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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Grab Bars Lead to Safety in the Bath: Grab bars and other safety aids encourage independent living for seniors.

One of the primary reasons senior citizens are forced into assisted living or nursing homes is a fear of falling or slipping and causing serious injury to themselves. As individuals age, they develop conditions that make them more prone to falling. In fact, at least one-third of all seniors experience a fall every year. Preventing falls is critical to allowing individuals to remain independent in their homes, as falls can lead to many more serious complications.
  • In 2010, direct medical costs related to falls were $30 billion.
  • One out of three adults ages 65 and older falls every year.
  • In 2010, 2.3 million fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency rooms.
The bathroom poses the most threats to safety—it is the primary location where falls take place because of slippery floors and conditions such as poor balance, decreased vision, and loss of strength. Because of this—as aging in place trends continue to grow and more and more baby boomers age into the senior demographic—the importance of bath safety will grow as well. After all, it’s one of the first areas of the home that is modified, especially with items such as grab bars, to help prevent falls and aid in sitting and standing. Making homes safe for aging seniors is key when it comes to mobility and independent living. Therefore, a well-equipped bathroom is an important requirement for independent seniors, those who are recovering from certain procedures or those who live with the assistance of a caregiver. 

Types of products available for the bathroom include: grab bars, tub rails, toilet safety rails, elevated toilet seats, shower chairs or benches, transfer benches and bath lifts. Each product provides a different type of assistance that addresses various user needs. The addition of safety bars will make it easier to maneuver the space without dangerous, and possibly life-threatening, falls. Grab bars provide extra support through anchoring systems that can support hundreds of pounds of pressure—some up to 500 pounds. When installing safety grab bars, it’s best to consider locations where balance is most likely to be lost during movement. 

Grab bars represent a major portion of the home health care bathroom safety category. These products come in a variety of materials, colors and lengths to accommodate different needs.
  • Materials—Grab bars come in different metals (chrome, polished nickel, stainless steel, powder-coated steel) and are also available in heavy-duty plastic (though metal versions are sturdiest). Metal grab bars also require permanent installation because they are drilled into place. The powder-coated steel kinds are most often white and appear less institutional than other varieties. Some grab bars offer a non-slip grip feature for extra security.
  • Installation—Metal grab bars are typically installed by screwing them into the mounting surface. Suction cup grab bars, usually made of plastic, offer tool-free installation, and can be used for travel as they are not permanently attached to walls and other surfaces. (These types of grab bars should be used for balance only, as they are not weight bearing.)
  • Shape—Most grab bars are straight, but they can also be found in an L shape or a rotating configuration. A rotating design uses a suction cup for installation flexibility and movability.
  • Lengths—Grab bars come in a variety of lengths (12, 16, 18, 24 and 32 inches) that generally suffice for home use. Some are adjustable to accommodate use in various locations.
Grab bar designs range from utilitarian to highly stylized, which is what many baby boomers are looking for.
·  Tub/Shower—Grab bars installed at a lower level help bathers raise and lower them into the tub. A waist-level grab bar is good to help with stepping in and out of the tub, as well as to hold for extra balance while washing and shampooing in the shower.
·  Toilet—It is important to install a grab bar near the toilet for support while sitting and standing. Some models on the market are toilet paper holders that double as safety bars, which give a more streamlined look.
·  Towel racks—Many seniors automatically reach out for the towel rack to balance themselves when drying off or picking up dirty clothes off the floor. Normal towel bars aren’t designed to support that kind of weight, and eventually they will detach from the wall and could lead to an injury. Safety towel bars or towel shelves are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to fit bathroom spaces and to provide necessary support.

Custom finishes and other selective offerings mean these safety products fit into the bath without standing out as industrial features.  Safety grab bars can be both functional and beautiful. Most importantly, they will help prevent and greatly reduce falls in the bathroom giving caregivers, family members and user’s peace of mind. 

Article re-published from Home Care Magazine – Author - Stephanie Gibson.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Alternative Relief for Arthritis Symptoms - Explore the variety of over-the-counter options available to sufferers

