Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider

Top factors and features to consider in selecting a portable air conditioner

 

 

It’s that time of year again, the weathers starting to get warmer so it’s time to put away the heater and start thinking about how you’re going to cool down this summer.

Nothing saves money better than a portable air conditioner, and we’re here to help you pick out the right unit. They’re perfect for areas in apartments or offices because they are compact, easy to maneuver, convenient to use, and most importantly, energy-efficient.

They can be used in various spaces to make any room cooler, tolerable, and comfortable.

 

 

 

Deciding on Your BTU Requirements:

The power of your portable air conditioner is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). The higher the BTU, the more cooling power your unit will have. The amount of BTUs needed to cool the room goes up with room size. Consider the square footage of the room you would like cooled, and decide on the right number of BTUs for perfect ventilation.

 

Here’s how to calculate your BTUs:

  • Step 1: Calculate the room’s square footage by multiplying its length by its width.
  • Step 2: Verify the size of the window opening for venting.
  • Step 3: Check the plug type and electrical requirements of your room.

 

Example: 

If your room measures 30 feet by 30 feet, your BTU will be 12,000:

20′ x 20′ = 400 square feet

400 square feet = at least 12,000 BTUs

As such, if your room measures 400 square feet, you will need a portable air conditioner that offers 12,000 BTUs of cooling.

 

Some exceptions may also apply, such as:

  • For second story homes or especially sunny areas, add the BTU amount by 10%
  • For shaded areas, reduce the BTUs by 10%
  • For each additional person over two persons in a room, add 600 BTUs
  • To cool a kitchen, add 4,000 BTUs  (there nothing more off putting when cooking than being to warm)

 

The following are general guidelines for the maximum room size and the coinciding BTU’s that are typically recommended for portable air conditioners (note that the figures in the chart are estimates based on average room conditions in a moderate climate).

  

 

Desired Features:

Other considerations when picking out a portable air conditioner include controls, noise level, or energy efficiency. All that matters is your preference and the area you need cooled.

 

Here’s a list of important features that you may want in your portable AC unit:

Portability: does the unit have sturdy and durable wheels to be pushed from room to room, or a handle to easily lift and place elsewhere.

Ventilation: All portable air conditioners are built to be vented to the outside and need to be placed within a few feet of a window or vent. Some units also have a hose system that vents the compressor separately to provide even more efficient cooling.

Airflow: With a fan, an AC unit is able to circulate air efficiently. Look for units that oscillate and have adjustable airflow for truly great air circulation.

Temperature: Features with timers or sleep modes are convenient. It won’t use more energy longer than you want the unit on.

Noise Level: If you’re going to be using the air conditioner in a bedroom, office, or children’s room, it’s important to pay special attention to the volume each portable air conditioner produces. Particularly if you want a good night’s sleep.

Controls: Some portable AC units either have a remote control or digital controls available. Remote controls are convenient because you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own chair.  If you’re not so tech savvy, it’s best to opt for the simplest settings of digital.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER): EER is calculated by dividing your BTU by the wattage used to achieve this cooling. The higher an EER, the more efficient the unit is at cooling. High EER ACs will save you money because they use less electricity to keep you cool.


Recommended: If you are thinking about a portable air conditioner, I highly recommend looking at the  NewAir units.

NewAir is a premier provider of custom built and luxury home appliances. They have been in business since 2002, and are a renowned leader in air quality control, and ice, wine and beverage cooling and freezing systems.

NewAir has set standards for home appliance manufacturers all over the US by creating high quality and reliable products that offer unprecedented performance and value.  Their products are stylish, efficient and eco-friendly.

 

A Simple Comparison of NewAir AC Units:

Below are a selection comparing  NewAir’s best selling portable air conditioners to help you make a choice based on the key areas that are important in a portable air conditioner, as well as compare these units to other brands you may be considering:

Capture12

NewAir Models details and reviews: 10100E, 12000E, 12000H, 14100H

 

Informational Video of the 12000E and 120000H units:


Remember that portable air conditioner must be placed near a window. The condensed hot air must be vented out of the room with a hose to be slid into a window, and with the exhaust hose being fitted into the appropriate window space.

Air conditioners are useful in many different types of rooms and spaces thanks to their compact size and lack of installation.

 

 

Best Rooms for your Portable AC

 

Bedroom

Many portable air conditioners operate quietly, so you can have a peaceful nights sleep. If you share a room, then its even more beneficial, as the more people in a room, the warmer it is.

 

Office

When you’re sitting down all day, it’s easy to become uncomfortable and fidgety. Portable ACs are perfect to cool down any office because of their mobility, size, and low level noises.

 

Office

Most dorm rooms do not come with any central air or heating system. Sometimes not even a window. The size and no installation make it perfect to move-in with.

 

Living Room

It’s important to keep the air fresh, cool and and ventilating in the living room because that’s where more guests will relax. It will also save you a lot of money instead of a central AC unit with it’s energy efficiency.

 

Basement and Garage

Both areas can be difficult to work in when it’s suffering from warm, humid air. You’re going to need a cooling option and a portable air conditioner is a great alternative. Additionally, most portable air conditioners can also help to dehumidify the air.

 

Portable AC Maintenance

 

Portable Air Conditioners require less maintenance than any other alternative cooling system.

  • Your unit may collect a good amount of water in it’s bucket, which needs to be emptied periodically.
  • Other units have the ability to evaporate the moisture in which does not require any draining of water.
  • Most portable air conditioners can support the connection of a drain hose that allows water to be drained continuously, and there are even condensate pumps available which pump the water outside or into a drain pump located indoors.
  • The air filters eliminate airborne particles, and require bi-weekly or monthly cleaning or replacing in your portable AC.
  • If your portable air conditioner has a washable filter, slide the filter out, immerse it in warm water and detergent, rinse thoroughly, and let it dry before replacing it back into the unit.

 

After storing you portable air conditioner for the colder months, you will want to do some simple maintenance to get the unit ready for summer use:

 

Vacuum Out Dust and Debris

Before you plug your unit in, pop out the filter frames and remove the filters. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to clean out all the vents and louvers. Make sure you reach inside with the hose to suck up anything inside the air conditioner’s case. Unless you’ve kept it wrapped up in plastic, it will have some accumulated dust, and maybe the leavings of a few buggy friends who used your air conditioner for a winter home.

 

Cleaning the Coils

Clean condenser coils work more efficiently when free of dirt, grease and grime. If the coils in your unit look particularly grubby, you can clean them off with a store-bought coil-cleaning product, or a homemade acidic solution of vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water. Just spray it lightly onto the coils and let it sit a while to remove the dirt.

 

Clean or Replace the Filters

If you didn’t clean the filters before storing them, now is the time to do it. Most air conditioner filters are washable, so all you have to do is rinse them under warm water. Let them dry thoroughly before you put them back in the unit. Washing the filters is something you

should do every couple of weeks when you are using it regularly – dirty filters will impact air circulation, which means your AC won’t work as well.

If after you wash the filters, they still look dirty or worn, then it is time to replace them. Contact the manufacturer for fresh filters, to ensure your indoor air is clean and breathable.  Usually, filters need to be replaced about once a year.

The activated carbon filters might need to be replaced a little more frequently, depending on your circumstances. Since these filters are designed to remove odors from the air, if you have pets or do a lot of cooking then you might have to change them once a month or so to experience their full benefit.

 

Washing the Exterior

Washing the exterior of your portable air conditioner  is the easiest part of cleaning it. Just use a soft cloth and warm water. If necessary, you can use a mild cleanser – dish soap, for example – but avoid any cleansers that have abrasives in them, as it could scratch up the plastic casing and leaving it looking worse than when you started.

 

Once everything is cleaned and put back together, it’s time to take your air conditioner for a quick test drive. You can do this before you install the exhaust hose and window kit for the summer, just to make sure everything is operating correctly.  Basically, turn it on for 5 or 10 minutes and make sure it is blowing cold air.

 

Related:

Keep Your Elder Safe in Hot Weather

Important Tips to Keep Your Senior Hydrated

Get Your Barbecue Ready For The Season

Healthy Ideas for the Grill and Barbecue

Air Purifiers for COPD

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Keep Your Elder Safe in Hot Weather


Summer weather can pose special health risks to older adults and people with chronic medical conditions.

Here’s what you need to know about keeping your loved one staying safe and comfortable while enjoying the warm weather.

 

Elderly people (people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:

  • Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
  • They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
  • They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

It is critically important that adults particularly susceptible to hyperthermia and other heat-related illnesses know how to safeguard against problems. Hyperthermia is caused by a failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body.

Heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after prolonged exposure to the heat), heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are forms of hyperthermia … older adults are at risk for these conditions, and this risk can increase with the combination of higher temperature, individual lifestyle and general health.

Lifestyle factors can include not drinking enough fluids, living in housing without air conditioning, lack of mobility and access to transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places and not understanding how to respond to hot weather conditions.

Older people, particularly those with chronic medical conditions, should stay indoors in cooler spaces on hot and humid days, especially when an air pollution alert is in effect.

People without air conditioners should go to places that do have air conditioning, such as senior centers, shopping malls, movie theaters and libraries.

Cooling centers, which may be set up by local public health agencies, religious groups and social service organizations in many communities, are another option.

See Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider

 

Factors that increase the risk of hyperthermia may include:

 

  • Dehydration.
  • High blood pressure or other health conditions that require changes in diet. For example, people on salt-restricted diets may be at increased risk. However, salt pills should not be used without first consulting a doctor.
  • Heart, lung and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever.
  • Use of multiple medications. It is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.
  • Reduced sweating, caused by medications such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers and certain heart and blood pressure drugs.
  • Alcohol use.

 

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down. Body temperatures rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Warning signs vary but may include the following:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

 

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Warning signs vary but may include the following:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Skin: may be cool and moist
  • Pulse rate: fast and weak
  • Breathing: fast and shallow

 

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

You can follow these prevention tips to protect yourself from heat-related stress:

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. (If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink when the weather is hot. Also, avoid extremely cold liquids because they can cause cramps.)
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.

 

Recommended: Lethmik Women’s Wide Brim Summer Hat, available in 11 color combinations!

Warm Weather Suggestion

On a hot summer’s day, a misting fan can be your loved one’s best friend, and provide insurance against heat risks. It works on the same principle of a humidifier, and its a great, inexpensive option for when and where you don’t have air conditioning.  Even in air-conditioned conditions, the misting fan helps to keep the moisture balance in the air, making it more comfortable and less irritating to the throat and eyes.

 

A misting fan blows a fine mist of water into the air and if the air isn’t humid, the mist evaporates, taking heat from the air with it. This allows the misting fan to work like an air cooler. In a dry climate, a misting fan can work very well outdoors.

