Live and Thrive in Your Own Home:  Aging in Place

You want to stay in your home.  Of course you do.  It is your space, just the way you like it.  Your books, your furnishings, your clothes, your photographs, your dishes, and most importantly – your memories.

But staying in your house might require some extra help.  Today, aging at home is commonly called ‘Aging in Place’.  But it can be more than that, it can mean thriving in place too!  Many seniors can live and thrive in their own homes, with a little help.

Your friends, family, and neighbors are good resources for you.  It is widely known that having a strong social network is the key to wellness, and the key to aging well.  Sometimes, our family and friends are not local.  Or perhaps they can’t visit as often as we would like. 

Other resources, such as the National Aging in Place Council, can step in to help.  You may want to connect with your local Senior Center.   Some communities have formed special non-profit organizations, such as – Community Care Givers of Greater Derry, or Monadnock at Home – having the sole mission of helping you stay independent and in your home, in your local neighborhood.  Charron Medical Services can be your local source for products – take advantage of the knowledgeable sales and service staff.  ​​

You can also help yourself, by installing equipment and tools to make your home more accessible. 

  • Home Access: it could be your front door has too many steps, or your bedroom is on the second floor.  Maybe your laundry is on the basement level, and you need to get down the stairs.  Home access is a big issue for seniors.  Fortunately, there is equipment available to help.
    • Stairlifts – both indoor and outdoor stairlifts are safe and economical in helping you live in a multi-level home. In choosing a stairlift, be sure to look for a local installer.  You will want someone who can respond quickly if you need service or repair.
    • Ramps – when it comes to overcoming the climb up your front steps, EZ Access ramps are versatile. The ramps are configurable, making them a great choice for customizing the installation to your home.  The ramps are designed to work with wheelchairs, walkers, and rollators.  They can even ease the way for ambulatory seniors who have less range and flexibility because of aging.
  • Interior Comforts: these products will improve the way you get around inside your home.
    • Ramps are also available for smoothing the transition between different floor heights or tall thresholds.
    • Seat lifts Chairs (not to be confused with stair lifts) are powered lift chairs that make is easy to get up after relaxing with a book or watching television. Powered chair lifts, such as models made by Pride and Golden, are attractive and extremely comfortable.  There are different features so be sure to think about how you will use the chair, to help select the right fit for you.
  • Scooters: if you are considering a scooter to help you get around inside or outside your home, you will want to test drive a few models.
    • Power chairs: the Go-Chair by Pride Mobility has a tight-turn radius.  You can maneuver it inside your home.  To try a Go-Chair, visit your local medical supply store.  
    • Pride Scooters: there are several models of outdoor scooters available.  To learn about the different models, such as the Go-Go Elite, visit the store and test drive the different models.  If you are undecided, you can start by renting a scooter and see how it helps you get around.
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It might seem overwhelming at times, but before you give up the dream of staying in your home – Aging in Place – talk with others who have made the accommodations to their homes.  Call the National Aging in Place Council.  And visit your local medical supply store.  The Durable Medical Equipment (DME) industry is here to serve you.  The products are designed with you in mind.  Choose a local store, where you can try the products, and be assured of prompt, quality, in home service and repair.

http://charronmed.com/2017/11/22/1886/

Post Surgery Supplies for at Home Recovery

 

Are you the caregiver for someone having surgery?  Are you having surgery?  Equipping your home with the proper tools before you have surgery, will give you peace of mind and can also help boost recovery time. Your doctor or nurse will have some good suggestions for you.  The hospital, or even visiting nurses, are other resources to ask what to expect and how to prepare.  Both major and minor surgery deserve careful planning for at home recovery. 

The staff at Charron Medical will listen to your concerns, and offer suggestions based on years of helping caregivers and patients.  Products to consider include:

 

Margaret shares her recent experience as a caregiver for her son after surgery:

I am not a nurse and have had little experience with home recovery.  I was worried about how to take care of my 17-year old son after his major jaw surgery.  Two days in recovery at Massachusetts General Hospital and we were bringing him home. I was anxious and afraid.  Did I have everything I needed to help him heal? 

