How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

 

 Read Part 1 Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Use Cash

 

If your hired caregiver is responsible for running errands or buying groceries, don’t give them cash. Instead, use prepaid debit cards or gift cards along with asking for receipts for all purchases.

 

That way, all purchases can be tracked and verified. Plus, if the hired caregiver steals those cards, they’re only getting a limited amount.

 

Though the vast majority of senior caregivers are reputable and honest, occasionally someone comes along who takes advantage of an elderly client.

 

According to Sally Hurme, coordinator of AARP’s Financial Protection Outreach & Service, there are at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year in the U.S., and only one in 25 of them are reported to authorities.

 

Hurme cites many reasons why elder financial abuse is a “particularly pernicious crime.”

 

“Studies point to specific cracks in victims’ defenses against exploitation: trust, financial niavete, cognitive impairments, social isolation, dependency, fear, and embarrassment.”

 

Hurme goes on to explain that elder financial abuse is unique because “there is a very real chance that the victim has no idea that she has been … victimized. The victim may have no awareness that anything is amiss with his finances.”

 

There are many ways of combating and preventing financial abuse of elders, one of which is using a reputable caregiving agency. Many of these agencies not only screen their employees, but also do background checks to ensure the safety and security of their elderly clients.

 

Some such agencies have also begun a gift card program. Gift cards are a convenient and easily accessible solution to preventing certain financial abuses. Agencies issue the gift card to the caregiver, who can then buy groceries and other essentials for their clients. Since the gift card is purchased through a bank, the agency can track purchases online and know when transactions take place. All risk, which is limited to the amount of money put into the gift card, is borne entirely by the agency. The caregiver never needs to use the senior’s cash or credit cards as all purchases must be made using the gift card. Receipts are kept and purchases are then billed to the client with their regular invoice.

 

Though financial abuse of elders is a reality, measures can be taken to minimize the damages and the possibility of elderly clients being victimized.

 

As Hurme points out, “Even though there are no broken bones, the effect is devastating financially and emotionally.”

 

Being aware, taking steps to prevent theft, and utilizing reputable In-Home Care Agencies are the first defenses against elder financial abuse.

 

 

 

Watch for Over Attachment

 

Hired caregivers who are planning to steal might start out by creating an unusually close relationship with your senior. Through this tight bond, they may be able to get your older adult to voluntarily give them money, valuables, or extravagant gifts like cars!

 

That’s not to say that you should be suspicious a little suspicious and look into things, especially if you see any of the signs outlined below.

 

An heirloom bracelet goes missing, electronic gadgets can’t be found, a wallet or bank account seems to be bleeding cash. Talk to anyone who’s hired someone to help care for an older loved one, and theft is almost always a major worry. Bringing a paid caregiver into the home — whether through an agency or privately — can come as welcome relief to all, but it can also feel like a risky decision. Stories abound about vulnerable people who’ve been taken advantage of.

 

The solution? Be careful, proactive, and alert. Here, some of the key warning signs that a caregiver is on the take.

 

Receipts that don’t add up

If grocery shopping and other errands are among a caregiver’s responsibilities, it’s pretty easy for “mix-ups” to occur. You might notice items listed on a receipt that seem out of character for your loved one, or certain supplies that seem to run out — and be replaced — with surprising frequency. If the caregiver takes your loved one out to shop or dine, you may notice purchases from stores that he or she doesn’t typically frequent or restaurant meals that are out of your family’s typical price range.

Why it’s worth worrying about:

A few dollars here, five dollars there may not seem worth making a fuss over. After all, caregivers aren’t usually well paid, so is it worth rocking the boat over a little bit of paycheck padding?

Yes, says Carolyn Rosenblatt, author of The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents. “You may see $6.50 for a lipstick, knowing Grandma doesn’t wear lipstick, but if you let it slide you’re sending a signal that no one’s minding the store.” Typically, these first purchases are tests, Rosenblatt says. “The caregiver is saying, ‘Let’s see if I can get away with it.’ If you don’t respond by confronting her, you’re saying, ‘Yes, you can.'”

 

What to do:

For starters, avoid cash. Supply the caregiver with debit gift cards preloaded with a limited balance. This way, if fraud is occurring, you can limit the amount of liability your family is exposed to. Also, use online banking to monitor card transactions, so you can see how much is being spent at each store. Ask the caregiver to supply receipts for each shopping trip, and keep an eye out for any purchase that seems unnecessary or for quantities that seem overlarge.

If you find yourself hesitating over a questionable purchase in case it’s an honest mistake, bring it up in that spirit, keeping it light and nonconfrontational. Explain that you noticed a purchase that didn’t seem to be something intended for your family member, and you’d like to keep those kinds of purchases separate in the future so it’s easy for you to keep track.

 

Phone Use and Friendships

 

Frequent cell phone use on the job

Texting or taking calls on the job is discourteous and distracting — but it could also be a sign of something more serious.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

While there are legitimate reasons a caregiver may need to make an occasional call, if someone’s on the phone all the time, it’s a signal that some outside relationship or network of relationships is more important than caregiving. It may even be that some outsider is calling the shots, says Rosenblatt.

 

What to do:

If you — or the agency you’re working with — haven’t already done so, run a thorough background check on the person you’ve hired. While some agencies do an in-depth background check on all employees, including requiring drug testing, others are much less thorough. It’s important to make sure good research was done, says Rosenblatt, because all too often records of crimes committed in other states or counties may not come up during a simple records search in your area.

Next, make sure you’ve securely protected your family member’s finances from potential fraud. The best way to do this is by having your family member sign a durable power of attorney for finances, which authorizes you or another trusted person to oversee financial transactions. A power of attorney is just a piece of paper, though, unless it’s recognized by the financial institutions that handle your loved one’s money. The safest strategy is to inform the banks and other financial institutions that you’re the proper legal agent for your loved one’s finances and that no one else is authorized to act. To do this, you’ll probably be asked to show a copy of the power of attorney document and may need to fill out additional forms.

 

 

Cultivating a Personal Connection

 

For many older adults, a caregiver quickly becomes a trusted friend, often the only person they see from day to day. With such consistent and intimate contact, close bonds are common. But keep your eyes open for anything that seems to step over the boundaries of professionalism. Watch and listen for signs that your loved one is becoming emotionally involved with or dependent on his or her caregiver, such as talking about the caregiver all the time or seeming to consider that relationship more important than friendships or family ties.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

Typically, thieves planning a scam will gradually “prime the pump,” seducing an elderly target with greater and greater shows of affection until he or she becomes emotionally dependent on the caregiver. “It can start very subtly: touches on the arm, little gifts, shows of affection,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. Hugs, compliments, and attention become stepping stones to building a connection that’s overly intimate. Some concerned family members have found themselves in situations in which their loved ones bought their caregivers cars or gave other expensive gifts, paid their rent, or “loaned” them money that was never repaid.

 

What to do:

Prevention is worth a pound of cure, experts say. Loneliness and isolation leave many older adults susceptible to all manner of exploitation, from relatively small expenditures to outright fraud and identity theft. To protect your loved one, you’ll want to act on two fronts.

First, the psychological: Think about your loved one’s day-to-day interactions. Does he have opportunities for companionship other than his caregiver’s visits? Can you find a day program or other activity for him to attend, or are there others who might visit from time to time to liven up his routine?

Next, the practical: Focus on safeguarding against his caregiver gaining access to his finances. Experts recommend setting up online banking for checking, credit cards, and any other accounts, so you can monitor all activity in real time. (Most transactions post within a few days.)

If you check credit card records and discover charges that you or your loved one didn’t authorize, act quickly to protect yourselves from identity theft, says Caring.com legal expert Barbara Kate Repa. Close the account and immediately alert the company holding the account that you believe it’s been used without your authorization. Then alert one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies and request a fraud alert. If your loved one hasn’t already signed a durable power of attorney for finances so someone trusted has authorization to access financial accounts, encourage him or her to do it now.

 

Manipulation and Missing Work

 

Bids for sympathy

Personal tales of woe are a common danger sign. If your loved one begins expressing worry and concern for a situation his caregiver has told him about, that’s your cue to get involved — and quickly. “A sister with cancer who can’t afford medical care, a child who needs dental work, a family member in another country who’s being persecuted and desperately needs to come to the U.S. — these are the kinds of scenarios we hear all the time,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. “The next thing you know, your loved one’s writing checks and that money’s gone.”

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

The caregiver relationship is a professional service. If it becomes personal enough for your loved one to become involved in the caregiver’s private life, the caregiver has clearly crossed a line. Best-case scenario: The caregiver is manipulating your family member. Worst-case scenario: An outright fraud is in progress.

 

What to do:

Act quickly. You may hesitate to question your loved one’s judgment, but the caregiver, if he or she is a practiced scammer, will be counting on that. Call a family meeting and discuss the situation with all family members, including siblings who don’t live nearby. Make sure everyone is on the same page, so you don’t end up in the all-too-common situation in which family members are divided against one another or undermine one another. As many of you as possible should talk to your parent or other loved one together, explaining how concerned you are and why you need to take steps to protect him or her.

If the caregiver was hired through an agency, it’s a good idea to alert the agency to your concerns and ask them to double-check the records of the searches performed and make certain this caregiver hasn’t been accused or convicted of exploitation or fraud in the past. If the caregiver was hired independently and a thorough background check was not performed at the time, now would be the time to do some digging.

Depending on how your loved one reacts, you may wish to terminate the caregiver’s employment or set up a more careful monitoring situation in which you limit access to funds. If possible, consult a family lawyer to make sure all possible legal protections are in place, says Caring.com legal expert Barbara Kate Repa. If your loved one’s judgment appears to be seriously impaired and you’re not able to convince him or her to grant you power of attorney, you may need to consider trying to obtain legal guardianship, also called conservatorship.

 

Missing Work on Mondays

 

Some days your loved one’s caregiver seems responsible and reliable; other days — particularly Mondays or the first day back after time off — he or she goes AWOL.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

“This is a classic sign of alcoholism or substance abuse; people go on a bender over the weekend and then can’t make it into work on Mondays,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. “Unfortunately, alcoholism and chemical dependency often go hand in hand, and they frequently lead people to steal to meet their need for drugs.”

 

What to do:

Be on the alert for other signs of alcohol and substance abuse. Check the liquor cabinet and make a note of liquid levels in each bottle; you might even taste the contents to see if they’ve been watered down. Go through bathroom and kitchen cabinets and empty them of any prescription and over-the-counter medicines that might tempt an abuser. For prescriptions in current use, count the pills so you can check if doses go missing. Hide medications in a safe place or — if your loved one doesn’t need them right now — take them home with you. Keep prescription receipts and labels in a safe place, so the caregiver can’t call in refills without your knowledge.

If your caregiver was hired through an agency, report all unexplained absences and discuss the situation with the agency. If the caregiver has a history of this type of behavior with previous clients, the agency should be proactive about assigning you a new caregiver. If the caregiver was hired independently, have a frank discussion and set boundaries. Explain that you require 24 hours advance notice if he or she has to miss work, and another unplanned absence is going to be grounds for dismissal. Then stand firm. The caregiver will almost certainly use illness as the excuse and protest that illnesses come on suddenly, but don’t get sucked into that debate.

While this is happening, take all necessary precautions to protect your loved one’s cash and financial records, since a caregiver with a drinking or drug problem is a risk and a disgruntled former caregiver can be a threat.

 

By using common sense and due diligence, you can both reduce the risk of caregiver theft and minimize it’s scope.  Always pay attention and trust your feelings.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

Suggested Security Camera System:

Arlo Security System – 4 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Reading: 

How to Care for Aging Parents (3rd Edition);  A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues

by Virginia Morris

 

 

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How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers

How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 1

 

 

 

 

One of the most common worries about hiring in-home help is that the caregiver could take advantage of your older adult. Even though the relationship between a hired caregiver and the family should be based on trust, it’s smart to take steps to prevent theft or fraud.

 

 

 

Prepare Your House First

 

Protect your senior from theft or fraud by removing or taking inventory of valuables, not keeping cash around, and watching bank and credit card statements carefully.

 

Keep an inventory of valuables in the home. Compile a list and take pictures to document your parent’s valuables, put them under lock and key, or remove them from the home.

 

Don’t forget about hidden jewelry or valuables, and think about removing any valuable memorabilia displayed in the house. There’s no need to put temptation in front of anyone.

 

 

 

Don’t invite petty theft. Your parent should keep only a small amount of cash at home. Don’t leave money in obvious places, such as the nightstand next to the bed. Make sure your loved one keeps any checkbook, ATM and credit cards, and computer passwords in a secure place.