I recommend the Designer Aire Indoor/Outdoor Misting Fan

 

 

  • Its beautiful styling to accent any indoor or outdoor living space
  • It is safe to leave outdoors: ETL “Wet Listed” safety rating with GFCI
  • The weight painted bases provide stability for windy conditions
  • The telescoping neck piece is height-adjustable

 

What You Can Do to Help Protect Elderly Relatives and Neighbors

If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, you can help them protect themselves from heat-related stress:

Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Encourage them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level.

Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.

Take them to air-conditioned locations if they have transportation problems.

 

What You Can Do for Someone With Heat Stress

If you see any signs of severe heat stress, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency.

Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the affected person.

Do the following:

  • Get the person to a shady area.
  • Cool the person rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the person in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the person with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101°–102°F
  • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the person alcohol to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

Important Tips to Keep Your Senior Hydrated

Plan Summer Outings With Your Senior

Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider

Stroke – What You Need to Know

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Choosing a Transport Chair

Choosing a Walking Cane

Choosing a Medical Walker

Allergy Medications – Know All the Options

Easy Home First Aid Kit

Get Your Barbecue Ready For The Season

Healthy Ideas for the Grill and Barbecue

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Caregivers Can Reduce Risks of Heavy Lifting

Caregivers Can Reduce Risks of Heavy Lifting

 

 

 

A caregiver has more to be concerned about than merely the well-being of their loved one; their own emotional and physical state must be a priority.

Part of a caregiver’s self care is learning how to safely transfer a loved one, whether between chairs, beds and baths.

Many opportunities are available for a caregiver to injure themselves during such tasks, and consequently be of no help to the one they must assist.

 

Much of a caregiver’s work may include daily routines such as bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, feeding and others. Excessive bending and lifting are physically demanding, and can make a caregiver feel tired and taxed.

Muscle tension, backaches, sore neck and headaches are only a few side effects of a caregiver’s job. As author Mary King says in Caregiver Safety for Moving & Managing Patients, “Sore muscles are one thing, but a chronic back injury, painful hernia or ruptured disc can cause major problems beyond the medical complications.” 

A caregiver can learn how to efficiently help a loved one with some simple lifting, transfer and assistance tools.

 

 

Safe Lifting For Caregivers

No matter a caregiver’s strength and physical endurance, without proper lifting techniques, the rest is useless. The first tool for a safe lifting experience is making a plan! Never go into a transfer without first “walking” through it mentally.

A caregiver should know where they are going and how to get there.  Have the person positioned properly. Make sure the area is clear and free from interference. Position any assistive equipment in order to provide the optimal support to both caregiver and person being assisted.

 

The Importance of a Gait Belt

 

Example: Vive Transfer Belt

 

A gait belt is an assistive device which can be used to help safely transfer a person from a bed to a wheelchair, assist with sitting and standing, and help with walking around.

It is secured around the waist to allow a caregiver to grasp the belt to assist in lifting or moving a person.

Proper use of a gait belt can reduce the struggles involved with this task and lower the risk of back injury. 

 

 

When used properly, the belt protects the care recipient from falling and also protects the caregiver from injuring his or her back as they lift or move the care recipient.

 

A gait belt is usually 1-½ to 4 inches wide, and 54-60 inches long. The belt is made out of canvas, nylon, or leather with a buckle at one end. You can purchase a gait belt at medical supply stores, large pharmacies, online (e.g. Amazon), or even stores like Walmart.

A standard gait belt has a metal buckle that has loops and teeth. Thread the belt through the teeth of the buckle and then put the belt through the loop to lock it.

A quick-release gait belt has a plastic buckle that snaps into place to clip the two ends together.

 

 

 

http://www.wrightstuff.biz/assets/images/categories/gait-transfer-belts-slings-1.jpg

A gait belt should always be used if the care recipient is partially dependent and has some weight-bearing capacity.

 

 

Here are some benefits of using a gait belt:

 

  • Provides assistance to the caregiver in moving an individual from one place to another. Gait belts can also be used to help raise a care recipient without straining the back.
  • Allows a caregiver to help stabilize a care recipient who loses his or her balance while walking. The belt acts as a handle that allows a caregiver to easily grasp onto the belt and stabilize the care recipient.
  • Helps protect the care recipient and caregiver from unnecessary injuries.

 

Be extra careful if the care recipient has a feeding tube, catheter, or medical issues involving their abdominal area. Consult with a physician about proper lifting under these conditions to find out if using a gait belt is safe.

You can find a wide variety of gait belts on the market.   I particularly like the Vive Gait Belt; it’s strong enough to handle bariatric weights, has six padded waist handles for gripping from any angle, and a quick-release buckle.

For proper lifting techniques, I recommend the book Caregiver’s Handbook, profiled in this article below, which has excellent detailed diagrams and tutorials on lifting and transfers.  

 

Some Basic Lifting Tips:

 

  • Make a plan.
  • Do not over exert.
  • Stand close with your legs shoulder-width apart to keep balanced.
  • Bend your knees as far as comfortable.
  • Let your legs do the work: Lift with your leg and back muscles.
  • Lift slowly; do not jerk.
  • Avoid twisting.
  • Don’t bend at the waist, but keep your back and neck straight
  • Face the person you are helping, positioning them close to you
  • Wear support, non-skid shoes
  • Never have someone grab your neck for assistance.

 

 

 

The Transfer Process

 

If a loved one is in bed (one of the most common and challenging transfers) and needs help moving to a different location, the process below is a step-by-step instructional.

If transferring to a wheelchair, the chair needs to be parallel to the bed, and the wheels of the chair locked. Before touching a loved one and performing any movement, it’s important that a caregiver explain what they are going to do.

After a short explanation, eliminating any surprises, the next step is getting the person to a seated position. If they are not strong enough to do this independently, a caregiver can place one arm under their loved one’s legs and the other arm under their back and lift up. They must lift from the legs, not back. Then, pivot and swing both legs over the edge of the bed.

If applicable and able, always transfer the person to their stronger side. An example the Strength for Caring Web site gives is if a loved one has had right hip surgery, they will most likely be able to help the most if transferred to the left.

Next, a caregiver should instruct and assist the loved one to scoot to the edge of the bed. Let a loved one use as much strength as they can to help themselves. A caregiver can then use the gait belt, by placing their arms around the loved one’s hips and grabbing to the belt.

Helen Pereira, a physical therapist, recommends asking a loved one to lean forward, bringing their weight over their feet. Use the belt and their strength to lift to the feet. A good hint here is for a caregiver to begin a rocking motion, to gain momentum. The caregiver should still be in front of the loved one while he or she is coming to a standing position and stabilizing his or her knees against those of the one being assisted. This provides the most stability for both participants. After lifting carefully together, then take small steps and lower to a sitting position in the chair, or other destination.

Practice makes perfect, and after a caregiver performs a few proper transfers, he or she will be a pro!

 

See Also: Safe Transferring from Wheelchair to Toilet

 

 

Patience

 

Patience is one thing a caregiver needs to have with any transfer.
The Family Caregiving Alliance (FCA) suggests that a caregiver allow their loved one to finish what they are doing before beginning a transfer.

Many times a caregiver will unintentionally rush because of their own pending commitments. This attitude is frustrating for a loved one who can sense another’s angst and hurried pace.  Especially if a loved one is memory or brain impaired, this sense of urgency must be curtailed. The FCA suggests a caregiver allows their loved one time, saying for example: “Mom, after you finish that last bite of cereal, we’re going to get you dressed and ready to see your friends.”

The other side of the emotional assistance a caregiver can show is respecting a loved one’s “reality”. Caregiving is a big responsibility and taking on transfers is no exception. It may take longer to get a loved one up and going for the day if they are confused, argumentative or just tired and not ready for the tasks at hand. As a caregiver, never force a situation. It will only make the transfer more challenging and tense, leaving room for error and injury.

Leave and come back after a few minutes, the FCA suggests. And, if a loved one still resists being transferred, a caregiver must weigh the pros and cons of moving forward. If it’s a simple question of taking a bath or not, it can probably wait another hour or even day. However, never leave a loved one in soiled undergarments, or lying down for hours at a time to develop bed sores. The loved one’s health is a priority!

 

 

Other Helpful Assistive Devices

 

Durable medical equipment is a big help with all transfers, of any kind.

In addition to gait belts, this kind of equipment includes products such as walking canes and walkers.  Often, having a stable object for a loved one to grasp and assist in standing is the key for a successful transfer.

See Also:

 

Many other important safety devices can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription, including raised toilet seats, plastic shower chairs, transfer discs or cushions, and portable seat lifts.  These items can provide invaluable assistance in daily activities for both the caregiver and the patient.
 
Pivot Disk
 
A pivot disc is an item that not every caregiver is aware of; it is designed for assisted or unassisted transfers by individuals with limited or no ability to pivot.
 

Individuals with upper body strength can use the Pivot Disc to accomplish independent transfers, and it’s an excellent caregiver assistance tool.

I recommend the Safety Sure® Pivot Disc (weight capacity: 400 lbs)

  
 
This video shows how to to use the pivot disc properly:

 

 

 

Bed Rails

 

A bed rail can also be particularly very useful for transfers from bed to a walker, wheelchair, or simply to a standing position.

To make sure bed rails are appropriate for your situation, read my post Risks of Bed Rails:  Should You Install Them?

 

 

 

 

The Able Lift Bedside Rail is a good choice, is height-adjustable to fit any bed, and has the ability to support up to 300 lbs.  The organizer pouch is handy addition.

 

Example: Able Lift Bedside Rail With Pouch

 

 

The Universal Stand Assist, also by Able, is like a bed rail for chairs.  It can be used to stand more easily from most couches, chairs, or recliners.  It is height-adjustable, and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.

Universal Stand Assist

 

Mechanical Lifting Cushion

 

Another accessory a mechanical lifting cushion, can be very helpful. The UPEASY Seat Assist is a mechanical lifting cushion that will ease an individual into their seat, as well as help them up. Its lifting action releases gently as they begin to stand, lifting up to 80% of their body weight, as needed. 

The Seat Assist requires no electricity to operate, so it’s convenient to take everywhere you go. It’s also adaptable to fit most armchairs and sofas, so it can be quite handy to have one of these in the home, to use when and where needed.

 

Uplift UPEASY Liftchair Lift Chair Liftup Seat UPE 3
UPEASY Seat Assist
 

 

 

Patient Resistance to New Devices is Common

 

Sometimes introducing a new assistive device makes people uneasy. If a loved one resists any assistance or assistive devices, a caregiver may need to have a conversation with them, explaining the risks to both people if these tools are not used. It is important for your loved one to feel in control and that they are making independent decisions for their care.

 

 

Don’t Do it Alone

 

A caregiver can and should rely on the strength of their loved one to assist in lifting and transferring. Solicit your loved one’s help by having them shift their weight, move their arms to make the assisting easier, or push up with the strength they do still possess.

