Four Areas for Better – Safer Home Healthcare

| October 13, 2014 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

Craig HoodAuthor:Craig Hood, Executive Vice-President of Allegro Medical

 

Independent aging is an important priority for Baby Boomers. Studies show that 88 percent of Americans over age 65 want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. This means that home healthcare, prevention and strategies for enhancing health, medical care and lifestyle will become an integral part of everyday life.

 

The Internet offers an abundance of products, supplies and equipment designed to make living at home safer and easier. Given the amount of information, however, it helps to focus on the four most important areas of independent aging: skincare, dietary supplements, wound care and mobility.

Skincare

It’s especially important for seniors to take care of their skin because it is the body’s natural barrier to acquired conditions such as cuts, skin tears and infections. To help restore and rejuvenate skin, they should search for products that use only natural premium ingredients, including no-rinse body washes, skin moisturizers and antimicrobial body cleansing sprays. Individuals should avoid products that contain benzoyl peroxide, an extremely drying chemical that is difficult for a moisturizer to repair.

 

Ointments that contain calamine, zinc oxide, menthol and lanolin serve as a multipurpose moisture barrier, and protect and heal skin irritations from feeding tube leaks, incontinence, burns, scrapes, diaper rash, wound drainage, fecal or vaginal fistulas and moisture. Antifungal creams provide a moisture barrier against urine and feces, and inhibits fungal growth.

 

Dietary Supplements

At times seniors may find it challenging to eat enough of the recommended daily foods. After first consulting with a doctor about taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement, individuals over the age of 50 should consider taking these supplements:

 

  • Vitamin B12 helps to keep blood and nerves healthy. Up to one-third of older people can no longer absorb natural vitamin B12 from their food.
  • Calcium and vitamin D keep bones strong.Bone loss can lead to fractures, mainly of the hip, spine, or wrist, in both older women and men.
  • Vitamin B6 is needed for forming red blood cells and to maintain overall health.

 

Wound Care

As individuals age, skin tends to become thinner, and loses some of the moisture and connective tissue support that makes it strong. Wounds occur when the skin is torn, pierced, punctured or cut either as a result of an infliction or a surgical incision. To deal with wounds, it’s important to have a number of products on hand, including:

 

  • Multi-purpose dressing to treat skin tears, blisters or abrasions including leg, foot, or pressure ulcers.
  • Multi-purpose bandages to be used as a primary or secondary layer, for debridement, packing, prepping or cleansing.
  • Medical grade Manuka Honey has an antibacterial component and promotes the removal of dead tissue, allowing healthy cells to thrive.
  • Exam gloves provide infection control and should be used during dressing changes to provide caregivers protection from body fluids and to avoid infecting wounds.

 

Mobility

Mobility issues for aging Baby Boomers include unsteadiness while walking, difficulty getting in and out of a chair, or falls. Falls are a major cause of injury and death, so prevention is important.

 

Products designed to aid mobility include:

 

  • Offset canes offer excellent grip and stability.
  • Quick-change crutches made of lightweight aluminum have replaced the old, heavy wooden crutches and offer push button height adjustment.
  • Lightweight forearm crutches come with a one-piece molded cuff and handgrip for maximum safety and comfort.
  • Rolling walkers are available for indoor or outdoor use and provide excellent mobility aid for people with limited hand function.
  • Ultra-light portable transport wheelchairs can be easily folded, stored and carried with a carry bag, and fit into car trunks and most airplane overhead containers.

 

To manage their health at home, under a physician’s guidance, individuals can purchase home medical equipment online, such as slip and fall monitors, wheelchairs, walkers, and daily living aids, making it possible for them to avoid expensive hospital visits. When purchasing medical supplies for home use, the cost can be offset by a variety of government programs, health insurance and other financial assistance. Furthermore, some online catalogue companies offer one-stop shopping and premium customer service for a number of products, supplies and equipment, making the aging-in-home experience that much more convenient and sustainable.

 

 

About the Author
Craig Hood, executive vice president of Allegro Medical (www.AllegroMedical.com), one of the Scrip Companies and leading supplier of high quality home medical supplies and equipment, has extensive experience working as a caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities and as a rehabilitation specialist caring for individuals recovering from strokes and traumatic brain injury. He formed Allegro Medical to fill the important need for convenient, high quality home healthcare products and medical supplies in the treatment of post-acute care and chronic conditions.

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