 

 

 

Pay Attention

 

After spending some time with the hired caregiver, pay attention to how you feel about them in your gut. Most people work hard to make a great impression at the start of a new job. But later, you might start to see a different personality show through.

 

Arlo Security System – 4 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision

If you start to feel uneasy, trust your gut and talk with their agency. If it’s a private hire, you might want to investigate for theft and (secretly) observe them carefully for a while.

 

If they continue to make you feel suspicious or uneasy, look for a new caregiver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Your Homework

 

 

Whether using a home care agency or hiring an independent caregiver, it’s important to do your research to make sure that you’re getting a reliable person.

 

Of course, no one knows better than me that this isn’t a foolproof method — but due diligence is still required on your part.

 

Home care agencies are responsible for fingerprinting and screening to make sure potential aides don’t have criminal records or other complaints against them.

 

When selecting a home care agency, ask how they screen potential caregivers, how many theft accusations they’ve had in the past and how they’ve handled them. Will they replace stolen items?

 

Amy Nelson, founder and CEO of Accurate Home Care in Otsego, Minn., says that her agency reports theft accusations to the authorities and cooperates however possible. The caregiver is suspended until the investigation is over. If found guilty of theft, the caregiver is fired and reported to the Department of Human Services.

 

After you’ve picked an agency, it’s still wise to interview caregivers they assign to the job. If you don’t feel comfortable — at any time that the person is working for you — tell the agency that this person is not the right match for you.

 

When hiring an aide without going through an agency, spend the time and money to check them out, advises Lisa A. Lieberman, a licensed clinical social worker, family counselor and author of A ‘Stranger’ Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences.

 

She stresses checking references, especially ones from previous employers, and scheduling a face-to-face interview before making a decision.

 

A criminal background check is one way to make sure that applicants are who they say they are. For example, SentryLink will conduct a background check on an individual and send the results via email for around $20.

 

Unfortunately, these precautions aren’t enough to guarantee you won’t get ripped off. Detective Mike Cruce of the Oro Valley, Ariz., police department, who solved the case of my missing laptop, warned that just because the prospective caregiver doesn’t have a criminal record doesn’t mean that you still can’t be victimized by them.

Just ask my caregiver, who had no criminal record when she stole my laptop.

 

 

 

 

Trust Your Instincts

 

 

Most people try to make a good first impression, so keep in mind that caregivers need to earn your trust and maintain it by being reliable over time. If you develop an uneasy feeling about a caregiver and aren’t quite sure they can be trusted, you could be right.

 

 

 

Everyone in the household should be comfortable with the caregiver. If you live alone, ask visiting family members and friends for their opinions of the caregiver and how she/he interacts with you.

 

In my case, my caregiver the laptop thief was shy but likable at the beginning — but after a few weekends with her, I began to wonder if I could trust her. It wasn’t one particular thing she did but a strange feeling that entered the room along with her. I began to secretly look after my wallet. She started showing up late, or not coming at all, and her excuses were hard to believe.

 

At that time, I should have called the agency and requested another caregiver. But I figured I was stuck with her, because the agency had been having trouble finding a caregiver to work in my part of town. This is a very real issue for people with disabilities nationwide; many people accept personal care attendants who are abusive because there is no one else to fill the gap.

 

Next time, I will make any uneasy feelings known to the agency.

 

 

 

Don’t Be So Darn Nice

 

The trick is to be comfortable with the caregiver, but not too comfortable, says Nelson. The same goes for caregivers: They need to feel comfortable in your home, but not so comfortable that personal boundaries are crossed. For instance, most agencies have rules against caregivers accepting loaned money, whether it’s solicited or not. Even if you don’t use an agency, it’s always wise not to let caregivers borrow money or important items.  

 

When James Kelley, who has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), loaned one of his caregivers his very expensive leather-bound King James Master Study Bible, he never imagined he’d have a problem getting it back, because “who’s going to steal a Bible?”

 

The caregiver in this case asked to borrow his Bible for a couple of days, but after weeks went by and she still hadn’t returned it, Kelley, 44, confronted her. She assured him that she would bring it back. After a month passed and still no Bible, he called the home health agency, which contacted the caregiver — but she still didn’t bring it back.

 

That’s when Kelley, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, contacted his case manager, who advised him to call the police and file a report. He felt strange about filing a report over a Bible, but the detective assured him that, “If you don’t get some of these people when they’re taking small amounts, then they continue to push the envelope and see what else they can get away with.”

 

Kelley eventually got his Bible back after the detective told his caregiver that Kelley would press charges against her if she didn’t return it. The detective warned that she didn’t want it on her record, especially since she’s a health care worker.

 

Kelley ended up asking the caregiver not to come back.

 

Even trustworthy caregivers can forget they borrowed something. Consider this scenario: You lend your paid caregiver a book and, for practical reasons, keys to your house, but then due to everyday circumstances — a move, a career change, etc. — the caregiver stops working with you before the items are returned.

 

 

 

Caregivers and House Keys

 

In the case of the house keys, the best way to prevent that scenario is to never give the caregiver a permanent set. Instead, buy a key lockbox, like those used by real estate agents, and hang it on your front door handle with a key or keys inside.

 

 

Master Lock 5400D Select Access Key Storage Box with Set-Your-Own Combination Lock, 13/32-Diameter Shackle, 1-Pack

 

When a caregiver arrives at your home for work, he or she just punches in the code to the lockbox (like this Master Lock Select Access Key Storage Box pictured above) and retrieves the key — and then returns it to the lockbox after opening the door. The lockbox code is easily changed, meaning you don’t need to change your locks every time you change caregivers.

 

 

 

Protect Your Stuff

 

Detective Cruce says it’s especially important for those with multiple caregivers, or with a “revolving door” of caregivers who are new each time, to secure their valuables. Having multiple caregivers definitely complicates theft investigations, making it difficult to pinpoint who’s responsible for missing items.

 

When she started using a home care agency in 2006 due to her amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Fern Cohen, of Rego Park, N.Y., was sent different caregivers every day. When her brand-new digital camera was stolen, the agency wouldn’t do anything because she couldn’t prove who stole it, even though Cohen knew who was working the day she found it missing.

 

“[The revolving door] was my main reason for switching from agency care to self-directed care,” says Cohen, 58. She now has a handpicked staff of four trustworthy caregivers.

 

(Self-directed care means that people with disabilities have decision-making authority over certain services, and take direct responsibility in managing their services, including personal care aides. Self-directed services may not be available in every state and may vary from state to state. Check with your state’s Medicaid program or your personal insurance for more details.)

 

After the digital camera incident, Cohen also realized she could take measures herself to avoid enabling theft in her home. So to safeguard her valuables — from otherwise trusted eyes as well as the hands of strangers — she bought a safe.

 

But theft is not limited to physical possessions. Be sure to monitor bank accounts and credit card charges and look for anything unusual. Staying aware of your financial situation and transactions may help detect a theft. Also, hide important documents and consider storing duplicate copies in a safe place with family members or friends.

 

For example, Kelley learned the hard way that it’s wise to always request a receipt when the caregiver returns from shopping for you. He gave one of his caregivers his food stamp card to go to the store for him one afternoon, and she didn’t bring back a receipt.

 

“It was a red flag when she didn’t bring back a receipt, so I waited until she left and went back over to the store with my food stamp card, and I told them that I needed them to run an audit on the card,” Kelley says.

 

Within a few days, the store provided an itemized computer printout that showed his caregiver had purchased $10 worth of items for herself.

 

Even if people take the precautions mentioned here, some may find it comforting to also monitor caregivers with nanny cams or webcams. This option can be very expensive and time-consuming, so research this technology and its associated costs before deciding if it’s right for you. (Also, consult an attorney, or familiarize yourself with state laws governing video surveillance and speech before recording anything.)

 

 

 

 

Break the Cycle

 

As for my stolen work laptop, I didn’t even know it was missing until I received a phone call from the support coordinator at the agency where my caregiver worked asking: “Are you missing a laptop computer?”

 

I went to check under my bed (not a good hiding spot), all the while thinking, “If it’s missing, she stole it.”

 

My support coordinator said that the whereabouts of my laptop were still unknown but that my caregiver’s ride had called the agency and reported that she had bragged about stealing it from beneath my bed. My support coordinator also told me that my caregiver had quit the day before.

 

I decided to press charges against my caregiver thief because I didn’t want this happening to anyone else. Later, I heard from the prosecutor that she had similar charges before, which were dropped by the client. The fact that she already had a second chance and blew it made me feel a little better about pressing charges.

 

A few days later, Detective Cruce returned my work laptop after convincing my now former caregiver that the judge would go much easier on her if she relinquished it.

 

“Theft is not uncommon for people who are vulnerable,” says Cruce, adding that every state has laws to help protect people who are vulnerable to abuse due to their age or disability. “Theft from a vulnerable adult is a crime by itself,” he continues. “So not only do you get charged with theft, but you also get charged with theft from a vulnerable adult; therefore, the consequences could be doubled.”

 

As of this writing, my former caregiver had received a $25 fine and was sentenced to 36 months of probation, during which she’s not allowed to have any contact with me. Theft from a vulnerable adult will appear on her record.

 

 

 

Be Prepared — Just in Case

 

It’s impossible to avoid getting ripped off. It happens to everyone, but it’s even more upsetting when you have a disability and you’re paying and relying on the culprit to help you live more independently. People with disabilities face the additional difficulty of having to get rid of a vital caregiver often without having another qualified person to instantly replace him or her.  

 

We love our caregivers. They are, literally, the reason we can get out of bed every morning. Most of them are dedicated to their caregiving jobs and are totally trustworthy.

 

But it’s smart to be prepared in case one of them decides to pull a fast one.   

 

 

 

Minimizing Stranger Danger

 

Allowing a “stranger,” even a professional caregiver with good references, into your home can be a scary proposition. But deciding when and how to work with outside caregivers is far less daunting if you assess your options and perform due diligence to evaluate candidates for the position.

Lisa A. Lieberman’s A ‘Stranger’ Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences offers readers, especially parents, tips on how to do just that.

Lieberman, of Oswego, Ore., is a licensed clinical social worker and family counselor as well as an author and speaker.

 

 

 

Read:  How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

Recommended Reading: 

How to Care for Aging Parents (3rd Edition)A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues

by Virginia Morris

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Choose Adaptive Clothing

How to Choose Adaptive Clothing

 

 

Adaptive clothing is designed for people who have mobility issues, are confined to a bed or use a wheelchair.

 

Adaptive T Shirt For Women - Home Care Apparel - Royal MED

 

Example:  Silvert’s Adaptive T Shirt

 

 

 

People with disabilities due to disease or injury, physical limitations in range of motion or those who are aging naturally often will have trouble at some point in their lives getting dressed and undressed.

Clothing manufacturers normally design their products for able-bodied people who are more interested in the look of the item than the ease of wearing it. Normal clothing is not designed with the ability of the wearer to dress themselves taken in to account.

For those who have trouble bending, reaching and flexing their limbs due to age, dressing can be a stressful and difficult task. For those with limbs that can’t be controlled or don’t function at all the act of getting dressed can be impossible. For those who are confined to a wheelchair the task of getting pants or dresses on usually requires the help or one or more caregiver.

 

 

Adaptive Shirt Top For Men - Mens Disability Clothing - Black SMA

Adaptive Shirt For Men (Front & Back Photos)

 

 

 

 

Adaptive clothing is designed for people who have mobility issues, are confined to a bed or use a wheelchair.

Several companies have developed lines of clothing that are designed to be put on and removed while seated or lying down and to provide some measure of independence for the user who is able to dress themselves.

Among the products available for those who require clothing that is easy use are these:

 

 

 

Men’s Wear

 

Men’s Side Opening Arthritic Pants with VELCRO® Brand Fasteners

 

Mens Side Opening Arthritic Pants with VELCRO® Brand Fasteners - Navy XL

  • Men’s Polo, Tee & Undershirts that are open at the back with large flaps and close at the shoulders
  • Men’s underwear that closes at the sides using Quick Strip closures and pull tabs to unfasten
  • Men’s pants that close at the sides using VELCRO® brand fasteners
  • Shoes and slippers with VELCRO® brand  closures and non-slip soles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s Wear

 

  • Women’s underwear that closes at the sides using Quick Strip closures and pull tabs to unfasten

 

 

 

"Be Amazing", Pack of 1, Repose Grey, Non-Skid, Barre, Pilates, Yoga, Labor and Delivery Socks, Non Slip, Grip Socks

 

 

 

 

Read Finding Practical Shoes for Elderly

 

 

 

Adaptive Shirts – completely open up, allowing the arms to slide into the garment sleeves without ever having to raise or lower arms, this also eliminates the struggle with small neck openings. The back overlap is then folded over and snapped into place. There is no split in the middle so everything is covered and is very discrete and many times you cannot even tell that it is an open back garment.

