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Hospital Bed in San Diego:
Complete Buying Guide

Considering buying a hospital bed? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Using a regular bed when recovering from an injury or operation or struggling with a mobility condition can be challenging. Patients are faced with uncomfortable sleep, difficult transfers, and occasional injuries.

With the right hospital bed, you evade the hurdles of typical beds, thereby enjoying a more streamlined recovery journey.

This article is your complete buying guide hospital beds in san Diego.

The beautiful thing about a patient bed is that you can use it beyond the hospital setting, be it in a rehab center, private residential, or nursing home.

Home patient beds come in varying sizes, designs, and styles, so picking the right one is an overwhelming task for most buyers. It’s for this reason that this guide has gathered everything you need to know about hospital beds.

The guide outlines the advantages of a home patient bed, types of hospital beds, how to pick the right equipment, and other crucial information to keep in mind when buying your home medical equipment.

Benefits of Hospital Beds for Homecare

Patient beds are tailored to the needs of patients who need assistance repositioning in bed as they offer more comfort, ease care giving, and allow the patient to use the extended time.

Getting a comfortable sleep when struggling with a health or mobility issue is a genuine struggle. A patient bed helps to eliminate these hassles by offering various position adjustments. You can recline the bed if sleeping flat on a mattress is difficult, or you can elevate it for health reasons.

Hospital beds ease care giving.

A caregiver can raise or lower the equipment, depending on whether the user can move out of the bed with or without help.

Lowering the bed to a considerable level enables you to step out to the floor or a mobility device such as a wheelchair. By raising the height, the caregiver doesn’t have to hunch over when providing help. Besides, these beds allow for options such as over-bed tables, eliminating the constant back pains caregivers experience when managing patients.

The fact that you can accessorize a hospital bed takes homecare a notch higher. Bed rails, whether half-length or full-length, are an excellent safety feature as they prevent the patient from rolling off the bed.

Safety at Home

Blanket supports raise sheets and blankets off the lower legs to prevent entanglement during movement while keeping away the extra weight off sensitive skin. You can equip the bed with a specialized air mattress if your loved one is vulnerable to pressure sores.

With the right hospital bed, you don’t have to stay away from your home and loved ones. A hospital bed is usually mobile, enabling caregivers to move the patients around the house and other living environs.

Whereas an older individual with mobility difficulties may require the help of a caregiver to perform day-to-day tasks, living in a nursing facility may be an uncomfortable experience for them. By allowing for home care, hospital beds support the concept of aging in familiar environments while surrounded by loved ones.

Types of Hospital Beds in San Diego

Hospital beds in San Diego are classified into three broad categories depending on the operation mode as follows:

Manual Hospital Beds

These beds lack electric capabilities. They have a crank that allows you to adjust the height, head section, and foot section position.

Manual hospital beds are more affordable than their electric competitors but demand more physical labor. They are a decent investment for short-term use, patients with a fixed position, and those that don’t require regular repositioning.

Remember that some manual beds don’t offer a range of position adjustments as electric beds. You also want to ensure that there is a caregiver with the energy and will to do the manual work before buying this bed.

Semi-electric Patient Beds

The semi-electric options incorporate both electric and manual adjustments. Typically, electric interventions allow for the adjustment of the foot and head section. A hand crank helps adjust the height.

Semi-electric patient beds are ideal for patients in need of constant head and foot section adjustments and fewer height adjustments. They are costlier than manual beds but offer you the benefit of zero manual work when adjusting the two ends.

Full-electric Hospital bed.

In full electric beds, all alterations are electrical, incredibly easing the lives of the patient and their caregivers.

The bed comes with a remote for seamless head, foot, and height modifications, making it an ideal solution for patients who require frequent positioning and caregivers with less physical strength. Loaded with these capabilities, an electric bed is costlier than a manual or semi-electric alternative but offers a great deal of convenience.

Besides the above types, there are also unique hospital beds tailored to special requirements. They include:

Low Hospital Bed

A low bed resembles the regular hospital bed except that its deck is much closer to the floor to minimize the risk of injury from falls. It’s also ideal for patients that experience difficulties when transferring out and into the bed.

An upgrade to the low bed is the hi-low bed that offers a broader range of height alterations. You can lower it close to the floor when sleeping, or a caregiver can raise it to a suitable height when providing assistance.

Bariatric Hospital Bed

If you are looking for a patient bed with a larger weight capacity, a bariatric bed could be the right choice for you. The bed is designed with a broader and heavy-duty deck to offer maximum support and comfort to heavier users. It can be fully electric or low design.

Hospital Crib

Also known as a pediatric medical crib, a hospital crib is specially made for children receiving medical care at home. This could be due to premature birth issues, neurological issues (seizure and epilepsy), developmental disabilities, among other conditions that call for special features not provided by a regular crib.

