How to Prepare for bad weather

As we start to get more settled into to the winter routine, we should try to get ready for whatever may come our way. According to NOAA the 2016-17 winter may bring colder-than-average temperatures to the East early on, but this winter may end up warmer than average. A weak La Niña www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov  is expected to develop ,  which would result in colder temperature in the East and warmer temperatures in the West, which flips the pattern over the last several months. Although this is the outlook for our winter we should always prepare ourselves with a “Storm Kit”. Here are some tips on how to prepare your house or the house of one of your elderly loved ones.

  • MAKE A LIST of all your emergency numbers and  contacts. It’s always a good idea to write down all the local emergency numbers. Each state has a web site where you could find those numbers listed. For the state of New Hampshire you can visit the Divison of Emergency Services and Communication at www.nh.gov
  • GATHER CANDLES, MATCHES, AND FLASHLIGHTS in case the power goes off, you do not want to be sitting in the dark. It’s highly recommended to keep a set of these items in the “Storm Kit” and another set on a shelf or in a common area where it could be easily accessed. If you or a loved one is in a wheelchair or not able to reach high places, these items should be placed in an area where they could be reached.
  • CHARGE YOUR CELL PHONE.  If you do not have a landline make sure that you charge your cell phone to have access to the storm information or being able to make contact with other people such as, loved ones or emgency personnell. It is also a good idea to charge any electric power chairs or medical devices that you may need to use.
  • HAVE AN AM/PM RADIO to stay in tuned with the storm coverage. It is best to have a batteried operated radio in case the electric goes out.
  • STOCK UP ON BATTERIES for all the electronic devices or flashlights. Keep in mind that batteries do expire and you will need to check the expiration dates often.
  • KEEP NON-PERISHABLE FOOD AND WATER on hand. It is reccommended to keep in stock one gallon of water per person per day and 3 days worth of non-perishable foods.If you have to take medications throughout the day you may want to plan for more water. Also if you pack canned foods, make sure that you have a can opener.
  • HAVE AN EVACUATION AND MEET UP PLAN. Have maps and a safe location where you can go to incase the home is no longer safe. Share this location with another person, so they know where to look if needed. If you or a loved one is home bond it is a good idea to have a designated nieghbor or family member drop by to check in on you.
  • MEDICATION LIST and medications in an easy accessed area. With having the list if you were to get seperated from your medications this with show what you are taking and a doctor could call in another script those medications.
  • 1ST AIDE KITS should include all sizes of banages, burn aides, warmers, emergency blankets, and a dust mask to help with the dust if needed.
  • EXTRA CLOTHING AND BLANKETS for staying  dry and  warm.
  • PETS, if you have pets it is recommended to follow these same guide lines for them.  Also include a list of all your pets immunizations and medications, if any.  They will be scared and nervous so make sure you pack items that they are familiar with, such as a favorite toy.

The Federal www.Ready.gov  website is packed with informationon on what is needed for “Storm Kits”. All kits should be planned according to the needs of the individual.

 

How To Prevent Falls at Home: The Ins and Outs of Being Safe

Have you ever heard the saying, “We are not as young as we used to be?”  As we get older we forget to do simple everyday tasks to ensure our own safety. Falls happen at home for many reasons. Our goal as a DME provider is to help you prevent falls at home.

There are several things that are known to add to your risk for falling. These include: 

  • Poor vision or hearing
  • History of falls
  • Use of aids, such as canes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Certain medications
  • Being over 65 years old
  • Conditions of the home, such as slippery floors, loose rugs, cords on the floor 

According to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) www.cdc.gov , millions of elderly people fall each year. Over 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or a hip fracture. Resulting direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion annually. That’s a lot of money, for something that we could help prevent. 

Here are some helpful things that you can do that will help lower your risk for falls at home. 

Bathroom

  • Use a raised toilet seat and safety frame for ease in getting up and down from toilet
  • Set temperature at 120 degrees or less (prevent burns and falls trying to avoid burns)
  • Consider a hand-held shower head, shower chair and handrails in the tub
  • Place a non-skid adhesive strips in the tub
  • Use liquid soap or soap on a rope to prevent dropping soap 

 Other 

  • Store items used often at waist level
  • Select furniture with armrests for support in getting up and down
  • Keep phone within easy reach 

Lighting

Replace dim, burned out or glaring lights with bright, soft white light bulbs

  • Use a night light
  • Make sure light are easy to turn on and off
  • Keep a flashlight available

Clear Hallways and Stairs 

  • Remove clutter, especially from hallways and stairwells
  • Use handrails while taking the stairs
  • Place non-skid treads or bright reflective tape to mark the edge of the stairs 

Floors

Remove scatter/throw rugs

  • Place non-skid treads or double-sided tape under area rugs
  • Keep floors free from clutter
  • Wipe up spills immediately
  • Make sure floors are not slippery ​​ 

If you have fallen, please contact or make an appointment immediately with your doctor to be evaluated. Your doctor might suggest that an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or nurse visit your home. These health care providers can assess your home’s safety and advise you about making changes to prevent falls.

Pride Mobility’s big idea….”social mobility”

Pride Mobility introduces a power chair that delivers a whole new approach to mobility and access.

Pride is making a big deal of this new chair in their marketing and advertising. And it is not hard to see why. We brought in one of these chairs as a demo unit for our showroom and the customers who have tried it out really like the size, speed, flexibility and price of this elevating powerchair. As Pride says….”The Jazzy Air is a new era in power mobility. It’s social mobility.  Whether at home, or on the town, the unique appeal of Jazzy Air will elevate your independence and social confidence in style.”

Here are some of the key specs

  • Elevates in just 16 seconds to the primary standing height position allowing quicker access to your environment
  • Safely drives 3.5 mph while elevated, enabling you to socialize with others at walking speed
  • Patented Active-Trac® suspension provides maximum stability in both elevated and non-elevated positions

We have a demo unit in our showroom if you’d like to try it out. Come in and see the new Jazzy Air. Jazzy Specs

Medical equipment provider’s are “the tail of the health care dog”

Despite the fact that most Americans would like to spend their retirement years living in their own home, many are forced into hospitals, extended care facilities, nursing homes or retirement communities. Some of these are great, some less than desirable. The truth is that home medical equipment such as wheelchairs, ramps, bathroom aids, and stairlifts are all great ways to help people “age in place.”  But Medicare is cutting this industry deeply.

The DME (durable medical equipment) industry is tiny compared to the hospital industry, doctor organizations and pharmaceutical companies. In fact, we represent less than 2% of the overall Medicare budget. As such, we have very little lobbying clout in Washington. So when it comes time for cutting, guess who gets the biggest whack? 

We’re trying to mobilize legislators to see the sense of using some restraint and common sense when figuring out how to allocate Medicare dollars. Hospitals are great, but do you want to spend your golden years in and out of hospitals, or at home? Of course, it is not an either/or, but the point is clear. A night spent in your own bed is a LOT less expensive to the Medicare budget, than a night spent in the hospital.

YOUR voice is important for your representatives to hear. See below for what you can do to help.

Pharmaceuticals… It’s all about advertising, not R & D.

These two recent articles highlight some of the ironies of our hobbled healthcare system. On the one hand, pharmaceutical companies are spending record amounts on advertising–mostly targeted directly at doctors and consumers. The biggest spender, Johnson & Johnson, shelled out $17.5 billion on sales and marketing in 2013, compared with $8.2 billion for R&D.

One the other hand, doctors –via The American Medical Association– on Tuesday called for a ban on advertising prescription drugs and medical devices directly to consumers, saying the ads drive patients to demand expensive treatments over less costly ones that are also effective.