Before we left for the hospital two days earlier, we prepared the space at home for his recovery.  It was reassuring to do this before the surgery.  Major jaw surgery meant blenderized foods and lots of special medications.  I wanted him to sleep close to us – in the living room – so I could monitor him.  The doctor said to elevate his head, to help with the swelling.  He needed special syringes to tube feed him liquids, and heating pads to help his face heal. 

When I looked online I was overwhelmed with the choices for sleeping wedges – how high, how big?  Which heating pad would he be able to use comfortably at home?  How could I keep track of his medications?  Charron Medical helped me choose the right products to take care of him after his surgery.  They had everything I needed right there in the Nashua store.  There is so much to worry about when your child is having surgery, and it was a big relief to have their help. 

Major surgery, like hip replacement or knee surgery, might require a walker during recovery.  There are many styles and types to choose from; the EZ-ACCESSORIES Walker Carryon will keep all the necessities near you.  Mount it on the side, or in the front, the deep pockets will allow you to carry your cell phone, TV remotes, and even beverages, keeping everything within arm’s reach.  

If you’re healing from knee surgery you’re not going to want be going up and down, especially when using the restroom. Even with a caregiver or visiting nurse to help, the transition can be made easier with the TILT Toilet Incline Lift. With quick and easy installation, this heavy duty lift chair can make your bathroom experience one of ease and comfort.  

Mobility related surgeries can even make accesing your front door difficult.  If you’re using a walker, crutches or a wheelchair, a TRANSITIONS Modular Entry Mat will help you get over the threshold without tripping. Don’t worry about taking the step up when using this mat. It lays flush to any entry, can be trimmed down to fit any height and is made of heavy-duty rubber for a nonslip surface.

If you are having surgery, or caring from someone at home after surgery, take a few minutes to stop by the Charron Medical Services store.  We are here to help you plan and prepare.  We have hundreds of products in the store, but if we don’t have what you need or want, we will order it for you.    

Need a wheelchair? Which one is right for you?

In 1783, John Dawson of Bath England, invented a product which came to be known as  the “Bath wheelchair”, named after the town of Bath. Dawson designed a chair with two large wheels and one small one and his design outsold all other wheelchairs in the world in the 19th century.

Recently, the use of wheelchairs has increased 83% between 1980 and 1994, with more than 2.2 million Americans 15 years and older using wheelchairs. The number of people with mobility impairment is expected to continue to increase as more people live longer with disabilites.

There are many types of wheelchairs, and all very useful according to your needs or lifestyle. Manual wheelchairs are the type that require people tp move them, there are three types of manual wheelchairs: namely self propelled, attendant propelled, and powered.  A transport chair is distinct design that is often used when someone needs to be pushed in a chair for a short period of time. For example, if you’re taking your aged Grandmother out to lunch. The transport chair is typically lighter than a standard wheelchair. Most common uses for a transport chair are when you have a doctor’s appointment, going to the mall, or not able to walk long distances and having someone there to assist you.

All wheelchairs include foot and leg rests, sometimes offering elevating leg rests and either full-length or desk-length arms. Seat width options are 16″, 18″, or 20″. Seat widths come in sizes according to the hieght and weight of the patient, if needing larger than the standard sizes it would be considered as a  specialty order. 

The electric powered wheelchair was invented by George Klein who worked for The National Research Council of Canada, to assist injured veterens after World War II. Today powered wheelchairs come in diferent types, just like a manual, according to  your needs or lifestyle. The benefits of power mobilty, including improved self esteem, decreased pain and increased activty levels. There are two types of drive mechanism are used on electric wheelchairs: indirect drive and direct drive. Indirect drive systems (pulley and drive belts) are used on conventional electric wheelchairs, where as direct systems (gear boxes) are used on power-base wheelchairs. The vast majority of contemporary electric wheelchairs are used  on power-base wheelchairs. Most powerchairs are powered by two 12 volt batteries that are rechargable with electricity.  

 

 

 

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.