Ostomy Products on the Web: Affordable and Discreet

According to United Ostomy Association estimates a little more than 500,000 Americans had some type of stoma in 2003. The results of Home Care Monday's market research reveal even higher numbers. They indicated that there were 800,000 ostomy patients in the United States in 2000. What's more, the researchers expected that number would grow at an annual rate of 3%.

With approximately 70,000 new ostomates, under different forms of ostomy, (ie, Colostomy, Ileostomy or Urostomy), occurring every year in Canada and the United States, chances are if you are not an ostomy patient, you know someone who is. In fact, famous people ranged from the Queen Mother to Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill to actress Loretta Young to Pope John Paul II have all had some form of ostomy procedure.

Individuals who undergo colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy operations often do so with trepidation, fearing their lives will never be the same. But most of them soon find themselves returning to their regular activities, going about life just as they did before. The biggest change they encounter from the outside is the care of their stomas.

Colostomies, ileostomies or urostomies do require some getting used to. All of a sudden, ostomates are having to stock their medicine cabinets with a host of ostomy products they never even think about before. Just when they believe they are getting used to their stoma, they may find them out of a necessary ostomy care product and forced into a very public situation where they must put their condition in front of the world.

But in-person pharmacies are not the only place ostomates can turn for the ostomy products they require. The Internet has opened up a whole new way for them to get their hands on the health care items that they need, without ever having to face the embarrassment of a checkout person, or for that matter even leave the comfort of their home.

Online providers of health care products offer ostomates access the top names in ostomy products. Their selection is often far superior to what one can find in a brick-and-mortar store. What's more, because online ostomy product suppliers buy in bulk but do not have the expenses that maintaining a storefront necessitates, they can pass on their cost savings to their customers.

Shoppers who buy their ostomy products over the Internet from a trust supplier will, in fact, often save 15% or more over what they would pay at retail. They will not, however, have to sacrifice their favorite brand names in exchange for that value.

More often than not, they will find the exact same ostomy products their doctor recommends. Trusted brands like Natura, ActiveLife, Convatec, DuoLock, VisiFlow, AllCare, Sur-Fit and Esteem Synergy are just some of those they will recognize as they browse online. They'll also find a wide array of ostomy products ranging from stomas and skin barriers to pouches, wipes, comfort panels, irrigation sleeves, irrigators, low-pressure adapters and inserts, and everything in between.

Why deal with the hassles of in-person buying of ostomy products when the online alternative is so much better?

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Prevent Kidney Stones

If one can imagine 'how it feels like when a dagger is stabbed in to lower back of the body and twisted it intermittently', will understand the intensity of pain experienced when sharp edged stones are moving in urinary tract blocking the passage of urine.

Well this does not happen suddenly. Our ornaments actually bring in the impending danger by sending pulses of pain with low intensity. Ignoring these symptoms with pain killers can straight away take one to a hospital bed for a laser surgery.

It will be very surprising to know how small things in our food intake and life style can put us in to such a painful situation.

Conditions that contribute to the growth of kidney stones

1. Low intake of water.

2. High intake of proteins likens consumption of fish, meat and chicken together.

3. Lack of water soluble fibers like green leaves, fruits in diet.

4. Consumption of high sugar foods

5. Consumption of refined table salt.

How Kidney Stones are generated:

Calcium in our body is used for digestion of proteins. calcium exists in our bones, and in a very small percentage in teeth, blood and body fluids. When we consume proteins more then required the calcium available in our blood and digestive system falls short and required calcium is leached from our bones to supplement. Calcium and magnesium in a specific proportion in our body gives us a good health. When this proportions are disturbed formation of calcium oxalates crystals take place. These crystals when accumulated at one place form kidney stones.

How to prevent formation of kidney stones

1. Drink lot of water because dehydration is one of the causes of crystal formation.

2. Avoid refined table salt and use natural sea salt that will help eliminate the refinanced salt deposits held in kidneys.

3. Eat proteins moderately and to maintain the balance of salts in body. Diet should combine water soluble vegetables and fruits.