Remember that a small amount of help from the one being transferred equals a lot less work for a caregiver.

If a loved one is unable to help and too heavy for one person to life, seek help. A caregiver should never put themselves in harm’s way during a transfer. 

If it’s a non-emergency situation and a caregiver finds themselves unable to physically assist a loved one, they should call the local fire department and request a “fireman’s assist,” says the Family Caregiving Alliance. The local squad will come to the house and help. And, of course, in any emergency, call 911.

A caregiver who remains calm and collected, explains the process to their loved one, and uses simple safety measures will be able to complete almost any transfer with ease.  Soon they will be moving a loved one with confidence and control.

CAREGIVERS HANDBOOK
If it’s a non-emergency situation and a caregiver finds themselves unable to physically assist a loved one, they should call the local fire department and request a “fireman’s assist,” says the Family Caregiving Alliance. The local squad will come to the house and help. And, of course, in any emergency, call 911.

A caregiver who remains calm and collected, explains the process to their loved one, and uses simple safety measures will be able to complete almost any transfer with ease.  Soon they will be moving a loved one with confidence and control.

Suggested:  Caregiver’s Handbook. This is acompassionate and comprehensive resource for anyone who needs to take care of an elderly person at home, the Caregiver’s Handbook is an invaluable reference that offers constructive, illustrated guidance for first time and beginning caregivers, including information on essential first aid, advice on selecting professional help when needed, and dealing with a variety of common conditions.  Read reviews.

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Choose Adaptive Clothing

Tips For Easier Senior Car Travel

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which One is Better?

Helping Your Older Adult Move From Wheelchair to Toilet

Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Safety Grab Bars and Hand Rails for the Bathroom

Risks of Bed Rails – Should You Install Them?

Caregivers and Morbid Obesity Issues

Dealing With Caregiver Anxiety

The Drunk Caregiver

Would a Power Lift Chair Help in Your Home?

Caregivers Must Prepare for Emergencies – Here’s How

Patient Lifts and Slings for Safety and Comfort

10 Simple Products to Help With Getting Dressed

Guide to Power Lift Chairs

How to Prevent Bed Sores

Patient Lifts and Slings for Safety and Comfort

Find the Right Power Wheelchair

Choosing a Transport Chair

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Caring For Diabetic Feet

Caring For Diabetic Feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents several diseases in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the body’s ability to fight infection.

When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely.

Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious.

 

  • With damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his or her feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired. These factors together can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and can lead to breakdown of the skin of the foot. Sores may develop.
  • People with diabetes must be fully aware of how to prevent foot problems before they occur, to recognize problems early, and to seek the right treatment when problems do occur. Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, prevention – including good control of blood sugar level – remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications.
  • Damage to blood vessels and impairment of the immune system from diabetes make it difficult to heal these wounds. Bacterial infection of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and bones can then occur. These infections can develop into gangrene. Because of the poor blood flow, antibiotics cannot get to the site of the infection easily. Often, the only treatment for this is amputation of the foot or leg. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, this process can be life-threatening.
  • People with diabetes should learn how to examine their own feet and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of diabetic foot problems.
  • They should also learn what is reasonable to manage routine at home foot care, how to recognize when to call the doctor, and how to recognize when a problem has become serious enough to seek emergency treatment.

 

 

 

Risks to the Diabetic Foot

 

Several risk factors increase a person with diabetes chances of developing foot problems and diabetic infections in the legs and feet.

 

 

Footwear

Poorly fitting shoes are a common cause of diabetic foot problems.

If the patient has red spots, sore spots, blisters, corns, calluses, or consistent pain associated with wearing shoes, new properly fitting footwear must be obtained as soon as possible.

If the patient has common foot abnormalities such as flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes, prescription shoes or shoe inserts may be necessary.

 

Nerve damage

People with long-standing or poorly controlled diabetes are at risk for having damage to the nerves in their feet. The medical term for this is peripheral neuropathy.

Because of the nerve damage, the patient may be unable to feel their feet normally. Also, they may be unable to sense the position of their feet and toes while walking and balancing. With normal nerves, a person can usually sense if their shoes are rubbing on the feet or if one part of the foot is becoming strained while walking.

A person with diabetes may not properly sense minor injuries (such as cuts, scrapes, blisters), signs of abnormal wear and tear (that turn into calluses and corns), and foot strain. Normally, people can feel if there is a stone in their shoe, then remove it immediately. A person who has diabetes may not be able to perceive a stone. Its constant rubbing can easily create a sore.

 

Poor circulation

Especially when poorly controlled, diabetes can lead to accelerated hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. When blood flow to injured tissues is poor, healing does not occur properly.

 

Trauma to the foot

Any trauma to the foot can increase the risk for a more serious problem to develop.

 

Infections

Athlete’s foot, a fungal infection of the skin or toenails, can lead to more serious bacterial infections and should be treated promptly.

Ingrown toenails should be handled right away by a foot specialist. Toenail fungus should also be treated.

 

Smoking

Smoking any form of tobacco causes damage to the small blood vessels in the feet and legs. This damage can disrupt the healing process and is a major risk factor for infections and amputations. The importance of smoking cessation cannot be overemphasized.

 

 

 

 

Diabetic Foot Symptoms

 

  • Persistent pain can be a symptom of sprain, strain, bruise, overuse, improperly fitting shoes, or underlying infection.
  • Redness can be a sign of infection, especially when surrounding a wound, or of abnormal rubbing of shoes or socks.
  • Swelling of the feet or legs can be a sign of underlying inflammation or infection, improperly fitting shoes, or poor venous circulation. Other signs of poor circulation include the following:
    • Pain in the legs or buttocks that increases with walking but improves with rest (claudication)
    • Hair no longer growing on the lower legs and feet
    • Hard shiny skin on the legs

 

See Also: Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet and Stasis Dermatitis Leg and Foot Condition

 

  • Localized warmth can be a sign of infection or inflammation, perhaps from wounds that won’t heal or that heal slowly.
  • Any break in the skin is serious and can result from abnormal wear and tear, injury, or infection. Calluses and corns may be a sign of chronic trauma to the foot. Toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, and ingrown toenails may lead to more serious bacterial infections.
  • Drainage of pus from a wound is usually a sign of infection. Persistent bloody drainage is also a sign of a potentially serious foot problem.
  • A limp or difficulty walking can be sign of joint problems, serious infection, or improperly fitting shoes.
  • Fever or chills in association with a wound on the foot can be a sign of a limb-threatening or life-threatening infection.
  • Red streaking away from a wound or redness spreading out from a wound is a sign of a progressively worsening infection.
  • New or lasting numbness in the feet or legs can be a sign of nerve damage from diabetes, which increases a persons risk for leg and foot problems.

 

 

 

When to Seek Medical Care

 

Write down the patient’s symptoms and be prepared to talk about them on the phone with a doctor.

Following is a list of common reasons to call a doctor if a person with diabetes has a diabetic foot or leg problem. For most of these problems, a doctor visit within about 72 hours is appropriate:

  • Any significant trauma to the feet or legs, no matter how minor, needs medical attention. Even minor injuries can result in serious infections.
  • Persistent mild-to-moderate pain in the feet or legs is a signal that something is wrong. Constant pain is never normal.
  • Any new blister, wound, or ulcer less than 1 inch across can become a more serious problem. The patient will need to develop a plan with a doctor on how to treat these wounds.
  • Any new areas of warmth, redness, or swelling on the feet or legs are frequently early signs of infection or inflammation.
  • Addressing them early may prevent more serious problems.
  • Pain, redness, or swelling around a toenail could mean the patient has an ingrown toenail – a leading cause of diabetic foot infections and amputations. Prompt and early treatment is essential.
  • New or constant numbness in the feet or legs can be a sign of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy) or of impaired circulation in the legs. Both conditions put the patient at risk for serious problems such as infections and amputations.
  • Difficulty walking can result from diabetic arthritis (Charcot’s joints), often a sign of abnormal strain or pressure on the foot or of poorly fitting shoes, as well as the inability to perceive pain. Early intervention is key to preventing more serious problems including falls as well as lower extremity skin breakdown and infections.
  • Constant itching in the feet can be a sign of fungal infection or dry skin, both of which can lead to infection.
  • Calluses or corns developing on the feet should be professionally removed. Home removal is not recommended.
  • Fever, defined as a temperature over 98.6°F (37°C), in association with any other symptoms or even fever alone should prompt a call to a doctor’s office. The degree of fever does not always correlate with the seriousness of infection. The patient could have no fever or a very low fever and still have a serious infection. People with diabetes need to be especially cautious of fever.

If time and the patient’s condition permits, write down the patient’s symptoms, a list of medications, allergies to medicines, and the doctor’s name and phone number prior to coming to the hospital’s emergency department. This information will greatly assist the emergency physician in the evaluation and treatment of the patient’s problem.

 

 

Following are some common reasons to seek immediate medical attention for diabetic foot and leg problems.

 

  • Severe pain in the feet or legs is often a sign of acute loss of circulation to the leg, serious infection, or may be due to severe nerve damage (neuropathy).
  • Any cut to the feet or legs that bleeds significantly and goes all the way through the skin needs proper cleaning and repair to aid healing.
  • Any significant puncture wounds to the feet (for example, stepping on a nail or being bitten by a dog or cat) carry a high risk of becoming infected.
  • Wounds or ulcers that are more than about 1 inch across on the feet or legs are frequently associated with limb-threatening infections.
  • Redness or red streaks spreading away from a wound or ulcer on the feet or legs are a sign of infection spreading through the tissues.
  • Fever higher than 101.5°F (38.6°C) in association with redness, swelling, warmth, or any wound or ulcer on the legs may be a sign of a limb-threatening or life-threatening infection. If you are a person with diabetes and you simply have a fever more than 101.5°F (38.6°C), and no other symptoms, seek immediate care to determine the source of the fever and to initiate a plan of care. Because the degree of fever does not always correlate with the seriousness of the illness, people with diabetes should take even low-grade fevers [less than101.5°F (38.6°C)] very seriously and seek medical attention. The patient’s doctor may or may not prescribe antibiotics, since fevers are often due to viral infections, which typically do not require antibiotics.
  • Alteration in mental status (confusion) may be a sign of life-threatening infection that could lead to loss of a leg or foot, when associated with a leg wound or foot ulcer. Confusion may also be a sign of either very high or very low blood sugars, which are more common when infection is present.

 

 

 

Exams and Tests

 

Medical evaluation should include a thorough history and physical examination and may also include laboratory tests, x-ray studies of circulation in the legs, and consultation with specialists.

