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Can Children Have Arthritis? Treatments for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

Can Children Have Arthritis? Treatments for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

You might expect that arthritis is something that only happens to older adults, but it can actually affect people of all ages, including children. Nearly 300,000 kids and teens in the United States have some form of arthritis, and nearly one child in every 1,000 worldwide. With treatment, most children achieve periods with no symptoms, and sometimes the disease goes away permanently with no further need for medications. Continue reading to learn more about arthritis can affect kids and how parents can help their children manage the condition.

 

What is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)?

In general, the term arthritis is used to describe pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. In adults, this is usually due to wear and tear after years of sports or chronic repetitive motions. In contrast, most cases of juvenile arthritis are due to a malfunctioning immune system. Normally, the immune system can tell the difference between the body’s own cells and invaders like germs and viruses. Childhood arthritis develops when the immune system gets confused and attacks the healthy cells in the joints, resulting in painful inflammation. This is officially known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis but it was once called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors do not know exactly why juvenile arthritis happens but girls and children who were exposed to cigarette smoke during pregnancy are at slightly higher risk.

 

What are the symptoms of childhood arthritis?

Arthritis affects each child differently but the most common symptoms are joint pain, swelling, warmth, and stiffness that are typically worse in the morning and after a nap or prolonged sitting.

The symptoms can be unpredictable and range from mild to severe–some kids may only have a few periods of active disease while others experience persistent symptoms. Childhood arthritis can also affect more than just the joints depending on the activity of the immune system. Other signs to watch for include:

  • High fevers that come and go
  • Skin rash on the trunk, arms and legs
  • Fatigue and daytime sleepiness
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Eye redness, pain, and light sensitivity
  • Slow growth and physical development

 

At-Home Treatment for Juvenile Arthritis

Healthy lifestyle habits and home remedies can help ease symptoms and relieve pain for anyone struggling with arthritis (and are most often recommended). For instance, low-impact exercises like swimming, biking and yoga are good for muscle strength and joint flexibility. Balancing physical activity with rest is also essential, especially during periods of active inflammation. Taking breaks throughout the day preserves energy and helps protect the child’s joints.

 

A heating pad or warm bath is best for soothing stiff joints and relaxing tired muscles, especially in the morning. Just keep in mind that heating pads should be set to “warm” rather than “hot” temperatures to prevent burning the skin. Alternatively, contoured gel cold packs are ideal for inflamed joints to reduce swelling, numb the area and reduce sensitivity to pain. The non-toxic gel remains flexible as it freezes and the fabric cover protects the skin from frostbite. Cold and heat can be used intermittently throughout the day as long as they are not left in place for more than 20 minutes. Some people even find it helpful to alternate between the two temperatures to simultaneously reduce pain and inflammation, stimulate circulation and loosen tight muscles.

 

Other Common Treatment Options

While there is no cure for childhood arthritis, treatments and medications are available to slow down or stop inflammation and preserve joint function. Doctors may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen and naproxen to help reduce pain and swelling, but it depends on patients’ medical conditions. Unfortunately, inflammatories do not stop the immune system’s attack on the joints so immunosuppressant medicines like etanercept (Enbrel) or adalimumab (Humira) may be needed. Always consult with your doctor for more information on which treatment options are best for you.

 

Final thoughts

Arthritis can happen to adults and children alike, and growing up with arthritis can be challenging. However, with treatment, most children with arthritis are able to live full, active lives and keep up with their peers. HomeCare Hospital Beds has at-home therapy options for those who would like to use heat and cold to relieve their pain and discomfort. Parents should always check with their child’s healthcare providers first before trying either hot or cold therapy.