4. Avoid eating fish and meat together.

5. Eliminate high sugar foods in diet.

Invariable, we all tend to observe or follow the above only after affected with the malaise. Also, it is not possible for us to keep measuring our level of consumption, continuously. Being moderate in consuming food packed with protein and drinking adequate amount of water can keep us away from kidney stone formation.

Here, prevention is far better than cure, because once kidney stone is formed affinity to form more stones increases.

There are natural home remedies which can prevent and as well cure with out painful surgeries.

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Pressure Ulcers: How They Occur And How To Avoid Them

Surgical patients are one example of patients that are not usually considered bed bound, but following surgery a patient is often left in one position for several hours and are at risk for skin breakdown. Patients who enter the hospital for several days may not be bed bound prior to the hospitalization, but often stay in bed because they have no reason to get up or choose to sit in bed watching television. Pressure ulcers are often a result from this inactivity. Let's discuss some of the contributing factors and how to avoid a pressure ulcer.

When continuous pressure occurs when sitting or lying in the same position for as little as two hours or longer can result in an open wound. We refer to this as a pressure ulcer. The pressure squeezes shut the tiny blood vessels that take blood to the tissue. If you have ever lied down on a hospital mattress you know how hard and uncomfortable they are. Now, picture a person lying on this mattress, either on their back or side. When lying on your back, pressure is applied to the tissue between the mattress and any bones that protrude to the posterior aspect of our body including the coccyx and the vertebrae of the spell. When lying on the side the heaviest bony area would be the pelvic or hip bone. When the blood vessels between the surface and the bony prominence are shut off, that means there is no blood flow in this area. It also means no oxygen is getting to these tissues.

Without oxygen to the tissue, the tissue dies. It is very important to maintain a turn schedule of at least every two hours. Keeping a written log of when the patient is turned is helpful when caring for more than one patient or simply having a busy schedule. It's that simple. Or is it?

Moisture is also a contributing factor to pressure ulcers. When a patient is bed bound or unable to care for their selves, it is very important to provide good skin care. Patients who are incontinent must have their diaper checked regularly, at least every 2 hours. Maintaining a turn schedule in conjuction with a diaper check will make this task easier. When urine, stool or sweat stays next to the skin for too long, it causes the skin to become softened and the tissue can break down much easier. Utilizing lotions or skin barrier creams will aid in protecting the skin and keeping the skin healthy.

Friction and shear also contribute to skin breakdown. Friction is when your skin is rubbed against something. It can cause the top layer of skin to be taken off. Shearing is when your body slides against something it can cause the skin to pull away from the tissue under it, stretching and tear blood vessels. A classic scenario would be an elderly patient is in a hospital bed. The head of the bed is elevated in effort to make them more comfortable. This position causes the patient to slip down in the bed resulting in one or two nurses taking the patient under the arm and pulling them up in the bed, often multiple times a day. Each time this action takes place, the skin is rubbing against the bed and the skin is pulling away from the tissues.

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Five Top Tips For Getting Back To Sleep

A common complaint we hear from both men and women is that they are fed up with suffering from sleep deprivation. As we all know too well, not getting a good night's sleep is no joke. Sleep deprivation can make you lethargic and irritable. Your cross disposition can have a knock-on effect to both the personal and professional relationships in your life. It's not just waking-up frequently – often from prostate health problems in men, or the dreaded night sweats suffered by menopaal women – that is the main problem. It's the inability to get back to sleep that causes the real frustration. So we did some research and found some tricks you can add to your arsenal for getting back to the land of ZZZs and wake up feeling refreshed.

Stay in the dark!
If you wake up and need to use the bathroom, do it without turning on the lights. You're a big boy or girl, I'm sure you can find your way! The problem with light is that it stimulates our bodies and brains, so staying in the dark will make it easier for your body to relax back into sleep mode. The brighter the light and the longer you are exposed to it will affect how much your body becomes active and stimulated by the light.

