COPD and the Heat: Tips for Coping

Posted on: August 4th, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

COPDAndTheHeat

Summertime—the word conjures up sunny days, beaches, vacations and relaxation. But this idyllic time of year also has its downsides—bug bites, thunderstorms and extreme heat. If you live with COPD, you know how hard hot days are! At Brevard Medical Equipment, we encourage you to take advantage of all the benefits of summer while still taking health precautions. That’s why we’re offering the following tips on how to beat the heat:

  • Stay inside as much as possible between 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., especially on the days where the heat and the humidity are at their most extreme. If you don’t have air conditioning at your house, go someplace that does during this time. Places such as the mall or the public library are good spots to take refuge in. If you’re in your golden years, your community may also have a senior center for you to stay at as well.
  • If you must be outside, concentrate your activities during the morning or evening, when the sun is less intense. Make sure you take plenty of breaks in an air conditioned room.
  • Increase your water intake. This is important in helping thin the mucous, which helps ease COPD symptoms. You should also avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks, as these can also contribute to dehydration.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier—in fact, have several throughout the house. Like the old saying goes, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” While we don’t completely agree with that—heat is bad for COPD—relieving those awful symptoms that come with humidity can go a long way to helping you feel better.

Remember, it’s not worth it to end up in the hospital because you pushed yourself too hard. The experts at Brevard Medical Equipment can help. We carry portable oxygen concentrators and accessories. We can also come service your oxygen concentrator in an emergency. Stop by our location today to start breathing better today!

6 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Stairlift

Posted on: August 4th, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

6QuestionsToAsk

If you’ve made the decision to age in-home, chances are you’ll eventually need an accessibility solution such as a stairlift. Stairlifts can be a major investment, so it’s not a decision most take lightly. Here are some questions we recommend you ask before selecting your new stairlift, courtesy of Brevard Medical Equipment:

  • Who will install the stairlift?

Most places that sell stairlifts will also install them, but not always. Make sure that whoever does install the stairlift is authorized to do so by the manufacturer. Some stairlift manufacturers will not honor the warranty if it was not installed by an authorized installer.

  • Is there enough room on my staircase for a stairlift?

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

  • What kind of stairlift should I get? 

Brevard Medical Equipment carries stairlifts for both straight and curved staircases. Typically, you will need a curved stairlift if there is a landing on your staircase, but you can choose two straight stairlifts as well. We also offer heavy-duty stairlifts for users who weigh 300 pounds or more.

  • How much will the stairlift cost?

The analogy we like to use is that installing a stairlift 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 stairlift?

 

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

 

  • 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 stairlift comes with sensors on the foot platform that stop the unit if there’s an obstruction in its path.

 

Brevard Medical 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.

4 Ways to Stay Safe and Cool by the Pool

Posted on: July 8th, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

StaySafeandCool

On those scorching summer days, there’s nothing like plunging into the local pool. While most public swimming holes have a plethora of lifeguards on duty, it’s still important to keep you and your children safe. Each year, the United States sees an average of ten drownings per day. Ensure your safety this summer and stick to these tips next time you’re in the water:

  • Learn to swim. Swimming lessons aren’t just for kids. Many communities offer adult swimming lessons for those who can’t swim well or never learned as children. If you never had swimming lessons as a child, consider picking up this skill over the summer!
  • Don’t Drink and Swim. While it may be relaxing to float around the pool with a cocktail, this situation can turn bad quickly. Alcohol can cause you to become disoriented in the water, so if you fall in, you may not be able to find your way back to the surface. The same is true of some prescription drugs, so ask your doctor if it’s a good idea to swim after taking certain medication.
  • Keep an Eye on the Kids. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4 in the United States. Make sure your children have swimming lessons early on, and that they’re monitored at all times in the pool.
  • Don’t Rely on Air-Filled Toys. These assistive floatations may help you for a while, but they cannot save your life in a deadly situation. Instead, use them for fun when playing in shallow water.