 

References

American College of Rheumatology. (2022). Juvenile arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Juvenile-Arthritis

 

Arthritis Foundation. Juvenile arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/juvenile-arthritis

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Childhood arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/childhood.htm

 

Harvard Health. (2022). Foods that fight inflammation. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

 

Mayo Clinic. (2020). Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Retrieved from

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/juvenile-idiopathic-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20374082

 

National Institutes of Health. (2021). Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Retrieved from https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/juvenile-arthritis

 

Creating a Safe Living Environment for People with Alzheimer’s Disease

Creating a Safe Living Environment for People with Alzheimer’s Disease

In 1994, former President Ronald Reagan shared the news that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease with the words “I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.” Ironically, he had been the one to initiate the first National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month eleven years previously. Today, Alzheimer’s And Brain Awareness Month is observed every June to support the millions of people worldwide who are living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It is also a time to recognize the caregivers who keep their loved ones comfortable and safe at home through all stages of the disease. An essential component of this care is creating a dementia-friendly home environment that balances comfort, safety and independence. Continue reading to learn more about how bedrooms and bathrooms can be adapted to meet the needs of both dementia patients and their caregivers.

 

Bedroom safety suggestions

Night time can be one of the hardest periods for people with dementia because they often become increasingly confused and disoriented in the late afternoon and evening. Their distress and agitation can last through the night, so the bedroom should be a safe, comfortable place for them to retreat to. For example, some people with dementia become afraid of the dark, so adequate lighting is essential. Light fixtures that provide a soft warm glow may help them fall asleep more easily. A full bladder can also make it difficult for people with dementia to rest comfortably during the night. Incontinence is common as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, but they may still try to get up and go to the bathroom. An electric high-low bed is an ideal solution for people who could be injured if they get out of bed without help. The bed frame can be lowered to just a few inches above the floor to prevent falls and serious injuries. A waterproof mattress cover also ensures quick and easy cleanup after any type of bedwetting accident.

 

Staying safe in the bathroom

The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house for people with dementia, but home modifications can greatly reduce the risk of falls. A good starting point is to install grab bars on the bathroom walls near the toilet and inside the bathtub or shower. They must be anchored into wall studs and sturdy enough to support a person’s full weight. A grab rail can also be mounted directly onto the wall of the bathtub. A clamping mechanism with rubber pads keeps it in place without scratching the tub surface. Additionally, a shower chair with a back and armrests should be placed inside the tub or shower stall to make the bathing process easier and safer. Be sure to pick one with non-slip rubber feet that will sit securely in the bathtub or shower stall. Finally, a handheld shower head makes it easier for caregivers to stay dry when assisting with bathing.

 

Final thoughts

Alzheimer’s disease presents many challenges that can negatively impact quality of life and independence. It is a constant challenge for patients and caregivers but creating a dementia-friendly home environment can reduce the risk of serious injury as the disease progresses. Trying to find just the right bed, grab bars, or shower chair can be a challenge though, so HomeCare Hospital Beds team of experts is ready to help! For more information, call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**

Tips for Improving Senior Health and Fitness

Approximately 100,000 senior adults come together each year to celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day to help promote the importance. If you didn’t celebrate this year, the large community will continue to participate in local health and fitness events at over a thousand locations across the country. Even if you have reached your golden years without working up much of a sweat, starting a new exercise routine may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Continue reading to learn more about becoming more physically active in your senior years.

 

Benefits of exercise for older adults

Although physical activity is beneficial for everyone, it is especially important for seniors to prevent or delay many of the health problems that commonly occur with aging. For example, older adults who exercise regularly are less likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Staying active is also one of the best ways to boost your mood and maintain your independence. In fact, regular physical exercise can keep your mind sharp and significantly reduce your risk of dementia!

 

Getting started

Before you start any fitness program, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to exercise. Once you get the OK, it can be hard to know where to begin. If you haven’t worked out for a while, the thought of joining the fitness world again can be daunting. There is also a good chance that the exercises you once did aren’t ideal for older adults. In general, seniors should try to incorporate strength and balance exercises with aerobic activity. Swimming, yoga, pilates, walking, and resistance bands are great options for older adults. This being said, the best exercises for seniors are the ones that they want to do and will do consistently.