 

  • History and physical examination: First, the doctor will ask the patient questions about their symptoms and will examine them. This examination should include the patient’s vital signs (temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respiratory rate), examination of the sensation in the feet and legs, an examination of the circulation in the feet and legs, a thorough examination of any problem areas. For a lower extremity wound or ulcer, this may involve probing the wound with a blunt probe to determine its depth. Minor surgical debridement of the wound (cleaning or cutting away of tissue) may be necessary to determine the seriousness of the wound.
  • Laboratory tests: The doctor may decide to order a complete blood cell count, or CBC, which will assist in determining the presence and severity of infection. A very high or very low white blood cell count suggests serious infection. The doctor may also check the patient’s blood sugar either by fingerstick or by a laboratory test. Depending on the severity of the problem, the doctor may also order kidney function tests, blood chemistry studies (electrolytes), liver enzyme tests, and heart enzyme tests to assess whether other body systems are working properly in the face of serious infection.
  • X-rays: The doctor may order x-rays studies of the feet or legs to assess for signs of damage to the bones or arthritis, damage from infection, foreign bodies in the soft tissues. Gas in the soft tissues, indicates gangrene – a very serious, potentially life-threatening or limb-threatening infection.
  • Ultrasound: The doctor may order Doppler ultrasound to see the blood flow through the arteries and veins in the lower extremities. The test is not painful and involves the technician moving a non-invasive probe over the blood vessels of the lower extremities.
  • Consultation: The doctor may ask a vascular surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, or both to examine the patient. These specialists are skilled in dealing with diabetic lower extremity infections, bone problems, or circulatory problems.
  • Angiogram: If the vascular surgeon determines that the patient has poor circulation in the lower extremities, an angiogram may be performed in preparation for surgery to improve circulation. With an angiogram, a catheter is inserted through the artery in the groin and dye is injected while x-rays are taken. This allows the surgeon to see where the blockages are and plan an operation to bypass the blockages. This procedure is usually performed with local anesthesia and a light sedative given through a tube inserted in the patient’s vein (an intravenous or IV line).  

 

 

 

Self Care at Home

 

A person with diabetes should do the following:

 

  • Foot examination: Examine your feet daily and also after any trauma, no matter how minor, to your feet. Report any abnormalities to your physician. Use a water-based moisturizer every day (but not between your toes) to prevent dry skin and cracking. Wear cotton or wool socks. Avoid elastic socks and hosiery because they may impair circulation.
  • Eliminate obstacles: Move or remove any items you are likely to trip over or bump your feet on. Keep clutter on the floor picked up. Light the pathways used at night – indoors and outdoors.
  • Toenail trimming: Always cut your nails with a safety clipper, never a scissors. Cut them straight across and leave plenty of room out from the nailbed or quick. If you have difficulty with your vision or using your hands, let your doctor do it for you or train a family member how to do it safely.
  • Footwear: Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes whenever feasible to protect your feet. To be sure your shoes fit properly, see a podiatrist (foot doctor) for fitting recommendations or shop at shoe stores specializing in fitting people with diabetes. Your endocrinologist (diabetes specialist) can provide you with a referral to a podiatrist or orthopedist who may also be an excellent resource for finding local shoe stores. If you have flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes, you may need prescription shoes or shoe inserts.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise will improve bone and joint health in your feet and legs, improve circulation to your legs, and will also help to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
  • Smoking: If you smoke any form of tobacco, quitting can be one of the best things you can do to prevent problems with your feet. Smoking accelerates damage to blood vessels, especially small blood vessels leading to poor circulation, which is a major risk factor for foot infections and ultimately amputations.
  • Diabetes control: Following a reasonable diet, taking your medications, checking your blood sugar regularly, exercising regularly, and maintaining good communication with your physician are essential in keeping your diabetes under control. Consistent long-term blood sugar control to near normal levels can greatly lower the risk of damage to your nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels.

 

See Also: Your Guide to Type 2 Diabetes and Dealing With Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

 

 

 

Medical Treatment

 

  • Antibiotics: If the doctor determines that a wound or ulcer on the patient’s feet or legs is infected, or if the wound has high a risk of becoming infected, such as a cat bite,antibiotics will be prescribed to treat the infection or the potential infection. It is very important that the patient take the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed. Generally, the patient should see some improvement in the wound in two to three days and may see improvement the first day. For limb-threatening or life-threatening infections, the patient will be admitted to the hospital and given IV antibiotics. Less serious infections may be treated with pills as an outpatient. The doctor may give a single dose of antibiotics as a shot or IV dose prior to starting pills in the clinic or emergency department.
  • Referral to wound care center: Many of the larger community hospitals now have wound care centers specializing in the treatment of diabetic lower extremity wounds and ulcers along with other difficult-to-treat wounds. In these multidisciplinary centers, professionals of many specialties including doctors, nurses, and therapists work with the patient and their doctor in developing a treatment plan for the wound or leg ulcer. Treatment plans may include surgical debridement of the wound, improvement of circulation through surgery or therapy, special dressings, and antibiotics. The plan may include a combination of treatments.
  • Referral to podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon: If the patient has bone-related problems, toenail problems, corns and calluses, hammertoes, bunions, flat feet, heel spurs, arthritis, or have difficulty with finding shoes that fit, a physician may refer you to one of these specialists. They create shoe inserts, prescribe shoes, remove calluses and have expertise in surgical solutions for bone problems. They can also be an excellent resource for how to care for the patient’s feet routinely.
  • Home health care: The patient’s doctor may prescribe a home health nurse or aide to help with wound care and dressings, monitor blood sugar, and help the patient take antibiotics and other medications properly during the healing period.

 

 

 

Follow-Up

 

  • Read any instructions from the doctor while the patient are still in the emergency department or doctor’s office. Ask questions about any instructions you don’t understand. Follow all of your doctor’s or nurse’s instructions. Let a doctor know if the patient’s condition is not improving within a reasonable time.
  • Be sure to finish the entire course of antibiotics if prescribed by the doctor. Not finishing the entire course can lead to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.
  • Less pain, swelling, redness, warmth, or drainage are generally all signs of improvement in an infected wound. Shrinkage of the wound or ulcer is a good sign. Absence of fever is also generally a good sign. Generally, some improvement should occur within the first two to three days. Let a doctor know if the patient is not improving as expected.
  • Be especially vigilant about the patient’s diabetes care while they are healing a foot or leg infection. Good glycemic control is good not only for healing an ulcer the patient already has, but also for preventing future ulcers. Check blood sugar regularly and let a doctor know the pattern of low and high levels.

 

 

 

Prevention

Prevention of diabetic foot problems involves a combination of factors, including:

  • Regular leg and foot self-examinations
  • Regular exercise, if able
  • Avoiding injury by keeping footpaths clear
  • Having a doctor examine the patient’s feet at least once a year using a monofilament, a device made of nylon string that tests sensation

 

 

 

Important Points to Consider

 

  • Age: The older the patient, the more likely they are to have serious problems with the feet and legs. In addition to diabetes, circulatory problems and nerve damage are more common in the elderly person with diabetes. The elderly may also be more prone to sustaining minor trauma to the feet from difficulties with walking and stumbling over obstacles they cannot see.
  • Duration of diabetes: The longer the patient has had diabetes, the more likely they have developed one or more major risk factors for diabetic lower extremity problems.
  • Seriousness of infection: Infections that involve gangrene almost universally go on to amputation and also carry a high risk of death. Ulcers larger than about 1 inch across have a much higher risk of progressing on to limb amputation, even with proper treatment. Infections involving deep tissues and bone carry a much higher risk of amputation.
  • Quality of circulation: If blood flow is poor in the patient’s legs as a result of damage to the blood vessels from smoking or diabetes or both, it is much more difficult to heal wounds. The likelihood of more serious infection and amputation is greater.
  • Compliance with the treatment plan: How well the patient follows and participates in the treatment plan developed with doctors and nurses is crucial to the best recovery possible. Ask questions if any aspects of the care or treatment plan are unclear. Let the doctor know if something in the plan doesn’t seem to be working.
  • Wound care centers: A wound care center is an excellent resource if available. It brings together many specialists and approaches to aid in the treatment of the diabetic foot problem. These centers will often be able to offer the most up-to-date therapies and even may have experimental protocols available for people who have not responded to traditional therapy.
  • Individual physician and nurse skills: Ask about your doctor or nurse’s expertise in dealing with diabetic lower extremity problems. Knowledge about and experience with these problems may lead to earlier diagnosis and more appropriate therapy.

 

 

 

Be Proactive

 

Proactive diabetes management can go a long way toward reducing the risk of long term complications.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Shop for a Blood Glucose Meter

Best Glucose Meters Reviewed

Magnesium A Great Help for Diabetics

Vitamin D and Diabetes

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Introduction

Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet

Cure Toenail Fungus Naturally in 4 Weeks

The Fix for Cracked Heels

Stasis Dermatitis Leg and Foot Condition

Healthiest Supplement Drinks for Diabetics

Why Diabetics Need Extra Vitamin D

Find the Best Bathroom Scale for You

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Cure Toenail Fungus Naturally in 4 Weeks

 

Cure Toenail Fungus Naturally in 4 Weeks

 

 

 

Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails but usually not all of them.

 
If your condition is mild and not bothering you, you may not need treatment. If your nail fungus is painful and has caused thickened nails, self-care steps and medications can help (see below for my recommendation of a natural product which works for most people).

Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis (on-ih-koh-my-KOH-sis) and tinea unguium. When fungus infects the areas between your toes and the skin of your feet, it’s called athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).

 

 

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

 

You may have nail fungus if one or more of your nails are:

 

  • Thickened
  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged
  • Distorted in shape
  • Dull, with no shine
  • A dark color, caused by debris building up under your nail

 

Image result for yuck!

 

 

Infected nails also may separate from the nail bed, a condition called onycholysis (on-ih-KOL-ih-sis). You may feel pain in your toes or fingertips and detect a slightly foul odor.

 

 

Why Did You Get Toenail Fungus?

 

Nail fungal infections are typically caused by a dermatophyte fungus. Yeasts and molds also can be responsible for nail fungal infections.

Fungi are microscopic organisms that don’t need sunlight to survive. Some fungi have beneficial uses. Others cause illness and infection.

 
  • Fungi live in warm, moist environments, including swimming pools and showers
  • They can invade your skin through cuts so tiny you can’t even see them or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed
  • Nails can be especially prone to fungi problems if they are often exposed to warm and moist conditions

 

 

Toenails vs. fingernails

Nail fungus occurs more often in toenails than in fingernails, partly because:

  • Toenails often are confined in a dark, warm, moist environment — inside your shoes — where fungi can thrive
  • Toes usually have less blood flow than do fingers, making it harder for your body’s immune system to detect and stop infection

 

 

Factors that can increase your risk of developing nail fungus include:

 

  • Being older, owing to reduced blood flow, more years of exposure to fungi and slower growing nails
  • Perspiring heavily
  • Being male, especially if you have a family history of nail fungal infections
  • Working in a humid or moist environment or in a job where your hands are often wet, such as bar-tending or housekeeping
  • Wearing socks and shoes that hinder ventilation and don’t absorb perspiration
  • Living with someone who has nail fungus
  • Walking barefoot in damp communal areas, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
  • Having athlete’s foot
  • Having a minor skin or nail injury or a skin condition, such as psoriasis
  • Having diabetes, circulation problems, a weakened immune system or, in children, Down syndrome

 

 

What Can You Do to GET RID OF IT?!

