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Holiday Travel and Your CPAP

Posted on: December 7th, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

The holiday season is here, and for many that means spending time with distant relatives. Whether you’re flying or driving, CPAP users will find a unique set of obstacles during their travels. But with the right preparation and knowledge, you and your CPAP can travel with ease.

 

  • Bring a travel CPAP machine.

 

Just like other forms of technology, CPAP machines have been getting smaller over time. However, the most compact ones are those made for travel. Because of their smaller size, travel CPAP machines are also easier to use in the space of a plane, car or hotel room. Some of them even have a DC mobile adapter added to them, so you can plug in while your partner drives.

 

 

  • You cannot be prevented from using your CPAP machine on the plane.

 

Make sure you alert your flight staff that you will require the use of a CPAP machine if you’re on an overnight flight. Since it is a medical device, you legally cannot be denied the use of your CPAP machine. However, many airlines only offer outlets in business or first class sections of the plane, so plan accordingly.

 

  • The TSA will likely examine your CPAP machine for explosives.

 

This is what’s known as an ETD, or Explosive Trace Detection. TSA officials will run a white cotton swab over the surface of your machine and test it for traces of explosives. Most TSA officials have seen a CPAP machine come through their line before, so it’s doubtful they will give you much trouble. Just like a laptop, you can leave all your supplies in the bag while they examine the machine itself.

 

 

While you may be tempted to skip out on your sleep apnea therapy during the holidays, Bellin Health Home Care Equipment encourages you to stay compliant. Without your CPAP machine, you may find yourself falling asleep during family gatherings or being short with those around you. If you need a CPAP machine for your next trip, check out our online catalog to see what we have in stock!

Breaking Free: Commit to the Great American Smokeout

Posted on: November 16th, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

Most smokers will say that they wished they never started, mainly because of how hard it is to kick the habit. However, with November marking the Great American Smokout, Bellin Health Home Care Equipment would like to encourage you to make the commitment to stop smoking. Here are a few of our suggestions to cut back:

  • Water… and lots of it!

Instead of walking to the normal destination you visit for a cigarette, walk to the sink and pour a big glass of water. Then drink it slowly. This will keep your mouth, throat and body engaged in doing something other than reaching for a cigarette.

  • Identify your cues.

What was it that normally caused you to smoke? Was it during 15-minute breaks at work? Use those times to go for a short walk around the premises instead. Was it during parties, while driving to work, or relaxing at the end of the day? Make a plan to ensure that these do not lead to a relapse.

  • Keep your mouth busy.

Get something such as peppermint gum or healthy snacks like celery, carrots or nuts. Keeping your mouth busy will keep you from wanting to put a cigarette in it.

  • Have something in your hands to play with.

This could mean keeping a pen handy, a stress ball nearby or a rubber band around your wrist that you can twist around your fingers… this will help you kick the urge to hold a cigarette in your hand.

  • Remember that it’s never “just this once.”

It’s really tempting to have a single cigarette just to kill the craving, but this often leads to people picking the habit up all over again.

Here at Bellin Health Home Care Equipment, we’ve seen too many patients with conditions that could have been prevented if they never picked up that first cigarette. Smoking can cause respiratory illness, heart disease, diabetes and more. For more information on some of these diseases, visit our Resource Center. The next time you need home medical equipment—whether or not it’s related to smoking—we have everything you need in our online catalog.

5 Holiday Survival Tips for Those with Diabetes

Posted on: November 14th, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

November is American Diabetes Month, and it’s no coincidence it falls at the start of the holiday season. Numerous upcoming celebrations will present plenty of opportunity to indulge in sugary, carb-filled treats.

If you’ve been newly diagnosed with diabetes, you’re probably not looking forward to the temptation that’s about to present itself. That’s why we’re offering these 5 tips to survive the holidays when you have this condition:

  1. Eat ahead of time.

 

If you’re invited over to dinner, make sure you eat a small, diabetes-friendly meal before you head out. Once you arrive, dine on micro-sized portions. This way, you’re not filling up on food that could give you a blood-sugar spike, but you’re also not hurting your host’s feelings by refusing their food.

 

  1. Check your blood sugar frequently

 

Even if you are watching what you eat, you should still keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels. This is especially true if you’re about to adjust your insulin dose or go driving. You may need to make allowances to account for changes in your exercise schedule or diet.