 

Adaptive Pants – completely open up in the back to allow you to get dressed while seated. Legs are inserted into the pant legs from a seated position and drawn up to the inner thigh. Caregivers simply snap the generous back overlap in place, providing complete coverage and discretion. Assisted disrobing is just as easy. The person has been effortlessly dressed by the caregiver from a seated position with no weight-bearing required.

 

Arthritis, lowered hand dexterity and partial paralysis can make buttons, small openings and laces impossible! Hidden velcro brand fasteners/easy touch closures in adaptive apparel can make garments and footwear comfortable and functional for the wearer. In addition, elasticized waists make it easy to pull on garments when challenged by lowered hand dexterity

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Look For in Adaptive Clothing

 

 

Fabric Content

 

Choose fabrics that can be washed repeatedly and still look nice. Fabrics that resist shrinkage in everyday washing are polyester or a combination of polyester and cotton.

When choosing a cotton garment make sure that it is 50% polyester / 50% cotton or 65% polyester / 35% cotton blend. The garment will then not require ironing and will have a low shrinkage factor.

To ensure that your wheelchair clothing remains in good condition and does not shrink, it should contain less than 30% rayon, silk, linen or wool content.

 

 

Disability Differences To Keep In Mind

 

 

Arthritis

 

If you have arthritis you want to keep your clothing loose fitting and with elastic waist bands. Choose clothing that opens in front and not clothing that pulls over your head. Choose clothing with large buttons or fasteners.

 

 

Parkinson’s

 

Individuals with Parkinson’s can have problems with balance, and fine motor, so clothing that pulls on over the head or feet make dressing easier. Tremors and difficulty with fine motor tasks make buttons, ties and zippers a challenge.

If your balance is unsteady lie in bed to dress your legs by rolling side to side in bed, or sit in a chair with arms and a back for safety and support.

 

 

Diabetics

 

Diabetics have special circulatory concerns as approximately 65% of diabetics have some form of nerve damage. This lack or decreased sensation leads to inability to feel pain, most often in the feet, which can lead to an increased risk for infection from cuts and scrapes if undetected. You want to decrease restrictions and wearing of tight socks and shoes.

 

 

Alzheimer’s

 

Keep your loved one who has Alzheimer’s on a regular routine and do not rush or hurry them. Use easy and familiar clothing, do not try to add layers or be fashionable with accessories. Encourage independence, label their closet and drawers making it easy for them to find items; keep choices simple such as sweat suits or pant sets that pull on with elastic waists.

Depending upon the advancement of the disease you may need to lay out their clothing in the order in which they need to put it on or hand it to them one item at a time. Encourage a regular toileting routine to decrease embarrassing moments. Be sensitive to the possibility of incontinence and consider using briefs or pads for dignity and easier toileting.

Consider a back zipper jumpsuit for men or women who may tend to undress inappropriately.

 

 

Spinal Cord Injury

 

If you have partial or complete paralysis from spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis or stroke you want to maintain as much independence in addition to keeping dressing as easy and successful as possible.

When you look good in your clothes you also feel good and your spirits are boosted. Keeping as active as possible encourages stronger muscles. Make dressing a success by using zippers that close in front or on the side, or easy pull on clothes for weak arm muscles.

For those with paralysis in the arms, back snap dresses and tops are easy for caregivers to assist putting on and taking off. Paralysis in the legs can make dressing and bathroom use a challenge. Try using side opening pants that feature either Velcro©, side zippers, snaps or easy access back flaps.

Wheelchair clothing with back snap openings may help make assisted dressing easier for those with paralysis and for those confined to a wheelchair.

 

 

Adaptive Equipment

 

Some adaptive equipment can help make dressing safer and easier. Using a grabber or reacher to assist with putting your pants on is another option.

 

 

 

 

You can use a button hook or dressing stick if you have limited shoulder and hand movement or strength. Use zipper pulls for jackets or pants.

 

 

 

To put your socks and shoes on you can use a sock aid and long handled shoehorn; and elastic laces are available for your tie shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Dressing Others

 

TIP #1: Start by dressing the person’s affected/weaker side first. When undressing, remove the unaffected side first.

 

TIP #2: Ask residents if they want help picking out their outfits or if they want you to do it. This provides them a sense of independence and choice. Provide a few options of outfits for them to choose from if they want to be involved.

 

TIP #3: When dressing a person in bed sit the head of the bed up. This gives their back muscles a chance to adjust to the upright position and gets their blood flowing. Put on their socks, pants, shoes, and so on. Aside from being easier on the resident, it will protect your back.

 

TIP #4: Not everyone is going to be happy to have help getting dressed. If you have a difficult resident, positive reinforcement, smiling, and a good attitude go a very long way.

 

TIP #5: Tell the person you’re dressing what is happening every step of the process, especially if the residents are confused. It keeps them in the loop, builds trust, and makes them more comfortable.

 

TIP #6: The most simple tip, but possibly the most important, be patient!

 

 

Summary

 

Wheelchair clothing for those with challenging physical abilities is available from several different companies. Adaptations include side zippers, elastic waist bands, back flaps , open back/snap shirts, sweaters, dresses, jackets, modified styles for those unable to stand include shortened tops and extra material for seated positions. Undergarments for dignity are also available.

Adaptive equipment is available to help make dressing safer and easier for individual performance.

Caregivers are able to dress those they care for with increased comfort and ease using the different styles of open back/shoulder snap clothing. Fasteners are strategically placed so as to not add increased pressure or skin problems.

If you experience difficulty getting in or out of your clothes, or you are a caregiver whose loved one requires assistance dressing, you will find that the right adaptive clothing can make life a lot easier.

 

 

 

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Things Your Loved One Needs in a Nursing Home

 

Things Your Loved One Needs in a Nursing Home

 

 

 

 

Most of us dread the thought of moving a loved one into a skilled nursing facility, and this sentiment doesn’t change for those who are fortunate enough to have a selection of stellar facilities to choose from.

We know that we are giving up a certain amount of direct oversight, which can be hard even though we are well aware of our limitations as individual caregivers.

We also know deep down that this move is an admission that a loved one has passed a certain point in their health where returning home or resuming even a few aspects of self-care is no longer a possibility.

 

In other words, this transition is a direct dose of reality.

 

 

 

 

 

As with all changes in life, knowing what to expect ahead of time can be extremely helpful mentally and emotionally as well as practically. I asked Amy Laughlin, BA, AP-BC, ADC, an Activity Professional and Senior Living Educator based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to work out a nursing home checklist.

Amy’s comprehensive list below explains our loved ones’ rights, questions to ask the facility you are considering, and how to best anticipate and prepare for their needs.

 

 

Skilled Nursing Facilities Federal Regulations

 

Federal regulations, which are overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), require that skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) provide the following to all residents:

 

  • A room with a window to the outside for natural light and orientation to the time of day, weather and season;
  • A bed of appropriate size and height;
  • A clean, comfortable mattress;
  • Bedding, which is appropriate to the weather/climate; and
  • Furniture appropriate to the resident’s needs, including a separate closet or clothing storage spaces.

 

 

These regulations also require SNFs to provide a “safe, clean comfortable and homelike environment.” In other words, the goal is for these facilities to be less institutional and more homelike, so residents have the opportunity to bring many items and personal effects with them to help create a meaningful and individual living space.

 

 

 

Before Moving to a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

 

 

Look at the room carefully. How much floor space is there, and how much storage space will your loved one have? There must be enough room to maneuver a wheelchair or other mobility aid and for caregivers to safely transfer and care for your loved one.

Check to see if the facility will remove the provided nightstand, chest, or chair so that they can bring some personal pieces of furniture. If this is an option, make sure that none of their furniture encroaches on a roommate’s space or limits mobility within the room.

 

Ask questions about what the facility provides that is included in the fee.

The following are common questions that can reveal a great deal about what may need to be purchased or left at home. It can also expose services and items that come at an additional cost:

 

  • Are bedding and towels provided?
  • Is the laundering of linen included?
  • Does my loved one’s room have cable or a digital signal, and is it included in the monthly cost?
  • What about local and long distance telephone service?
  • Is there public and/or secure wifi access available?
  • Can personal laundry services be added for an additional fee?
  • Do they provide a wall clock, TV or personal care products?

 

Every SNF  (Skilled Nursing Facility) is different. No family member wants to receive a terrible shock when they get the first bill and discover that all the services they thought were included were actually optional extras.

 

 

 

Nursing Home Packing List

 

 

What to Pack for Moving to a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

 

Aside from making the decision to move your loved one into a SNF, helping them pick and choose what to pack and what to purge is one of the most difficult parts of this transition.

Caregivers often help their family members sort through entire homes, garages and storage units full of belongings, furniture and family heirlooms. These individuals have been collecting personal items for decades, and it can be difficult for them to simultaneously “lose” their home and the majority of their possessions.

Many caregivers enable their loved ones hold onto some family heirlooms, seasonal clothing and décor, valuables, and other important belongings by storing them at their own home, dispersing them among trusted family members or renting a storage unit. This helps elders feel they still have access to their possessions or at least that these things have been passed on to individuals who will cherish and respect them.

Regardless of the method you and your loved one decide to use, there are some important considerations and limitations that apply to each category of a nursing home packing list.

 

 

Clothing and Accessories for Living in a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

When deciding what kinds of clothing to bring to a skilled nursing facility and how much, there are a number of practical matters that should influence your loved one’s packing list.

Remember that Clothing must be easy to get on and off and able to withstand lots of washing and drying.

 

Remember that Clothing must be easy to get on and off and able to withstand lots of washing and drying.

While the temperature inside the facility is regulated to a level that would be perfectly comfortable for most active adults, the majority of Skilled Nursing Facility residents tend to be cold-natured. Make sure your loved one has warm and comfortable sweatshirts, vests or jackets that can be worn with every outfit, as well as cozy socks that can be worn in bed. 

I like Silvert’s Adaptable Clothing best for these items because they specialize in garments that make dressing easier, and their excellent quality can stand up to institutional laundering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a wide variety of other high quality brands of adaptive clothing available, so you’ll have plenty of choices for comfortable basics that will be wearable and durable.  Also, don’t forget to make sure your loved one has non skid slippers.

 

 

 

 

 

The number of outfits they should bring depends on who will be doing their laundry and how often.

A good rule of thumb is to bring at least a week’s worth of clothing—probably more just to provide for additional changes that may be needed, and make sure you label everything.

If at all possible, it is helpful if whoever does the laundry returns their clothes to their closet clipped or hung together as outfits, so they are easily able to choose an outfit rather than having to choose separate tops and bottoms.

 

 

These AVERY Permanent Adhesive No-Iron Clothing Labels  are excellent for making sure your loved one’s items don’t get misplaced. 

 

 

 

 

 

You just write (use a permanent marker like the one above), peel and stick; no ironing required.  Their permanent adhesive will withstand multiple washing machine and dryer cycles.

 

 

Accessories are part of a person’s individual style and should be encouraged! Nothing too valuable or with sharp points or edges should be brought with, but if Mom has always worn bright scarves or glittery beads, make sure she has some she can wear every day. If Dad always wore a certain hat, make sure he has it available.

Women often want their purse close by, and men don’t feel quite right without a wallet in their pocket. Let them bring their wallet or a favorite purse. Even if they will be rarely embarking on outings, it will help them retain a sense of control and independence in a world that is completely new, strange and scary. You could even put a few dollar bills or some change in it. Just make sure you take out all insurance cards, bank cards and credit cards first.

 

 

 

 

Personal Care Products for Living in a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

Most of us have our favorite soap, shampoo, lotion and toothpaste that we have used for years. This is no different for a senior who is moving into a nursing home. Even something as simple as providing their favorite brands and products can help them feel that their routine hasn’t been completely turned upside-down. Some of these personal care items may be available from the facility, but be aware that they may come with extra charges.

 

 

Families generally provide these items and facility staff should let you know when your loved one is running low. It can be helpful to keep a small stash of extra products in a box or basket in their closet or bathroom to avoid running out at the last minute.

 

  • Be sure to pick their favorite fragrances or well-loved brands. Although your loved one might be washed and bathed by someone else, using familiar products, especially familiar scents, can make the experience much more comfortable.

 

 

 

Linens and Bedclothes for Living in a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

  • Basic linen, such as bedding and towels, is provided and laundered by the facility.
  • Most individuals also love to have soft, warm blankets or quilts on their beds—perhaps a favorite from their home.

