Safety and Accessories
think of the elderly and the physically disabled when they think
about bathroom safety, but fully one third of all the falls that
happen in or around the home occur in the bathroom. Although the
bathroom is difficult for the elderly and disabled, they may actually
have an advantage because they are more watchful for hazards, and
they are more likely to buy and use bathroom safety devices.
What to Look
for in Bathroom Safety Products
- Grab bars
must be strong enough to withstand the stress that will be placed
on them. They must be long enough and wide enough to grasp easily,
and they must be treated to withstand exposure to moisture.
- Shower stools
must have rigid seats and backs and cross-leg construction. Legs
must be rubber-tipped and they should be corrosion-resistant.
- Bath security
rails must clamp to the bathtub.They must provide a firm grip,
be corrosion-resistant, and should be padded to avoid scratching
Offer Many Benefits
- Provide safety,
comfort, and convenience while getting in or out of the bathtub.
stooping and add a strong measure of confidence.
- Ensure privacy
for the elderly and the physically handicapped.
To choose appropriate
bathroom aids, first determine use patterns. Then make selections
based on adaptibility to existing fixtures; the particular functions
needed; and the strength, height, and ease of cleaning the safety
How to Fit
1. When fitting
a cane, make sure you are wearing shoes that you will be wearing
when using the cane. Normally, the top of the curve of the cane
should be even with the femur head (hip joint).
2. The cane
fits properly when, while standing straight with the cane tip six
inches forward and six inches to the side, the elbow bent at approximately
a 30 degree angle.
How to Adjust
canes can be adjusted by using the spring button. If a locknut
is present, loosen before adjusting height. Tighten the locknut
can be cut with a saw. Remove rubber tip and mark the correct length
allowing for 1/4" thickness in base of rubber tip.
of the catheter is measured in a unit called French (FR). When prescribing
a 14 FR catheter, the physician is requesting a specific tube diameter
size. The smaller the number, the smaller the diameter. Catheters
used for intermittent catheterization range from 5 to 20 FR with
12 and 14 FR the most common for adults.
there are a few "musts" to get the best results with an
external catheter system.
- Be sure the
condom catheter is the correct size and fit.
- Be sure the
skin is clean and dry before the condom catheter is put on.
- Be sure the
tip of the penis is positioned in the cone of the catheter, but
is not rubbing on the bulb. Squeeze the sheath.
- Learn how
often the catheter should be changed to give the greatest comfort
and security: if it's loose, change it.
- Examine the
skin carefully each time the catheter is changed.
- Check and
empty the leg bag regularly, and look for tubing kinks.
- Keep the
collection tubing, bags, and fixtures clean and odor-free.
- small = size
of thumb (width)
- medium =
size of two fingers (width)
- large = size
of three fingers (width)
How to Fit
1. Align the
crutch tips approximately 6" to the front and 6" to the
outside of the feet.
fit correctly when the tops of the crutches rest on the chest cavity
2 inches below the armpit, and the elbow is bent at approximately
15 degrees to 30 degrees.
- One important
goal of diabetes care is to keep blood sugar levels near the normal
range of between about 70mg/dL and 115md/gl.
- People can't
always tell what their blood sugar level is by the way they feel.
Testing is the only way to be sure of the value. Regular blood
sugar testing can help every person with diabetes understand how
daily actions affect blood sugar control. Testing is especially
important for people who take insulin, women with diabetes who
are pregnant, anyone with diabetes who is sick, and for anyone
who has frequent or severe low blood sugar reactions.
- Blood sugar
is usually checked before meals and at bedtime. Records of these
tests can show repeated series of high or low blood sugar readings
from day to day. This information makes it possible to judge daily
control and make changes in meals, physical activity, or medications
to improve blood sugar levels.
aluminum hydroxide types
to red to black*
to red to black*
to red to black*
to red to black*
colors may indicate intestinal bleeding
Cold Therapy Reference Guide
Bone Fracture: Apply cold pack; stabilize injury; see doctor right
- Joint Injuries:
Elevate injured area; Apply cold pack.
Burns: Apply cold pack for 5 minutes at a time; do not break blisters
or apply creams/sprays.
- Hives: Apply
cold pack for itching.
- Back Pain:
Apply cold pack for injured area for 10 to 20 minutes several
Neck Pain, Aching Muscles: Apply heat packs frequently.
- Chronic Back
Pain: Apply moist heat frequently.
Cold or Hot
Place hot or cold packs around neck or head.