 

  1. Shift your food budget for special food

 

Does your auntie make a special nut roll every year that you just have to have? Adjust your food budget so you can include it in your daily carb intake. For example, if you usually have a certain number of carbs or sugar at dinner, cut back so that it’s lower than normal. That way, you can partake in your annual tradition!

 

  1. Be smart at parties.

 

Don’t sit near the buffet table, as this may present too much temptation. If you do partake of the food, use a napkin instead of a plate—you’ll put less on it. If alcohol is offered, temper how much you drink. Even moderate alcohol intake can affect your blood sugar level, so don’t drink on an empty stomach.

 

  1. Ask if you can bring a dish.

 

If your friends or relatives know you’re dealing with a health issue, they’ll probably be open to you to bringing something that’s friendly to your condition. Take a fruit or veggie platter along to share with everyone, so you don’t feel so left out!

 

In the whirlwind of activities, we urge you to keep in mind what the season is about—and why you’re making steps towards a healthier self. Focusing on both these things will hopefully lead to a less stressful holiday experience.

Once this hectic time of year winds down, we hope you remember to stop by and see the friendly faces at Bellin Health Home Care Equipment for all your home medical equipment needs!

6 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Stair lift

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

If you’ve made the decision to age in-home, chances are you’ll eventually need an accessibility solution such as a stair lift. Here are some questions we recommend you ask before selecting your new stair lift, courtesy of Bellin Health Home Care Equipment:

  • Who will install the stair lift?

Your friendly team at Bellin Health Home Care Equipment will install it for you! Our staff has years of experience, and can make sure that your stair lift is put in place with precision, care and professionalism.

  • Is there enough room on my staircase for a stair lift?

 

There are many adaptable fittings that can make installing a stair lift a reality, even for narrow staircases. Our experts can evaluate your home ahead of time to make sure the stair lift is the best fit for your home.

 

  • What kind of stair lift should I get?

Bellin Health Home Care Equipment  carries stair lifts for both straight and curved staircases. Typically, you will need a curved stair lift if there is a landing on your staircase, but you can choose two straight stair lifts as well.

  • How much will the stair lift cost?

The analogy we like to use is that installing a stair lift is like installing carpet—the cost all depends on what you get, and how much of it you need!

  • How easy is it to use the stair lift?

 

If you have limited manual dexterity due to arthritis or other conditions, look for a stair lift with light-touch controls. Some models come with remote controls, which can be convenient if you have more than one person using the stair lift.

 

  • What safety features should I look for?

 

Look for things such as seats that can swivel for you to get on and off easily, but will lock in place when it’s moving. You should also ask if your stair lift comes with sensors on the foot platform that stop the unit if there’s an obstruction in its path.

 

Bellin Health Home Care Equipment  is here to help you move independently in your own home. Call us today to schedule an appointment to get an evaluation of your home. We offer free home delivery for qualifying customers—see store for details!

Don’t Let Your Mobility Aid Cause You to Have a Fall!

Posted on: October 3rd, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

Falls are the number-one reason why senior citizens are hospitalized each year, with 29 million falls occurring in 2014 alone. Of those, the CDC found that 47,000 involved the use of a walker, rollator or cane. That’s why it’s so important to be sure you’re using your walking aid properly. Today, Bellin Health Home Care Equipment  is going to give you some tips on how to avoid a fall when using a mobility aid:

  • Make sure that it’s the proper height. No matter which device you’re using, your arms shouldn’t be bent or raised in an uncomfortable way.
  • Place the device in front of you and step into it. This is true of both a cane and a walker, and it shouldn’t be placed so far in front that you have trouble stepping into it.
  • Use proper posture. If you are hunched or slouched over, this will make it easier for you to sustain a fall while using your mobility aid.
  • When getting up and down from a chair, put your mobility aid in front of you and push up. Trying to grasp it after you’ve stood up could cause you to fall.
  • Make sure your path is cleared of anything that could trip you up, such as rugs, cords and other clutter.

In addition to using your cane or walker properly, there are some other things you can do to prevent experiencing a fall, such as:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Finding out from your doctor if your medications will have side-effects such as making you dizzy, tired or weak.
  • Get your eyes checked regularly to make sure your prescriptions are still working as they should.
  • Revamp your home environment to make sure it’s safe. This includes installing bathroom safety equipment such as grab bars, raised toilet seats and shower chairs.