These tips can help you and your little ones stay safe this summer. For all your other safety and mobility equipment, give us a call at Brevard Medical  Equipment or stop by today!

Choosing out the Right Sunglasses to Protect Your Eyes

Posted on: July 4th, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

Picking-out-the-right-sunglasses-to-protect-your-eyes

Sunglasses first became popular during the Hollywood golden years, when movie stars would wear them to both protect their eyes from the bright lights on sets, and to hide their identity from fans. While there’s no denying that sunglasses still carry a definite mystique, in today’s blog we’re going to show you another thing they’re meant to conceal—UV rays!

We often grab for our favorite pair when we’re headed out for a day in the outdoors, but your sunglasses should be doing more than just keeping you from constantly squinting. If your go-to pair isn’t blocking the sun’s harmful UV rays, you may be putting yourself at risk for cataracts or eye cancer.

The next time you buy a pair of sunglasses, take these things into consideration:

  • Sunglasses should protect from 100% of the sun’s UV rays. Your eye doctor can help you pick out the right ones, or you can look on the packaging to see if it indicates the appropriate level of protection.
  • Darker sunglasses don’t mean better protection—100% protection is the key indicator for which you’re looking.
  • Designer sunglasses aren’t automatically better. Save some money along with your eyesight, and simply search for the perfect 100% UV protection.
  • The more they cover, the better. Hey, those giant sunglasses that cover half your face are doing you a favor!
  • Polarized lenses are not the same as those with UV protection. While polarized lenses are great for reducing the sun’s glare, they don’t do much in terms of guarding your eyes from harmful rays.

We want all of our customers to have a safe and fun-filled summer. If you’re searching for other outdoor or exercise assistive devices, let us help! At Brevard Medical Equipment, we have everything you need to let loose and enjoy your summer. Stop in today!

Purrfect Pair: The health benefits of owning a cat

Posted on: June 21st, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

Purrfect Pair_ The Health Benefits of Owning a Cat

We’re all about connecting people with the right products that can increase their health. But, there’s one item we don’t carry that can do wonders for you: owning a pet. Since June is Adopt a Cat Month, we thought we would take time in today’s blog to cover the health benefits of owning a furry friend:

  • Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk

 

Studies have shown that those who owned cats were 30 to 40 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. This might be because cats have been shown to lower stress and help their owners become more relaxed. The same studies weren’t able to find a correlation between dog ownership and lowered heart risk.

 

  • You’ll have a better night’s sleep

 

That’s right, a cat can actually help you sleep better! Polls have shown that 41 percent of people sleep better because of their cats, while only 20 percent reported that cats cause them a disturbance.

 

  • Fewer allergies

 

While a cat won’t suddenly cure your hay fever, they can do wonders for newborns. A National Institute of Health study has found that when children were exposed to cats early on, they were far less likely to develop allergies. And it wasn’t just allergies around pets—they were also less likely to develop other types of allergies as well.

 

  • They’re great companions

 

While we may joke about the single friend who’s going to end up as a “crazy cat lady” they truth is, cats have been proven to lower feelings of loneliness. They’re especially a boon to Older Americans, who often experience feelings of loneliness as their children leave home or their friends die or move away for retirement.

 

  • They can lower anxiety and depression

 

Some people have even been known to engage cats as “service animals” just for this reason. They’ve been proven to mitigate the effects of both conditions.

Remember, while cats are one item we don’t carry in our online catalog, we do have a number of others that can help you live a better life, including products to help you age in-home or sleep better.