Read a book or magazine
We are all familiar with the sensation of not being able to keep your eyes open while reading a book. So long as the subject is not too exciting, reading will calm your brain and body which means it should not be too long before you feel your eyelids getting heavy. Of course, reading requires a light but, it should be OK, so long as it's a dim lamp.

Keep still
For some strange reason tossing and turning is very appealing whenever you can not get off to sleep. It's even stranger when you realize that it's the very last thing you should be doing. Too much activity is interpreted by the brain as a reason to stay alert, making it that much more difficult to fall sleep.

One way of controlling your movement in bed is to concentrate on something else – and I do not mean your iPhone or laptop, as this will start you. I mean focus on counting sheep, or relaxing your body muscles starting with your toes. If you have the discipline not to let your mind wander, you should be snoozing again before you reach your knees. This kind of mental concentration, like meditation, takes practice, but give it some time. The rewards are worthwhile.

Say no to siestas
It is so tempting at times to have a little power nap during the day, especially if you've had a bad night's sleep. But if you can resist the temptation you should do so. Napping during the day can create a habit of your body thinking it should awaken during the night. Resist and reap the benefits of a restful night's sleep. Good night!

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Choose The Right Health Care Practitioner Based On Your Health Requirements

A Health care practitioner is the one who is given the license or authority by the state to provide health care services. Anyone starting from a doctor of medicine, a dentist, pediatrician and chiropractor to a nurse practitioner, a clinical psychologist and even a clinical social worker can be defined as a health care practitioner. In case a health maintenance provider does anything to violate the regulations and limitations determined by the state law, the health care entity has the right to review and judge their actions, thenby seizing their medical license if required. In such cases the health care entity is bound to provide the Board of Medical Examiners with the name of the concerned health maintenance provider and the details of their action for taking accurate review action.

There are various types of health care providers. Some of them are:

Primary Care Providers (PCP): The first person you visit for a health check-up serves as your primary care provider. On the basis of your health maintenance plan and the type of health problem you are having, you have to decide who can be the best PCP for you.

  • You can appoint a general practitioner as your PCP. A general practitioner encompassors doctors of medicine or osteopathy specialized in internal medicine and family practice.
  • Obstetrician and Gynecologists, specializing in women's health and prenatal care, can also be appointed as your PCP.
  • Nurse practitioners with graduate degrees can serve as primary care providers in the field of family medicine, pediatrics, adult care, women's health, etc. They are authorized to provide services for regular checks and general concerns.
  • Physician assistants are licensed to provide a variety of services in association with a general practitioner.

Nursing Care: There are various categories in the nursing division.

  • Registered Nurse (RN): RN is licensed by the state to provide health maintenance services. They have to pass a state board examination and obtain a graduate degree from a nursing program.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPN is a trained nurse, who is authorized by the state to provide health maintenance.
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN): APRNs obtain special degrees and advanced training, which is beyond and above the normal nursing care trainings. APRNs include clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists and licensed nurse midwives.

Licensed Pharmacists: Licensed pharmacists hold a graduate degree from pharmaceutical colleges. They provide health maintenance by preparing prescription drugs that have been prescribed to you by your primary or specialty care provider. Pharmacists also provide adequate information to patients regarding medicines, and explain to them the dosages and side effects of medicines after considering with the doctor.

Specialty Care Providers: Health care practitioners providing health services in various specialized fields are referred to as specialty care providers, like:

  • Cardiology for heart problems.
  • Dermatology for skin problems.
  • Allergy and asthma.
  • Gastroenterology for digestive disorders.
  • Hematology for blood disorders.
  • Immunology for problems with the immune system.
  • Orthopedics for bone and tissue problems.
  • Nephrology for kidney disorders.
  • Psychiatry for mental and emotional problems.

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Feeling Stranded? Online Therapy – Access All Areas

Having grown-up in the sticks in the Yorkshire Dales then later living in the Australian Outback and rural New Zealand, I love living in a remote area. Advantages: The peace, less traffic and seeing more stars at night. Also the privacy … no worries if you do not draw the bedroom curtains! As a teenager however, it could be the cause of whinging that “We are miles away from anything.”