 

 

Doctors will often recommend Oral antifungal drugs. 

Studies show the most effective treatments are terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part.

You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection.

Treatment success rates with these drugs appear to be lower in adults over age 65. And treatment success seems to improve when you combine oral and topical antifungal therapies.

Oral antifungal drugs may cause side effects ranging from skin rash to liver damage. You may need occasional blood tests to check on how you’re doing with these types of drugs. Doctors may not recommend them for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure or those taking certain medications.

 

For more severe cases, there are surgical and other treatments such as:

Nail removal. If your nail infection is severe or extremely painful, your doctor may suggest removing your nail. A new nail will usually grow in its place. But it will come in slowly and may take as long as a year to grow back completely. Sometimes surgery is used in combination with ciclopirox to treat the nail bed.

Laser and light-based therapies. More study is needed, but these methods — alone or with medications — may help your nails improve. One study tested the effectiveness of carbon-dioxide laser therapy combined with antifungal nail cream. Most of the 24 people in the study benefited from the treatment.

Laser and light-based therapies are not available everywhere, are expensive, and often are not covered by insurance.

 

In my research for a better option, I came across a natural product called Fungus Stop Anti fungal Nail Solution, which really stood out among the many remedies marketed to toenail fungus sufferers. 

Fungus Stop is made in Greece by a company called Zane Hellas, and is the #1 bestseller in Nail Fungus Treatments on Amazon, with numerous positive testimonials and photos included in its over 1,000 customer reviews.

 

The main active ingredient in Fungus Stop is Carvacrol. Carvacrol is an ingredient found in the highest content in Oregano Oil and is completely natural.

Carvacrol  has very strong antifungal properties and can completely eradicate toenail fungus.

Used since ancient times and there are many published scientific medical studies on the properties and effectiveness of Carvacrol Oregano Oil.

  • Fungus Stop also contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C to nourish the skin and nails.
  • Fungus Stop produces fast results in the appearance and color of the nails.
  • Treatment can be completed only in 4 Weeks with this highly effective maximum strength solution.
  • Fungus Stop is Clinically Proven and formulated at Therapeutic Grade strength.
  • Fungus Stop kills 99.9% of Nail Fungus.
  • 100% Natural Herb Ingredients

 

 

Who Should Use Fungus Stop?

 

Fungus Stop is an Antifungal, suitable for Toenail Fungus, Athletes Foot, Bacterial Infections and Parasites Problems.  If you are diabetic and think you may be developing toenail fungus, see your doctor first, as diabetic foot problems may be more serious.

 

 

What’s In Fungus Stop?

 

  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Wild Essential Oregano Oil ( non GMO- 100% Organic & Wild)
  • Organic Almond Oil (From Real Almond Seeds)
  •  Organic Essentila Tea Tree Oil
  • Organic Calentula Oil,Organic Avocado Oil
  • Made in Greece

 

 

How Do I use Fungus Stop?

 

Brush Fungus Stop on to your nail (around and under nails), once a day for 4 weeks . Heat sensation is normal.

Wait 5-7 minutes until absorbed. Do not wash your feet or hands for 5-7 minutes.

During this time avoid the hand contact with eyes.

If the fungal infection it is on your toenails put clean socks.

Stop use if irritation occurs or there is no improvement within 4 weeks. Do not use on broken skin or any other foot conditions.

 

 

When to See a Doctor

 

You may want to see a physician if Fungus Stop hasn’t helped. Also, as previously mentioned, be sure to see a doctor if you have diabetes and think you’re developing nail fungus.

 

 

 

How Do I keep Toenail Fungus From Coming Back?

 

  • Wash your hands and feet regularly and keep your nails short and dry. Wash your hands and feet with soap and water, rinse, and dry thoroughly, including between the toes. Trim nails straight across and file down thickened areas.
  • Wear anti-fungal socks that absorb sweat. Fabrics effective at wicking away moisture include wool, nylon and polypropylene. Change your socks often, especially if you have sweaty feet.
  • Choose shoes that reduce humidity. It also helps to occasionally take off your shoes or wear open-toe footwear.
  • Discard old shoes. If possible, avoid wearing old shoes, which can harbor fungi and cause a reinfection. Or treat them with disinfectants or antifungal powders.
  • Wear rubber gloves. This protects your hands from overexposure to water. Between uses, turn the gloves inside out to dry.
  • Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your nails. This may give germs access to your skin and nails.
  • Don’t go barefoot in public places. Wear sandals or shoes around pools, showers, and locker rooms.
  • Choose a reputable nail salon. Make sure the place you go for a manicure or pedicure sterilizes its instruments. Better yet, bring your own and disinfect them after use.
  • Give up nail polish and artificial nails while you are treating nail fungus. Although it may be tempting to hide nail fungal infections under a coat of pretty pink polish, this can trap unwanted moisture and worsen the infection.
  • Wash your hands after touching an infected nail. Nail fungus can spread from nail to nail.

 

Toenail Fungal infections of the nails can be a persistent and sometimes embarrassing problem, and occasionally can become painful. 

If you suspect you are developing toenail fungus, I recommend that you begin a treatment with Fungus Stop right away, and give it a good 4 weeks.

See your doctor if you are diabetic, or if you don’t see any improvement within a few weeks of using the product. 

With time and consistency, you will very likely be able to cure your toenail fungus yourself, so be patient and apply the treatment daily.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan

Should You Be Taking Probiotics?

Natural, Effective Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

Studies Show Blackcurrant Seed Oil Helps Arthritis

The Secret to Protecting Your Eyesight

Natural Remedies For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The Healthiest Supplement Drinks for Seniors and Diabetics

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Does Prevagen Actually Help Your Memory?

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Improve Health!

The Fix for Cracked Heels

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Midlife Medical Screening Tests That Women Over 50 Need

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Your Guide to Type 2 Diabetes

Caring for Diabetic Feet

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

The Fix for Cracked Heels

Important Seniors’ Nutritional Supplements Reviewed

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Heartburn and Acid Reflux Help

 

 

Heartburn, Acid Reflux and GERD

 

If you’re reading this, you know the feeling … that sensation of burning in the chest caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus. 

 

The burning is usually in the upper and central part of the chest, just behind the sternum (breast bone). The burning can worsen or can be brought on by lying flat or on the right side.

 

Many people experience heartburn and there are a large number of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and home remedies available to treat heartburn or the symptoms of heartburn.

 

In most cases you will not need to see a health-care professional, except if the symptoms are frequent (several times a week) or severe.

 

Due to physiological changes that occur with aging, elderly people are more apt to suffer from heartburn (also called acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux – GERD).   People over age 65 are often prescribed medications that alter the GI tract and can lead to senior GERD.

 

Often, over-the-counter medications can remedy modest acid reflux or GERD. However, an individual should see his primary care physician if he frequently takes antacids; if he has symptoms more than three times a week; if symptoms occur for more than a few years; or if over-the-counter medications do not ease pain.

 

Common symptoms include:

 

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Non-exertion chest pain when lying down or waking up
  • A bitter taste in the mouth
  • Food regurgitation in the mouth
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Food getting stuck while swallowing

 

GERD occurs when the esophageal tube between the mouth and stomach is being damaged. Usually the muscular valve at the bottom of the esophagus-called the lower esophageal sphincter or LES-keeps stomach content inside the stomach. When a person swallows, the LES opens, letting food and beverages into the stomach; then the LES closes.

 

If the LES weakens or relaxes abnormally, episodes of reflux ensue. The stomach contents-be it acid, food or enzymes-causes injury to the esophagus lining, leading to a burning sensation.

 

 

This feeling is a common occurrence: more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month.

 

See the bottom of this post for my best heartburn and GERD treatment recommendation: Heartburn No More

 

 

Causes include:

 

  • Certain foods and beverages, including tomato sauce; carbonated beverages; alcoholic drinks; caffeine; chocolate; mint; onions; and spicy, greasy, fatty, or fried foods

 

  • Lying down within two hours of eating

 

  • Some medications, including calcium channel blockers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and asthma medications

 

  • Cigarette smoking

 

  • Eating large meals

 

  • Wearing tight clothing

 

 

Risk factors associated with the GI tract also cause senior GERD:

 

  • being overweight
  • suffering from a hiatal hernia
  • asthma
  • peptic ulcer
  • delayed stomach emptying
  • connective tissue disorders such as scleroderma, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

 

Often a primary care physician will prescribe a strong antacid for senior GERD, and symptoms ease. If this doesn’t happen or manifestations are severe, a patient undergoes further testing under the guidance of a gastroenterologist. A gastroenterologist can help severe GERD sufferers navigate the numerous treatment options.

 

Likewise, people with mild or moderate symptoms should consult with their primary care physician if over-the-counter remedies don’t alleviate symptoms. Although reflux is a common problem, relief is usually readily available.

 

If your GERD is mild to moderate, there are a variety of heartburn medicines available over the counter to relieve symptoms. If these fail to relieve your symptoms, talk to your doctor about other available heartburn treatment options. Your doctor may want to evaluate you for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

 

 

See the bottom of this post for my best heartburn and GERD treatment recommendation: Heartburn No More


 

 

Antacids For Heartburn

 

 

Antacids neutralize stomach acid to help relieve heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, and stomach upset. Some antacids also contain simethicone, an ingredient that helps eliminate excess gas.

 

 

Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Relief Tablets- Lemon Lime, 36-Count Boxes (Pack of 4)

Examples of antacids include:

 

 

Phillips Milk Of Magnesia liquid mint 200ml

Gaviscon Extra Strength 100 Tablets
Rolaids Softchews, Strawberry, 12 Count (Pack of 6)
Pepto-Bismol 5 Symptom Relief Including Upset Stomach and Diarrhea Liquid, 12 Ounce (Pack of 3)

 

 

You should take antacids exactly as directed by your doctor, or according to the package label. If you are using the tablets, chew them well before swallowing for faster relief.

 

Be aware that some antacids contain ingredients that can cause diarrhea, such as magnesium, or constipation, such as aluminum.  You may have to experiment a bit to see which ones work best for you without causing side effects.