Hospital cribs have raised rails to prevent falls, with the spaces between the rails being much narrower to prevent head entrapment. You can electronically or manually adjust the head section, depending on the bed manufacturer.

How to Choose the Right Hospital Bed

Undeniably, buying a hospital bed is an incredible investment, so getting informed about the vital things to consider is imperative before making your purchase. Keep in mind the following factors:

Length of Use

Before looking into the features, consider how long your loved one will use the bed. For short-term uses, it’s advisable to get a manual or semi-electric patient bed, depending on the necessary convenience and comfort.

A full-electric bed is suitable for a patient who remains on the bed for a significant portion of the day (at least 15 hours) or intends to use it for a long time.

Mobility of the User

Your choice of a hospital bed will also rely on the mobility level of the user.

First, consider whether the patient can get in and out of bed and the amount of help they require.

Next, determine whether the bed has the necessary features to support the user’s mobility. For instance, a user who can transfer themselves or sit up will require a more standard hospital bed. In contrast, an immobile patient will require a more loaded alternative.

Size and Weight of User

The size and weight of the patient determine the bed’s size and capacity.

If the user is heavier, a heavy-duty bariatric bed is an ideal choice to support the extra weight and size. In contrast, shorter or taller patients require shortened or extended bed decks.

Pediatric patients, however, need small-sized beds designed to offer optimum comfort and safety to children.

Physical Stamina of Caregiver

It’s also important to consider the physical strength of the caregiver, chiefly when a family or friend is assigned the caregiving duties. If manual operation is too much work for the carer, a full-electric bed becomes the go-to solution.

Features

Different models offer varying features that allow for customizations geared to minimize the risk of complications, improve patient comfort, and ease the work of the caregiver. Here are features to remember when buying a hospital bed in San Diego.

Positioning

Typical patient beds offer primary positioning options, such as raising the foot and head sections. However, some alternatives take this notion further by providing special positions to meet unique requirements. They include:

      • Fowler’s position: In this position, the user is laid on their back with their upper body raised to an angle between 15-90 degrees, and their knees bent or straight. It’s ideal for patients with respiratory distresses as it facilitates better chest expansion, thereby improving breathing. The position also allows users who can’t move to talk normally and eat and swallow easily.
      • Trendelenburg: This position is achieved by tilting the bed deck in a way the user’s head is lower than the feet by 15-30 degrees. The patient lies flat on the bed. Commonly used during cardiothoracic surgery, the Trendelenburg position is also helpful to patients with particular heart and respiratory issues.
      • Reverse Trendelenburg: Also known as Anti-Trendelenburg, this position is gained by tilting the bed so that the patient’s head is higher than the feet by 15 to 30 degrees. It’s especially useful for increased exposure during upper abdominal and prostate surgeries.

By relieving pressure to the head, the Anti-Trendelenburg also helps to improve respiratory functions in obese users.Avoid keeping the patient in the Trendelenburg positions for an extended period to prevent blood flow complications. If the patient has reduced mental ability or dementia, the control of these positions should be left to the caregiver.

Bed Rails

You cannot afford to overlook the importance of side rails when buying a hospital bed in San Diego. Whether full-length or half-length, side rails offer fall prevention to individuals at risk of falling off the bed, especially the sen`iors, children, and the disabled. Bed rails also act as support tools when individuals with limited physical strength are transferring into and out of bed. Users with limited mobility can hold onto the rails when turning over, lying down, or sitting up.

Storage

If you have a load of frequently used supplies, it’s wise to get a bed that suits your storage needs. Whereas the standard patient bed comprises the frame and essential components, a selection of newer models come with storage compartments for storing items such as gloves, IV stands, oxygen stands, and bedpans nearby.

Built-in Scale

A patient bed with an in-built scale or allows the attachment of the device comes in handy if regular weight measurements are required for medical reasons. They enable weight recording with minimal to zero disruptions.

Installation Services

A patient bed can be too bulky or complicated for you to install it by yourself. This is where professional installation comes into play. Before hiring an installer, seek to know if the bed seller provides installation services. Having the retailer, rather than a third party, install your bed can help reduce the overall costs significantly.

When Should You Rent a Hospital Bed?

The following are the situations where renting a bed in San Diego makes more sense than buying the equipment.
When you Need the Bed for Short-term Use

When you Need the Bed for Short-term Use

It’s more economical to rent than buy a patient bed for short-term use.
Hospital bed rental in San Diego offers an affordable solution to people in need of a bed for a relatively
shorter time, whether they are recuperating from an injury or medical operation. Upon recovery, the user can
return the bed and switch to their regular beds.

When in Need of Flexibility

When flexibility becomes critical for your recovery journey, renting a patient bed is virtually inevitable.
Your health needs may continually change as you recover, bringing in the flexibility factor.
Although different hospital beds are designed to meet varying needs, it makes no sense to buy separate beds
to meet your changing preferences. Here, renting different beds is the best alternative.

