Category: Caregivers

Three Tips to Show Support for Caregivers

November is National Caregiver Awareness Month, and with an estimated 44 million caregivers in the United States, it’s important to show support to these people who may feel overlooked or overwhelmed with the vital responsibility they hold. With these three tips, you can show support to caregivers and help alleviate the stress they may face.

Ask How You Can Help

Being a caregiver can be taxing, and like anything that requires around the clock attention, it can potentially lead to burnout. Asking how you can help, for a day or even a few hours, can go a long way. Even if it’s not stepping in to handle the caregiving duties, helping out in other ways like bringing food or doing household chores can lessen their workload and alleviate their stress. Always ask what is specifically needed to help them. Saying the generic statement of “let me know if I can do something for you” leaves the ball in their court, meaning they may never get back to you, but still need the help.

Make Sure They’re Caring for Themselves

When someone is dependent on another person for their care, it’s pertinent that the caregiver is healthy both physically and emotionally. A caregiver may make excuses as to why they can’t put their health and well-being first. However, it’s important they attend regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments, make time for physical activity and hobbies, and seek support through groups or counseling. Help them find solutions such as having a family member, friend, or community member come sit with the loved one while the caregiver is tending to their well-being.

Equip Them with the Proper Tools

Caregiving can be more than just emotionally draining, it can be physically draining as well. Having the right tools in the home can make the job a little easier. Installing ramps to a home’s entry points can eliminate strain when trying to help someone up a set of stairs. Adding a TILT® Toilet Incline Lift, can help a caregiver or loved one while in the bathroom. Other tools to help them do their job include the EZ-SHAMPOO® Hair Washing Basin, EZ-SHOWER Bedside Shower, and EZ-BATHE® Body Washing Basin. For more tools that can help make a caregiver’s job easier and safer, visit our website here.

 

There are many ways you can show support for caregivers, even simply listening to them can be the most helpful thing to do. The work they do is incredibly important and can be stressful, so lending an attentive and understanding ear shows that you really do care. To learn about how EZ-ACCESS can make a caregiver’s job a little easier with products that promote ease of use and patient safety, visit our website.

4 Quick Tips on How to Prepare for Natural Disasters

4 Quick Tips on How to Prep for Natural Disasters

When it comes to prepping your home for natural disasters you can never be too prepared. Lack of an emergency plan for unexpected events could be detrimental. To help you get started, here are a few tips on how you can plan for a natural disaster.

Gather Medical Supplies and Necessities

Be sure to gather and keep track of medicines, oxygen tanks, battery packs, extra medical supplies, and other daily care necessities. If you have to make a quick exit, having everything together could be the difference between continuing your care or not.

Have Cash On Hand

During these emergencies, ATMs may be overrun or not working, meaning there is no way for you to get cash. Power can go out, leaving debit and credit cards useless. By having cash on hand, you will be able to purchase necessities when an event occurs.

Document Storage

Be sure to have a fireproof and waterproof box with documents you will need in order to pick up the pieces after a disaster. These documents should include numbers to and information about your bank, creditors, health insurance, and property insurance. Specific documents should include passports, birth certificates, health records, social security cards, bank routing numbers, deeds, income tax information and more.

Plan, Plan, Plan.

The best thing you can do is put together a team of people who can assist you during a natural disaster. It’s important to review your plan with these people so they’re also prepared. You’ll also want to plan escape routes and practice using them once or twice a year. In the event of a tornado, most basements aren’t wheelchair accessible so having a back-up plan if you or a loved one use a wheelchair is important.

While we never hope a natural disaster will strike, it’s better to be prepared if something does occur. By taking these steps to prepare, you will have a plan to help aid in your safety and recovery.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by the recent hurricanes, and are looking for accessibility solutions to temporary housing, we can help. Visit our Disaster Relief Page by clicking here.

Designing your Home for Accessibility and Safety

The discussion of assisted living and nursing homes can be stressful and sensitive for all parties involved. It can be a difficult and costly decision to make. In 2016, a private room cost more than $92,378 a year, and with the average stay in a facility sitting a little over two years, the cost for a facility can amount to more than $184,000.

Before making the decision to move your loved one into an assisted living facility or nursing home, consider home modification to allow them to stay within the comfort of their home. Actually, almost 90 percent of people over the age of 65 want to live in their home as long as possible. If you’re looking to make your or a loved one’s home adequately equipped so they can age in place, let us be your guide for things to consider as you look to make home modifications.

 Safety: The first step in the home modification process is to take a look at the safety of the home and recognize potential safety hazards. Can they move around without any tripping hazards? If there are doorways in the home that may have a lip, ledge, or step, consider using a TRANSITIONS® Modular Entry Ramp.