 

 

  • A small lap blanket or throw is also nice to tuck around their legs or shoulders when they are sitting in an armchair or wheelchair. Make sure these items are machine washable and able to take a fair amount of laundering.

 

  • Remember that a handmade crocheted blanket will not hold up to frequent washing and drying in the facility’s industrial machines.  And don’t forget to label it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Items and Technology for Living in a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

  • Family members usually provide a small TV, sometimes also a DVD player for their loved one. Label both items, as well as the remotes, and don’t forget to provide spare batteries.
  • If your loved one will have a roommate, consider purchasing wireless headphones so that they can watch TV at any volume without disturbing anyone.
  • Ask the facility if they allow extension cords. Some facilities completely prohibit them, since they can pose a trip and fall risk, but others allow them at limited times of the year (such as one for plugging in a Christmas tree).
  • Many SNF residents love using their smart phones, tablets and laptops. If wifi is available at the facility, make sure you know of any passwords and fees associated with it, as well as if the bandwidth is sufficient to stream videos. If the wifi is not secure, make sure your loved one does not log onto online banking website or any other sites where their personal information could be vulnerable to hackers and scam artists.
  • All electronic devices should be clearly labeled with the resident’s name, and if possible, contain a GPS locator in case they ever go missing. Don’t forget chargers and connecting cords.

 

 

Decorative Touches for Living in a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

  • Plan to decorate their room for holidays and events. A small seasonal wreath for their door, holiday cards, and wall décor are a great way to remind your loved one of the holiday without taking up precious space on their nightstand or dresser. Window clings are an inexpensive and reusable decorative item that can be easily applied to and removed from a window or mirror. You may have to store seasonal items that are currently not being used if there is not enough storage space in their room.
  • A favorite door decoration is also a good cue for your loved one that they have returned to “their” room after a meal or activity. Many doors in the SNF look the same, but theirs will stand out.

 

  • Fresh flowers and plants brighten up windowsills and dressers. Just be sure to pick low-maintenance varieties that will not create any mess. If your loved one is assigned to a room with a less than ideal view from their window, this small touch can make a big difference. You and your loved one can arrange flowers or water the plants together as an activity.

 

 

 

 

Favorite Things to Have in a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

 

  • Your loved one should be able to look around their room and say, “these are a few of my favorite things.” These items should hold personal significance, promote happy reminiscence and stimulate the senses in some way.
  • Family pictures are important and can be posted on a bulletin board, stored in a scrapbook or photo album, uploaded to a digital picture frame, or displayed as a collage on the wall. It can also be helpful to stick a small label under each photo or on the back to explain the name and relationship to your loved one of those pictured. This enables them to share their pictures without having the pressure of remembering names, faces and relationships all at once.

 

 

  • Another sentimental item may be their favorite artwork or posters. Keep in mind that wall space in SNF rooms is limited, and the facility may have rules about what hardware is allowed to hang frames and other wall decor.
  • Numerous vendors sell affordable prints of famous works of art, nature scenes, military memorabilia, old movie posters, and much more. The options are endless!  Posters can be placed in inexpensive poster frames to make them look more polished, and the artwork can be changed out periodically at little expense.

 

 

Two Girls at the Piano by Pierre-Auguste Renoir Poster Print, 16x20

Two Girls at the Piano by Pierre-Auguste Renoir Poster Print, 16×20

Georges Seurat (La Grande Jatte) Poster Art Print – 24×36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A CD player and CDs or a MP3 player loaded with favorite music, can also be a small, but meaningful addition to a loved one’s room. Just as with the television, headphones of some kind are probably a wise investment.
  • Other types of treasured items might include favorite snacks or treats (as appropriate to their current dietary needs), scented lotions, a stuffed animal, sports memorabilia or team colors, a couple of favorite books, or small pieces or items from a personal collection are helpful.
  • It is important to note that most facilities prohibit breakable items like china and glass, electric blankets, scented plug-ins, and, of course, any sort of open flame (candles), and weapons.

 

 

Hobbies for Living in a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

Days at the SNF can be long, especially at the beginning when your loved one is trying to remember new people and adapt to new routines as well as struggle with their own loss of independence.

The facility should have a diverse and interesting activities program, but your loved one will still have the opportunity to pursue their personal interests or hobbies.

 

 

One of the biggest parts of their packing list is making sure they have the items they need to remain engaged and entertained.

 

 

  • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions can easily be arranged and changed, and these items can be delivered directly to the facility.

 

USA Today

Reader's Digest

 

 

 

  • Many facilities have libraries of books, or the local public library might deliver to the facility. If your loved one is a reader, make sure they always have a couple great books on their nightstand. If they are no longer able to read, even a book of inspirational stories or favorite poems can be useful for visitors to read these aloud with them.

 

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  • You might also consider setting them up with an Audible membership to download audio books on an MP3 player or other device.

 

 

 

 

52" x 71" Traditional High Quality Jewish Kosher Tallit / Tallis / Talit / Talis Prayer Shawl Made in Israel - White, Black and Gold

 

 

If your loved one is religious, make sure they have their religious texts of choice, plus any associated items or prayer aids, such as a rosary, shawl, crucifix, etc.

 

 

Catholic Women's Aqua Glass Bead Rosary with White Zipper Vinyl Case

 

  • Provide a labeled tote or bin of supplies for their favorite art or craft, like knitting, crocheting or painting. Adult coloring has become incredibly popular with the senior population lately. They may enjoy one of these books and a set of colored pencils.

 

 

 

 

 

  • For puzzle masters, large print books of word finds, crossword puzzles, Sudoku and jigsaw puzzles are a must. Decks of cards and simple board games can also help pass the time or provide a structured activity for when grandchildren come to visit.

 

 

 

 

Hoyles Super Jumbo Single Deck

 

 

  • If your loved one enjoys writing and receiving letters, make sure you provide them with the materials they need. A couple of pens/pencils, a notepad or some stationary, an address book, return address labels and stamps are all musts. Even if they do not send or receive mail often, it’s good to keep a few writing instruments and some paper on hand just in case.

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

  • An attractive wall calendar that is clearly marked with family birthdays, holidays, visits and important events is a useful addition to a senior’s room. Even if they have difficulty keeping track of time, the staff and their visitors might be able to reference it and remind them of upcoming activities.

 

 

  • A visitors’ book where people can sign in and say what they did together might be a nice way to remember visits and family time. An example of an entry could be: Saturday, April 16: Jennifer & Brad visited with you and took you outside to see the spring blooms and listen to the birds. We drank lemonade on the porch and talked about gardening.

 

 

Important Tips for Personal Items in a Skilled Nursing Facility

 

http://www.chsbuffalo.org/files/images/Images/6-mnf-household-living-room.jpg

 

  • All items must be clearly marked with your loved one’s name. Clothing and other items can easily be mixed up in the laundry, and if the facility has residents with dementia or memory issues, belongings can be accidentally or intentionally stolen or end up in the wrong rooms. Use permanent marker on clothing and fabrics and either purchase or make labels with your loved one’s name and room number so that all other items can be quickly and easily labeled. You can also iron or sew on decorative patches to identify clothing without it appearing like a label. Don’t forget to tag items like glasses, hearing aids, denture cases, personal care items, and durable medical equipment like walkers or wheelchairs, and furniture.
  • Remember that many people will be coming and going in and out of your loved one’s room on a daily basis. This includes caregivers, nurses, housekeeping staff, activities staff, visitors, volunteers and family members. At some point, items will go missing. Hopefully they have just been misplaced and will be returned, but, for this reason, do not bring anything valuable.
  • Some nursing homes take inventory of a new resident’s belongings upon move in. Ask if this is something that your loved one’s facility does, and if it isn’t, then consider creating your own Facility Inventory form to keep track of their things and better determine if something has been lost or stolen. Ask for the Admissions Coordinator or Director of Nursing to sign this inventory on move-in day. If an item goes missing, you are much more likely to have the facility replace it if you have a documented move-in list.

 

Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list. Bring in the basics and see how your loved one fares for the first couple of weeks. Maybe they will need more clothes, an extra lamp on the nightstand so they can read better, or maybe you will realize that they are no longer interested in an activity, so you can take those supplies away and free up some space for other items.

 

This is a challenging time for both you and your loved one. A room in a Skilled Nursing Facility is never going to be comparable to your loved one’s home.

Treat this move as an opportunity to create your loved one’s last home: a comfortable, safe environment filled with happy memories and fun activities.

This is a place where they can thrive and receive the higher level of care they need.

 

 

 

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories by [Bursack, Carol Bradley]

 

Based on an article by Carol Bradley Bursack

 

Over the span of two decades, author, columnist, consultant and speaker Carol Bradley Bursack cared for a neighbor and six elderly family members.

 

Her experiences inspired her to pen, “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories,” a portable support group book for caregivers.

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Resources:

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Convincing Your Parents to Transition to Assisted Living

Preparing For Your Elderly Parent to Move In With You

How to Choose Adaptive Clothing

Help for Anxiety in the Elderly

Assisted Living Questions and Answers

All About Hiring In-Home Help

Getting the Right Testing for Dementia

Be Aware of Bone Diseases in the Elderly

Does Prevagen Actually Help Your Memory?

FBI Warning: Seniors Getting Scammed!

Elder Abuse Questions and Answers

Should You Get a Medical Alert System?

My Review of LifeStation Medical Alert System

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The MIND Diet for Fighting Dementia

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Alzheimer’s, Elevated Cortisol and Your Genes

Prevent or Slow Dementia by Building Cognitive Reserve

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

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Install A Power Lift Toilet Seat For A Safer Bathroom

Install A Power Lift Toilet Seat For A Safer Bathroom

 

 

The toilet seat should not be overlooked as a way to help a loved one stay independent as long as possible. It also can be a location of great concern for those prone to falling or for caregivers who must help transfer their loved ones in order for them to use the toilet.

 

It may not be the household item that catches a person’s eye or thoughts while looking for hazards, but toilet seats have options available today that many caregivers are unaware of.

 

From extra padding to extra height, these specialized seats make it easier for elderly loved ones to get on and off the toilet. The industry, however, is bringing innovation one step forward with power-lift toilet seats.

 

 

Types of Power-Lift Toilet Seats

 

Spring-Powered Option Lift Toilet Seat

 

There are two main types of power-lift seats on the market. The first is a spring-powered option. It is already in an upright position when a loved one approaches it, not like the usual toilet seat. It hinges on the front and meets a person’s rear while they are standing. When a loved begins to sit back, the spring and hydraulic piston slowly lowers them to a seated position.

 

With this option, the device takes about 80 percent of the weight off the person using it. When a loved one is finished, he or she stands up independently, with the weight again being minimized by the hydraulics in the system.

 

Motorized Lift Toilet Seat

 

The second option is completely motorized, assuming 100 percent of a person’s weight. This is a great option for someone who needs full assistance.

 

It installs on the toilet and includes a hand controller for raising and lowering the seat. The controls help the seat meet a loved one in their standing position; then, with a small lean back, lowers them directly onto the toilet. When the person is finished, the controller again is available to lift a loved one to a complete standing position. For larger people, a dual-motor option can be bought for additional support.

 

A power-lift toilet seat is available in either a free-standing or wall-mounted product. The free-standing seats are able to be used bedside, which some people may prefer for flexibility.

 

Check With Your Medical Insurance Company Regarding a Lift Toilet Seat

 

The good news, if you are considering a purchase, is that if a physical deems this kind of support medically necessary, many insurance companies will help cover the cost. A caregiver can do some easy research to find out their loved ones’ benefits.

 

 

 

Would a Power-Lift Toilet Seat Be A Good Option For You?

 

Time in a bathroom is typically a very personal thing. Many loved ones may feel embarrassment needing assistance, especially if they still are very mentally aware and simply experiencing the standard bending/reaching issues that often come with age. With more progressive needs, an aide still must assist the person in getting on and off a toilet.

 

From another point of view, a power-lift toilet seat is an ideal option for someone in recovery from a surgery or illness. It helps people return home and stay home longer. From knee issues to back concerns, a long list can be made of times when a power-lift seat is beneficial. Toileting is one thing that no person can ignore, and a little help can go a long way for someone who just needs a boost.

 

Safety is of utmost importance to all those involved in caregiving. All power-lift toilet seats come with weight recommendations, but most are between 250 to 500 pounds. There are also bariatric versions available. The power-lift toilet seats help caregivers and loved ones alike, by promoting independence and dignity, while preventing injuries.

 

Falls are a big safety risk for people with uneven gait, or wobbly knees. Elderly people are especially at risk, as any caregiver will attest. A power-lift toilet seat tremendously minimizes that danger.