When Testing an Upgrade

If you have a knack for testing equipment before buying a hospital bed, bed rental is for you. With the availability of patient bed rental in San Diego, you can try out beds before buying a hospital bed.

Vital Safety Tips for Home Hospital Beds

Bringing a hospital bed home presents several safety challenges that you might not have considered in the past. Having selected the right equipment for you or loved one, equipping it properly and using it safely is of utmost importance. By using a patient bed safely, you keep away additional medical issues and better the environment for the surrounding people, whether relatives, friends, or hired caregivers. Thus said, take into account the following safety tips when using a hospital bed at home:

    • Keep the side rails locked, except during transfers, to prevent dangerous falls.
    • Except during movement around the house, always maintain the wheels in a locked position to prevent incidences associated with uncontrolled movements of the bed.
    • Check if all the bed mechanisms and parts are working accordingly, as per the manufacturer’s or retailer’s guidelines..
    • Equip the bed with communication means, primarily a bell and phone, so that the user can reach out to the caregiver easily and quickly, especially during emergencies.
    • Always ensure that the remote control is within easy reach of the bed user.
    • Ensure the mattress correctly fits in the bed to prevent unsafe gaps between the mattress and bed edges.
    • Regularly check the motor and electrical components for debris and dirt. Dirt accumulation is a sure recipe for electrical component malfunction and failure.

Where to Rent a Hospital Bed in San Diego

If you are thinking about hospital bed rental in San Diego, look no further than Harmony Home Medical Supplies, your trusted medical equipment dealer in San Diego.

We offer affordable rentals for high-quality hospital beds by renowned medical equipment brands, including Invacare, Graham Field, and Joerns, among others.

Whether you are looking for a semi-electric, manual, or full-electric patient bed, Harmony Home Medical rentals are transparent and void of endless paperwork, vague contracts, and hidden fees.

Besides, we deliver our rental beds and have our specialists install them at our customers’ homes, providing them with superior convenience coupled with affordability.

Buying a Hospital Bed in San Diego

Considering buying a hospital bed in San Diego? Harmony Home Medical Supplies is your go-to home medical equipment distributor in San Diego.

Being in business for several years, we boast the experience and knowledge to excellently address the unique needs of our customers. We, therefore, supply hospital beds with excellent workmanship and features geared to offer our clients quality, long-lasting services.

Not sure which hospital bed suits your needs and budget? Bet on our professional, friendly, and experienced specialists to take you through the selection process so that you leave our store with a product optimally tailored to your needs. You can also order our beds online.

Turn to us for affordable, durable, reliable hospital beds, accompanied by a friendly environment and unsurpassed customer services.

 


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How do you spot hearing loss in your elderly loved one?

Hearing loss in the elderly could be difficult to note and observe.

And thus, you and your loved one might seek interventions late. This could pose a safety threat for your loved one. 

Hearing loss can mean they don’t hear warning alarms or that they don’t hear a car coming as they cross the street.

In this post, we’ll chat about the signs of hearing loss you should look out for, what interventions you can seek and how to keep your loved one safe.

Hearing loss in the elderly – a guide for the caregiver

The gradual hearing loss that happens as we grow older is a common condition.

In fact, according to the United States National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 1 in 3 adults between 65 and 74 years will experience age-related hearing loss.

Furthermore, half of the people over 75 years old have some age-related hearing loss.

Therefore based on statistics alone, the chances that your loved one will have hearing loss as they age is high.

But you can be prepared for it.

Hearing loss signs to look out for

What signs should you look out for when it comes to hearing loss?

  • One of the first signs to develop may be an inability to hear high-pitched sounds. Your loved one may have trouble hearing the voices of females or children.
  • You find that you have to repeat a sentence multiple times to your elderly loved one when you didn’t have to do this before.
  • You might also notice that your loved one turns the television or radio volume higher than usual.
  • Having a conversation with your loved one over the phone has become more difficult because of their hearing loss.
  • Your loved one may also have extra difficulty hearing in areas that are noisy.
  • They may also complain about having a ringing sound in their ears.
  • You may notice that they repeat sentences people have spoken to them wrongly.

When you start noticing any of these signs, it is time to consider intervention for your loved one.

…but what causes hearing loss in the elderly?

It’s difficult to distinguish between hearing loss that comes purely from aging and that which comes from lifelong exposure to noise.

What doctors and scientists do know however, is that special cells called stereocilia (sensory hair cells) can become damaged from loud noises, certain medications or from chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes.

Thus, reducing exposure to loud noises, and properly managing chronic health conditions can help to reduce hearing loss.

However, we still don’t know how to fully protect people from age-related hearing loss.