 Accessibility: Will you or your loved one be able to enter or exit the home? If there are multiple steps leading up to the home, our PATHWAY® 3G Modular Access System could be the perfect solution for eliminating those hazardous heights. Don’t forget about the CONCIERGE® Residential Power Door Opener, which automatically opens and closes the front door with a push of a button so that those using a walker, cane, crutch, wheelchair, or power mobility device can easily get in and out of the doorway.

 Adaptability: The process of modifying a home is all about adapting to meet you or a loved one’s needs. Adding accessories to make their life easier is the key. If they’re using a walker or wheelchair add a tote or basket liner. Bathing and using the restroom can present certain challenges too. Our TILT® Toilet Incline Lift can help those who struggle with getting up from the seated position.

Beyond the cost benefits, allowing you or your loved one to age in their own home provides a little more comfort, independence, and safety. To learn how EZ-ACCESS products can help your home modification process, visit our residential page.

Reduce Recovery Time with these Tips

Equipping your home with all the proper tools before you leave to go in for your knee or hip surgery will not only give you peace of mind but can also aid in recovery time. The last thing you want to think about is how you’re going to get into your home or how you’ll bathe during the healing process so here are a few tips to you to get you started. Consult your doctor to fully understand all the equipment and tools necessary for an optimal recovery.

If you’ll be using a walker to help you get around try one of our EZ-ACCESSORIES Walker Carryon to keep all the necessities near as you get around your house. Mount it on the side, or in the front, the deep pockets will allow you to carry your cell phone, TV remotes, and even beverages, keeping everything within arm’s reach.

If you’re healing from knee surgery you’re not going to want be going up and down, especially when using the restroom. Make the transition easier with the TILT Toilet Incline Lift. With quick and easy installation, this heavy duty lift chair can make your bathroom experience one of ease and comfort.

One thing that should not be overlooked is the entry into your home. If you’re using a walker, crutches or a wheelchair, a TRANSITIONS Modular Entry Mat is just what you’re looking for. Don’t worry about taking the step up when using this mat. It lays flush to any entry, can be trimmed down to fit any height and is made of heavy-duty rubber for a nonslip surface.

Don’t let bathing be a hassle! Any of our EZ-BATHING accessories can make even the most challenging task simple. Between the EZ-SHAMPOO Hair Washing Tray or the EZ-BATHING Universal Bather which can hook on to any bathing chair or shower wall and keeps all your necessities close, you’ll be able to stay squeaky clean!

Other things to think about as you come home to recover is clearing all the walkways from tripping hazards including rugs, power cords and uneven flooring. If your bedroom is upstairs, it would be a good idea to make arrangements to be downstairs during the recovery process. While you’re at it make sure your bed is low enough to get in and out of. Most importantly, ask for help during this recovery period. The more preparation and help you have the better and quicker recovery can be!

Listen to Your Heart with these Vital Health Tips

While Valentine’s Day brings plenty of room for romance, this year it’s time to wear red for a different reason. February marks the beginning of American Heart Month, a period dedicated to recognizing the number one health concern in the nation. To protect your loved ones, EZ-ACCESS offers these keys to maintaining a strong heart:

Keep it Healthy

Nearly 70 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese, putting them at a high risk of heart disease. By exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet, you can help prevent heart attacks as well as improve overall health. To help make this possible, be sure to keep your goals realistic. Avoid crazy diet fads and stick with the basics by decreasing your red meat consumption with the replacement of grilled chicken, trading the potato chips for veggies, and finding an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle. Above all, avoid smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke.

 Know the Symptoms

In the event of a heart attack, time is one of the most precious variables in limiting damage. If chest pains or feelings such as squeezing or fullness persist, it is not a time to be cautionary. Although this can be as simple as acid reflux, it is important to seek professional assistance to rule out heart complications, particularly if the symptoms are paired with back or jaw pain. Similarly, a shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, anxiety, cold sweat, and nausea are also important triggers.

Limit Stress

To preserve health and maintain peace of mind, reducing stress is an important element for your fitness. Find time each day for meditation or reflection. Look for opportunities to volunteer at events that are close to your heart and commit to achieving a wholesome sleep schedule. Hobbies are another way to find outlets to relieve potential stress. Taking up journaling, yoga or gardening can help ease strenuous thoughts and maintain your quality of life.

Although American Heart Month is only twenty-eight days long, the impact of developing these important habits can benefit you year-round. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can help avoid heart disease and improve your overall health. As a family owned company, EZ-ACCESS takes the security of your loved ones personally. Discover our story today.

What You Can Do to Help People with Disabilities

 

ezaccess-blog_whatyoucandotohelpWith the end of the year approaching fast, it’s the perfect time to make a new year’s resolution. This year, instead of diet fads or gaudy purchases, make a commitment to helping those affected by disabilities. Not only can you improve their quality of life but you can also ensure that no child or adult ever gets left behind.