Whether it’s a dull ache, sharp shooting pain or a painful burning sensation, chronic arthritis pain is a degenerative condition that affects joints and the surrounding connective tissues. Although the term arthritis is generically used to refer to more than 100 different types of rheumatic diseases and conditions—from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus to fibromyalgia and gout—the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis results when joint cartilage breaks down. Cartilage is the tough but flexible connective tissue that functions as a cushion between bones. When cartilage degenerates, bones begin to rub together. Over time, this friction can cause permanent joint damage, resulting in osteoarthritis. As you might expect, because osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear on joints, the condition often worsens with age. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include stiffness, pain, swelling and reduced motion in joints. It can occur in any joint, but is most common in the hands, knees, hips and spine.
Why is Pain Important?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in every 5 American adults—50 million people—have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. If this opportunity does not seem large enough, consider this: In a recent USA Today article, rheumatologist Patience White, a spokeswoman for The Arthritis Foundation stated, “Osteoarthritis is a huge public health problem that’s going to grow considerably in the next 20 years because of obesity, lack of physical activity, the aging population and injuries.”
With respect to the increasing senior population, a recent report for the CDC cautioned that as a result of the aging U.S. population, a trend often referred to as ‘The Silver Tsunami’, doctor-diagnosed arthritis is expected to increase from approximately 50 million adults today to an estimated 67 million by the year 2030. That means that roughly 25 percent of the projected total adult population will be dealing with arthritis and arthritis pain.
Pill-Free Pain Management Alternatives
Americans are increasingly on the search for pill-free alternatives for managing pain. This is not surprising when you consider that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the most common pharmaceutical option, are often linked to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Pain-relieving opioid options carry a high risk for addiction and other unpleasant side effects. Fortunately, there are several non-pharmacological alternatives to pain relief that are ideally suited to retailers of senior care products. Three popular treatment options include topical creams and gels, hot/cold therapy treatments and electrical nerve stimulation.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
This therapy option utilizes a low-voltage electrical current to deliver mild electrical pulses to the skin, which stimulate nerve fibers in the skin. Many experts believe that this stimulation interferes with the transmission of pain signals from the arthritic joint. Although research trials studying the effectiveness of TENS therapy are not conclusive, TENS has proved to be a popular form of pain relief for many people. In a recent interview with the Arthritis Foundation, Girish Padmanabhan, clinical director of outpatient rehab at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., expressed his confidence in the benefits of TENS, stating, “TENS is effective in treating any kind of arthritis pain—in treating pain, period.”
Many of these TENS options have recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over-the-counter use. This means arthritis sufferers no longer need a prescription to purchase TENS units.
Heat and Cold Therapies
Two of the simplest and most effective methods of relieving arthritis pain are heat and cold therapies, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Applying heat and cold stimulates the natural healing force of the body and can help to mitigate arthritis pain and stiffness.
Heat therapy—Heat works by helping your muscles relax, which can alleviate both pain and stiffness. From a physiological perspective, heat dilates the blood vessels, stimulating blood circulation and reducing muscle spasms. It is also believed that heat alters the sensation of pain. There are two options for heat therapy, dry heat, such as microwavable heating packs or electric heating pads—or moist heat, such as warm baths or heated wash cloths.
Cold therapy—Alternatively, cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation by constricting blood vessels. Cold therapy also has a numbing effect on the area, slowing down the pain messages sent to the brain. Additionally, many health care professionals emphasize the importance of people with arthritis staying active. Cold therapy can be an important element of post workout recovery as it also helps to reduce swelling and inflammation that may follow physical activity.
Which is better, heat or cold? Many experts strongly believe that heat works better than cold for people with osteoarthritis pain. Others, like the Mayo Clinic, recommend a combination of heat and cold treatments to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain and stiffness that comes with arthritis.

Topical Creams & Gels
For centuries, ointments, creams and liniments have been rubbed into sore joints to relieve pain. The most popular of these remedies fall into three primary categories: salicylates, menthol and capsaicin.
Salicylates, such as Aspercreme, contain the pain-relieving substances similar to those found in aspirin. Using the cooling effect of menthol, alternatives such as Biofreeze and Icy Hot produce a sensation of hot or cold that may temporarily override the user’s ability to feel arthritis pain. Capsaicin creams, such as Capzasin and Zostrix, work by stimulating nerve cells, which depletes the cells of a chemical necessary to transmit pain. As a result, pain first increases and subsequently decreases.
Because these topical pain medications are absorbed through the skin, these options are best suited to joints that are close to the skin’s surface, such as hands and knees.
Where to Buy
Science shows that all of the above options provide relatively low risk, pill-free options that may reduce pain and inflammation. However, arthritis pain is different for every sufferer. Therefore, it is no surprise that medical opinions differ on which of the above options offer the most relief for pain and stiffness. There are no easy answers or magic solutions to relieve arthritis pain. What works for some may not work for others. Savon Medimart has a large range of products that will help ensure you are able to find the right combination that works for you.

---- Article reprinted from Home Care Magazine – author: by Mary Carol Dolivier

Monday, March 17, 2014

Obama Cuts Medical Equipment Access - Take 3 Minutes to Message the President

It's in the Washington Times. It's in Business Week
The word is out that Obamacare's cuts to homecare are significant and damaging to the businesses and professionals that care for the senior citizens and disabled Americans we love.

And we know that home medical equipment and services are a vital part of homecare.

Message the president to let him know how Medicare cuts to medical equipment and service will impact you.

Click here to take action now.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

SAVON MEDIMART Opens Locations in Girard and Boardman Ohio

Girard, Ohio – Savon Medimart proudly announces the opening of 2 retail locations at 300 N. State St., Girard, Ohio, and 404 Boardman-Canfield Rd., Boardman, Ohio.

Savon Medimart, a division of Sateri Home, Inc., has opened 2 convenient locations in the Youngstown area to sell hospital grade, high quality, durable home medical equipment and products to individuals at a discounted rate. Equipment and supplies are offered for cash and carry only and credit cards are accepted: MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.

Savon Medimart products are available to customers who do not have insurance or have a high deductible or coinsurance. The Savon Medimart product line includes bathroom aids, beds and bedding, compression therapy products, cushions, incontinence products, lift chairs and stair
glides, mobility lifts, patient handling products, post-mastectomy products, pressure prevention products, scooters, sleep apnea equipment and supplies, walking aids, wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, and many other home health aids from all major manufacturers.

Highly trained, educated and friendly showroom staff and phone representatives are available to give customers the best recommendations and assistance. Large showrooms with 1,000’s of items are on display and available for immediate purchase. Special items can be ordered upon request.
For more information, please visit or call 855-545-6685.