This frustration may be less vocal though equally felt by people of all ages living in a remote location at times. A common difficulty can be the lack of health professionals and access to wellbeing services. Perhaps you feel that your rural location stops you from making the changes you want, believing therapy requires meeting in person? It is not only geography that can lead people to feel “isolated”, as will be considered below too.

However, your whereabouts or other restrictions no longer need matter thanks to online therapy. The Internet allows you to access 'talking therapies' while you are whilst also many many restraints. Increasingly practitioners are offering an online service. Video technology such as Skype allows for face-to-face communication. This article will focus on Skype hypnotherapy sessions and things to consider when using this medium.

Skype is an online service provider that provides free calling between account holders and enable video chat. Its benefits, away from the free calls, include easy and free set-up and good audio quality.

It is surprisingly easy to build a good relationship over Skype. This medium offers the same level of support and confidence as that of meeting a therapist face-to-face. Distance communication is not a new concept, Sigmund Freud communicated with his clients via letter.

Benefits that Skype therapy offers include:

It uses broadband which you are already likely to be paying for through your Internet plan.

Sessions at home remove any travel costs or journey times. No childcare costs to cover either!

Aside from the financial win, online also allows much more flexibility. You may find that your time zone works in your favor as virtual services open up flexibility on available slots. Whilst office-based appointments can become booked-up quickly, consider looking online to find a session for when you need.

The Internet is a global market so you have a greater choice of who to work with. You can choose the practitioner who best meets your needs regardless of whether they are based nearby. It is important to choose a therapist with what you feel comfortable to help you achieve your goal, so having more options gives the freedom to make the right choice for you.

The online environment can offer an increased sense of privacy. Distance can offer an anonymity that helps you to relax and share more freely. An article in Newsweek (2006) reported that recovering addicts would benefit from online therapy, given unease at attending face-to-face support groups.

Being in your own home environment can help to make you feel safe and secure, especially for those experiencing social anxiety or agoraphobia.

Accessibility is a major benefit, overcoming mobility difficulties or constraints on leaving your home. It is ideal whether you are homebound or disabled, a carer or parents constrained by responsibility, or a traveling unable to make face-to-face appointments.

Distance nor a busy lifestyle should not prevent you taking the opportunity to make the changes you want in life. As the American entrepreneur Jim Rohn said:

“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you do not, you'll find an excuse.”


You will need fast internet connection and a computer with a webcam. Most computers or laptops have a built-in mic and camera. If not, these can be inexpensive to buy.

A therapist offering a Skype service should provide clear guidance to working together this way. A good practitioner will answer any questions you may have and ensure that you are clear on everything prior to the Skype call. The therapist should also outline their confidentiality policy as well as general information such as cancellation terms.

Be clear on appointment times – especially if there are time zone differences to consider.

Be comfortable using Skype prior to the first session: Test that you can hear clearly, headphones work, the Internet speed supports a Skype call without invitations / screen freezing-up. Consider a practice call with a friend.

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Getting Organized When Caring for Elderly Parents (Part 1)

There are many things to consider when taking care of elderly parents. This is a task that can seem overwhelming. The key is not to think of everything at one time. Taking time to follow an organized list and working on one item at a time will help the process go much smoother.

Start by documenting all of the important information including: name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number and insurance information. Insurance information should include Medicare information for those 65 years of age and older, any secondary insurance and policy number, and prescription drug plans.

Caring for elderly parents will include maintaining a list of all physicians including any specialist, dentist, or optometrist / ophthalmologist. Include their name, specialty, address, phone and fax number. This list should be kept up to date. It is important to have this information available for each physician in order to facilitate coordination of care between the doctors.

Maintain a complete medication list is very important. The list should include all prescription medications, over the counter medications, vitamin supplements, herbs, topical ointments and creams, etc. Include the date the medication was started, the physician that prescribed it, frequency and route taken, and the purpose of the medication. It is important to keep this list updated and take to each doctor's appointment. By having a complete list available for all doctors will prevent adverse drug interactions. Medication compliance is important when caring for older parents. It may be helpful to prepare pill boxes for your parents especially if they have decrease in memory. This will help prevent missed doses.