What you can do to help as a caregiver

Hearing problems can be serious. Thus, it is important that you encourage your loved one to see a doctor right away.

This could start with a primary doctor who may then refer your loved one to see an otolaryngologist (commonly called an ENT doctor) or an audiologist.

These professionals may recommend different interventions including:

  • Hearing aids – These are external devices worn around the ear.
  • Cochlear implants – Cochlear implants are surgically placed. If your loved one’s hearing loss is severe, a cochlear implant could be an option for them.
  • Assistive listening devices – These may include devices that amplify sound so your loved one can hear what is being said.
  • Bone anchored hearing systems – This is also surgically implanted and will help to transmit sound directly through bones around the ear and directly into a person’s inner ear.
  • Lip reading – Your loved one may be trained to read people’s lips as they speak to make out what a person is saying.

Hearing loss is a challenge to everyone involved and can pose a safety hazard.

When you and your loved one notice signs of age-related hearing loss early, you can seek the right interventions early.

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One in 10 women struggle with osteoporosis when once they hit 60 years.

That ratio goes up to 1 in 5 once a woman hits 70 years old.

That ratio sounds dreary and makes it look like there is nothing you can do about keeping your bones healthy.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

There are steps you can start taking today, regardless of your age, that will improve your bone health and reduce the effects of osteoporosis.

And we’ll be talking about those steps in today’s post.

12 tips to keep your bones healthy

Add more calcium and vitamin D to your diet

Calcium and Vitamin D are essential nutrients that help your body to produce new bone cells. Increasing your intake of either or both of them will improve your bone health dramatically.

  • Eat low-fat yogurt and Greek yogurt.
  • Green vegetables like broccoli, bok choy and kale are rich in calcium. Add those to your diet as well.
  • At the grocery store, you will find certain foods that are fortified with vitamin D and calcium like orange juice and certain cereals. If you tend to buy those food items, buy the ones fortified with these nutrients.
  • Taking a calcium or vitamin D supplement is a good idea too!
  • Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Apart from vitamin D and calcium, fruits and vegetables contain so many more nutrients that improve other systems that support bone health.

Increase weight-bearing and muscle-building exercises

Exercise can improve your bone health as well.

  • Walking doesn’t seem like an impressive exercise type-but it is effective. A brisk 30-minute walk around your neighborhood is a good way to improve your bone and overall health.
  • Dancing is another great exercise that will keep your bones healthy. Sway away my friend.
  • Add some resistance to your exercise. If you walk, use dumb-bells to increase the resistance. You can also use resistance belts and other equipment that make your exercise just a little harder but not stressful.
  • Mix it up. Sometimes, one exercise type becomes boring. You don’t have to do just that. Try a new activity and add more spice to your life and health to your bones.

Develop healthy habits (and drop bad ones)

There are certain habits that will simply get you in a lot of health trouble.

If you’re trying to improve your bone health, those bad habits have to go.

I’ve already mentioned some of the good habits you can develop above. Here are a few bad ones to drop.

  • Quit smoking. Ask your doctor about different ways to quit if you’re finding this difficult.
  • Reduce or eliminate foods that are salty or high in sugar.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake and keep it to 3 drinks or less per day.

Know your risks

It’s important to know your risk for osteoporosis or any other bone disease.

If you know your family health history and there is a history of osteoporosis, chances are that you have a high risk for it.

Certain lifestyle habits like drinking, smoking and high sugar diets could contribute to osteoporosis as well.

Even if you’re genetically predisposed to osteoporosis, adopting the healthy habits I just talked about will go a long way to reducing the effects of the disease.

In addition to all this, it’s important for you to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about your risks.

They can work with you to come up with a plan that will keep you healthy for a long time to come.

Staying safe when you have a risk for osteoporosis

A person with osteoporosis can easily fracture their bones.

Thus, it’s important to keep your home safe if you have a risk for or have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Read this post to learn more about keeping your home safe for you and your loved one.

  • Make sure to have your vision and hearing checked each year.
  • Keep night lights in hallways you or your loved one use at night.
  • Get rid of any loose items such as clothes, toys and rugs that someone could trip over.
  • Keep an alert device handy so you can call someone should you fall and need help to get up.

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Preventing falls in the community for the elderly should be a topic that is discussed more often.

However, usually when you read information about preventing falls, the focus in on the home.

But chances are that your loved one also spends time outside the house.

And although we cannot always control what happens in the community, there are precautions to take to help your loved one stay safe in the community.

In today’s post, I’ll share a few tips that will help to prevent falls in the community.

Preventing falls in the community for the elderly

Safe footwear

Wearing the right footwear is key to preventing falls in the community for the elderly.

Shoes should have:

  • A good tread on the bottom to encourage friction so a person is not likely to trip. Worn shoes which don’t have a good tread will cause your loved one to trip easily.