 

Fitness apps for seniors

No matter your interests or fitness level, there’s an app to help you become more active. Here are some options to try new exercises and pack your progress:

  • Map My Walk – Walking is a fantastic low-impact activity that you can do every day to stay healthy. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, this app has what you need to stay on track. Map My Walk is available from iOS and Android, free with optional in-app purchases.
  • SilverSneakers GO – Getting active just got easier with this fitness app designed for older adults. You can access strength, walking, and meditation programs and easily adjust each exercise to your comfort level. The free SilverSneakers GO app is available from iOS and Android.
  • MyFitnessPal – If you would like to track your nutrition and calorie intake along with your workouts, this app is for you. The database of more than 6 million foods makes it easy to monitor what you eat, no matter what type of diet you follow. MyFitnessPal is available from iOS and Android, free with optional in-app purchases.
  • 7-Minute Chi Because the movements are slow and gentle, tai chi is a popular exercise option for seniors. Often described as meditation in motion, tai chi is a great option for gently improving strength, balance, flexibility, and range of motion. 7-Minute Chi is available from iOS and Android, free with optional in-app purchases.

 

Final thoughts

Even though exercise can help seniors live longer, healthier, more joyous lives, safety is key. Start by checking with your doctor and start slowly if you’re a beginner. Many activities can even be modified to fit any limitations that you might have. Don’t hesitate to use an assistive device if you need one! Go ahead and parade that cane or rollator as you celebrate local events this summer. If you are ready for a new, upgraded mobility aid, the HomeCare Hospital Beds team of experts is ready to help. For more information, call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**

Best Products for Living With Arthritis

Improving quality of life with arthritis

Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not a single disease. Infact, there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting 1 in 4 American adults, but can affect people of all ages. While living with any form of arthritis can be challenging, there are many assistive devices that can help you maintain and oftentimes improve your quality of life. Keep reading to find out more about how they can be used to help you reduce pain and protect your joints from further damage.

 

Hot/cold therapy

Hot and cold therapy is a simple, inexpensive option to help relieve pain and stiffness from arthritis. In general, cold packs constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the affected area. It is particularly helpful for reducing the joint inflammation and swelling that is common with rheumatoid arthritis. Cold therapy also acts as a local anesthetic to numb the area and reduce sensitivity to pain. On the other hand, warmth stimulates blood flow to the area, which eases painful muscle spasms and joint stiffness.

 

Arthritis gloves

Compression from arthritis gloves helps reduce swelling and joint stiffness in the fingers, especially during flares when you are feeling really uncomfortable. They also support the small joints of the fingers to help allow you to continue everyday activities and hobbies. For best results, wear them for at least 8 hours at a time and make sure that they fit well. Arthritis gloves that are too loose will not provide any benefit while gloves that are too tight will dig into your skin. Ask your doctor or therapist if you need help selecting the correct size!

 

Lifting recliners

Getting up from a chair is a struggle for many people with arthritis due to joint stiffness and pain. A power lifting recliner is a good option to maintain your independence and prevent falls. With the simple push of a button on the hand control, you can be gently lowered into the seat or raised to a standing position. When you are seated in the chair, you can adjust the recline angle and extend the foot rest so that you feel comfortable and supported. The VivaLift! Radiance power lifting recliner even has integrated heating pads for the back and legs to help ease the joint stiffness that is so common with arthritis.

 

Bathroom safety

The bathroom can be a dangerous place for people with arthritis. Creating an arthritis-friendly bathroom is essential for preventing falls and injuries in the home. For starters, wall-mounted grab bars are essential for people with stiff, painful joints, particularly in the tub/shower area. Next, a raised toilet seat with arms will make it easier for you to answer the call of nature. Finally, a shower chair provides a secure area to sit in a slippery shower or bathtub. Be sure to pick one that has a backrest and arms for security and support.

 

Getting around

Sometimes arthritis damages joints to the point where you might need an assistive device to help you stay mobile, active, and safe. For instance, a walking cane is helpful when osteoarthritis affects one hip or knee. It allows you to offload the pressure that goes through that joint so you can get around with less pain. Make sure to pick one that is adjustable with a contoured hand grip like this folding cane. If both of your hips or knees are painful, however, you might need a walker for more support. A good choice is this foldable rollator with ergonomic hand grips, an integrated seat, and a handy storage bag. If your hands are too painful to support your body weight, though, an upright walker is a better option. You should definitely work with your doctor or therapist to choose the best mobility aid and make sure that you use it correctly.