For more tip on how to avoid a fall, talk to the experts at Bellin Health Home Care Equipment.  We can demonstrate in person how to best use a walker, rollator or cane and help you avoid a costly trip to the emergency room!

Don’t Let Your Mobility Aid Cause You to Have a Fall!


 

5 Tips for Healthy Aging

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, when it comes to your age and achieving new health milestones, nothing could be further from the truth! There’s a lot you can do to improve your heath and functionality well into your 60’s and beyond. Since next week is Active Aging Week, Bellin Health Home Care Equipment is excited to provide you hints and tips to help you age your best:

  • Do Daily Stretches

Even five minutes a day can help. Stretching increases flexibility, relieving discomfort from arthritis and other chronic conditions. Doing this daily can also help strengthen your muscles and sense of balance, which may mean a lower risk of a fall.

 

  • Workout

 

You don’t need to do anything strenuous. Simply taking a walk around the block can be beneficial for your health. Many seniors find that as they start exercising, they expand what kinds of movements they’re able to do. Strengthening your muscles also has the added potential benefit of lowering your blood pressure and weight!

 

  • Preventative maintenance

 

Things such as yearly checkups, flu shots and getting screened for cancer are key to keeping your health up. It’s also important to keep your eye on high blood pressure or the early stages of diabetes.

 

  • Stay Connected

 

This can get harder as we age, but maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family members has been proven to extend people’s lifetime. Making an effort to stay connected to your loved ones helps you be proactive in your own health.

 

  • Maintain a Positive Outlook

 

If you see the glass as half full… then it really is! A nine-year study found that seniors who described themselves as optimistic had a 55 percent lower risk of dying during that time period than those who described themselves as pessimists. Having a positive outlook on life can impact your physical health as well for the better.

 

By following these steps, you’ll hopefully be able to boost your personal wellness throughout your Golden Years. At Bellin Health Home Care Equipment, we specialize in helping individuals age in-home. Call us today to find out how we can equip you to remain in the same household where you have formed so many life-long relationships.

5 Ways to Avoid the Flu This Season

Posted on: September 7th, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

While the CDC recommends that receiving the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent coming down with influenza. However, there are many other things you can do additionally to avoid catching the seasonal bug. Today, Bellin Health Home Care Equipment  is here with five ways that you can protect yourself from the virus this year:

  1. Wash Your Hands

This is perhaps the most crucial, if not most overlooked preventative measure you can take to protect yourself from germs. A good rule of thumb is to rub the soap in your hands for about the same amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song under warm water.

  1. Avoid Touching Your Face

By touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, bacteria has a chance to make its way into your body much faster. Germs are most commonly spread by touching something that has been contaminated and then bringing those germs up to your face.

  1. Disinfect Surfaces

Clean surfaces and objects with disinfectants in order to keep away from the germs. By keeping a clean environment, you will be less likely to touch something contaminated and become sick.

  1. Cover Coughs & Sneezes

To avoid spreading the flu, be sure to cover your cough or sneeze with your arm. By coughing into your arm, you are taking the preventative measure to not spread the flu by having germs on your hands.

  1. Avoid Contact

If someone is sick or looking sluggish, try to stay away from them and objects they touch. By keeping out of coughing range, you will minimize your exposure to germs and have a better chance of staying healthy.

These tips are simple but crucial in aiding your health, so you can be at your best this flu season. By taking precaution and spreading these simple tips around, you can help others stay healthy and away from the flu bug!

Sleeping in a CPAP Desert? Here Are 4 Things You Can Do

Posted on: August 17th, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

Allergy season is still in full swing.  Dryness doesn’t help when you are constantly sneezing or rubbing your eyes from seasonal allergies. But, do you consistently wake up in the mornings with your mouth feeling dryer than a desert from your CPAP therapy?

Many CPAP users report dry throat, nasal passages or mouth the morning after they use their machine. However, you don’t have to settle for that unpleasant feeling. Bellin Health Home Care Equipment  is here to offer four things you can do when you find yourself waking up feeling like a dried-out prune:

  1. CPAP Humidifier

The first thing you can do is talk to your doctor about using a humidifier with your CPAP machine. Humidifiers help add moisture to the air that is passing through your nasal passage or mouth. Irritation from the air drying your airways out may cause swelling that narrows the airway, affecting the pressure of the air from your machine. Humidifiers help to minimize the irritation.