 

While these products were designed originally for hospitals and other care facilities, they are now available for the consumer. Caregivers are thankful for fewer falls and trips to the emergency room, and loved ones are grateful for regaining a sense of self-worth and respect.

 

 

The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems)

 

 

 

EZ-ACCESS Tilt Toilet Lift

I recommend the TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems) as the best solution to help prevent falls in the bathroom while using the toilet.

This device lowers users to and from the commode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift provides comfort and safety along with the functionality of a heavy duty commode lift chair. This lift is compatible with both standard and elongated toilet seats.This toilet lift accommodates users 5’2” to 6’4” and bowl heights from 14” to 21”, and has a weight capacity of 325 lbs.

 

 

 

Tilt Down Seat Up

 

 

 

 

The TILT™ is equipped with Companion Control to allow the user or caregiver to easily operate the seat with the push of a button.The TILT™ is designed for easy installation and comes with a 2-year warranty.  The TILT™ is made in the USA.

 

 

 

 

Features of the TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems) :

 

  • The unit is lightweight, yet strong and durable.
  • Easy installation – typically less than 15minutes.  The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift is compatible with both standard and elongated toilet seats.
  • The TILT™ offers great stability, as the TILT attaches directly to the bowl, rather than pushing the unit over the commode.
  • The TILT™ moves the user 7-1/2” forward, which is ideal for clearing obstructions and rising from the bowl. This also positions the user’s shoulders over their feet for optimal balance and positioning.
  • Arms remain at a constant positioning angle, which keeps the elbow of the user slightly bent to maximize their ideal strength position in order to exit the seat. The low angle of the unit allows for easier lateral transfers from mobile devices, chairs, transport chairs, and bath seats.
  • In the down position, the arms are lower than the seat for a slideboard transfer. The hand grips feature non-slip covers.
  • The assembly is protected by a plastic shield, which can easily be removed for cleaning.
  • Unit accommodates users 5’2” to 6’4” and bowl heights from 14” to 21”.

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

Your Guide to Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Guide to Bathroom Grab Bars and Hand Rails

Help Your Older Adult Move From the Wheelchair to the Toilet

How to Buy a Power Lift Recliner Chair

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!  Here’s How …

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Best Hemorrhoid Treatment Product Reviews

Modifying Your Bathroom For Safety

How to Reduce the Risks of Heavy Lifting for Caregivers

Choosing the Best Transport Chair

Choosing a Medical Walker

Choosing a Walking Cane

Find the Right Power Wheelchair

Preparing For Your Hip Replacement Surgery

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Preparing For Your Elderly Parent to Move In

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

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Have You Heard of Weighted Blanket Therapy?

Have You Heard of Weighted Blanket Therapy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The drug-free therapeutic blanket known as weighted blankets have become the at-home treatment for insomnia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Asperger’s and sensory disorders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many seniors, adults, teenagers and children face psychiatric issues that cause insomnia and severe anxiety. Patients with autism and other psychiatric disorders also face extreme anxiousness and the inability to induce calmness within themselves without the use of sedatives or drugs.

 

The combination of behavioral aberrations, and the lack of sleep among these people, have been known to lead to loss of productivity in their daily lives, irrational emotional behavior and out – of – character actions. It isn’t just the problem of not being able to keep their emotions under control, but the issue of lashing out aggressively due to psychological dysfunctions.

 

The root causes of such behavioral issues are anxiety and insomnia, which is usually treated with pharmacological (drugs) and psychological (therapy) methods. However, now with a breakthrough in the study of sleep medicine and psychiatric disorders, we know that the trick to soothing consternation and inducing sleep is much simpler than once thought.

 

The drug-free therapeutic blanket known as weighted blankets have become the at-home treatment for insomnia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Asperger’s and sensory disorders.

 

 

Weighted blankets use deep pressure touch simulation (DPTS) to relax the body and make the patient feel safe, guarded and secure, which calms their unease and helps their body go to sleep. The sensory compression methodology facilitates a positive change with the comfort the blanket brings to its user. The weight of the blanket stimulates the receptors on your body which then activates the neurotransmitters in your brain to bring a sense of happiness to the person.

 

 

 

The Poly plastic (Polypropylene) pellets that have been used to fill the compartments of the blanket provide the weightage of the blanket. A quality weighted blanket is quilted, made of either cotton or fleece and weighs about 10% of the user’s body. Using the proper blanket according to the size and the weight of the user will give the optimum calming results.

 

This blanket has shown to be very effective in calming hyperactive children during bedtime, anxious patients in therapy and even adults undergoing chemotherapy. It has also proven to be efficacious in calming people down during anxiety inducing situations.

 

 

Studies Prove the Benefits of Weighted Blankets

 

– A 2008 study showed that weighted blankets are beneficial for anxiety. The study used a 30 lb. blankets on adults. In total, 63% reported a decrease in anxiety, and 78% found it calming.

– A 2015 study used 30 pound blanket on adults during an inpatient mental health hospitalization. 60% of them reported significant decrease in anxiety after use.

– Research on DPTS started as early as the 1950s. One article from 1992 found great benefits of this therapy for patients with autism. It reduces self-harming behaviors in autistic children, as well as produced better sleep. It also relaxes the muscles.

One adult autistic patient has stated, “I need heavy blankets on me to sleep well, or else my muscles won’t calm down.” 

– Weighted blanket were also found to be very calming for babies.

 

 

Therapeutic Benefits of Weighted Blankets

 

 

 

 

1. Weighted Blankets Promote Sleep

 

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes habitual sleeplessness. The lack of sleep leads to the over exhaustion of the human body and hampers the psychological well-being of the person. When a person is not able to function well, both physically and mentally, their social well being is affected and they begin to lose productivity in their lives. This leads to depression and other behavioral problems.

An easy solution to this problem is the weighted blanket. The pressure of the weighted blanket reaches deep within the body of the user to provide a comfortable environment for a person to fall asleep in. The sense of being swaddled and the physical connection that the user feels with the blanket makes them feel warm and safe. This helps their mind be at ease and they can be able to relax their body. The state of tranquility will help clear their mind and ensure a good night’s sleep.

According to the ‘Positive effects of a weighted blanket on insomnia’ by the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders 2015 of the SciMed Central, the weighted blankets had improved the sleep quality of people with severe insomnia.

 

 

2. Weighted Blankets Imitate a Warm Hug

 

Research shows that hugs can actually make a person feel at ease. Hugging a person releases the hormone Oxytocin into the blood stream. This chemical reduces your blood pressure, calms your heart rate and provides and overall feeling of relaxation.

Although the blanket does not provide a human connection, your body may perceive the warmth and security the imitation that a hug provides. Both the hug and the blanket use a gentle yet firm pressure that goes deep within the person’s body tissues. This gives the user a sense of repose and allows your body to relax.

 

 

3. Weighted Blankets Provide a Sense of Security

 

Being covered by a weighted and warm blanket will ensure the feeling of calmness in the user. The ‘blanket therapy’ stimulates the receptors present throughout our body, which lessens a person’s discomfort. Once the user feels more comfortable in the blanket, they begin to feel secure as their body begins to relax. The body can only relax when your mind is soothed and your heart rate is calmed. This change in the body will ensure that both your body and mind believes that you are secure and safe.

 

 

4. Weighted Blankets Increase the Production of Serotonin

 

Serotonin is a chemical messenger, also known as a neurotransmitter that your brain and intestines produce for the smooth functioning of your nervous system, which includes the brain and the nerves. This hormone is secreted to promote happiness and the mood of the people. Known as the ‘happy hormone’, this chemical does not only affect a person’s mood but it affects their behavior. The lack of serotonin in the body leads to depression, insomnia and anxiety. That is why the sensory stimulating weighted blankets increase the production of serotonin in the body. The hormone relaxes your body and makes you feel calmer. That sense of calmness leads to pacifying one’s anxiety, which results to inducing sleep in the user.

 

 

5. Weighted Blankets Increase the Production of Melatonin

 

Melatonin, also known as the ‘sleep hormone’ is a chemical that affects a person’s sleep. The hormone is produced with the production of serotonin, as well as the pineal gland in the brain. This chemical is known to ease insomnia and induce sleep, which is possible through the therapeutic benefits of the weighted blankets that provide a gentle yet firm pressure on your body by stimulating your receptors.

 

 

 

6. Weighted Blankets Calm Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Autism spectrum disorder includes Asperger’s, Autism, Rhett Syndrome and other unspecified Pervasive Development Disorders. Such disorders include behavioral problems that do not necessarily bode well with the norms of society. The patients suffering from such disorders feel aggression and irritation due to the inability to express or convey their thoughts clearly. Such slow cognitive development makes the patient unable to process information quickly and the change in their surroundings.

 

Patients with such disorders are not able to communicate properly, so they use erratic speech, repetitive actions and turbulent behaviors. During a frustrated outburst, the patient’s heart rate increases, their breath becomes shallow and their blood pressure rises – which further increases their irritability.

 

When the patient is going through such tempestuous emotions and tantrums, it is best to drape the weighted blanket around them or have them lay down with the blanket covering them. This will make them feel more relaxed and comfortable. Once they are no longer acting in a hysterical manner, they will be able to think with a clearer mind and a calmer body. Although communicating with their caretakers might still be difficult, there will at least be an opportunity for the patient to gather more patience and attempt to convey their thoughts in a more serene manner.

 

 

7. Weighted Blankets Help Overcome the Oversensitivity to Touch

 

Some psychiatric disorders make people oversensitive to touch. Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders usually face such discomfort with the touch of other people but this can be overcome by introducing the weight of the blanket regularly to the affected patient.

 

The pressure of the blanket provides a similar feeling of human touch at a larger scale without actual connection – which can be a stepping stone in helping patients overcome their fear of touch.

 

During the 1990s, a squeeze machine was used to help patients overcome their oversensitivity to touch. Today, with the inception of the ‘therapy blankets’, patients can use the more accessible and less controversial mechanism to help people become more at ease with touch.

 

 

8. Weighted Blankets Pacify Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD drives a person to think repetitively about a certain incident or an object. Such thoughts constantly play across a person’s mind and lead them to neglect their duties and their personal lives. The patient becomes anxious about a particular event and conducts a certain action over and over again. Their thoughts are occupied and their bodies refuse to break out of an obsessive reverie.

A very effective way to ease an OCD patient’s anxiety, and to treat the inability to calm them down from a mind consuming thought is to use a weighted blanket. This blanket allows the patient to feel safe and secure without worrying about the numerous issues that may be present in their lives. The blanket provides a warm environment for the user by helping to relive stress and allow their mind to release the captivating thoughts.

 

 

9. Weighted Blankets Mimic a Massage

 

Draping the weighted blanket over the user’s body distributes pressure evenly throughout their body. This has similar effects of a deep tissue massage. The pressure of the blanket goes deep within your tissues while you use it to fall asleep. A massage is supposed to help our body and mind relax – which can be easily done at home by using a weighted blanket. The physical factor of a massage might provide it’s own intimate yet soothing aspect, but the weighted blanket is proven to give you similar results to an actual massage in the long run.

 

 

10. Weighted Blankets Improve Cognitive Function

 

Taking a look at the overall therapeutic benefits of weighted blankets, we can see that it relieves stress, reduces tension, induces sleep, calms your mind and relaxes your body. These components are very important if you want to live a healthy and happy life.

 

Raised blood pressure, anxiety and lack of sleep are truly killers of productivity and normal behavior. Sleeping with the weighted blanket promotes the users overall well-being by ensuring that they tackle their daily issues with a clear head and a well-rested body.

 

With a clear mind, a person’s cognitive functions are improved. They are able to perform efficiently and effectively without being burdened by psychological issues and behavioral changes.

 

 

 

Weighted blankets can potentially solve sleep issues, panic attacks, anxiety related disorders, lack of concentration and even aggressive behavioral problems that affect the smooth proceedings of one’s daily life.

Successful results of the weighted blanket  can be had without the high costs of therapy sessions, drugs and sedatives that are traditionally used to pacify more tremulous patients. I recommend giving this effective and inexpensive blanket a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Use a Weighted Blanket

 

The blanket can be used at night, during naps, or used casually quick calming effect. Studies have used it for as little as 10 minutes and up to 2 hours, but it can stay on as long as you would like. It is the most beneficial to have your whole body covered, but do do not place the blanket on top of the head or face as it can create a suffocating sensation.

 

 

Choosing Your Weighted Blanket’s Weight

 

Use the formula 10% of your weight plus one pound. For example, a 160 lb person should  choose a 16 or 18 lb weighted blanket.