Orient your loved one to the area

This is especially important if your loved one will be visiting a place for the first time.

Let them know of any obstacles in the way or sudden elevations (eg. a step) so they don’t trip over those.

If it helps and where appropriate, you could visit the premises ahead of time to note those problem areas so you can prepare your loved one for them.

Glasses and contacts

If your loved one uses glasses or any other visual aid to help with a visual impairment, encourage them to put them on.

Communicate with event organizers

If you know someone on the event organization team, it might help to communicate with them ahead of time so they can make sure electrical cables are out of the way and fluid spills are wiped up immediately.

Sometimes this is impossible.

But if it can be helped, communicate ahead of the event.

Use mobility aids where necessary

Anything that makes mobility easier for your elderly loved one while they are in the community is great for staying safe in the community.

Easy communication devices

Say your loved one is walking their dog and falls down in a secluded area.

Do they have access to a communication device that will help them get in touch with someone immediately?

Several companies now have devices that the elderly can hang around their necks or otherwise gain easy access to.

You could encourage your loved one to have such a device on them in case this happens while they’re on their own.

 

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In 2015, credit monitoring company, Experian revealed they had been hacked.

A few days ago, it was Quest Diagnostics; a medical lab testing company.

These events are scary. And it makes you wonder if your information is safe anymore.

Unfortunately, hackers and scammers like to target seniors.

While there may not be much that we can do to prevent hackers from hacking the companies we do business with, there are simple rules you can follow to keep your information secure

In today’s post, I will share seven rules that will make your information less accessible to hackers.

How to keep your information secure – 7 rules to make your information less accessible

Use passwords that are hard to guess

A survey conducted by the UK National Cybersecurity Center reported that “123456” was the most common password of accounts that had been breached in 2018.

In the same survey, they found that people commonly used words like “password” and “qwerty” (for the QWERTY layout of universal keyboards) as passwords.

The lesson here: Most people set passwords that are easy to break into.

And it is understandable.

After all, you don’t want to forget your password and have to reset it every time.

However, this very train of thought is what is why so many accounts are hacked each year.

If you use social media and online banking services, it is important that you set passwords that are hard to guess.

In general:

  • Don’t use your first or last name
  • Use a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols for your passwords
  • Whatever you do, resist the temptation to use “password” as your password.

Change your passwords frequently

You can make it a rule to change a password every 3-6 months.

In fact, if you work with certain institutions, changing your passwords every 90 days is a requirement.

Even if you don’t work for anyone right now, changing your password frequently will make it harder for it to be guessed.

Use double authentication features

Several online services now have double authentication features that require you to establish your identity whenever you sign in from a new device or a new internet connection.

For instance, with Gmail’s double authentication system, when you try to sign in to your email from an unrecognized device, you will receive a text message or call that will ask you if you are really signing into your account.

Once you are able to verify that you’re indeed the one signing into your account, you will gain access to your email.

So add an extra layer of security with double authentication.

Erase browsing history on public computers

If you ever use an public computer to sign into your email or banking account, make sure you erase your browsing history after you have signed out of your accounts.

Certain internet browsers like Google Chrome will save password information for websites you have visited and signed into.

If someone uses the same computer after you and they go to those websites, they could very easily sign into your accounts because the password information is saved in the browser.

Limit your use of Wifi in public locations

Using free Wifi in public locations is another way you can expose your passwords to hackers.

Yes, I am aware of the lure of free Wifi at your local coffee shop or at the airport.

However, an experienced techie can easily scan the passwords of everyone who is using that particular newtwork and use it for dubious activities.

So, as much as possible, avoid logging into to free Wifi in public spaces.

Be careful what you put on social media

As fun as social media networks are designed to be, there are bad people who use it to glean information they can use to hack you.

So it is important that you don’t put everything about yourself on social media.

One of the ways people can use information from social media to hack you is through those “password answers” you sometimes have to give when you create an account online.

For instance, one of the most common questions is “What is your mother’s maiden name?”

If this information is freely available via social media, a hacker could use it.

Never give your password to anybody you don’t trust.

A recent scam has been people calling pretending to be your bank and then requesting for sensitive information like your social security number or debit card pin.

Most banks clearly state that they will never call you to request this information.

Thus, there is a 99.9% chance that the person on the other line asking for this information is looking to scam or hack you.

Don’t fall for it.

Keeping your information secure is challenging in an era of data breaches.

But following these simple rules will help you do just that.

If you found this post helpful, make sure to share it with someone else who needs to keep their information secure.

 


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If you live in Southern California, then you know that the weather has been uncharacteristic.

Nonetheless, summer is upon us.

And along with the sunny beach days, sips of lemonade and delayed night-time comes something more sinister: heat exhaustion.

It is common to hear about the elderly and children dying during these hot months.

These deaths are 100% avoidable when you take the right precautions.