  1. Different CPAP Mask

If you use a nasal masks and your mouth is drying out, that means that you’re a mouth breather. The pressurized air is leaking out through your mouth, drying it out. You may need to switch to a CPAP mask suitable for mouth breathers.

  1. Stay hydrated throughout the day.

Make sure you’re getting your eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Avoid things such as coffee and soda, which can not only dry you out, they can also keep you from getting a good night’s rest.

  1. Talk to Your Doctor

If none of these solutions work, you may have an underlying chronic problem. In that case, head to your doctor and have a conversation about them prescribing you a nasal steroid spray.

If you have any questions regarding this or any of our other products, feel free to call Bellin Health Home Care Equipment or come by so our staff can answer them for you. We look forward to seeing you soon!

4 Tips to Use Your Walker Properly

Posted on: August 3rd, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

Mobility aids such as walkers and rollators are meant to aid those whose range of motion has been limited due to health conditions such as arthritis. While they’re meant to offer stability and balance, it’s not uncommon for people to use them improperly, which can lead to great discomfort.

Today, Bellin Health Home Care Equipment is here to help. Here are the four tips on how to properly use your walker:

 

  • Height should be ideal.

 

Your walker shouldn’t be so low that you have to stoop over it, nor should it be so high that you have to reach up in order to grasp it. The ideal height should allow your elbows to be bent in a position that is natural and comfortable.

 

  • Walking patterns.

 

When using a walker, you should push it slightly in front of you, and then step into it. Often, people tend to push it too far ahead of them, which causes them to take uncomfortably long steps. Another mistake walker users make is looking down at their feet as they walk. Your eyes should always be in front of you.

 

  • Sitting down.

 

The proper way to sit down with a walker is to position yourself in front of the chair. Let the back of your legs touch the chair so you know you’re close enough to sit. Shift your weight to your stronger leg, and slide your weaker leg forward. Then change your grasp from the walker to the arms of the chair.

 

  • Standing up.

 

Place the walker in front of you and scoot forward in the chair. Use the arms of the chair to push yourself up. Then switch your grasp to the walker’s handles.

 

Getting the right walker for you and making sure it’s adjusted properly are two key components to ensuring that you use your walker correctly. The experts at Bellin Health Home Care Equipment can help make sure that your equipment suits your needs. Stop in or call us today for assistance!

4 Ways to Make Sure Your Lift Chair Lasts

Posted on: July 27th, 2017 by Bellin Health Home Care Equipment Blogger

A lift chair is a purchase that most people hope will last them a while. If you take some basic steps to make sure it stays in good working order, then you should have no problem with just that. Bellin Health Home Care Equipment is here to offer you 4 maintenance steps to taking care of your lift chair:

  • Read the owner’s manual

 

While it may not be the most engaging material you’ve looked at in a while, making sure you understand how the lift chair operates is important. It should contain some basic instructions on what you should and should not do to keep it operating at its best.

 

  • Look after its power source.

 

Never use an extension cord to plug in the lift chair. Instead, plug it directly to the wall using a 3-pronged, electrically-grounded outlet. Make sure the external transformer (that’s the box the electrical cord runs out of) is placed in an open, well-ventilated area where no one will trip on it.

 

  • Keep the fabric in good condition.

 

Use mild fabric cleaners to wash the surface of the lift chair, but make sure that the liquid does not get sprayed onto any electrical parts. Avoid any cleaners with heavy solvent in them, and make sure to unplug the lift chair while cleaning.  Regularly look over the surface of the lift chair for any tears or pulls.

 

  • Take care of the electronics.

 

In addition to looking after the various power sources, you should also make sure that other electronic components are taken care of. Most lift chairs come with a battery back-up. Even if you’ve never used it, the battery should be replaced annually. Periodically inspect the wiring to make sure it’s not frayed, damaged or corroding. Finally, be careful that no liquids are spilled onto the electrical components.

 

At Bellin Health Home Care Equipment we know how important your lift chair is to you. By following these four steps, you will hopefully ensure that it stays in pristine condition for years to come!