 

 

Acid Reducers (H2 Antagonists or Blockers) For Heartburn

 

There are two types of drugs that work to reduce the production of acid in the stomach: histamine antagonists (H2 antagonists or H2 blockers) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Examples of H2 blockers available over the counter include:

Nizatidine (Axid AR)

Famotidine (Pepcid AC)

Cimetidine (Tagamet HB)

Ranitidine (Zantac 75)

Tagamet Acid Reducer, 200mg, 30-count Tablets, 30 Count

 

Zantac 75 Regular Strength Tablets, 80 Count

 

 

Proton Pump Inhibitors

The FDA has approved the proton pump inhibitors lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR), omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), and esomeprazole (Nexium 24HR) for over-the-counter use to treat frequent heartburn (two or more times per week) for 14 days. All of these drugs are also available as prescriptions. Take these drugs according to the directions on the package or as advised by your doctor.

Prevacid 24HR, 15 mg Caps 42-CountNexium 24HR Capsules, 84 CapsulesPrilosec OTC Frequent Heartburn Medicine and Acid Reducer Tablets, 42 Count

If these medications don’t relieve your symptoms, or if your heartburn symptoms get worse or persist for longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor.

 

 

 

Combination Antacid/Acid Reducer for Heartburn

 

Pepcid Complete combines the acid-neutralizing capability of an antacid and the acid-reducing actions of an H2 blocker and Zegerid OTC combines a PPI with sodium bicarbonate.

 

Pepcid Complete Dual Action Acid Reducer and Antacid Berry Flavored Chewable Tablets 100 Count Bottle

 

Zegerid OTC Capsules, 42-count

 

 


 

Which drugstore medication is most effective?

 

All of these over-the-counter medicines, to a varying degree, can be effective in relieving the symptoms of heartburn. People who have more severe heartburn symptoms that aren’t relieved with these medications or who have been using these drugs for more than two weeks should contact their doctor. They may need a stronger prescription medicine and testing to see what is causing their symptoms.

 

 

My Best Recommendation:

 

Heartburn No More™ - Heartburn Cure Book

Heartburn No More – A Proven Drug Free Holistic System for Eliminating Acid Reflux and Heartburn

 

The Heartburn No More program is an original high quality product and one of the most comprehensive holistic acid reflux solutions I have come across in my research.

 

The Heartburn No More book contains over 180 pages of rock solid content and outlines never seen before clinically proven methods to cure and prevent acid reflux, and has a money-back guarantee.

 

Read my full review of the Heartburn No More System.

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Why is “Heartburn No More” The #1 Best Selling Acid Reflux EBook?

These 7 Foods Are Making Your Acid Reflux Worse

The Fat Loss Diet I Recommend

Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Guide to Blood Glucose Meters

Caregivers Need Sleep!

The Drunk Caregiver

Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea

Easy Home First Aid Kit

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Choose the Right Allergy Treatment

How to Choose the Right Allergy Treatment

 

(There Are So Many Choices!)

 

 

http://www.rd.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/02/01-12-natural-allergy-remedies-allergies.jpg

 

Allergy medications are available as pills, liquids, inhalers, nasal sprays, eye drops, skin creams and shots (injections).

Some allergy medications are available over-the-counter, while others are available by prescription only.

Use this summary of the various types of allergy medications and why they’re used as a guide for finding the right treatment for your allergies.

 

  Antihistamines

Antihistamines block histamine, a symptom-causing chemical released by your immune system during an allergic reaction.

 

 

 

 

Pills and Liquids

 

Oral antihistamines, available as over-the-counter and prescription drugs, ease runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, hives, swelling, and other signs or symptoms of allergies.

Because some of these drugs can cause drowsiness and fatigue, they shouldn’t be taken when driving or doing other potentially dangerous activities.

 

 

Antihistamines which cause drowsiness (for bedtime) include:

 

 

  • Chlorpheniramine

 

 

Antihistamines much less likely to cause drowsiness:

 

  • Desloratadine (Clarinex)
  • Levocetirizine (Xyzal)

 

Zyrtec Allergy Relief Tablets, 70 CountAllegra Adult 24 Hour Allergy Tablets, 180Mg, 70 Count

 

Nasal sprays

Antihistamine nasal sprays help relieve sneezing, itchy or runny nose, sinus congestion, and postnasal drip.

Side effects of antihistamine nasal sprays may include a bitter taste, drowsiness or fatigue.

 

 

Prescription antihistamine nasal sprays include:

 

  • Azelastine (Astelin, Astepro)
  • Olopatadine (Patanase)

 

Antihistamine Eye Drops

 

Antihistamine eye drops, available as over-the-counter or prescription medicines, can ease itchy, red, swollen eyes. These drops may have a combination of antihistamines and other medicines.

Side effects may include headache and dry eyes.

If antihistamine drops sting or burn, try keeping them in the refrigerator or using refrigerated Lubricant Eye Drops before you use the medicated drops.

 

Prescription Antihistamine eye drops include:

  • Azelastine (Optivar)
  • Emedastine (Emadine)
  • Ketotifen (Alaway, Zaditor)
  • Olopatadine (Pataday, Patanol)
  • Pheniramine (Visine-A, Opcon-A, others)
 

 

Decongestants

 

Decongestants are used for quick, temporary relief of nasal and sinus congestion.

 

They can cause insomnia, headache, increased blood pressure and irritability. They are not recommended for women who are pregnant or for people with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, glaucoma or hyperthyroidism.

Pills and liquids

Oral decongestants relieve nasal and sinus congestion caused by hay fever (allergic rhinitis).

Many decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol, others), are available as over-the-counter drugs.

A number of oral allergy medications contain a decongestant combined with an antihistamine.

Many decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol, others), are available as over-the-counter drugs.

 

A number of oral allergy medications contain a decongestant combined with an antihistamine.

 

Examples include:

  • Cetirizine and pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D)
  • Desloratadine and pseudoephedrine (Clarinex-D)
  • Fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D)

 

Claritin Allergy 24 hr, 10mg, 40-Count Tablets

Nasal sprays and drops

Nasal decongestant sprays and drops relieve nasal and sinus congestion if they are used for a short period of time.

Repeated use of these drugs for more than three consecutive days may result in a cycle of recurring or worsening congestion.

 

Examples include:

  • Tetrahydrozoline (Tyzine)

 

Dristan Nasal Decongestant, 12-Hr Nasal Spray, .5 oz.

 

Corticosteroids
Corticosteroids relieve symptoms by suppressing allergy-related inflammation. Most of these medications require a prescription.

Nasal sprays

Corticosteroid sprays prevent and relieve stuffiness, sneezing and runny nose.

Side effects can include an unpleasant smell or taste, nasal irritation and nosebleeds.

 

Examples include:

 

  • Fluticasone furoate (Veramyst)
  • Mometasone (Nasonex)

 

Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour 120 Sprays, 0.57 Fluid Ounce

 

 

Corticosteroid Inhalers

Inhaled corticosteroids are often used every day as part of treatment for asthma caused or complicated by reactions to airborne allergy triggers (allergens).

Side effects are generally minor and can include mouth and throat irritation and oral yeast infections. Some inhalers combine corticosteroids with other asthma medications.

 

Prescription inhalers include:

 

  • Beclomethasone (Qvar)
  • Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler)
  • Ciclesonide (Alvesco)
  • Fluticasone (Advair Diskus, Flovent Diskus, others)
  • Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler)

Corticosteroid Eye Drops

Corticosteroid eye drops are used to relieve persistent itchy, red or watery eyes when other interventions aren’t effective.

A physician specializing in eye disorders (ophthalmologist) usually monitors the use of these drops because of the risk of vision impairment, cataracts, glaucoma and infection.

 

Examples include:

  • Fluorometholone (Flarex, FML)
  • Loteprednol (Alrex, Lotemax)
  • Prednisolone (Omnipred, Pred Forte, others)
  • Rimexolone (Vexol)

Corticosteroid Pills and liquids

Oral corticosteroids are used to treat severe symptoms caused by all types of allergic reactions.

Long-term use can cause cataracts, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, stomach ulcers, increased blood sugar (glucose) and delayed growth in children. Oral corticosteroids can also worsen hypertension.

 

Prescription oral corticosteroids include:

Prednisolone (Flo-Pred, Prelone, others)

Prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos)

Corticosteroid Skin creams

Corticosteroid creams relieve allergic skin reactions such as itching, redness, scaling or other irritations.

Some low-potency corticosteroid creams are available without a prescription, but talk to your doctor before using these drugs for more than a few weeks.

Side effects can include skin discoloration and irritation.

Long-term use, especially of stronger prescription corticosteroids, can cause thinning of the skin and disruption of normal hormone levels.

 

Examples include:

  • Betamethasone (Dermabet, Diprolene, others)
  • Desonide (Desonate, DesOwen)
  • Hydrocortisone (Cortaid, MiCort-HC, others)
  • Mometasone (Elocon)

 

Cortaid Intensive Therapy Cooling Spray, 2-Ounce Spray Pumps (Pack of 3)

 

Cortizone-10 Max Strength Cortizone-10 Crme, 2 Ounce Box

 Mast Cell Stabilizers

 

Mast cell stabilizers block the release of immune system chemicals that contribute to allergic reactions.

These drugs are generally safe but usually need to be used for several days to reach full effect. They are usually used when antihistamines are not working or not well-tolerated.

Nasal spray

Generic over-the-counter nasal sprays are sold as Cromolyn (NasalCrom).

 

Nasal Crom Nasal Spray, 0.88 Ounce
 

 

Eye Drops

Prescription eye drops include the following:

Cromolyn (Crolom)

Lodoxamide (Alomide)

Pemirolast (Alamast)

Nedocromil (Alocril)

 

 

Leukotriene Inhibitor

 

A leukotriene inhibitor is a prescription medication that blocks symptom-causing chemicals called leukotrienes.

This oral medication relieves allergy signs and symptoms including nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing. Only one type of this drug, montelukast (Singulair), is approved for treating hay fever.

In some people, leukotriene inhibitors may cause psychological symptoms such as irritability, anxiousness, insomnia, hallucinations, aggression, depression, and suicidal thinking or behavior.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is carefully timed and gradually increased exposure to allergens, particularly those that are difficult to avoid, such as pollens, dust mites and molds.
The goal is to train the body’s immune system not to react to these allergens. Immunotherapy may be used when other treatments aren’t effective or tolerated. It may help prevent the development of asthma in some people.

Immunotherapy Shots

Immunotherapy may be administered as a series of shots, usually one or two times a week for three to six months. This is followed by a series of less frequent maintenance shots that usually continue for three to five years.

Side effects may include irritation at the injection site and allergy symptoms such as sneezing, congestion or hives. Rarely, allergy shots can cause anaphylaxis, a sudden life-threatening reaction that causes swelling in the throat, difficulty breathing and other signs and symptoms.