What you should know about firework safety

Posted on: June 10th, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

What You Should Know About Fireworks Safety

Boom! Crack! Pow! Chances are, you’re already hearing these noises from your neighbor as everyone gears up for the Fourth of July celebrations. But, while these colorful displays are great for showing off your patriotic spirit, they were responsible for 11,400 injuries in 2013 and 8 deaths. If you do decide to take part in this particular festivity, follow these safety tips:

  • Don’t hold Roman Candles. Missing fingers, burns and other injuries are just a few of the things that can occur. Use a holder to set these fireworks off.
  • Don’t allow small children to handle fireworks, and older children should only do so under adult supervision.
  • Always wear protective eyewear when setting off fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks inside of a building. This should go without saying, as fireworks are the cause of many home fires this time of year.
  • If you’re in a drought, don’t set off fireworks at all. You will risk setting the brush, grass or trees on fire. The best time to set off fireworks is right after a good, hard rain.
  • Don’t point fireworks at other people, and don’t light a bottle rocket and throw it at someone. It’s most common to see teenagers do this sort of thing, but even some adults have been known to engage in “fireworks wars.”
  • Keep water close at hand in case a small fire does occur. Whether it’s a bucket, a hose or even a powerful squirt gun, make sure it’s nearby.
  • If it’s a dud, don’t pick it up or try to light it again. Instead, spray it down with water before discarding.
  • Douse all used fireworks in water before discarding, and never throw away unused fireworks before soaking them.
  • When you light a firework, make sure you back up a safe distance before it goes off.

Remember, the best thing to do is to leave fireworks displays to the professionals. But, if you do experience an injury as a result of fireworks, we can help. We carry products in our online catalog that can help speed along your recovery.

Little-Known facts about nursing

Posted on: May 23rd, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

Little-known facts about nurses

They’re the faces of patient care in the health industry, and often ones you see the most while receiving care. And if you play the role of a caretaker for an elderly relative, then you probably have a good idea of how difficult their job is. Since May is National Nursing Month, we thought we would spend some time in today’s blog talking about the little-known facts surrounding nurses:

  • Nurses do a lot of lifting on the job, which might be why 59% of them list back injuries as their greatest workplace fear.
  • Nurses have their own special superstitions. Supposedly, saying “Quiet” on the job will jinx your shift to be extra difficult!
  • Another nursing myth is that you’re never supposed to mention a patient who ends up on your floor often—just saying their name is a guarantee that they will show up that day!
  • It’s a popular profession—there are nearly 4 million professionally active registered nurses in the United States.
  • First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln was a volunteer nurse in the Civil War.
  • The vast majority of nurses in the United States—one in five, as a matter of fact—work in hospitals
  • Those hospital nurses are the busiest in the warmer months. That’s when the majority of emergency room visits happen.
  • During the Crusades, Pope Urban II created a nursing knighthood. They were known as the Knights Hospitallers.
  • It’s a very old line of work—the first school for nurses was started in India in 250 B.C.E.
  • The founder of modern nursing was Florence Nightingale. Known as the “Lady with the Lamp,” she was immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Santa Filomena.”

We tip our hats to these hard-working fellow members of the health industry. If you’re a caretaker, we’re also here to help. We have a number of helpful hints in our Resource Center, as well as fall prevention products to help your relative age safely in-home.

 

Staying fit after 70: What you need to know

Posted on: May 20th, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

Staying fit after 70_ what you need to know

With all the achy joints, knees and hips, it’s no wonder that many seniors don’t enjoy or participate in physical activity. However, by doing a little bit of exercise every day, seniors can actually increase their mobility, well-being and quality of life. With May 25th being National Senior Health & Fitness Day, we thought we would talk in today’s blog about some of the ways you can stay fit in your Golden Years:

  • Consult your doctor. This will alert them to pay extra attention to your heart, lungs and bones. You don’t want to overstress your heart, and you want to make sure osteoporosis hasn’t started to set in and risk breaking a bone.
  • Start slow. You may feel like you’re miles behind everyone else at the gym, but it’s important you go at your pace. If you overdo it, you may find yourself back at the doctor’s—and not for good reasons!
  • Remember that you’re not 20 anymore. While you may remember the thrill of running 5 miles in 45 minutes or less, doing so now could put you in a lot of pain. It’s okay to not be in the same place as you used to be.
  • Stop if you feel pain! It’s your body’s warning signal that you’re overdoing it. Again, you’re not 20, so recovering from a hard workout now will take much longer than it used to.
  • Warm up. This is something you may not have had to do as a young adult, but as an older adult, not doing so can lead to injury.
  • Experiment with a variety of different exercises. Find one that you enjoy and that doesn’t overstress your body or put you in pain. Biking, walking, swimming and yoga are good things to consider.