 

Final thoughts

Arthritis presents many physical challenges that can negatively impact your quality of life and independence. Fortunately, assistive devices and equipment can help you remain as active and productive as possible. Trying to find just the right lifting recliner or rollator can be a challenge, though, so the HomeCare Hospital Beds team of experts is ready to help! For more information, call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**

Improving Quality of Life With Parkinson’s Disease

Affecting an estimated 1 million Americans and 10 million people worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects movement. Common symptoms include tremors, muscle stiffness, slow movement, and impaired balance. While living with Parkinson’s disease can be challenging, there are many assistive devices that can help you maintain and even improve your quality of life. Keep reading to find out more about how they can be used to help you prevent falls and maintain your independence.

 

Getting dressed

Dressing aids like the Vive Health Hip & Knee Recovery Kit can make your morning routines much easier. Even though this kit was originally designed for people who have limited mobility due to surgery or injury, it is ideal for people with Parkinson’s disease as well. The dressing stick allows you to put on pants and underwear without having to bend over at the waist. You can also use the stick to draw a shirt or jacket along your arm and over your shoulder. Then you can use the sock assist and extra long shoe horn to put on your footwear. If you drop any items of clothing on the floor, you can pick them up easily with the 32” rotating reacher.

 

Furniture

Getting up from a chair is a struggle for many people with Parkinson’s disease due to poor balance and delayed muscle action. A power lifting recliner is a good option to maintain your independence and prevent falls. With the simple push of a button on the hand control, you can be gently lowered into the seat or raised to a standing position. When you are seated in the chair, you can adjust the recline angle and extend the foot rest so that you feel comfortable and supported. The VivaLift! Radiance power lifting recliner even has integrated heating pads for the back and legs to help ease the muscle stiffness that is so common with Parkinson’s disease.

 

Bathroom safety

When it comes to preventing falls and injuries in the home, the bathroom is the most important room to make necessary changes. For starters, wall-mounted grab bars are essential for people with poor balance, particularly in the tub/shower area. Next, a raised toilet seat with arms will make it easier for you to answer the call of nature. Finally, a shower chair provides a secure area to sit in a slippery shower or bathtub. Be sure to pick one like the Vive Health Shower Chair that has a backrest and arms for security and support.

 

Getting around

Sometimes Parkinson’s disease affects balance and coordination to the point where you might need an assistive device for walking. If you are having a little trouble getting around, you might consider getting a cane as part of balance training with a therapist. As an example, the Vive Health Folding Cane has a non-slip rubber tip, a contoured hand grip, and an adjustable height. If your balance is poor, however, a walker or rollator is likely needed for more support. Standard 2-wheeled walkers provide the most support while rollators feature large wheels and integrated seats for comfort. You should definitely work with your doctor or therapist to choose the best mobility aid and make sure that you use it correctly.

 

Final thoughts

Parkinson’s disease presents many physical challenges that can negatively impact quality of life and independence. Fortunately, assistive devices and equipment can help you remain as active and productive as possible. Trying to find just the right recliner or shower chair can be a challenge, though, so the HomeCare Hospital Beds team of experts is ready to help! For more information, call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**

Using Hot and Cold Therapy for Pain Relief

Using Hot and Cold Therapy for Pain Relief

Healing after an injury can be a long, uncomfortable process. While massage, ultrasound and physical therapy can be helpful, heat and cold therapy is a simple, inexpensive option to help promote healing and pain relief. The tricky part is knowing what situations call for heat, and which call for cold. This blog will provide insight into when ice and heat therapy can be used and which option works best for different types of injuries.

 

Heat therapy

Warmth stimulates blood flow to the injured area, which can be a gentle suggestion to the body to continue the healing process. The increased blood circulation helps remove lactic acid, which is responsible for the burning pain after muscles are overused. Heat therapy relaxes the muscles to ease painful spasms and stiffness. For example, electric heating pads can be used to relieve discomfort from menstrual cramps, neck spasms, and low back pain. But, keep in mind that they should be set to “warm” rather than “hot” temperatures to prevent burning the skin. To help the heat penetrate the tissues more quickly, a damp washcloth can be placed between the heating pad and the skin. For best results, apply moist heat for 15 minutes at a time, up to three times a day.

