The Right Medical Supplies Will Make You More Mobile

Like the rest of the nation, Oklahoma City is experiencing the benefits of new breakthroughs in healthcare, allowing more individuals to enjoy life into their 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. However, old age often brings limitations in mobility. That's why medical supplies in Oklahoma City include increasingly robust options for those who are mobility impaired at any age. Here are some common solutions offered by Smith Medical Equipment that may be right for you:

1.  Canes – The cane is among the oldest medical devices around and it is still a useful and reliable tool today. For many people, canes are not only medical supplies, but also an elegant statement that can look dignified and stylish. Canes are ideal for people who experience mild to moderate pain when walking or who have a disability in one leg or foot but not the other.

Read more: The Right Medical Supplies Will Make You More Mobile

The Top Five Powerchairs for Your Every Need

Whether needed for everyday use or just on particular occasions, power wheelchairs provide an easy, comfortable, and efficient mode of transportation. If you or someone you know has limited mobility, then using powerchairs can be the answer to most physical needs. It allows you to move independently wherever you go, providing a sense of self-confidence and assurance. There is a variety of different power wheelchairs that can accommodate a wide range of budgets. Power wheelchairs are constructed to comply with the users’ needs in every aspect.

Read more: The Top Five Powerchairs for Your Every Need

Signs that your Elderly Relative may Need Extra Care

The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging estimated that there were 39.1 million persons aged 65 or older living in the United States in 2009. That may not seem like a lot, but that's about 12.9% of the general population. It's expected that the number will increase to 72.1 million by 2030, an amount that's almost twice the number of elderly people that were in the country in the year 2000. There are millions of adults that are currently thinking about the best way to care for their retired and senior parents, and that number will only increase as the years go on. 

Read more: Signs that your Elderly Relative may Need Extra Care

Choosing the Medical Walker That's Right for You

Whether because of an accident, injury illness or simply as part of the aging process, many people will find themselves needing a medical walker at some point in their lives. However, not every medical walker is right for every person. Here is what to look for to make sure you get the walker that's right for you:

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Zero Gravity

The Zero Gravity position in a bed, lift chair or massage recliner will offer you a dramatic change in your lifestyle habits.  Your spine will have a slight S-Curve when you are in the Zero Gravity position.  When you lie flat on your back you put pressure and tension on your spinal column and back muscles.  Sleeping or sitting in the Zero Gravity position will lessen the pressure, stress and strain on your body.  While in the Zero Gravity position, your circulation will be enhanced, your breathing will be made easier and your lower back will be cradled thus reducing stress and strain.  Your weight will be more evenly distributed thus making you more comfortable and relaxed.


Studies have found that simply by sitting or lying in the Zero Gravity position and elevating an individual's head and feet they can benefit from increased blood circulation, reduced stress on the spine and fewer pressure points on the body.  Raising the head can help with such medical conditions as sleep apnea, acid reflux and may even reduce snoring.  Here is a short list of health conditions in which the Zero Gravity position can relieve.

Chronic back pain          Acid Reflux             Sleep Apnea           Poor Circulation         Asthma            Swollen Legs & Feet

Stress and Tension        Muscle Fatigue        Hiatal Hernia          Varicose Veins           Neuralgia         Muscular Pains

 

Create A Safe Bathroom For The Aging Eye

Design ideas that support homeowners with age-related vision loss.

Vision loss is a leading cause for loss of independence among seniors, according to the Alliance of Aging Research, and can interfere with simple everyday tasks, such as dressing and bathing. It's also a risk factor for falls in the home, especially in the bathroom, where 80 percent of falls among adults 65 or older occur. Design professionals can help keep senior clients safe and comfortable by incorporating strategies that address their visual needs.

 

Analyze illumination

Lighting should be bright to compensate for reduced light penetration caused by changes in the cornea, pupil size and lens. Ambient illumination levels should be twice or three times the norm and supplemented with task lighting for grooming and, more importantly, reading labels on medication bottles. Shower and bath areas, where users are typically without their glasses, require lighting that is unobstructed by enclosures and bright enough to be visible in mist, according to the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

Control glare

Glare control is a must, as light scatter makes aging eyes particularly sensitive to glare. Light bulbs above eye level should be shielded with fabric shades or frosted glass, and incoming daylight should be filtered with tinted sunshades or sheers. Designer Diane Gunson, ASID, CAPS, of Eye Sense in Denver, recommends directing vanity bar lighting toward the ceiling, instead of downward, where it can reflect off a surface into one's eyes. Choosing countertops, cabinets, hardware and faucets in a matte finish can further minimize stray light.

Think day and night

Ideally, daylight should come from more than one direction to provide uniform illumination, which is easier on senior eyes. As the eye ages, its muscles weaken and adapt more slowly to changes in light levels. If the room has only one window, the IES suggests increasing electric lighting to compensate. At night, low light levels should be maintained for those who need to use the bathroom. Having a light switch near the bed and nightlights mounted low on the walls leading to the bathroom will aid with wayfinding.