Keeping records of any recent x-rays, cat scans, ultrasounds, or other tests would be important. Keep a copy of the test results in a folder and have available for all physician appointments in case the results would be beneficial to share with another physician.

Caring for older parents will also include developing a complete family health history. Ask your parents about any procedures and hospitalizations. List the approximate date and purpose of the procedure and hospitalization. The health history should include any disease processes of immediate family members. Diseases that are hereditary could have been important information to their physician.

These five steps in getting organized is just the beginning. Get started on step number one. Take each step one at a time. Complete each step before moving on to the next one. This will help you keep on track and not get over whelmed.

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Getting Organized When Caring for Elderly Parents (Part 2)

Maintaining copies of any legal documents is very important. Legal documents will include all types of insurance policies including health, life, auto, and home. Having these documents together in one designated spot will be helpful, especially if your parents begin having memory problems and become unable to remember this important information.

Other legal documents may include financial resources such as pension plans, retirement plan, 401K, 403 (b), Keogh, IRA (savings account, checking account, CD / mutual funds, annuity, property appraisal, other investment sources, etc. Once your parents require additional care, it will be imperative to know any financial sources available which may be needed to help pay for the required care.

When caring for older parents you should already be aware of community resources available to you. Is there a nearby adult daycare? Adult daycare facilities are helpful in providing interaction with others of similar age range. Senior centers serve the same purpose but do not provide the same oversight some earlier may require. Does the community have a meal delivery program? These organizations work off public donation and volunteers from the community. The meals are very important to those who are unable to cook due to physical limitations. The service provides one nutritious meal daily. Transportation services may also be needed when your parents are unable to drive and you may not be available to take them to an appointment. These are all things you should think about now before the time comes that you will be caring for elderly parents.

It will be important to identify areas of physical declination such as vision and hearing loss, memory problems, incontinence, poor balance, or shortness of breath. These are all things that will affect the type of care your parents will need. A periodic assessment of their health will be necessary as things change.

Last but not least, keep good notes when attaching physician appointments or speaking with someone about their needs or condition over the phone. This will be beneficial for both you and your parents to refer back to. Write down any instructions the doctor may give regarding medication, procedures, test results, etc.

I hope these steps will help you when caring for older parents. Most importantly, always keep your parents involved in their care. When you begin preparing this information for your records, start by including them. Scheduling a time to sit down to discuss their information will not only help you, but it will also show them that you are thinking of them and that you really do care about providing the best care for them when the time comes.

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There Are Many Options to Consider When Caring for Aging Parents (Part 2)

As we had mentioned in (Part 1) of this article, there are many different aspects to consider when caring for your aging parents. Where they will live and the accommodations that they will have are of utmost concern.

The larger assisted living facility may be your choice when you find yourself caring for parents. Since it is larger, they certainly may not be able to know everyone; however, they will have the opportunity to develop many friendships. They can choose to eat meals in their room or join others in the dining room. This gives them a chance to meet more people. The larger facility has the ability to provide other services to the residents such as weekly trips to various stores in the area or even field trip type events. Many activities are on schedule and they can choose to participate as they like. Being in a larger facility will require that they still be independent; however, nurses and staff are available to assist them when needed.

Caring for Parents may not always be an option. If they have health problems that you are unable to manage or that require services that you are not able to provide at home, a nursing home may be the option that should be considered. Most of us have heard the horror stories of things that happen in nursing homes. That is why it is very important to do research in your area before selecting the nursing home you will move the parent to. Ask other people you know that have gone through this process for input. They may either be able to recommend a good facility in the area or tell you which facility not to go to.

It is highly recommend that you contact the assisted living facility or nursing home to schedule a meeting to tour the building. Prepare a list of questions before hand to ensure that nothing will be forgotten. I would also suggest that you arrive at the facility on another day after your tour to witness first hand how things are going when they are not expecting a visitor. Let's admit it, when you are expecting the company you will make sure everything is perfect. I am sure you have everything clean, laundry put away and have made sure that everyone will be on their best behavior.