Become a Respite Provider

Showing your support for those affected by disabilities does not have to be costly. Becoming a respite provider is one of the most powerful aids to the families of those with limited mobility. These caretakers assist the family in attending appointments as well as in managing day-to-day tasks.  There is no special training or certification required to become a respite provider, but you do need to be 18 years or older, have a social security card and live outside the caregiver’s home. Additional skills such as CPR and first aid are also useful.

Fundraise

If time is too limited to become a respite provider, you can assist families by taking the steps to help fundraise for your favorite nonprofit organizations.  Most of charitable nonprofits rely upon the generosity of donors for all or some of their funding, making it an activity of major importance. To help, select an organization that is close to your heart such as Friends of Disabled Adults and Children or the United Spinal Association. Not only can you contribute a donation, you can also spread awareness to the cause by advocating on social media or sponsoring events with proceeds benefiting the charity. This helps raise valuable funds for research and gets more people involved to help further your efforts.

Join the Fight

For people affected by limited mobility, Medicare provides vital payment assistance. However, the new year may bring serious complications to those that rely on this service. Planned cuts to the program could impact critical components and accessories used by Complex Rehab wheelchair systems. These accessories are needed by people with significate disabilities such as ALS, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury. To help fight for this crucial issue and ensure individuals get access to affordable equipment and care, email or call your Senators to show your support.

For families affected by disabilities, every day can be a fight. However, by providing crucial support, you can be the difference. At EZ-ACCESS, we understand the struggle. That’s why we are committed to providing the best possible products for individuals with limited mobility. Contact our team today to learn more about the services we provide.

 

Best Safety Tips for the Family Caregiver

caregiver safety

Being a caregiver is no easy feat. With 65 million Americans acting as caregivers each year, we at EZ-ACCESS want to make that task easier for the dedicated individuals that hold that title. This National Safety Month, we’d like to provide some helpful tips and tricks on how to care for your loved ones while also taking care of yourself.

  • Make Minor Adjustments to Your Home

FOR THEM: Safety is your number one priority. Make sure your home is de-cluttered, and all hallways or passages are well lit both day and night. Consider removing any unnecessary rugs to avoid potential trip hazards.

FOR YOU: Add baby-monitors to both your room and the room of the person you’re caring for. This can help maintain supervision even when you’re apart.

  • Treat Each Other with Kindness

FOR THEM: Patience is a virtue – that is no joke. No matter the situation remember to breathe and approach the matter with a clear head. Not only will you communicate better, but by maintaining a level of respect between you and the person you’re caring for, you restore some familiarity in their now more dependent life style.

FOR YOU: Caring for another person day-in and day-out is stressful and labor intensive work. Be sure to take time each day for yourself, to read, relax or just getaway for an hour or two.

  • Have a System

FOR THEM: If the loved one you’re caring for is fighting dementia or other neurological diseases, they may forget or refuse to take their daily medications. Make sure all medication is labeled properly, and separated within an organized weekly pill box.

FOR YOU: Structure your days with designated times for meals, bathings, and naps. By adding some routine into your days you can provide some consistency and familiarity to you both.

For all the accessibility modifications and reliable support you might need, EZ-ACCESS is here to help.

4 VITAL Tips for Caregivers on How to Care for Yourself

caregiver tips

When you become a caregiver, life as you knew it is forever changed. Not only do you reorient your life around someone else’s, but you learn to juggle new equipment, techniques, and challenges that come with their new lifestyle. In the shuffle, it’s easy to push your needs aside to attend to the needs of another, but doing so can create serious burnout. EZ-ACCESS wants you to recognize Emotional Wellness Month by putting yourself first in these four areas:

  • Practice honesty: Guilt, resentment, loneliness, anger… you’ll experience them all as a caregiver, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is burying them under a brave face that you wear like a mask in front of others and to yourself. Be open about the struggles that come with full-time care, and take heart that your friends and support system want to walk with you through the highs and the lows.
  • Increase your Zzzs: You help your loved one during every waking moment, so treasure the peace and private time that comes with sleep. Calm your mind with deep breathing or yoga-inspired stretches before bedtime, or spend time journaling out your emotions after a rough day, leaving you clear-headed and ready for bed and rest.
  • Work it Out: The endorphin blast you receive from a workout keeps your body strong and spirits high. Finding a 30-minute block of time may be challenging, so try exercising in three 10-minute chunks throughout the day instead. Bonus points if you exercise with a buddy, who can provide extra motivation and TLC.
  • Treat yourself: Take a break. Not only do you deserve it, you need it. Find an activity that brings you joy, and intentionally make time to practice it. Reading, browsing the Internet, blasting music, and watching funny videos feel like a luxury when your world revolves around someone else, so let yourself enjoy the moments that are all about you. Pamper yourself with the occasional massage or manicure to rely unwind and remind yourself that you’re a strong and valued individual.

It’s taxing work, but your role as a caregiver is so important. EZ-ACCESS can make life a little easier for you and your loved one with accessories and appliances that give you mobility and freedom. Reach out at (800)451-1903 to find out how we can give you a hand.