Establish tonal contrasts

Because the lens yellows with age, thus diminishing the eye's ability to differentiate color, Gunson suggests using strong tonal contrasts to highlight transitions between adjacent materials. Articulate the edges of countertops, sinks and transitions in flooring with contrasting stripes or LED tapelight. Paint switch plates, doorframes, chair rails and baseboards a different color from the walls to reinforce spatial orientation and help with navigation. Similarly, if the walls are light-colored, opt for faucets and grab bars in a darker finish, such as oil-rubbed bronze, to heighten their visibility.

Warm with color

Grays and neutrals may be popular in the bathroom, but homeowners with low vision benefit more from a warm color scheme. Spice tones, such as reds, oranges and colors in the copper to golden range, are easier to see through yellowed lenses than blues and purples, Gunson says. Filtered daylight and 3000K fluorescent lamps offer better visibility than incandescent sources, which are yellower and further obscure color differentiation. 

Activate the senses

The bathroom can also support low-vision users with tactile cues and other sensory information. Install embossed ceramic floor tiles or rubber flooring near steps or doorways, alerting users to transitions that could be trip hazards. Sensor-activated faucets, bath fans and lighting eliminate the need for manual operation.

Much of aging-in-place design addresses the physical disabilities that come with growing old. As most people will experience changes in vision as they age, a bathroom that responds accordingly will help keep senior homeowners independent and safe longer.

 

Source: http://pro.moen.com/news-and-insights

From Hand-Crank to Power Knob: How Historical Wheelchairs Compare to Today's

Wheelchairs have come a long way! Stephen Farfler, a German watchmaker from the 1600's, had a knack for making things spin.

In addition to making watches tick and adding chimes to Nuremburg's clocktower, he also created the world's first self-propelled wheelchair. His inspiration for building this device stemmed from his life as a paraplegic that made it difficult for him to navigate the streets of Nuremberg. Although the device was considered innovative and even extraordinary at the time, people from today would think "Are you serious?"

The thing about Farfler's wheelchair is that it wasn't very practical for handicapped people. For one, it required people to bend over and use a great deal of arm strength to crank two handles above the front wheel. Additionally, his tricycle-like wheelchair was bulky and, without assistance, hard to get out of.

Because of the many problems with his design and extreme need for a reliable self-propelled wheelchair, mobility medical equipment started evolving quickly after Farfler's invention.

Read more: From Hand-Crank to Power Knob: How Historical Wheelchairs Compare to Today's

Adjustable Beds: An Enjoyable Evening Experience

For those that have wondered if there is a better way to enjoy their nighttime routines, here's the answer. Many people are getting tired of piling their pillows to read a book or watch T.V. in bed before sleeping. Others wish they could adjust their bed to a different setting than the normal flat position. Popularity for adjustable beds has rapidly grown in recent years across all ages in American homes for their ability to do such functions and more. With a growing need to have maximum comfort both before and while sleeping, adjustable beds have become a great solution to a tiresome need. 

 

 

 

Studies have shown many benefits to the "zero gravity position" which adjusts the legs and back for minimum pressure on the spine and increased blood circulation. There are some popular positions that come as a preset button on the wireless controllers of the beds. Illustrated below are some the of most popular positions. 

While being able to adjust both lower and upper body positions on these bed frames is great, it is not the only benefit. Here are some other popular features:

  • Wireless Remote Controls
  • Massage
  • Battery Backups (if electricity goes out)
  • Attachable to Head Boards
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Built-in Sound System

The adjustable bed frame comes separate from a mattress, so you can choose whichever mattress you like. Many manufacturers will pair memory foam mattresses with their adjustable frames. Combining an adjustable bed frame with a memory foam mattress is an incredible match for comfort. Test one out in the store yourself. See what the big deal is!

One Thing That Makes Older Adults' Lives Easier

As we age, it becomes harder for us to move like we did during our youthful years.  We also start to appreciate comfort and the incredible combination of comfort and convenience.

 

Whether you're losing the range of motion you once had or simply want a better way to relax, there's something that will make living room conversation, movie watching, reading and relaxing more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

Read more: One Thing That Makes Older Adults' Lives Easier

5 Golden Rules for Power Wheelchair Users

 

power wheel chairs

 

Without power wheelchairs, older adults and handicapped people would be dependent on their own strength and the strength of others.  Because it's natural for people to want to maintain their autonomy, power wheelchairs have become a huge hit.  Today, you see everyone who's unable to walk with one, and they're getting from point A to point B stress-free.  No arm strength needed.  No need to call on an assistant to push them around.  This is why they've become so popular.

Read more: 5 Golden Rules for Power Wheelchair Users

Senior Citizens Don't Always Have to Choose Between a Walker and Wheelchair

Senior Citizens Don't Always Have to Choose Between a Walker and Wheelchair Some senior citizens view buying a wheelchair as a sign of defeat.  They think not being able to walk everywhere on their own is an embarrassing reality. 

But the truth is, it's not.  Not at all. 

Wheelchairs are used by able-minded people everywhere who have no reason to be embarrassed.  Although they've lost the full use of their legs, their passion for living is greater than many able-bodied people's.

Read more: Senior Citizens Don't Always Have to Choose Between a Walker and Wheelchair