Maybe you can try showing up unannounced during the lunch hour. This is usually the most stressful time due to all the activity. Most of the residents will be out and about and the staff members will be helping several people at a time. This time will enable you to witness first hand how they handle these times and how they talk to the residents. It is very important to know how the residents are treated.

I hope this has given you something to think about and has helped you in your decision process.

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Caring for Aging Parents? What Do You Do Now?

Caring for aging parents can be quite challenging. Where should you begin? Today, let's talk about what would happen if it became unsafe for them to live alone. How would you determine when that day comes?

Maybe it becomes unsafe when they become weak and are unstable when they are walking. Have you noticed them holding onto walls or furniture as they walk. Many older people do not want to admit when they need a cane or walker. They look at this as an outward side that they are old. Well, let's admit it, they are. But, this is hard for them to accept much less to admit. A cane or walker tells everyone that they see that they are less independent.

Walkers today can be quite trend setters. When caring for aging parents you will become more aware of what is available as you see what others are using. You might suggest a rolling walker with an attached seat. This is very useful when walking a longer distance than they can actually tolerate because it provides them a place to sit down instantly. The walkers also come with a basket in front or under the seat for storage so they can carry items with them. This eliminates the risk of falling when they try to carry things. Aging parents often give this reason as to not wanting to use a walker; therefore, the rolling walker with a seat and storage automatically gives a solution to that problem.

As you are caring for aging parents you should also include a health care professional with the ability to teach them how to properly use the walker or cane. A physical therapist can be utilized in an out patient setting or in the home for those who are homebound. The physical therapist will teach them proper body mechanisms and safety issues to consider when using the cane or walker.

When caring for older parents you also need to consider if a decline in their memory is becoming a safety issue. Think of what could happen if mom is cooking, leaves the room and forgings about the frying pan she started to heat up to cook some eggs or fried chicken. If she already put grease in the pan, we have a real problem. Mom could fall asleep watching television and not wake up until the kitchen is on fire, smoke is bellowing through the house and the sirens are blaring up the street. At the very least, the best case scenario may be, she walks in to realize she left the pan on, grabs the handle and burns her hand. We do not want to think the worst, but in reality, this could really happen. How will you protect your aging parent from a situation like this?

Now is the time to plan ahead on what your solution will be when this time comes. Talk to your parents now to ask them what their wishes would be. Getting their input on what they desire will make this time of decisions much easier when you find yourself caring for older parents.

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3 Important Duties To Perform When Caring for Your Parents

1. Keeping track of their medications can be done by maintaining a list which includes each medication including the date it was prescribed, by which physician, how often they are to take it. This list should be taken to each doctor's appointment in order for every physician to be aware of all the medications that they are taking. On occasion patients have been prescribed similar medicines when the doctor was not aware of all of the medications being taken. It is very important that you always be all medications or a complete list of the medications to each appointment.

2. Caring for parents will also include managing physician appointments. This can be done by keeping a large desk calendar available for them to keep track of the appointments. When an appointment is made it can be documented on the calendar. This is especially important if memory problems are an issue. They can always refer to the calendar if they have any question. The calendar can also be used for other important dates such as birthday's and anniversary dates. Of course, you will also need to keep your own calendar for their appointments if you will be required to accompany them to the appointment or to just give a reminder call to make sure they will make the appointment. Some parents may elect to go to appointments alone. This is primarily to ensure their privacy and is another way they maintain control and independence. It is highly recommended that you go with them if at all possible especially if they have memory problems and may not recall important information.

3. Keeping track and paying their bills is another task required when caring for parents. Utilizing the desk calendar will be helpful. As bills arrive in the mail, the date they are due can be written on the calendar. It is also helpful if a designated place is used to place the mail. This will help avoid any mail being misplaced causing a bill not to be paid. This will be helpful to both your parents and yourself. As the bills are paid, you can indicate that on the calendar and even write down a confirmation number. This way they will continue to feel involved in the financial matters by being able to check the calendar and confirm that it has been taken care of.

