of age. Kate continued to write about Gavin and the therapy he received for his special needs, along with his younger brother, Brian – until Gavin’s death in 2013. Since then, Kate’s blog has focused on the grief and happiness that has come with her son’s death, and her new daughter Hope. While her current story is just as compelling as her past, her older blog posts about Gavin’s therapy may be helpful for those with special needs children of their own.