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

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About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

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Mattresses and Pads for Pressure Relief

Mattresses and Pads for Pressure Relief

 

 

 

 

 

Pressure relief mattress and bed pad systems prevent pressure ulcers, commonly called bed sores or pressure sores, by dispersing pressure away from bone protrusions via alternating pressure.
Most systems utilize air chambers in their mattresses or pads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing The Right Pressure Relief Mattresses & Pads

 

 

One of the many side effects of prolonged bed rest is developing pressure ulcers or, as they’re commonly known, bed sores—areas of skin that first redden and then can turn into open sores that, if untreated, become infected.

 

 

Pressure ulcers are identified by their stage of development, from Stage I to Stage IV, increasing in severity. Typical areas of skin affected are those over bony parts of the body.  It might be hard to imagine that simply laying in bed can produce such a reaction, but all it takes is the pressure of bone against skin against the flat surface of a typical mattress to alter the natural flow of blood that nourishes skin.

 

 

 

Studies have shown that in hospital and long-term care facilities alike, up to a third of patients develop bed sores. In addition to changing position frequently, lying on a pressure relief mattress can help enormously.

 

Pressure points can be protected by either pressure-reducing surfaces, such as a static air pressure mattress, or pressure-relieving surfaces, such as an alternating air pressure mattress. A pressure reduction device reduces pressure, though not as much as a pressure relief mattress.

 

Once ulcers have developed, in most cases only a pressure relief mattress combined with skin protection and wound-healing measures will help.

 

Prevention Is Best

 

The best approach is to prevent ulcers from happening in the first place. If bed rest is part of recuperation from illness or if your nightly sleep position creates uncomfortable pressure points, a bed sore mattress like the Geneva Healthcare Egg Crate Convoluted Foam Mattress Pad can help prevent pressure sores.

 

 

I like the Geneva Healthcare Egg Crate Pad because it is therapeutically designed for maximum comfort and offers a cool, dry surface for restful sleep. 

 

When lying on this pad, your body weight is distributed evenly from head to to, which improves circulation, and the cushion peaks increase comfort while offering support. 

 

 

The Geneva Healthcare mattress pad is made of high-quality, medical-grade urethane, and is ideal for prevention of pressure sores, bed sored, pressure point stress and decubitus ulcers.

 

 

 

Gel Mattress Pad

 

Another choice gel mattress pad to reduce interface pressure while providing a cooler, more comfortable sleeping surface. Look for an internal baffle design that balances your body in the center of the mattress while eliminating the traditional water mattress rocking effect; good designs are often made from anti-microbial, medical grade vinyl.

 

 

I like the Gel Memory Foam Topper from Advanced Sleep Solutions because reviewers find it extremely comfortable, and is made in the USA with eco-friendly materials. 

 

The Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Topper uses innovative gel technology, featuring an open cell structure design that minimizes stiffness, improves air flow and dissipates unnecessary heat. 

 

Perhaps most importantly, users find that it offers just the right amount of support to relieve pressure points.

 

 

The Advanced Sleep Systems Gel Memory Foam Topper is backed by a a 60 Day Money Back Comfortably Perfect Guarantee & a 3 Year Manufacturers Warranty.

 

 

Pressure Relief Mattress

 

If you want more than pressure reduction, investigate a pressure relief mattress system. An alternating pressure relief mattress is often is divided into several compartments that are alternately inflated and deflated by an electrical pump.

 

 

 

The Alternating Pressure Relief Bubble Pad System from Invacare is a 2.5″ thick mattress with a pump specifically designed for therapy treatment and prevention of Stage l pressure sores.

 

The control knob turns the unit on and off and adjusts the comfort range in 8 levels.

 

 

 

 

 

Full Mattress Replacement

 

Another option is a full mattress replacement.  The Alternating Pressure Mattress by Vive.  It is a 3″ thick mattress that aids in the treatment of pressure sores in Stages I and II.

 

 

 

The Vive alternating pressure mattress was designed to provide relief from bed sores and ulcers caused from prolonged bed rest.

 

Equipped with 130 individually heat sealed air bubbles for even weight disbursement and superior support.

 

The ultra-quiet pump is equipped with a variable pressure dial to ensure a full, undisturbed night’s sleep. It is also protected by a one-year warranty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Therapeutic Foam 5 Zone Pressure Reduction Support Mattress by Drive Medical is a deluxe, deep foam mattress also designed to prevent pressure related bed sores and ulcers.

 

 

The Drive Medical mattress features an egg crate top layer to reduce painful pressure points and increases comfort and support.

 

The removable nylon cover reduces friction and minimizes resistance to ensure optimal skin integrity.  

 

It’s also breathable, waterproof, machine washable and anti-microbial.

 

 

 

Air Pressure Mattress System

 

Once bed sores develop, a more sophisticated air pressure mattress system may be needed.

 

The Roho Dry Floatation Mattress has rows of soft, interconnected, air-filled cells that conforms precisely to the contours of the body, providing “passive compression therapy” against the skin. This allows for enhanced blood flow to the wound site, maximizing the healing process.

 

 

Don’t let its simplicity fool you.  The performance, efficiency and quality of this overlay system are unequaled in the industry.

 

Comprised of soft, interconnected air cells, the DRY FLOATATION mattress overlay conforms precisely to the body’s contours, helping soft tissue to maintain its shape in order to maximize the healing process as well as prevention.

 

 

 

 

  • With 720 air cells, this mattress overlay allows for greater conformity and better pressure distribution. Each cell is specially treated to minimize friction and resulting shear.
  • The four sections of the mattress overlay are independently adjusted, providing a low-pressure environment over the entire contact area of the body.
  • The DRY FLOATATION system provides prevention and therapeutic coverage for all pressure injuries including deep tissue injuries. The ability to “float” in the mattress overlay promotes healing and reduces soft tissue deformation.
  • Using laser Doppler velocimetry in a year long study*, it was proven that blood flow increased at least four times the base line value when a individual was immersed in the DRY FLOATATION mattress overlay. (* Jacobs, Mary Ann, MSN RN. “Compression of Capillary Blood Flow Using a Regular Hospital Bed Mattress, ROHO Mattress, and Mediscus.” Rehabilitation Nursing 14.5 (September/October 1989).)
  • Drainage holes in the base of the mattress overlay allows for moisture to drain away from the body.
  • Adjustable. 3.5″ (8 cm) high air cells can be adjusted to the individual’s body shape and size and to their position over time.
  • Non-powered. Requires no external power source.
  • Easy to clean. May be cleaned and disinfected. See operations manual for instructions.
  • Repairable. Extends overall life of the mattress overlay.

 

 

Be sure to ask your doctor for guidance on the right pressure mattress to prevent and/or manage bed sores if you will be in bed for a prolonged period of time.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips for Managing Foot Drop

 

Tips for Managing Foot Drop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foot drop is a muscular weakness or paralysis that makes it difficult to lift the front part of your foot and toes.

It’s also sometimes called drop foot, and can cause you to drag your foot on the ground when you walk.

Foot drop is a sign of an underlying problem rather than a condition itself. This could be muscular, caused by nerve damage in the leg, or the result of a brain or spinal injury.

Foot drop usually only affects one foot, but both feet may be affected, depending on the cause. It can be temporary or permanent.

 

 

Causes of Foot Drop

 

Foot drop is the result of weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the front part of your foot. This can be caused by a number of underlying problems:

 

 

Muscular Weakness

Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited genetic conditions that cause gradual muscle weakness and can sometimes lead to foot drop.

Foot drop can also be caused by other muscle wasting conditions, such as spinal muscular atrophy or motor neurone disease.

 

 

Peripheral Nerve Problems or Neuropathy

Foot drop is often caused by compression (squashing) of the nerve that controls the muscles that lift the foot.

Sometimes, nerves around the knee or lower spine can become trapped. The nerves in the leg can also be injured or damaged during hip replacement or knee replacement surgery.

Foot drop can sometimes be caused by nerve damage linked to diabetes (known as a neuropathy).

Inherited conditions that cause peripheral nerve damage and muscle weakness, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, can also sometimes lead to foot drop.

 

 

Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders

Foot drop can be caused by conditions that affect the brain or spinal cord, such as:

  • stroke
  • cerebral palsy
  • multiple sclerosis

 

 

Diagnosing Foot Drop

Foot drop is often diagnosed during a physical examination. Your GP will look at the way you walk and examine your leg muscles.

In some cases, imaging tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound scan or computerized tomography (CT) scan, may be required.

Nerve conduction tests may be recommended to help locate where the affected nerve is damaged.

Electromyography, where electrodes are inserted into the muscle fibers to record the muscles’ electrical activity, may also be carried out at the same time.

 

 

Managing Foot Drop

 

If you have foot drop, you’ll find it difficult to lift the front part of your foot off the ground. This means you’ll have a tendency to scuff your toes along the ground, increasing your risk of falls. To prevent this, you may lift your foot higher than usual when walking.

Recovery depends on the cause of foot drop and how long you’ve had it. In some cases it can be permanent.

Making small changes in your home, such as removing clutter and using non-slip rugs and mats, can help prevent falls. There are also measures you can take to help stabilize your foot and improve your walking ability.

 

These measures include:

  • physiotherapy – to strengthen your foot, ankle and lower leg muscles
  • wearing an ankle-foot orthosis – to hold your foot in a normal position
  • electrical nerve stimulation – in certain cases it can help lift the foot
  • surgery – an operation to fuse the ankle or foot bones may be possible in severe or long-term cases

 

 

Ankle-Foot Orthosis for Drop Foot

 

An ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) is worn on the lower part of the leg to help control the ankle and foot. It holds your foot and ankle in a straightened position to improve your walking.

If your GP thinks an AFO will help, they’ll refer you for an assessment with an orthotist (a specialist who measures and prescribes orthoses).

Wearing a close-fitting sock between your skin and the AFO will ensure comfort and help prevent rubbing. Your footwear should be fitted around the orthosis.

Lace-up shoes or those with Velcro fastenings are recommended for use with AFOs because they’re easy to adjust. Shoes with a removable inlay are also useful because they provide extra room. High-heeled shoes should be avoided.

It’s important to break your orthosis in slowly. Once broken in, wear it as much as possible while walking because it will help you walk more efficiently and keep you stable.

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Drop Foot

 

In some cases, an electrical stimulation device, also known as a TENS machine, can be used to improve walking ability. It can help you walk faster, with less effort and more confidence.

Two self-adhesive electrode patches are placed on the skin. One is placed close to the nerve supplying the muscle and the other over the center of the muscle. Leads connect the electrodes to a battery-operated stimulator, which is the size of a pack of cards and is worn on a belt or kept in a pocket.

The TENS stimulator produces electrical impulses that stimulate the nerves to contract (shorten) the affected muscles. The stimulator is triggered by a sensor in the shoe and is activated every time your heel leaves the ground as you walk.

For long-term use, it may be possible to have an operation to implant the electrodes under your skin. The procedure involves positioning the electrodes over the affected nerve while you’re under general anesthetic.

 

 

Recommended:   The TEC.BEAN Rechargeable TENS Unit

 

 

TEC.BEAN Rechargeable Tens EMS Unit with 16 Modes and 8 Pads Pulse Impulse Pain Relief Massager

 

 

Video:  See Foot Drop Treatment Using a TENS Device

 

 

 

Surgery For Drop Foot

 

Surgery may be an option in severe or long-term cases of foot drop that have caused permanent movement loss from muscle paralysis.

The procedure usually involves transferring a tendon from the stronger leg muscles to the muscle that should be pulling your ankle upwards.

Another type of surgery involves fusing the foot or ankle bones to help stabilize the ankle.

Speak to your GP or orthopedic foot and ankle specialist if you’re thinking about having surgery for foot drop. They’ll be able to give you more information about the available procedures and any associated pros and cons.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Are Therapy Dolls and Fidget Blankets Good for Dementia Patients?

Are Therapy Dolls Good for Dementia Patients?

 

 

 

 

Therapeutic Baby Dolls for Alzheimer’s Patients

 

A helpful, non-drug way to calm and soothe seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia is to give them a soft, lifelike baby doll to cuddle. These therapy dolls can even be effective in calming older adults with severe agitation or other significant behavioral issues.

 

 

 

 

Why Use Therapy Dolls for Dementia?

 

Therapy dolls help seniors feel useful and needed and give them something positive to focus on. Similar to the effect of soft toys like stuffed animals, hugging something soft helps someone with dementia soothe themselves.

 

 

 

Another reason therapy dolls are helpful is that they bring back happy memories of early parenthood for both women and men.

 

 

 

Wonderful Video:  Baby Doll Interaction with Dementia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having a child to care for can also ease feelings of isolation and sadness. After all, most of us have seen or experienced the way that interacting with real babies can quickly lift spirits and calm nerves.