As you can see there is much involved when caring for parents. Perhaps the best suggestion I can make to you is to maintain good records. Whether it is keeping up with medications, scheduling physician appointment or simply paying the bills, everything is important and good organization will help make everything run smoothly.

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There Are Many Options to Consider When Caring for Aging Parents (Part 1)

There are different aspects to consider when you are caring for aging parents. Will they be able to remain in their own home, benefit from an assisted living facility, or require a nursing home?

If your parents are independent and can remain in their home safely, there are several options available to them if they do require some type of assistance. It is very important for the elderly to stay in their own home. For many it may be the only home they have had for many years and do not want to leave a familiar environment. They have developed many good memories in their home and it is important to them to stay.

How can caring for parents be made easier? Home health services can be utilized if your parents have developed any type of health concerns that may require monitoring. A visiting nurse will come by periodically to check on them and educate them about their disease process. Physical therapy can also be provided in the home. Therapy can assist those who have become weak to gain strength. Therapy is very beneficial in the recovery after a stroke or surgery. Therapy sessions are limited, but they are intended to educate the patient and family members on what exercises will be beneficial and how to perform them safely. To receive the best benefits from this service the patient should perform the exercises themselves on the days that the therapist is not scheduled to come. Once therapy sessions are complete they will be able to continue on their own.

If they have difficulty performing daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, laundry or grocery shopping they may qualify for a provider. This is based on income and the type of insurance they have. A provider is limited to services which do not require direct patient care.

Caring for parents may include moving them to an assisted living facility. This type of facility can be as small as a personal care home where they live in a private home with as few as four to ten people. The size of this home will depend on the square footage of the home, the number of bedrooms and what the home has been licensed to accommodate by the state. The advantage of this smaller facility is being in a regular home environment, receiving more personal care and knowing the fellow residents more personally. The staff is available to assist in taking medications or simply provide reminders to them. They also provide sit down, family style meals that will accommodate any special diets required due to health reasons.

Please read (Part 2) of this article to find out about a few more of the options that are available.

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Caregiver Health Includes Good Body Mechanics, Good Nutrition, and Adequate Rest

Good body mechanics is an important aspect of caregiver health. Pushing, pulling, bending, and lifting all take a toll on the body. We have all heard this since our health class in high school, but do we pay attention to what we have learned. Always have the patient participate as much as possible, whether needing help to stand, walk or reposition themselves in bed. This is actually good for the patient as well. The more they try to do on their own the better. It will help them retain their strength longer. If the patient is ambulatory, but needs help to get in the standing position, the caregiver should stand in front of them with their feet positioned shoulder width apart.

This gives the caregiver better control. Using a gait belt is always beneficial in caregiver health. When the patient wears a gait belt the caregiver can hold onto it instead of the patients clothing which is not safe. While standing in front of the patient with feet shoulder width apart the caregiver can reach around the patient grasping the gait belt while having the patient place their arms around the caregiver's neck. As the caregiver bends at the knee, pressure is taken off the lower back as they lift. This will enable the patient to stand easier and leave the caregiver holding onto the gait belt until the patient becomes steady on their feet.

If the patient is non-weight bearing, they may still be able to help repositioning in bed. If the caregiver is giving a bed bath or changing the patient while lying in bed, they can have the patient roll from side to side as they are capable. The patient may also be able to lift the hips to move over. Ask the patient to help when possible to aid caregiver health. Remember the patient should always do as much as possible to help keep up their strength and to protect the caregiver's back.

Good nutrition is not only important for the patient, but also for the caregiver. Poor nutrition can be a result from simply skipping meals. The caregiver should never be too busy to eat. Skipping meals will only cause poor immunity and reduced energy. In order to prevent this problem the caregiver should follow the following suggestions. Start the day before the shift begins by eating a good breakfast. Include foods that are high in protein such as eggs, and lean meats. Eating does not always mean you have to sit down to enjoy a meal. Caregivers should try healthy snacks available to eat. These snacks could include peanuts, celery with peanut butter, fruit, or a tuna fish sandwich.