- If pain
persists, home remedies should be followed by a doctor's exam.
Causes of Impotence
- Age: Impotence
is a common problem of older men
- Organic problems,
the leading cause of impotence
problems due to concern of lost masculinity
- Medical conditions
that affect blood flow or nerve function: diabetes; vascular disease;
hypertension; multiple sclerosis; spinal cord injury; end stage
renal failure (dialysis); pelvic surgery that damages blood vessels
or nerves that contribute to erection process; prostatectomy;
ostomy; radiation therapy; side effect of many medications; abuse
of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs causing damage to vascular
and nervous systems.
is a condition that is seldom discussed, but is one that affects
a great many people. Many people are embarassed by this problem,
but your doctor will treat it like the common and treatable medical
condition it is and so should you. The most immediate thing you
can do for incontinence is to start using products specifically
designed for incontinence protection. Incontinence products are
tested for odor control as well as absorbency.
and Muscle Aches
Injuries (Knees, Ankles, Wrists, Elbows, Shoulders)
Rest and elevate
injured area. Apply cold pack for 30 minutes. (If swelling or pain
is more than slight after this, see doctor.) Apply ice 30 minutes
on and 15 minutes off for next few hours. Bear weight cautiously.
Heat may be applied, but only after 24 hours.
- The concept
of gradient support hosiery began in 1950. Gradually manufacturers
developed products that offered support for tired, aching legs
without sacrificing style.
- Firm pressure
at the ankle gradually decreases higher in the leg, promoting
blood circulation and reducing swelling.
- Support socks
for men and support hosiery for women have gained in popularity
for people who must stand or sit for long periods of time. Physicians
often recommend support hosiery for patients with swelling or
of years, a simple massage has been one of the easiest and least
expensive ways to improve the condition of your body and mind, allowing
you to relieve muscle aches, focus better on daily activities, and
reward yourself with the gift of total relaxation.
and Back Pain
For a sudden,
wrenching back injury in a localized area, immediately apply cold
packs for 10 to 20 minutes, several times a day during the first
48 hours. To treat a widespread backache that sets in hours after
injury, or for chronic discomfort, apply moist heat.
and Back Pain
There are currently
over 80 million people suffering from neck and back pain in the
United States. And that number increases by 7 million every year.
The proper sitting position can help decrease the chances of you
joining those ranks (and also decrease the pain if you are already
one of them). When sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor, your
knees level with your hips, and your lower back supported.
Patients: Diet Tips
Blockage may be caused by: high fiber foods, seeds, corn, celery,
popcorn, nuts, coleslaw, Chinese vegetables, coconut macaroons,
grapefruit, raisins, dried fruit, fried foods, apple skins, and
and Colostomy: Loose bowels may be caused by larger, more liquid
meals eaten at temperature extremes, and green beans, brocolli,
spinach, highly spiced foods, raw fruits, and beer.
may be caused by the cabbage family, onions, beans, cucumbers, radishes
foods include: cheese, eggs, fish, beans, onions, the cabbage family,
some vitamins or medications, and asparagus.
fecal odor may be obtained by consuming cranberry juice, buttermilk,
In most cases, urostomy patients enjoy a completely normal diet.
Cranberry juice, yogurt, or buttermilk to help to combat urinary
odors. Asparagus produces a strong odor in urine.
Using Oxygen Equipment
- Don't change
the flow rate without consulting your doctor.
- Avoid alcohol
and other sedatives when using oxygen. They can slow your breathing.
- Prevent skin
irritation from tubing by tucking gauze pads behind your ears
and against your cheeks.
- Use water-based
lubricants to moisten lips or nostrils. Never use oil-based products.
- Order a new
supply of oxygen from your dealer at least 2 to 3 days before
you'll need it.
- Wipe cabinet
with a damp cloth and towel dry each day.
- Clean air
filter at least once a week. Clean the compressor filter as directed.
Cannula or Mask
- Wipe with
a damp cloth every 8 hours.
- Wash nasal
prongs with liquid soap 1 to 2 times a week.
- Rinse well.
- Wash bottle
daily in warm, soapy water.
- Rinse well
and air dry.
bottle and top 1 to 2 times a week.
Inhaler or Nebulizer
- Rinse mouthpiece
with warm water after each use.
plastic parts and disinfect daily, as directed.
- Do not smoke
or allow others to smoke near you.
- Use the nonsmoking
section in restaurants.