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)

With this type of immunotherapy, you place an allergen-based tablet under your tongue (sublingual) and allow it to be absorbed.

This daily treatment has been shown to reduce runny nose, congestion, eye irritation and other symptoms associated with hay fever. It also improves asthma symptoms and may prevent the development of asthma. SLIT tablets contain extracts from pollens of different types of grass, including the following:

  • Short ragweed (Ragwitek)
  • Sweet vernal, orchard, perennial rye, Timothy and Kentucky blue grass (Oralair)
  • Timothy grass (Grastek)

Emergency Epinephrine Shots

 

Epinephrine shots are used to treat anaphylaxis, a sudden, life-threatening reaction. The drug is administered with a self-injecting syringe and needle device (autoinjector).
You may need to carry two autoinjectors and wear an alert bracelet if you’re likely to have a severe allergic reaction to a certain food, such as peanuts, or if you’re allergic to bee or wasp venom.
A second injection is often needed. Therefore, it’s important to call 911 or get immediate emergency medical care.

Your doctor or a member of the clinical staff will train you on how to use an epinephrine autoinjector. It is important to get the type that your doctor prescribed, as the method for injection may be slightly different for each brand. Also, be sure to replace your emergency epinephrine before the expiration date.

 

Examples of these medications include:

  • Adrenaclick
  • Auvi-Q
  • EpiPen
  • Twinject

 

Get Your Doctor’s Advice

Work with your doctor to choose the most effective allergy medications and avoid problems. Even over-the-counter allergy medications have side effects, and some allergy medications can cause problems when combined with other medications.

 

It’s especially important to talk to your doctor about taking allergy medications in the following circumstances:

 

  • You’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, glaucoma, osteoporosis or high blood pressure.
  • You’re taking any other medications, including herbal supplements.
  • You’re treating allergies in a child. Children need different doses of medication or different medications than adults.
  • You’re treating allergies in an older adult. Some allergy medications can cause confusion, urinary symptoms or other side effects in older adults.
  • You’re already taking an allergy medication that isn’t working. Bring the medication with you in its original bottle or package when you see your doctor.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Keep track of what symptoms you experience, when you use your medications and how much you use. This will help your doctor figure out what works best.

You may need to try a few different medications to determine which ones are most effective and have the least bothersome side effects for you.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Ease Your Allergies at Home With These Simple Tips

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Oxygen Therapy for COPD – Pros and Cons

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids Reviewed

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Easy Home First Aid Kit

Review of Kite Shield Mosquito Repellent

Best Digital Thermometers – Full Reviews

Get Your Barbecue Ready For The Season

Why You Should Use An Infrared Sauna Often

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Plan Some Summer Outings With Your Senior

Plan Some Summer Outings With Your Senior

 

 

 

Many aging adults spend the bulk of their time just managing to get through the day. They take care of life’s basics but often don’t leave their home, assisted living center or nursing home, except for doctor appointments and an occasional holiday.

Enjoying a breezy spring day or the warm summer temperatures don’t have to be a distant memory for elders and caregivers.

After being cooped up in the house for possibly months at a time, senior adults can breathe in the fresh air, even if they are experiencing mobility problems.

It takes some advance planning and choosing an activity that won’t seem like a chore, but it’s worth getting out of the house, for you and your elderly parent.

 

 

The Benefits of Getting Outside

 

A main advantage of heading outdoors, even for a short period of time, is being able to soak up the sunlight, which generates Vitamin D – necessary for the brain, bones and muscle function, says Dr. Michael Raab, a geriatrician with Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla.

 

 

Some doctors even prescribe sunlight as a source of Vitamin D, which research also finds can improve cognitive function.

See Vitamin D and Diabetes

Another key benefit is that being outside enables elders to socialize and interact with caregivers as well as other adults, children and animals.

Those activities can give people an extra spring in their step and rejuvenate them, says Christina Chartrand, vice president of training and staff development for Senior Helpers, an in-home senior care agency with offices in 40 states.

Raab adds: “Whatever you can do, it’s going to be mentally uplifting.”

Although caregivers may be aware of the benefits, sometimes it seems as if the obstacles, such as wheelchair access, bathroom access, frailty and fatigue, are too great to overcome the great outdoors.

Caregivers can start to prepare elders with mobility problems to take the steps to head outside. Your physician can suggest chair exercises to make them more stable and build their muscles, for example.

Even though the temperatures may be pleasant, Raab says it’s also important to make sure an elderly family member stays well hydrated; if not, it can impact muscle function and blood pressure and lead to a dangerous situation.

Families and friends might like to take a senior out for some fun but they don’t know how to go about it.

 

 

Stumped For Ideas? 

Here Are a Few to Get You Started:

 

Take a Sunday Drive

 

 

Back in the “olden days,” driving around the community to check out home town activity was a Sunday afternoon ritual for many adults.

While life is more complicated now, many elders still enjoy watching new construction or being shown how the town that they’ve lived in for decades is changing.

For those who live near flood prone bodies of water, spring is a terrific time to take a drive to see how this year’s water levels compare to other years.

A twist on this approach is to pick a prime time when cherry trees, crab apple trees or other ornamentals are at their peak and do a flower tour. Getting out of the car is optional, based on your elder’s abilities and wishes.

 

 

Go to the Zoo

 

 

Who doesn’t like baby animals? Spring is birth time for most species. Rent or borrow a wheelchair if one is needed for longer walks. Not only will your elders see baby animals, they will see young children reacting to the animals.

 

See Choosing a Transport Chair

 

As with everything suggested, watch your loved one for signs of fatigue, thirst, too much sun or other issues that could signal that it’s time to leave, perhaps with a promise to return at another time should they wish to do so.

 

 

Go to a Restaurant

 

 

When was the last time you took your elder to a restaurant that he or she has enjoyed over the years? Now that snow isn’t a problem, it’s easier to navigate such adventures.

Keep in mind that going for a meal at off-peak times is a good idea. That usually means less stress for everyone. Also, elders who are hard of hearing won’t feel as isolated if there’s less background noise.

 

 

Visit an Ice Cream Place

 

 

Ice cream treats are a favorite of many a senior. I suggest encouraging your loved ones to sit outside if the weather’s nice and they are able.

 

 

Enjoy Children at Play

 

 

Watch children swim or play on playground equipment. Spring brings young children out in throngs. People who enjoy children often like hearing their laughter and watching the seeming innocence of this type of play.

 

 

 

Check Out Summer Programs at the Park

 

 

Take your elder to the spring programs that most schools sponsor. This is particularly nice if a grandchild or great-grandchild is involved, but that’s not necessary. If your elder doesn’t know any of the children, then I’d suggest focusing on the younger ones; their antics can be pretty entertaining!

If grandchildren are involved, take your elder to watch them perform in their concerts, plays or other activities. You may have to arrange for a spouse or friend to be available to take Grandma home if she gets tired or uncomfortable.

A twist on this idea is to attend one of the concerts in the park that many communities have during the spring and summer.

 

 

Have a Picnic

 

 

Whether you go to a park, stay in your own backyard or use the grounds of the nursing home, a picnic is often possible. If your loved one is able, going to a park would be nice, however many nursing homes have gorgeous grounds and nice areas with tables that accommodate wheel chairs. If all else fails—and I’m aware that this isn’t an outing but sometimes we have to punt — bring a picnic to your loved one in the care home.

 

 

Check out the Crops

 

 

If your elder has an agricultural background or is interested in wildflowers, try taking a country drive. Even if your loved one didn’t have any first-hand agricultural experience, but they will probably still enjoy driving in the country to see new crops being planted and wild flowers blooming.

Tailor this outing to your area of the country and your elder’s preferences. Maybe you can pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables from a farm stand.

 

 

Go Fishing

 

 

A friend told me that his community sponsors events where elders are taken out on pontoons—wheelchairs and all—to fish. Volunteers are there to help with anything the elder can’t do.

Just being out on the water and holding a rod can be a thrill for someone who has enjoyed fishing in the past. Again, this can be adjusted to accommodate other pastimes.

 

 

Visit a Friend

Many elders lose touch with their peers. Sickness, the death of a spouse and/or difficulty getting around can mean they haven’t seen a dear friend for months or even years. See if you can set up a lunch or just a visit with someone your loved one has enjoyed through the years. Perhaps you can take them both to a park or a restaurant.

_____________________

 

And More!

Use these ideas as springboards. You know your loved one. What did his or she enjoy in their earlier, healthier days? Don’t be afraid to ask what they miss doing or what they’d like to do. They may not hear those questions very often these days.

If you get a shoulder shrug or an “I don’t know,” then be ready to say, “Sunday looks nice so we’ll go for a picnic.” You may get some resistance but if it seems like simple inertia, just say with a smile that it would make you very happy if they’d do this for you. If a loved one truly doesn’t want to be part of an activity, try whittling down your expectations and suggesting something less strenuous.

As mentioned above, during any of these activities monitor your loved one for dehydration and heat issues if the weather is warm, or chilliness if it’s cool. Older bodies don’t adjust to temperature changes as well as younger ones.

Be prepared with sun hats and hooded windbreakers (like the ones below).  Also, bring water to drink and watch for fatigue.

And remember, you are doing this for pleasure, so don’t overdo anything.

 

 

Practical Products For Your Summer Outings:

 

 

A Note About Sun Protection

A Final note – caregivers do need to be sure that before they head outdoors, they have protected both themselves and their elderly loved ones against the damaging effects of the sun, which can lead to melanoma.

New York dermatologist Arielle Kauvar says that most people don’t do enough to protect aging skin. For instance, instead of a dollop of sunscreen smeared on the face as you’re heading out the door, you should be applying a shot-glass size amount about 30 minutes before you leave. If you’re swimming or sweating, you should reapply the sunscreen every two hours.

The sunscreen should be a water-resistant, broad-spectrum product that protects against both UVA (ultraviolet short-wave) and UVB (ultraviolet long-wave) rays, with an SPF or sun protection factor of 30 or higher. It should be applied before you get dressed, so you can be sure that you haven’t missed any spots.

 

Dr. Kauvar says it’s important to pay special attention to the hands and feet, as well as any bald spots on an elderly person’s head. Lip balm with an SPF at least 30 should also be used, and reapplied after eating. Aquaphor Lip Protectant + Sunscreen is the #1 dermatologist recommended therapeutic lip brand. 

 

This product contains a broad spectrum SPF 30. It is formulated with shea butter and vitamin E for extra conditioning of sensitive, dry chapped lips. This lip protectant is fragrance-free and dye-free.
   

For a general use sunscreen, I like Coppertone Sensitive Skin Broad Spectrum SPF 50.  It provides protection against UVA/UVB rays, won’t sting eyes, and keeps skin moisturized with Vitamin E.