 

Heat therapy precautions

Heat is not suitable for all types of injuries. Inflamed areas and infected wounds already have increased blood flow and they will not benefit from further warming. Additionally, heat should not be applied within the first 48-72 hours after an injury because it will cause the area to become more swollen and painful. You should also avoid using a heating pad if you have neuropathy from diabetes or any other condition that prevents you from accurately sensing temperatures. Finally, make sure to NEVER fall asleep while using a heating pad even if it has an auto shut-off function.

 

Cold therapy

Cold therapy does the opposite of heat by constricting small blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the injured area. This reduces inflammation and swelling, which is helpful for fresh injuries like strains, sprains, and fractures. Cold therapy also acts as a local anesthetic to numb the area and reduce sensitivity to pain. As a result, a cold mask or wrap around the forehead may help reduce the pain of a migraine. Reusable ice wraps are ideal for cold therapy because they are flexible, lightweight, and leak-proof.

 

Cold therapy precautions

Ice packs should never be applied directly to the skin or the skin can freeze and develop frostbite. Instead, they should always be wrapped in a cloth or paper towel and left in place for no more than 20 minutes. As with heat therapy, ice packs should be avoided if you are unable to accurately sense temperature. Also make sure to consult your doctor before using cold therapy if you have peripheral vascular disease or impaired circulation. Lastly, cold therapy should not be used before exercising or other activities that could cause muscle cramping.

 

Final thoughts

HomeCare Hospital Beds is ready to help people use heat and cold to relieve their pain and discomfort. Heating pads are available along with a wide variety of reusable ice wraps. People should always check with their doctor first before trying either hot or cold therapy.

 

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**

Traveling With Incontinence Over Spring Break

After a long winter, the thought of traveling to an exotic destination for spring break often sounds enticing. No matter which destination you choose, we have tips to help keep your bladder under control and comfortable for your trip. Here are some tips for traveling with incontinence so you can make the most of your travels.

 

Include bathroom stops in your itinerary

As you research your transportation and destination options, take the time to find locations with clean bathrooms along the way. Knowing where restrooms are located can help you avoid accidents and take the stress away of struggling to find a bathroom in a hurry. Before booking plane tickets, try to choose an aisle seat as close to the bathroom as possible. If you might need to change clothes during the flight, try to find an airplane with dual aisles. Wide-body planes are required to have wheelchair accessible bathrooms while narrow-body planes with single aisles are not. For road trips, big chain travel centers and state-sponsored rest stops usually have rigid schedules for cleaning their bathrooms. Small gas stations with a restroom on the side of the building can be safety hazards and are best avoided. Free apps like SitorSquat and Flush can be helpful, especially if you need a handicap accessible restroom. To find some truly magnificent facilities for your trip, check out the Best Restroom Hall of Fame!

 

Be prepared with extra supplies

When packing for your trip, leave enough space in your bags for incontinence supplies. It is best to overestimate your needs and bring a little extra in case of delayed flights, traffic jams, or changes in plans. If you don’t want to pack incontinence products in your luggage, consider having them sent directly to your hotel (just don’t forget to call beforehand to inquire about their policy for receiving shipments). Also, keep in mind that restrooms often have longer lines during peak holiday seasons. You might consider using products with more absorbency during long flights or car rides to provide extra protection. Briefs can hold more leakage in case of an accident and ease your mind if you can’t use a restroom right away!

 

Food and drink

Sampling exclusive restaurants and local specialties are favorite pleasures for vacations! You might want to skip the alcohol and enjoy some mocktails instead. Alcohol causes the kidneys to make more urine so you’re more likely to have an accident after having a few drinks. Instead, stick with non-alcoholic beverages so that your urine stays a light straw color. Your bladder is less able to hold onto urine when it is dark and concentrated. When dining out, local cuisines with lots of spices can irritate the bladder and worsen symptoms of incontinence. Local tropical fruits like passionfruit, mangos, guava, dragon fruit and pineapple taste delicious and can help you stay regular during your trip. You don’t want to be making more trips to the bathroom because of constipation.