- Do not use
flammable products, such as aerosol sprays, oil-based lubricants
or lotions, rubbing alcohol, or paint thinners.
- Keep an all-purpose
fire extinguisher at home. Install a smoke detector. Inform fire
department that oxygen is kept in your home.
- Secure a
cylinder to a fixed object. If it is knocked over, gas may escape
and the cylinder may "take off" like a missile.
- Inform electric
company that you use an oxygen concentrator. If power is disrupted,
you will have priority.
- Alert visitors
to the tripping hazards of long tubing.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Can open
- Fight lung
- Reduce coughing
- Thin mucous
- Relieve pain
to Breathe Easier
- Place one
hand upon your chest: This hand should remain still as you breathe.
- Place other
hand on your abdomen (thumb should be just below navel). This
hand should rise and fall as you breathe.
- Inhale through
nose to a count of 3. Exhale to a count of 6.
- Repeat for
about 15 minutes.
often. Learning to coordinate abdominal movements and breathing
- Inhale slowly
- Pucker lips,
and exhale slowly, making a soft, hissing sound.
- Try pursed-lip
breathing with abdominal breathing.
How to Control
- Take a slow,
deep breath through your nose.
- Hold your
breath for a few seconds.
- Open your
mouth slightly and let out 2 or 3 short, sharp coughs.
- Relax and
- Your health-care
provider can show you other methods to loosen and drain mucous
from your lungs.
of Allergy and Immunology; 611 E. Wells St.; Milwaukee, WI 53202;
(800) 822-ASMA (2762); (414) 272-6071
for Respiratory Care; 11030 Ables Lane; Dallas, TX 75229; (972)
of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; 85 W. Algonquin Road, Ste.
550; Arlington Heights, IL 60005; (800) 842-7777; (847) 427-1200
Association; contact your local chapter
Asthma and Allergy
Foundation of America; 1125 15th St. N. W., Ste. 502; Washington,
D.C. 20005; (800) 7ASTHMA (727-8462); (202) 466-7643
Asthma Network / Mothers of Asthmatics, Inc.; 2751 Prosperity Avenue,
Ste.150; Fairfax, VA 22031; (800) 878-4403, (703) 641-9595; FAX:
(703) 573-7794; www.aanma.org
(Send SASE with 52 cents postage for complimentary newsletter).
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Institutes of Health
Office of Communications; 31 Centre Drive; Building 31, Room 7A50;
Bethesda, MD 20892; (301) 496-5717; www.niaid.nih.gov
Medical & Research Center; 1400 Jackson St.; Denver, CO 80206;
(800) 222-LUNG (5864); (303) 388-4461
For Prevention of Skin Breakdown
- Assess the
patient's skin at least every two days, daily if possible.
- Do not massage
any reddened skin.
the cause of a reddened area. It could be the result of incontinence,
friction, pressure, allergic reaction, or bacterial or fungal
infection. If the cause is pressure a) Set up a two-hour turning
schedule to reduce pressure; b) Use transparent dressing on areas
prone to friction; c) Consider pressure-reduction devices such
as air-flow mattresses or sheepskins.
right walker can help keep you active and improve your quality of
life. Folding walkers are portable, easy to store, and ideal for
travel. A folding walker that's lightweight and has an easy-to-operate
folding mechanism can keep you on the go wherever you go.
Caring for Your
- Use car or
chrome polish on metal parts.
- Use vinyl
cleaner or mild soap and water on vinyl parts.
- Check axle
nuts on large wheels weekly for tightness.
- Check models
with spokes weekly for tightness.
squeaking parts with WD-40 or light machine oil.
come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. There are lightweight
chairs, heavy-duty chairs and special hemi model chairs for those
who have the use of only one hand. Consumers might be wise to rent
a chair before buying one to make sure it fits their needs and their
lifestyle. Renting should be seriously considered by anyone with
a temporary disability.
(dimensions in inches)
- * = adjustable: 17.5, 19.5
- ** = adjustable: 15.75, 17.5, 18.75, 20
- # = 14-18
- ## = 20-25
- (a) = with footrests, add approximately 12 inches
- (b) = with footrests, add appoximately 5 pounds, 3 pounds for
must always be taken when caring for a wound. Before dressing a
wound, clean it thoroughly with sponges and cleansing solution.
Then pat the wound dry with a different, clean sponge. Once the
wound is clean and dry, apply the dressings appropriate to the severity
of the wound. When removing old dressings, always remove one layer
at a time, not all at once.