Many older adults will enjoy rocking and cuddling their doll. Some even adopt the baby as their own and make caring for it part of their daily routine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for introducing doll therapy to your senior

 

The best approach is to casually introduce the doll to your senior and let them decide if they like it or not.

 

 

 

If they have no interest in the doll, don’t make an issue out of it. They may change their minds in the future so you could always give it another try in a few weeks or months.

 

A few tips:

 

  • Don’t act like the doll is a doll, refer to it as a baby and treat it like a real child.
  • Get a lifelike doll, but one that doesn’t cry – that could be upsetting.
  • Don’t force it, allow your senior to get to know the doll slowly.

 

 

 

 

Try it out, see how your older adult responds, and be flexible.

 

 

 

Fidget Products for Alzheimer’s

 

Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia may show anxiety or agitation through fidgety hands.

Signs include pulling or rubbing at clothes or bedding, rubbing hands together, twisting fingers, wringing hands, and generally keeping hands in motion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory therapy or fidget toys are an effective way to reduce anxiety, calm nerves, and provide comfort.

 

 

These are simple touch-based activities that help someone with Alzheimer’s keep hands busy in safe, soothing ways.

 

 

Make A Fidget Box or Basket

 

It’s also easy to make your own fidget box or basket. Pull out the box when your older adult needs something to do and throw everything back into the box when they’re done.

Get a container and fill it with some inexpensive odds and ends you can find in your house, make quickly, or buy at the dollar store.

Gather things in a variety of colors and textures, like:

 

  • Things with zippers or velcro closures

 

 

 

 

  • Brightly colored plastic springs (like a Slinky)
  • A row of buttons sewn firmly onto a ribbon
  • A piece of soft fleece or faux fur
  • Old keys on a key ring 

 

Some seniors are comforted by keeping a familiar item with them, like a purse or wallet. Try filling an old purse or wallet with a few dollars, coins, play money, or faux credit cards so your older adult can rummage through whenever they like.

 

 

 

Are Dolls and Fidget Blankets Controversial?

 

You may have heard from caregivers who say their older adults are much calmer and happier now that they have their own baby doll. They’re relieved to have found a non-drug solution that eases their senior’s dementia symptoms.

Some people, however, are concerned that giving their older adult a doll or a “toy” would be demeaning or patronizing. But when someone has dementia, helping them feel safe and happy in their current reality is the top priority. That’s why we sometimes need to consider unconventional approaches like baby dolls, fidget blankets, and other simple activities and toys.

 

Another Idea:  Coloring Books For Seniors

 

Boredom in older adults can cause problems, including difficult behavior and depression. And, seniors who have moved in with relatives or into assisted living are more likely to be bored because their lives have changed so much.

 

 

Coloring may sound like a simple activity to ward off boredom, but a great coloring book and a set of coloring pencils can actually improve health!

A research study found that adults 65 or older who engaged in creative activities had better overall health, made fewer visits to the doctor, used less medication, and had fewer health problems. Wow!

It’s also an excellent mood booster and de-stresser – making it a perfect activity for caregivers too!

 

 

 

 

 

Coloring is great activity for seniors to explore their artistic side. These fine art coloring books are lots of fun, even for people who don’t enjoy painting or free-hand drawing.

They’ll get the joy of creating a beautiful work of art with no artistic skills required!

I found some inexpensive, non-childish coloring books seniors will love, with subjects which will interest many older adults.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colored pencils, crayons, or watercolor paint can be used on the high-quality paper. And don’t forget a good quality pencil sharpener!

The pages in adult coloring books are perforated so they’re easy to remove for display.

Also, the lines in the adult coloring books are gray, so they’ll basically disappear after the pictures are colored in, making it look even better.

Your senior will be proud to display their finished artwork.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, the decision is entirely up to you since you know your older adult best.

 

If you think a therapy doll, a fidget blanket or activity, or coloring might help them feel better and enjoy life more, why not give it a try?

It’s an inexpensive “treatment” with no side effects.

No matter what the activity or toy, just remember that the goal is to engage your older adult in something fun and keep their hands happily occupied.

There’s no right or wrong way to do it and no specific goal to achieve – whatever feels good to them is perfect!

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Keep a Dementia Patient Busy and Happy

Gifts for Nursing Home Residents

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Help for Painkiller Induced Constipation – OIC

Does Prevagen Actually Help Your Memory?

Do Prescription Discount Cards Actually Save You Money?

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Do Prescription Cards Actually Save You Money?

Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Safety Grab Bars and Hand Rails for the Bathroom

Risks of Bed Rails – Should You Install Them?

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Would a Power Lift Chair Help in Your Home?

Caregivers Must Prepare for Emergencies – Here’s How

10 Simple Products to Help With Getting Dressed

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Choosing a Transport Chair

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Best Hemorrhoid Treatment Product Reviews

Best Hemorrhoid Treatment Products Reviews

 

 

 

 

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles are swollen veins around the anal opening or the anal canal. They can be painful and linger on for a long time causing distress. The main symptoms include bleeding during the bowel movement and itching.

 

If you’re tired of lugging the rubber doughnut cushion around your home, you probably need a hemorrhoid treatment that actually works. Most hemorrhoid sufferers have become jaded on the whole industry because of so many products that claim to work, but fall short of producing the desired results. It only makes sense that after trying two, three, or even more products that you’d be skeptical that anything can work.

 

Unfortunately, because of the nature of hemorrhoids, it’s really not possible for a company to produce a product that works for every person, in every case. Products designed to treat the symptoms have gotten more favorable reviews, because it’s relatively easy to stop burning and itching sensations. However, if you want to get to the root of things, and treat what’s causing the symptoms, that takes a different product altogether, and that’s where the mixed reviews come in.

 

It’s really just a matter of try and try again, because there are too many factors at work to be able to guarantee that a product will work for you, or how quickly.

 

Aylio Donut Seat Cushion Comfort Pillow for Hemorrhoids, Prostate, Pregnancy, Post Natal Pain Relief, Surgery

Aylio Donut Seat Cushion Comfort Pillow for Hemorrhoids, Prostate, Pregnancy, Post Natal Pain Relief, Surgery

I know it can be hard to keep getting your hopes up, only to have them dashed, that’s why you have to keep some emotional distance between yourself and the product, and conduct this more like a science experiment, where you’re not so attached to the outcome, you’re taking more of an observational role. You know that you will eventually find a system that works for you, it’s only a matter of when.

 

So start with a high quality donut seat cushion for immediate comfort, and read on for some guidance on products to heal your hemorrhoids and let you get on with life.

 

 

 

 

I’ve assembled some of the top-selling, most talked about products for hemorrhoid treatment available today.  To earn a recommendation from me, a product has to have a combination of the following:

 

  • indisputable feedback from real users that say it works
  • a money back guarantee that they actually follow through on
  • strong value for the price
  • a history of stellar customer service

 

 

 

Venapro

Venapro Colon Health and Hemmorrhoid Kit

 

Venapro takes a two step approach to your hemorrhoid problem. It uses an under-the-tongue homeopathic spray to treat the hemorrhoid problem itself, but it also includes all-natural fiber pills that will help you pass your stools more easily, therefore leading to fewer flare ups and hemorrhoid ruptures. Most competing products take topical and external approach to treating your symptoms. Venapro is the first one I’ve seen that uses two internally-based methods to act on the causes of hemorrhoids.

 

Venapro has been getting a good amount of attention in the world of hemorrhoid sufferers, and many people are wondering if it works or not before signing on. The hesitation is valid, because there’s so many useless products out there that people are once bitten and twice shy. They don’t want to go through the frustrating process of buying yet another product that ends up letting them down and wasting their time, and prolonging the suffering period.

 

So does this actually work?

 

 

Overview

Hemorrhoids are tough to treat, not just because of the sensitive area they effect, but also because they can vary in degree of how bad they are. They can be internal, external, and severe to mild. Sometimes they can burn and itch just enough to be annoying, while other times they can hurt so bad your world comes to a halt and you can’t think of anything else other than getting rid of them.

 

Many products only treat it externally with creams and ointments, or internally with pills. Venapro involves two internal ways of treating it, one a homeopathic solution taken under the tongue and a fiber pill to soften your stools.

 

 

The Claim

Venapro claims to be a homeopathic remedy for hemorrhoids that will get rid of the itching, the pain, the bleeding, and even cut down on the swelling. When you’re in need of a solution, these are the main points you’re trying to overcome. It does this by using homeopathy to calm and soothe the actual hemorrhoids, as well as an all-natural fiber supplement to prevent further aggravation from constipation and hard-to-pass bowel movements.

 

 

The Hype

The hype is that hemorrhoid sufferers are usually in a spot of desperation, which puts them at risk for trying products that just don’t work. Several companies try to take advantage of this fact, and they realize that they have a motivated consumer base.

 

 

The Commitment

Like with any sort of hemorrhoids relief system, you have to stay dedicated to the treatment program if you expect to see lasting results. You should stay faithful to it, even if you don’t see immediate changes. Many times it can take several day or even weeks to start noticing a difference, and most people can’t wait that long for results. It’s called deferred gratification, and it goes against human nature, so you really have to be diligent with it.

 

 

Evaluation

What’s interesting about Venapro is that contains two different products, so you are really treating the problem from two angles. The pills make sure that your colon gets healthy and stays healthy, reducing the amount of hard stools caused by a backed up colon. As you probably know, hard stools and constipation can cause your hemorrhoids to flare up something awful. By getting more fiber into your system, you get the softer stools that are closer to the way nature intended, and thus put less pressure on your active case of hemorrhoids.

 

Venapro Hemorrhoid Relief Formula contains all natural ingredients, which is good if all you’ve been given is prescription medication to treat the problem. Prescription drugs usually contain toxins that can lead to other problems, and often involve side effects that can be worse than the problem you’re trying to treat. All you’re required to do is spray the spray under your tongue three times per day, and take the accompanying pill one at a time, twice a day with a good amount of water.

 

A lot of people don’t quite understand how homeopathy works, and therefore they say that this doesn’t work. It’s important to study up on the matter, because even though it’s been around for a few hundreds years, it’s still relatively unknown to the majority of people. The medical community of course will not back it, because there is not a lot of profit to be made from it, because the tinctures can be made so cheaply. Do your own due diligence to see what you think about the concept of homeopathy and make an informed decision.

 

 

Bottom Line

Venapro is getting my recommendation, based on the feedback from the majority of users that say it has, and is still, working for them. Does this mean it is guaranteed to work for you and your case? No, because very few hemorrhoid conditions are exactly the same, and many things such as your diet and lifestyle can effect how you’ll respond to it. But for some it has been the answer, which means it has the potential to work for many people.

 

 

My Recommendation

You have to get behind the idea and concept of homeopathic remedies. Think of the flu shot as an example of modern medicine borrowing from the idea of homeopathy. A flu shot is actually a small bit of the flu bug itself, which is akin to the “like cures like” claim by homeopathic cures. By spraying the tincture under your tongue you are introducing the same strains that cause hemorrhoids, but in such a small amount that it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions, and allows your body to quietly handle the problem.

Read consumer reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

Anuice

 

Anuice is a pretty unique product when it comes to hemorrhoid solutions. It’s a reusable ice pack that is shaped so that it can be inserted right into the anus if you’re experiencing internal hemorrhoids. It can also be used externally and the premise is that it provides a cooldown to the affected areas and soothes the skin, bringing it back to its original condition with repeated use.

 

They say that this is a hemorrhoid cure, but we can’t really see how an ice pack can be the cure. It can’t do anything to prevent another occurrence, so it’s just curing the symptoms.

 

Looking like a portmanteau of anus and ice, Anuice claims to be a cryogenic device to help soothe the burning sensation of hemorrhoids. It’s pretty much in a class by itself, because it doesn’t use any drugs or even all-natural ingredients. It doesn’t use creams, lotions, pills, ointments, or sprays either. What it basically entails is a small plastic insert that you freeze and then place right inside your anus. If you’re still reading, then this might be the solution for you.

 

 

Overview

Hemorrhoids are the bane of many people’s existence, and can override the brain and be all that you think about when you’re suffering from a flare up. It’s not just the burning and itching, but the location that really drives you mad. It can also make you dread the next trip to the bathroom, and can cause your universe to center around one particular spot until you finally get relief.

 

It’s good to keep an open mind about your treatment options, but is something like Anuice plausible?

 

 

The Claim

They say that this is a hemorrhoid cure without surgery. They say it will stop the pain, itching, burning, and bleeding commonly associated with a bad case of hemorrhoids. It looks simple enough from the outside, and the concept seems pretty basic. It’s really just a matter of providing a cold compress directly to the affected area. Since it doesn’t involve any drugs or other herbs or ingredients, there is little chance of negative side effects occurring.