In this post, I will share a little bit about heat exhaustion as a condition.

And then I will also talk about what you can do as a caregiver or senior to ensure that you stay safe during these hot months.

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion happens when a person is exposed to excessive heat.

A person does not need to be doing a strenuous activity to experience heat exhaustion.

Strenuous activity in the hot sun increases the chances that a person will experience heat exhaustion.

If a home has poor ventilation, somebody in that home could experience heat exhaustion.

If a person is not well-hydrated during the hot summer months, they can experience heat exhaustion as well.

This is why it is necessary to stay cool and stay hydrated during the summer.

I will discuss more ways to prevent heat exhaustion below.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion

Somebody who is experiencing heat exhaustion will display the following symptoms.

  • Excessive sweating
  • Extreme thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Decreased urination
  • Weakness
  • Clammy skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fainting

If you or your loved one begin to experience any of these symptoms, you are experiencing heat exhaustion.

Thankfully, heat exhaustion is something that can be treated without going to the hospital.

If a person faints however or the symptoms persist despite rehydration and cooling them off, it is helpful to report to the nearest emergency room so they can rule out any other condition.

Preventing heat exhaustion

Preventing heat exhaustion is easy.

Following these simple rules will keep you away from an episode of heat exhaustion.

  • Avoid staying in an enclosed place that gets heated up quickly and which has no ventilation. This includes staying in cars with all the windows rolled up.
  • Drink plenty of water during the summer. I know that some of us are not the biggest fans of water. However, water really is life. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you can add flavor to it by cutting up limes, lemons, strawberries or your favorite fruit. The infusion of fruit flavors greatly enhances the taste and makes it more likely that you will drink.
  • In addition to drinking water, it is helpful to keep up with your electrolytes. Drinks like Gatorade contain essential ions and minerals that keeps your body at optimal performance. Infusing your water with fruits as well as eating fruits and vegetables are also effective ways to stay up on your electrolytes.
  • Ventilation is important. Open your windows. Turn on a fan. Turn on the air conditioning. Anything that cools your environment is helpful in keep dehydration and heat exhaustion away.
  • Use thick lotions on your skin (preferably with sunscreen) to avoid losing water from the surface of your skin.
  • Use a humidifier in your room at night if the air is dry.
  • On extremely hot days, stay indoors or in shaded areas and as much as possible avoid strenuous activity.
  • You can take over-the-counter pain killers like Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen to relieve any pain you experience from dehydration. If the pain persists, see a doctor immediately.
  • You can apply a lot of these rules for pets as well.

Heat exhaustion in the summer is real. Following these simple rules will ensure you and your loved ones stay safe.


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What is melanoma and why should you care?

Well, as we come out of an unusually cold winter, it is not odd that you would want to leave the memory of winter behind and embrace sunnier and hotter days.

In fact, I am all for it!

However, in our excitement to enjoy the sun, it is important to pay attention to skin conditions that can be triggered because we are over-exposed to the sun.

One such condition is melanoma.

In today’s post, I am going to touch on 7 facts you need to know about melanoma and how you can prevent it from happening to you and your loved ones.

Melanoma Facts: What you need to know

What is it?

A melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is directly related to an over-exposure to the sun.

It happens when the pigment-producing cells in your body- melanocytes- become mutated (and no longer function properly).

How dangerous is it?

While melanoma is a less common type of skin cancer as compared to other types such as basal cell skin cancer, it can be more dangerous.

This is because melanomas are more likely to metastasize (spread) from one area of your skin to other organs.

And this is why melanoma is not a skin condition to be trifled with in the least.

Melanoma is more common in fair skin

While melanoma can happen regardless of race, it is more common in people with fairer complexions.

Which part of the body do melanomas occur?

Melanoma can happen anywhere on the skin but it is more likely to occur on those areas of the skin that are more exposed. For men, melanomas will typically appear on the chest and back. In women, melanomas occur commonly on the legs.

What causes it?

A melanoma is regularly caused by an over-exposure to the UV rays of the sun.

An artificial source of UV rays such as a tanning bed could also result in melanoma.

It is possible however for a melanoma to occur in an area of the skin that is not exposed to the sun.

 What does a melanoma look like?

  • Large brownish or reddish spot. In darker people, it may look like a much darker area of your skin.
  • A mole than changes color, size or bleeds.
  • Sometimes the mole is multi-colored and does not have regular edges.

If you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor immediately so you can get tested.

What can you do to prevent melanoma?

What can you do to keep this skin cancer away?

  • Avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day. This usually is between 10am to 4pm.
  • If you need to be out, wear sunscreen containing an SPF level of at least 15. Wear some sunscreen even in the winter!
  • Wear protective clothing, hats, etc to protect yourself from the exposure.
  • Be aware of drugs that make you more sensitive to the sun (yes these exist!). Ask your doctor if any of the drugs you are taking make you more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Avoid tanning beds. I know it’s a popular trend but it is much cheaper to stay cancer-free.
  • If you notice any changes in your skin as I described above, talk to your doctor immediately. It is better to have it ruled out as a harmless mole than to find out the worst later.

So get out there and enjoy the sun as we enter the warmer months. We deserve it!

However, make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions to take great care of your skin to keep melanoma away.

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November 16, 2018 Safety & Injury Prevention0

If you live in California, the recent devastating wildfires have most likely not missed your notice.

It is hard to build something for years only for fire to destroy it in a matter of minutes.

As a caregiver or an elder yourself, times like these are scary.

In today’s post, I will be sharing some helpful pointers that will help you and your loved one stay safe during this season and a number of things you can do to protect yourself financially if you’re hit by such a disaster.

Staying Safe During A Season of Fires

  1. If you live in California, you may have noticed that the air is incredibly dry. This makes it easier for fires to accelerate once they are started. Make sure that if you start an open flame in or outside your house, you put it out COMPLETELY before you leave. This includes your gas stove, barbecues outside, fire pits and camp fires. Don’t accidentally start the next wildfire because you’re in a hurry.
  2. If you smoke, it is important you put out the cigar/cigarette completely when you’re done smoking.
  3. Using an oxygen tank? Don’t smoke near it.
  4. Make sure you read and understand your rental or homeowners insurance plan. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to lose their homes in disasters and be told by insurance companies that none of the property they lost was covered under the insurance plan. A better insurance plan for disasters may be a few dollars more than a basic plan that only covers some of your loss or (in most cases nothing at all).
  5. Consider starting an emergency savings fund just for situations like this. It will take the edge off the financial burden that comes from a natural disaster.
  6. Check to make sure the fire alarm and carbon dioxide alarm in your home are working.
  7. If you hear about wildfires in your area and you are instructed to evacuate, evacuate immediately. It’s helpful to have an emergency kit prepared so you can take off with your family quickly. Items to place in your emergency kit include:
    • Water – At least one gallon per person for the next three days.
    • Food – Non-perishable items like canned goods, crackers and granola bars work well.
    • Battery-powered or hand cranked radio so you can get updates.
    • First aid kit.
    • Extra batteries.
    • Whistle to signal for help.
    • Moist towelettes/wipes
    • Diapers/incontinence products
    • Manual can opener for food
    • Local maps
    • Cell phones with extra batteries
  8. Safeguard critical documents. You will need to prove your identity and financial information when the time comes to file claims. Make sure to safeguard critical documents like:
    • house/rental payments
    • insurance cards
    • bank statements – NOTE: If you have a bank with online banking, you can obtain this information by signing into your account online. Thus, if you haven’t created an online account with your bank, now is the time to do so!
    • sources of income/pay stubs
    • tax statements – NOTE: By inputting your information on the IRS website, you should be able to gain access to the last three years of your tax history if you have filed taxes over the last three years.
    • birth certificates
    • social security cards
    • passports and driver’s licenses
  9. Pack a box with any precious memories you want to save.
  10. Drink a lot of water. The weather is very dry during this time.
  11. If you are going to leave on your own, call a family member so that they know where you are.
  12. Keep a small stash of cash on you. ATMs may not function or may run out of gas during the disaster.
  13. Fill your car up with gas so you are ready to go if you need to evacuate.
  14. Have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, read this post for what to do during a disaster.

Final Thoughts

Each year, natural disasters all across the United States remind us that everything could be gone in a minute.

In a lot of instances, there is nothing we can do about it.

However, there is a lot we can do to prepare for it and stay safe during.

In this post, I have share twelve things you can do to prevent, prepare for and stay safe during a wildfire or any disaster for that matter.

Share this with someone else so they can be prepared.


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Did the recent California wildfires affect you?

We realize that this might be a difficult time for you as a caregiver or an elder affected by the fires.

There is some good news for California wildfire victims who are on Medicare: the deadline to enroll in and/or review and change your options for 2019 has been extended.

Regular open enrollment for Medicare ends on December 7. However, the fires may have caused you to move out of your home. Because of this, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare have given California wildfire victims an enrollment extension.

The Human and Health Services has categorized the fires as a public health emergency and thus they have also made other provisions for Medicare beneficiaries.

What you should know.

If you are or your elderly loved one is a Medicare beneficiary, here’s what is available to you.

  • Haven’t enrolled yet? Call the Medicaid hotline at 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on how to take advantage of the extension.