Caregiver health can be insured by maintaining adequate rest. Getting a full eight hours of sleep each night is very important. If the caregiver is not able to get enough sleep at night, then they should take advantage of getting rest when the patient is sleeping. The family and / or caregiver can also make arrangements for respect care. This could be by having an alternate caregiver come to treat the regular caregiver for a few days. Respect care is also available through an Assisted Living facility.

Remember, good caregiver health will be ensured if you remember to maintain good body mechanics, good nutrition and adequate rest.

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Cancer Causing Products in Your Everyday Life

You may not be aware of it, but you are using a lot of cancer causing products in your everyday life, and you are not alone.

The average individual is exposed to cancer causing agents, which is known in the scientific community as “carcinogens” through a plethora of factors that may include lifestyle factors, medical treatments, pollution, and other harmful elements that naturally occur in the environment we are part of. While avoiding every form of carcinogen is close to impossible, one could always find effective ways to decrease exposure to a level which would not be a threat to general health.

The Carcinogens You Meet in Everyday Life

Much of the cancer causing products which contribute to higher risks include lifestyle-dependent choices present in the food that we consume or the substances that we ingest. If you are a smoker, then you would know that tobacco is responsible for lung cancer even for the people around you who suffer from second hand smoke. Several studies have also led to declare some specific food groups, even the most common ones like sugar and salt to be carcinogenic. On the contrary, others would depend on the preparation involved, such as charred food, for example.

Carcinogens in the Environment

It should also be noted that the environment is also responsible for many of the carcinogens that could affect our lives. Ultraviolet light, for example, is said to be highly carcinogenic, as well as radon gas and other naturally occurring substances that you just could not avoid. We could also blame the environment for certain medicines we ingest in order to battle illnesses admitted though environmental factors, given how certain medicines have proven to be carcinogenic in nature as well.

Carcinogens in Your Household

There are many cancer causing products right in your home and you can control these carcinogens. You see, where you shop is how you can control the poisons in your home. Most all store brand products are toxic and poisonous yet they are allowed to be sold to the consumer. It is mind boggling that these products are not banned from the home. Everything from soaps to health care to cleaning products and much much more. You need to shop smart to protect your family by finding a company that has nontoxic and healthy products. I have found one that has been around since 1985, well before green was even thought about. It's time that you learn about this company also.

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Helping Seniors – It Takes a Village

There is an African saying that says “it takes a village to raise a child,” but in reality it takes a village to get through life and our senior years can be our most challenging.

Being alone or even feeling alone as a youth does not compare to outliving your friends and family. I have a friend who is 89 years young and has no relatives that he can speak of. He never married and had no children and he moved a lot. When we are younger we say we'll get to that, but in his case he did not. Now he lives in a nursing home, which he considers to be a death trap. He says “no one leaves walking.” He lives for visits and outings which are hard at times for people with full lives, so we came up with a solution, it takes a village.

A group of us put together a face book page for our friend. On this page we are able to do a lot of things to enhance his life and to make our lives easier and free from seeming guilt. We schedule days to visit him so we know he will have company. We also arrange play dates where he can go see an exhibition or a movie or just enjoy a few hours in the park. Others give him rides to church and other fun outings that he has planned. We also document stories that he tells us from his life, some of which are very funny and poignant. Everyone gives as much as they can, when they can. Then we post pictures for memories which serves us all to remember the joy in celebrating life.

This process has taught us all a very powerful lesson, one being if you take care of yourself, you will become a senior one day. The second lesson is we do not have to be alone. When we are open to talking to others, we will have company. When we take the time to ask for assistance we can be assisted. I also believe if we are living a good life, which is a life where we are kind to others. A life in which we provided service to someone or to some organization, the universe will take care of you. None of were put here to be alone. We learn when we are in various forms of relationships and we are never too old to learn. When a village comes together to help one person life is a learning fulfilling experience for all.

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