 

 

The Hype

The hype it comes from the rather grassroots campaign that they are using to spread the word about their product. It still seems to be managed by a small start up company, but they have branched off into any different markets around the world, including Korea, Japan, and Mexico.

 

 

The Commitment

You have to have a strong commitment to using Anuice, because it involves inserting the applicator into your rectum if you have internal hemorrhoids. This can be more than some people are willing to do, but if you’re in enough pain and discomfort, you may be willing to try anything. If you have external hemorrhoids, you won’t need as much commitment because nothing is inserted.

 

 

What People Are Saying

Real users of Anuice say that it works well, and that it does provide relief. Some have even said that it cured their hemorrhoids completely. Others have said that while it didn’t cure it, it did bring the symptoms down to a level that is bearable. A few others said they didn’t get the results they wanted, but they were in the minority, a percentage so small that it isn’t statistically significant.

 

One common suggestion was to use a different lubrication instead of the one they send you. Apparently the one they send is not very good, and is just included for convenience. It is recommended that you make it a point to get a different brand of lube in order to use it properly. Comfort is key here, and you want to make sure that you don’t try to force it in, or use a lube that has negative side effects that can worsen the situation.

 

Some users complain that for the price it isn’t really much, but the thing is that it’s a dedicated device for your anus, so there’s not really any substitute that you could use to get the same results. It’s not as if you want to use an ice pack or try to devise your own system that replicates what Anuice does. Getting a 2 pack won’t set you back too much, and it is reusable.

 

 

Bottom Line

You can’t argue with social proof. Those that have tried it have said that Anuice works, and there’s really no reason to doubt that it does. It’s a rather simple concept, and simple concepts have a way of being effective, especially when there’s not a lot of mechanical parts involved. In this case it’s basically a plastic frozen insert for your anus, and it’s meant to apply soothing cooling relief right where you need it.

 

 

My Recommendation

If you’ve been suffering with hemorrhoids and have tried all of the creams, ointments, pads, pills, and lotions, you should try Anuice and see if you finally get the relief you’ve been seeking. No two hemorrhoid cases are exactly the same, so you won’t know if it works for your situation until you freeze it, lube it up, and give it a go.

Read consumer reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

Tucks Medicated Pads

Tucks Medicated Pads / Witch Hazel Hemorrhoidal Medicated Pads 100 Count

 

A medicated pad might seem like a no-brainer, since there’s not really a way to misuse it. With Tucks Medicated Pads you’re getting a pretty strong dose of Witch Hazel, which has nothing to do with Harry Potter or Hogwarts. It’s a proven all-natural ingredient that has been shown to sooth the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids.

 

Some users have said that the pads are small and hard to peel off from the pack, but aside from that they do the job and provide much needed relief from irritating symptoms. Tucks has been around for decades, and it a trusted go-to for many people that have been battling a recurring case for years.

 

Tucks Medicated Pads have been around for decades and are a well-known and well-recognized brand. They are meant to be applied right to where you’re hurting, and therefore can provide immediate relief when you need it most. But are they as effective as they claim to be, and is this something that you should use as part of your overall treatment of hemorrhoids?

 

 

Overview

Even the Tucks company knows that Tucks Medicated Pads are basically a quick fix to get you through some of the intense burning and hurting that can come with hemorrhoids. In that regard you should not look at it as a cure, or a total treatment option. They can come in handy when you just want some pain relief, the way you’d use something like Orajel to numb a toothache, knowing the whole time that you’ll eventually have to visit the dentist.

 

 

The Claim

Tucks claim that they are the brand used by hospitals, but this can be attained by sending hospitals thousands of free boxes. They also say that their product provides immediate relief from hemorrhoids such as the itching and burning sensations. They claim that it is the Witch Hazel that is the most active ingredient, and this gives the pads their soothing quality. They also state that the pads are pH balanced, won’t cause an allergic reaction, and are free of any dyes.

 

 

The Hype

The hype comes from the extensive amount of advertising done by the makers of Tucks Medicated Pads. Perhaps only Preparation H is the only other major manufacturer that advertising a hemorrhoid treatment in national television spots.

 

 

The Commitment

There’s not a lot of commitment to using them, as you simply wipe the area that’s in pain, and get on with your day. You can flush them down the toilet just like toilet paper, and they’re biodegradable so you don’t have to worry about causing a pollution problem.

 

 

 

Evaluation

Tucks Medicated Pads are a rather simple fix to your immediate pain and suffering from hemorrhoids. They’ve been around so long, and have gotten the product refined to the point where it works effectively for the majority of those that use it. The product itself is straightforward, you simply peel off a wipe and apply it where you need it. The ingredients go to work almost immediately, and the first thing you’ll notice is a cooling effect, which for most feels like a marked improvement to the burning sensation usually felt during a big flare up.

 

 

What People Are Saying

The majority of users report that these work and are a reliable standby. One common complaint that they had was that the pads are on the small side, and are somewhat hard to separate from one another in the pack. Most dismissed this as a minor annoyance, and it didn’t detract from them recommending the product overall.

 

 

Bottom Line

Tucks Medicated Pads work as advertised, and can be used in conjunction with other products as a holistic approach to curing your hemorrhoids condition. It’s important to note that these should be used for the treatment of external hemorrhoids, and should not be applied internally. For internal hemorrhoids you will want to go with other treatment options specifically designed for those, or designed to treat both internal and external.

 

Some of the best hemorrhoid treatments out there recognize that you’re going to have to take a mutli-angled approach to your treatment if you want it to be effective. Attacking your condition from the inside out with pills can be effective, but takes longer than topical treatments. Topical treatments usually work right away, but the relief is temporary and they do not work at fixing the problem for the long term, or treating the root cause of your hemorrhoids.

 

My Recommendation

Grab a pack to keep around in case of future flare ups. It’s something that you can use whenever you need it, and then put it away when you don’t. It’s not a hemorrhoid cure, but rather just something to keep handy when you need some cooling relief. If your case is getting pretty bad and you haven’t consulted a doctor yet, you should go see one so they can help you size up the situation. Hemorrhoids is a pretty common condition, even though you might feel like the only one in the world to ever get it.

Read consumer reviews.

 

 

 

Preparation H

 

Preparation H has been around since the 1950s and is one of those products that originally started off as something else before they found out it was effective at treating hemorrhoids.

These days it’s owned by Pfizer and isn’t made with the same ingredients as when it was first released. There are so many different varieties of Preparation H that you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that resonates with you.

Their entire product line is well-reviewed, so they’re doing something right with this product. You can confidently buy one of their concoctions to effectively treat the symptoms you’re having.

 

 

Overview
Preparation H originally started off as a lotion to help relieve people of a sunburn. It was then discovered that it worked well for hemorrhoids, and the rest is history. Now it has branched out the product line and offers an array of products all designed to help hemorrhoid sufferers feel better.

 

 

The Claim

Since Preparation H is made by Pfizer, they are very careful about making claims about what their product can do. They basically state that it is designed for the treatment of the symptoms that accompany a hemorrhoid condition, including the burning, itching, and swelling. The good news is that Pfizer wouldn’t put out a product that wasn’t effective, because they’re heavily regulated, so you know that you’re going to get some sort of relief by using their product, and that the science behind it will be there.

 

 

The Hype

The hype is that Preparation H has been around for several decades, and has become part of the mainstream as one of only a few products to treat hemorrhoids. If you ask most people what Preparation H is, they know what it’s for.

 

 

The Commitment
You only need to use Preparation H as needed, whenever you need it. It is not a regular regimen, like using it every day twice a day. It’s meant to be used whenever there is a flare up and the symptoms become unbearable. Just be sure to follow the recommendations on the label of whichever product you go with and follow their advice on how many times per day, and how many consecutive days you should use it.

 

 

Evaluation

Preparation H has a virtual army of different product types, each with their own unique way of being applied or administered, and each treating a specific symptom more than the others.

 

Ointment – Many people complain about being sick of dealing with ointments, because it just makes a mess of things.

It may sooth the itching and burning but it creates a new problem by causing too much slickness down there, and making you fidget just as much. This is the original product type that Preparation H came out as, and it’s why they had to make other products to appease the complaints people have with it.

 

 

Cream – Creams are typically better received because they have the ability to stay where you put them, rather than going all over the place.

Hemorrhoids are usually localized to one specific area of pain and discomfort, so when you apply the cream you want it to stay where you put it.

However, both ointments and creams both get points taken away for ease of use, because the location of hemorrhoids makes it hard to see what you’re doing, and where you’re applying them.

 

 

 

Suppositories – This is specifically intended to treat both internal and external hemorrhoids.

 

There’s usually not a way around treating internal hemorrhoids without having to stick something up there to treat them.

 

Most products designed to treat external hemorrhoids will say that you can’t use them internally. Internal hemorrhoids have a knack for hurting even more than external hemorrhoids.

 

 

 

 

Cooling Gel – If your bottom feels like it’s on fire, you probably just want something to put out the flames. Nothing sounds like it would do this better than a cooling gel.

The aloe in it will help soothe the burning sensation, and the fact that it’s a gel means that it will be thick like an ointment, but still watery enough to cover the surrounding area.

 

 

 

Medicated Wipes – Similar to the Tucks Medicated Pads, these are meant to be an easy way to apply relief right to where it hurts. It’s as easy and natural as using a piece of toilet paper, but it is saturated with a fast-acting medication to cool the burn, and soothe the itch.

 

 

 

Anti-Itch – If it’s the itching that’s driving you mad, you should go with this special cream that has added hydrocortisone to it to reduce the inflammation and desire to scratch.

 

Most hemorrhoid sufferers claim that it’s not so much the pain that gets to the brain, but the irresistible feeling have needing to scratch down there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line

Preparation H products are all well reviewed, and can safely be used to effectively treat the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Choose which one sounds like the easiest to apply, and is geared towards what is bothering you the most and you should have a good experience.

Like with most products backed by a major pharmaceutical company like Pfizer, they aren’t treating the underlying cause of your hemorrhoids, but are instead just treating the symptoms. This is a big problem within the medical community of symptom treating. The drug companies love it, because it keeps you coming back for more product to keep treating the same recurring symptoms. That’s why you should be a smart consumer and look for ways to cure your hemorrhoids, using products like Preparation H to bring relief of your symptoms while your other methods are taking time to work.

 

 

My Recommendation

Preparation H is nice to have handy when things get unbearable and you just need some quick but temporary relief. You also need to be actively involved in finding out why it is you ended up with hemorrhoids, and how you can prevent getting them again once they’re gone. You should also be taking additional action to try to get rid of your hemorrhoids and not just dulling down the symptoms again and again.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Mild pain, swelling and inflammation of hemorrhoids can usually be relieved with home treatments. Often these are the only treatments needed. 

Beyond using the treatments listed above, here are some other tips to follow so you can heal your hemorrhoids and get on with life:

 

  • Eat high-fiber foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Doing so softens the stool and increases its bulk, which will help you avoid the straining that can worsen symptoms from existing hemorrhoids. Add fiber to your diet slowly to avoid problems with gas.  If you don’t eat a lot of fibrous foods, you can add a fiber supplement powder to your routine.  I like Benefiber because it’s totally natural, has no taste, and dissolves completely in whatever liquid you choose.

 

 

 

  • Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath. Soak your anal area in plain warm water 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day. A sitz bath fits over the toilet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Keep the anal area clean. Bathe (preferably) or shower daily to cleanse the skin around your anus gently with warm water. Avoid alcohol-based or perfumed wipes. Gently pat the area dry or use a hair dryer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Apply cold. Apply ice packs or cold compresses on your anus to relieve swelling.  I recommend  Hemorr Wedge reusable, washable silicone ice gel packs.

 

 

 

  • Take oral pain relievers. You can use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) temporarily to help relieve your discomfort.

 

 

With these treatments, hemorrhoid symptoms often go away within a week. See your doctor if you don’t get relief in a week, or sooner if you have severe pain or bleeding.

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Help for Painkiller Induced Constipation – OIC

Does Prevagen Actually Help Your Memory?

The Fix for Cracked Heels

Do Prescription Discount Cards Actually Save You Money?

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Cure Toenail Fungus Naturally in 4 Weeks

Find the Best Bathroom Scale for You

Do Prescription Cards Actually Save You Money?

Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Safety Grab Bars and Hand Rails for the Bathroom

Risks of Bed Rails – Should You Install Them?

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Would a Power Lift Chair Help in Your Home?

Caregivers Must Prepare for Emergencies – Here’s How

10 Simple Products to Help With Getting Dressed

Guide to Power Lift Chairs

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Choosing a Transport Chair

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest
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