 

Enjoy your swim

Don’t be afraid to enjoy some time at the beach or a dip in the pool! You can’t use regular incontinence products underwater, but Swimmates adult swim briefs are made from slim, tight-fitting materials that can be worn discreetly under a swimsuit. Swimmates do not expand, get soggy or break apart when they get wet. They are safe to use in swimming pools so you can enjoy the water with dignity and confidence!

 

Final thoughts

Don’t let incontinence get in the way of a fabulous spring break trip. With the right planning and supplies, you can have a wonderful time in the sunshine. The HomeCare Hospital Beds team of experts is ready to help you do this with a variety of incontinence supplies. For more information, call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**

Key Features of Hospice Care Hospital Beds

Home hospital beds are an essential part of hospice care. The adjustable head and foot sections allow patients to assume positions that are not possible with wedges or pillows. Patients can also sit upright in bed to visit with loved ones and ease shortness of breath. Because there are multiple hospital beds to choose from, this article provides helpful information about how to choose the best home hospital bed for your hospice patient.

 

Key features

Loud noises can be disturbing and unpleasant for an unwell person since their senses are often enhanced. Home hospital beds with smooth, quiet motors allow patients to be repositioned as comfortably as possible with less noise. Patients can also gradually lose the ability to reposition themselves independently, which is why hand pendants are very helpful. Patients can adjust the bed position, as they wish, with minimal effort. Many patients also find that half rails provide support when they roll over in the bed and help prevent falls when they get up.

 

Semi-electric and full electric beds

Semi-electric hospital beds have motors to raise and lower the head and foot sections. The bed frame stays at a fixed height although some models can be manually adjusted with a hand crank. Semi-electric hospital beds are less than ideal for hospice patients, however. Without the ability to raise a bed to a safe working height, caregivers are at risk of painful back injuries from excessive bending and stooping. Full electric hospital beds are a great option because caregivers can easily adjust the bed height to avoid bending forward at the waist. You can find more information here about the effects of working positions.

 

Full electric beds for hospice care

Traditionally, hospice patients were provided with semi-electric hospital beds because they were significantly less expensive than full electric versions. The CostCare B130C full electric bed is now available for the same price as most semi-electric options. The B130C bed frame can be raised to 23″ to protect caregivers from back injuries and lowered to 15.4″ so that patients can easily get back into the bed. The painted head and footboards resemble bedroom furniture in order to fit into any decor. Optional half side rails provide support when patients roll over and help reduce the risk of falls when they get out of bed.

 

Choosing a mattress

Hospice patients are at high risk for developing skin breakdown as they enter the final stages of the dying process. Pressure ulcers that develop at the end of life often get worse quickly with significant pain and discomfort. Therapeutic support surfaces should be used to prevent skin breakdown, especially when patients remain in a single position for comfort. Typical hospital bed mattresses have a single layer of foam that is either too soft to provide enough support or too hard to protect fragile skin areas. MedMattress Care mattresses are created from high quality foam that provides patient comfort and pressure redistribution at an economical price point. The fluid resistant, ultra-soft nylon cover reduces friction to help prevent shear injuries. Care mattresses are available in 36” x 80” x 6” size for use with the CostCare B130C bed.

 

Key takeaway

Caring for hospice patients poses unique challenges as as each patient has different needs. Full electric hospital beds like the CostCare B130C help protect caregivers from injury as they promote comfort for the patient. Pressure redistribution mattresses can also help promote comfort and reduce the risk of decubitus ulcer formation. The HomeCare Hospital Beds team of experts is ready to help hospice caregivers and providers get the necessary equipment to care for patients with terminal illness. For more information, call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**

Choosing Between a Power Wheelchair and a Mobility Scooter

The ‘power wheelchair vs scooter’ debate is never-ending. The two terms are often used interchangeably but the two options are actually quite different. While both types of mobility devices help promote independence for people with disabilities, it can be difficult to choose between them. Keep reading to find out more about how to choose the one that’s right for you.