Young or old, there’s no denying the benefits of regular exercise. We carry a number of products that can help you become more active, even if it’s difficult.

Quick ways to relieve back pain when you’re in a wheelchair

Posted on: April 20th, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

wheelchair

The human body wasn’t made to sit in one position all the time, but if you’re a wheelchair user, that’s kind of hard to avoid. Unfortunately, a common side effect to sitting all the time is lower back pain. For today’s blog, we are going to talk about some modified yoga positions you can use to mitigate it:

Place your head between your knees

Lean forward as far as you can in your wheelchair and place your head between your knees. This is often a pose people will do when they feel dizzy, but it’s also a great way to take some pressure off the lower back. If you feel like you’re going to fall out of your chair, find something to hook your arms on. This will allow you to lean even further.

Leg crossing

While this position is associated with modest ladies in skirts, it’s actually very effectual for those who use a wheelchair. Crossing the legs can help relieve some of the pressure that’s being put on the lower back.

Do the twist!

No, we’re not talking about the dance. For this position, you want to grab your right knee with your left hand and put your right hand behind as far as you can. Then, switch it up and do the same for the left side. Hold the positions for at least 10 seconds each time you do it.

Ankle Pull

For this, you want to lay on your back on a bed or sofa, with your legs dangling off the end. Brace your upper body. Then, have a helper pulls your ankles downward. The goal with this is to lengthen your back. This should help you feel quite a bit of relief.

 

No one should have to suffer through excessive back pain. If even some basic stretches just aren’t cutting it, it might be time to visit your physician. We also carry a number of wheelchair accessories in our online catalog that can help you be more comfortable, including seat cushions.

Guide to good sleep hygiene

Posted on: April 13th, 2016 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

sleep

 

Forget counting sheep—if you’re not following a good nighttime regiment, then you’re not going to wake up feeling rested. Sleep experts call this sleep hygiene. While the name may conjure up images of going to bed after getting a good scrub in the shower, it actually refers to a series of recommended habits to ensure you’re getting the most out of your nightly rest. Below are some of the top practices to follow for good sleep hygiene:

Turn off the screens

We know, there’s the last minute text to send, the email you need to check, the online shopping to do, the show to catch up on… but what all these screens are doing is telling your subconscious brain that there’s still light out, and therefore it is still daytime. And since it’s still daytime, your subconscious brain thinks you should still be awake, so your body releases the chemicals it needs to stave off sleep. Stop looking at screens an hour before you go to bed.

Watch what you consume

While you might enjoy the sleepy feeling that a glass of wine gives you before you drift off, it might actually be keeping you up! Alcohol prevents your body from going into a deep sleep, therefore it prevents you from feeling restful when you wake up. It can also cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to go back to sleep. Caffeine is just as bad, if not worse. For optimal sleep, stop drinking caffeine around 7 hours before you go to bed and stop drinking alcohol 2 hours before bed.

Go to bed at the same time every night

With some work schedules this can be almost impossible, but this really is the ideal way to get the most amount of sleep. Your body will naturally default to getting sleepy and waking at the same time and has to adjust every time you change this. Even staying up late on a Friday night can throw off your rhythms.

Create the ideal environment

This means having a completely dark room. Heavy, light-blocking curtains can help with this. If you have a digital clock, make sure you turn it so that it doesn’t face you. Keep the room temperature to about 65 degrees. Studies have shown people sleep better in a cooler environment.

If you are still having trouble sleeping after following these steps, it may be time to have a sleep study performed—chances are, you may even have a medical condition that keeps you from getting enough rest at night, such as sleep apnea. We carry a wide variety of items to help mitigate sleep apnea, including CPAP machines.