 

  • Waivers for skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and assistance for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Here’s what that means.
    • If you have recently exhausted your SNF benefits, you could get renewed SNF coverage without having to start a new benefit period.
    • You had to evacuate or be transferred because of the wildfires. If you or your loved one needs skill nursing care (SNF), you can get temporary emergency coverage without a qualifying hospital stay.
    • If you lost your prescription medications in the fire, Medicare may cover the replacement cost of those medications. You can get coverage for up to the quantity your pharmacy originally dispensed.
    • To get more knowledge on what might be covered during this public health emergency period, you can either call the hotline or read detailed information here.

 

  • Because this is a public health emergency, Medicare Advantage plans will have to waive prior authorization and any similar requirements. This will help affected beneficiaries get care from non-network providers and hospitals faster.

 

  • Are you on dialysis? If you cannot get care from your regular provider, call the Northern California patient hotline at 800-637-4767 or the hotline number in Southern California at 800-637-4767. They will help you sort out where you can go for care.

It’s a difficult time…

We realize that these fires are a difficult time for everyone in so many different ways.

If you were looking to hear some good news during this time, I hope this helped.

At the very least, call the Medicare hotline to find out what is available to you.


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As a company, Green Tree Home Care is committed to helping our clients live enjoyable lives in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

We realize that safety is a huge concern for families when it comes to senior care planning.

In the United States, one in three people aged 65 or more will fall at least once a year.

The consequence of a fall is an increase in injuries that result in hospitalizations that cost a lot of money. Changes in cognition and judgment also put elderly adults at an increased risk for injury and illness.

This article address some of the major safety concerns and how you can help ensure your loved one stays safe at home.

Preventing Falls – 10 Tips

Falls are a major concern when it comes to the safety of an aging adult.

It is a serious problem – but one which has very simple and implementable solutions and will help your loved one stay safe at home.

10 Ways To Prevent Falls In The Home

  1. Get rid of tripping hazards. Tape down or remove area rugs. Objects like furniture or shoes, that obstruct walkways, should be moved out of walkways.
  2. Keep floors dry as much as possible. In areas of the home that routinely get wet like the bathroom or kitchen, non-slip mats should cover the floor. Mop up water and other liquid spills immediatly. 
  3. Support structures in the shower/bathroom such as a railings are extremely helpful. Seniors can hold onto these for extra support as they bathe themselves.
  4. You may want to consider stairlifts for a two story home. If you are not sure if your long term insurance plan covers it, call to ask if these types of mobility devices are supported.
  5. Another safety precaution for staircases are grab-bars or railings that allow the older adult to hold on as they ascend or descend.
  6. If the home has a bedroom on the first floor that does not need a staircase to access, consider relocating your bedroom here.The less seniors have to move up a staircase, the less risk for falls and injuries.
  7. Lighting should be adequate. It is natural for older adults to wake up at night to use the bathroom. Having night lights strategically placed in their path will help them find their way to and fro.
  8. How long has it been since your loved one had an eye health check up ? Problems with vision can contribute to fall and subsequent injuries.
  9. Encourage seniors to participate in a low impact strength training regimen to improve leg strength and balance.
  10. If your loved one uses mobility assistive devices, such as a walker, make sure it is correctly measured for their height and weight and that she is comfortable with it.

Preventing Burns – 8 Tips

Fire safety is another concern that arises as seniors age. There have been reports of people leaving a kettle on and accidentally falling asleep only to wake-up to find a raging fire. Changes in judgment and memory increase the likelihood of accidental fires and burns.

Preventing something as tragic as a fire starts with taking some of the simple steps below.

  1. Check to make sure fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are up to date, functioning and have new batteries in them. Early alerts through an alarm can help seniors get out of their house on time.
  2. Smoking in bed is a big no-no. Especially so if your senior loved on has an oxygen tank in the house with them.
  3. Ensure that all stove burners are off before heading to bed.
  4. If you smell a gas leak, don’t hesitate. Report it immediately.
  5. Turn off any burning candles before you go to bed.
  6. Have the temperature of your hot water heater tested and adjusted to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  7. Avoid electrical blankets as much as possible. They are warm and cuddly but are very much a fire hazard.
  8. Have a fire extinguisher on hand at home to put out small fires.

Preventing Medication Errors – 3 Tips

Medication errors are just as dangerous as falls and fire injuries.

It just takes an overdose or a dangerous combination of otherwise safe medications to create a major medical incident.

  1. Check medications against the latest doctor order to ensure medications are correct and in date.
  2. If vision is a problem, make sure to let the pharmacy know to write the instructions in big font.
  3. As a caregiver, it is always good to educate yourself on drug combinations that can be dangerous. Speak to the doctor or pharmacist and ask for print outs of such combinations.

Closing Thoughts

Safety at home is a key concern for seniors. If your loved one is experiencing falls, lapses in judgment, and medication mistakes, it may be time to bring in outside support. You can contact our client services team to find out if your loved one is appropriate for home care.

As a family caregiver, you can help your client or senior loved one take charge of safety by applying the tips just shared in this post.

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