 

Seating

Power wheelchairs are designed for people with very limited mobility, have weak torso muscles and need additional support sitting upright. In order to do this, the captain’s style seats can be customized with motor-driven stand, tilt, support, and recline features. In contrast, mobility scooter seats are not designed for all day use as they typically provide minimal postural support and cushioning. They usually have simple seats that swivel so people can get on and off easily. Some models have reclining seats or captain’s chairs for additional comfort. Users must be able to walk short distances, stand, and step on/off the scooter independently.

 

Steering

Mobility scooters are equipped with a tiller for steering as opposed to a power wheelchair which is operated using a joystick. Users require good upper body strength and fine motor control to operate the tiller. They also must be able to extend their arms comfortably in front of their body for extended periods to hold the controls. Joystick controls are ideal for people with arm weakness because they can be controlled with the touch of a single finger. The joystick is attached to the armrest so the user’s arm is constantly supported.

 

Navigation

Power wheelchairs have a compact design so they can maneuver through tight spaces like narrow hallways. In particular, mid-wheel drive wheelchairs have a zero turn radius which means that they can turn around in their own space. Power wheelchairs allow users to sit at tables and pull up next to the bed or toilet. Mobility scooters have a wide turning radius so they are more suited for grocery stores, malls, airports, and parks. Some buildings and elevators cannot accommodate mobility scooters due to their large size. The handlebars prevent scooters from pulling straight up to desks or tables, so users must stand up and transfer to a chair. Many scooters have lights and turn signals because they are designed to be used in public spaces.

Travel

Most power wheelchairs weigh approximately 200 lbs and are impossible for one person to lift. These wheelchairs require a special lift or a specially designed wheelchair van. Thankfully, the lightweight Vive Health Power Wheelchair and Compact Power Wheelchair fold in seconds to fit into most vehicles. Many mobility scooters can be taken apart into 3 or 4 pieces for transport or storage. However, larger heavy-duty scooters with captain’s seats often require a vehicle lift. Drive Medical ZooMe Auto-Flex Folding Travel Scooter is perfect for travel because it weighs only 60 lbs and folds/unfolds in 15 seconds or less with a wireless key fob!

 

Questions to consider

  1. How often will I need to use it?
  2. Will I use it all day or for short periods of time?
  3. Will I use it at home or for shopping and errands?
  4. Do I have the means to transport it when needed?
  5. Do I have enough arm strength to steer with tiller controls?
  6. Do I have enough trunk strength to sit upright on my own?

 

Final thoughts

Power wheelchairs and mobility scooters are invaluable devices for people with disabilities. They are available in a wide variety of configurations and sizes to meet the individual needs of each person. Power wheelchairs are designed for people with very limited mobility while scooters are considered to be consumer products for use as needed. Trying to find just the right mobility device can be a challenge so the HomeCare Hospital Beds team of experts is ready to help! For more information, call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**

How are Assisted Living Facilities Different From Nursing Homes?

How are Assisted Living Facilities Different From Nursing Homes?

At some point, support from family, friends, and local programs may not be enough for seniors to continue living on their own. Seniors who require additional help may consider moving to a residential facility that can provide the services they need. However, it can be difficult for seniors and their families to know which type of living solution is best suited for them. Here are the answers to common questions about these two types of senior facilities.

assisted living

nursing home

Final thoughts

When seniors can no longer manage their medications and daily activities on their own, it may be time to consider moving to a residential facility. Assisted living is a great option for seniors who need extra support or who need assistance with day-to-day tasks. In contrast, nursing homes provide round-the-clock care for seniors with complex medical conditions. If you or a loved one would like more information about facility-based senior care, these organizations are ready to help:

 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

800-633-4227 (toll-free)

877-486-2048 (TTY/toll-free)

https://www.cms.gov/

www.medicare.gov

 

Eldercare Locator

800-677-1116 (toll-free)

eldercarelocator@n4a.org

https://eldercare.acl.gov

 

USAging

202-872-0888

info@usaging.org

www.usaging.org

Trying to find the right medical equipment can also be a challenge so the HomeCare Hospital Beds team of experts is ready to help! We work with seniors and their families to provide high-quality equipment and supplies at the lowest prices available. For more information, call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

**The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a severe and sudden change in physical or mental health, please call 911, contact a local emergency facility or consult with your doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider, and never disregard the advice given because of information you have received from our website.**