 

 

If your activities will require a water-resistant sunscreen, pick up Cotz Plus; this is an excellent broad spectrum SPF 58 sunscreen which will stand up to water activities without any chemicals to irritate sensitive skin.

Dark clothing with a tight weave can also protect the skin, but may not be the best choice for seniors, since they get hotter than loosely woven, lighter-colored clothes.

For this reason, Dr. Kauvar suggests buying special clothing that protects against ultraviolet rays. Made for gardening, swimming and leisure wear, the clothing should have a UPF or ultraviolet protection factor above 30 (by comparison, she says, an ordinary tee shirt only has a UPF factor of 6).

I like the UPF sun protection garment choices from Coolibar. They have a good variety of clothing items for men and women which are perfect for keeping skin protected during outdoor activities.

This versatile women’s sun protective shirt below, for example, has a UPF of 50+ and comes in 6 colors.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Beach Shirt - Sun Protection (X-Small- Mainsail White)

 

 

Coolibar UPF 50+ Men's Sun Shirt - Sun Protective (Small- Light Blue)

 

This men’s sun protective shirt above (also available in blue plaid)  has a UPF of 50+ as well, and is a great choice for a day of activities in the sun.

 

Top the outfit off with a broad-brimmed hat and dark sunglasses, and you’re ready for your place in the sun.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas for summer outings with seniors. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

Get this Easy Home First Aid Kit

How to Find the Best Luggage for Seniors

Practical Gardening Safety Tips for Seniors

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Important Tips to Keep Your Senior Hydrated

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Keep Your Elder Safe in Hot Weather

Review of Kite Shield Mosquito Repellent

Choosing a Transport Chair

Choosing a Walking Cane

Choosing a Medical Walker

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Caregivers Can Help With Aphasia

Caregivers Can Help With Aphasia

 

 

 

Imagine…

 

  • You ask your spouse for a plate, and he hands you a cup.
  • Your spouse seems to get “stuck” on the same word or phrase.
  • Your spouse can say words, but her sentences don’t make sense.

 

That’s Aphasia: a language disorder that results from damage to parts of the brain. It can affect all modes of language including speaking, writing, gesturing, understanding what others say, understanding writing, and using numbers.

Aphasia often hides people’s thoughts, ideas, personality, intelligence and competence – they know what they want to say, but can’t always get the words out.

 

 

Causes

Stroke is the leading cause of aphasia; however, it also can result from brain tumors, head injuries, brain infections, and other conditions of the brain.

 

 

Symptoms

People who suffer from aphasia can have difficulty understanding others, particularly strangers. Or, they can follow the gist of a conversation, but lose track easily, or forget the beginning of a message before reaching the end of it.

They may be able to say individual words, or parts of words, but struggle to complete the entire word or sentence. Or, they may speak nonsense quickly. And background noise or lively conversation among a group of people can really exacerbate the difficulty they have understanding conversations.

“Many times, too, a person with aphasia is so focused on themselves, they are unable to see that their caregiver is overwhelmed. The person with aphasia can’t help it; they’ve lost a lot of control in their lives between the loss of communication and physical disabilities. They are just trying to survive,” says Mimi Block, M.S., CCC-SLP, clinical services manager, University of Michigan Aphasia Program.

“And even if they could recognize how much their caregiver is dealing with, they cannot express their gratitude or appreciation,” she added.

It can be an enormously frustrating condition, for both the individual and the caregiver.

 

The University of Michigan Aphasia Program (UMAP)

The University of Michigan Aphasia Program (UMAP) is the oldest and most effective program of its kind in North America for the treatment of aphasia. Established in 1947 to assist World War II veterans who sustained injuries in combat, UMAP has successfully treated thousands of individuals, offering as much speech-language therapy during a six-week session as a person would receive in one year of traditional therapy.

Caregiver education and support is a critical component of the UMAP.

This past summer, UMAP gave Robin Cox, wife of a (retired) National Guard Lieutenant Colonel with aphasia, the tools to help her husband with his therapy and the insight to help herself as his caregiver. Her husband Mark suffered a stroke in March 2009, just 30 days before he was due to be deployed to Afghanistan.

“I know it’s a cliché, but UMAP taught me this is not the end of the world, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the little progress we make each day brings us that much closer to our goals,” Robin Cox said. “And those little improvements are exponentially more important for the caregiver,” she added. “They bring us ten times the joy.”

 

Celebrate Small Achievements

One morning, not too long ago, Mark found his glasses after looking for them for quite some time.

“He said, ‘I found them’ and I said, ‘Say that again!’ and he did! And then I made him say it again. It was one whole, complete sentence. It’s those little moments you must celebrate,” Cox said.

During the six-week session at UMAP, there are five caregiver meetings which focus on:

  • Acquiring a better understanding of aphasia, and the physical disabilities associated with a stroke (the most common cause of aphasia)
  • Facilitative conversation and other ways to communicate with people who have aphasia
  • Effective communication techniques and strategies
  • Practicing new communication skills using facilitative conversation
  • Options for the future

 

“Ongoing education is essential for the well-being of the loved one with aphasia and all the family members,” Block says. “The caregiver needs to connect with the speech-language pathologist who sees their loved one to learn about aphasia and specific techniques to communicate with him or her.”

 

Recommended:  Shadowbox Press Conversation Cards for Adults

To prompt conversation, Block encourages caregivers to use “topic cards,” which are lists of words or pictures—like family, sports, friends, birth dates, hobbies, maps, a calendar—as a starting point to determine what the person wants to talk about.

“There’s also the WH Chart—who, what, when, where and why, that can be used to get the person thinking in terms of sentence structure,” Block said. “The more information that’s available to them, the more successful they will be.”

One night when Mark Cox was trying to tell his wife Robin to change his schedule that week, she said they both “went round and round and round, and started to get flustered” until she resorted to using a calendar and writing down days of the week and appointments to clarify what her husband was trying to do.

“You have to keep digging to find the right way to get the point across,” Robin Cox says. “It’s more than just talking. You can use pictures, calendars or write words on paper. You’ve got to take a deep breath and be patient. Yelling isn’t going to do it. You have to try all of your options.”

 

Be an Advocate

UMAP also encourages caregivers to be advocates for their loved ones, providing them with the encouragement and motivation to continue on the road of recovery with realistic goals and expectations, and a better ability to communicate in their day-to-day living.
Lulu Smith, whose husband Louis suffered a stroke in 2005 and has aphasia, is in two therapy programs, including UMAP. She accompanies Louis to all of his therapy sessions, and either watches them or participates in them directly.

“I watch to see what the therapists are doing, and I insert their techniques into our daily routine at home,” she said.

 

 

Keep Life as Normal as Possible

Lulu Smith also tries to keep their lives as normal as possible. Louis is a legendary jazz trumpeter with an international reputation and many major recordings, and she regularly takes him to jazz festivals and clubs where he can interact with other musicians. They’ve always been great travelers, she said, and they go to Paris in October each year and to Mexico for two months in the winter.

“I never get someone to ‘sit’ with him. We’ve always done things together,” she said.

Robin Cox recently encouraged her husband to go with her to their 11-year-old son’s football game.

“He didn’t want to go at first. Since he had his stroke, he’s lost some endurance, too. But he ended up staying for the whole game. I think Mark realized he can socialize, and he can talk with others—not just his wife, his brothers, or people who are close to him. Physically, he was tired, but it was great for his spirit.

“He was put out of his comfort zone. I think that’s what a caregiver does. We try this, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll try something else,” Cox said.

 

Keep Trying

“It is so important to keep trying,” says Joyce Zeigler, whose husband Mack suffered a stroke in 2004 and who has participated in two UMAP sessions in 2006 and 2008.

“Mack continues to make progress. I encourage people with aphasia and their loved ones to be patient and have hope. Mack and I have faith that more progress is in his future. We take it a day at a time and look forward to each day.”

Lulu Smith adds, “You must understand it takes a long time to have success. You have to keep working and working, and never give up. You’ve got to stick with it.”

Adapted from an article by Joanne Marttila Pierson, associate director of the University of Michigan Aphasia Program

 

10 Dysphasia Communication Tips

 

Amanda Sheridan, clinical fellow at the Mary A. Rackham Institute’s University of Michigan Aphasia Program (UMAP), shared these suggestion for talking with someone who has aphasia. These suggestions were gathered directly from UMAP’s clients who have aphasia. They may be helpful for family members and caregivers.

 

  • Please take the time to sit down and talk with me.
  • Slow your rate of speech.  Say one thing at a time.  It may take me a little longer to understand what you are saying.
  • Give me plenty of time to talk.  It may take longer for me to find the word or words I want to say.
  • Be flexible.  I may have another way of expressing myself.  Perhaps I will write, use an assistive communication device (e.g., ipad, communication book), gesture, or draw. 
  • Be honest.  You may not understand me.  Let me know.  I will try again.
  • Please look at me as we talk.  So much can be shared through facial expression.  This can help me understand you, and you understand me. 
  • Ask me yes/no questions.  It may be easier for me to communicate by saying or gesturing “yes” or “no.”
  • Write down key words and numbers.  This may help me understand you.
  • Find a quiet place to talk.  Noisy, busy environments make conversation difficult. 
  • Keep your sense of humor.

 

Recommended:

The Teaching of Talking – Learn to Do Expert Speech Therapy at Home

 

People with speaking difficulties are at the mercy of insurance companies who are determining how often and for how long speech therapy services should be delivered.

It is also a disturbing reality that the likelihood for therapy frequency and length of care is contingent upon either the level of competence or comfort level of the speech-language pathologist or the financial policies of each institution.

Often it has nothing to do with the severity or need for speech therapy. Our health care system is in no position to bankroll the long-term therapy that many people need who have moderate to profound speaking difficulties.

The goal of  The Teaching of Talking is to make sure that any loved one, caregiver or speech-language pathologist is thoroughly knowledgeable in methods to help people improve talking since it is never known when the plug will be pulled on speech and language therapy services.

Ittleman says: “I see hundreds of people with speech and language difficulties each year. By reading and applying The Teaching of Talking, you will have the confidence to help your client or loved one, no matter what the insurance company or institution does.

By learning to do what is in Teaching of Talking you will be more self-sufficient and will not have to rely on anyone to provide your loved one with expert speech therapy.

Mark IttlemanAuthor Mark A. Ittleman, M.S. has been referred to as the “Speech pathologist who can make a rock talk!” He received that name from colleagues who noticed that he could often help children or adults learn to speak, or speak again. Ittleman has the uncanny ability to find a way to help others speak, often after they were discharged from therapy and told they had “plateaued.”

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Help for Anxiety in the Elderly

Melatonin Helps With Sundowning and Other Sleep Disorders

Brain Tumor – What You Need to Know

Stroke – What You Need to Know

The Caregiver’s Guide to ALS

About Me

Create Your Own Blog