Ask Sarah: How Can Dad Shower Independently Again?

Dear Sarah,

My father has recently had one of his legs amputated.  We are trying to help him as much as possible with the transition home and we need help in his bathroom.  How will he be able to independently shower again?

Thanks in advance,

Amanda, New Bremen, Ohio

 

Hi Amanda,

I am sure your father and your family is very overwhelmed by this change in his life.  Showering independently is one thing that nobody wants to give up, no matter the circumstances!

There are several ways that the bathroom can be adapted so that your father can still bath in the comfort of his own home.  Depending on his abilities, I would first consider using a transfer bench– it’s the most economical solution.  One side of the bench sits outside of the bathtub and the other half is on the inside.  Your father can sit on the outside and then slide himself over into the tub- all while remaining seated! It’s a safer option verses trying to climb in the tub while standing.  You can also install a hand-held shower to making showering from the seated position more comfortable as well.

There is also the option of a Safeway Step.  This is something that we can install into the existing bathtub.  The Safeway Step removes the barrier of the tub wall making it easier to get in and out of the shower.  You can place a shower chair inside the tub for your father to sit down while inside.  This option is nice if you don’t want the bulk of the transfer bench in the bathroom and if other people will be using the bathtub as well.  Just slide your shower curtain over the tub when finished and nobody will know you have made any changes to the bathtub!

If neither one of those two options sound feasible, then you can also look into replacing your fathers existing bathtub with a luxury barrier-free shower.  This option is the safest and (in my opinion) most beautiful way to accommodate your father’s accessibility needs.  By installing a barrier-free shower, your father will be able to safely and easily access his shower with nothing in his way!  A fold down seat, grab bars and hand held shower can all be installed in the shower to make his shower experience as safe as can be!

I hope this helps in the planning process to bring your father home!  We would be more than happy to come out to his home to assess his individual needs and to offer a free estimate to get his bathroom ready for him! Just give us a call at 419-678-4979!

Sarah

New Visions Medical Equipment

 

Help Us Combat Cuts to Medicare!

This week is a critical week and our last chance to protect seniors and people with disabilities who rely on medical equipment. Please read…

On January 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will expand a program called competitive bidding. The competitive bidding program expansion will slash reimbursement rates for important medical equipment such as oxygen, walkers, wheelchairs and complex rehab equipment (seat and back cushions, power recline and tilt systems, specialty drive controls, etc.)

This change will make it very difficult for millions of Americans to find the vital equipment they need or require people to pay out of pocket for their medical supplies.

COMBAT CUTS TO MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

Without assistance from Medicare, many beneficiaries will not be able to afford medical technologies they rely on for daily living.  Multiple bills have been introduced  in Congress mandating CMS stop the cuts and fix the program! We need your help to push these bills past the finish line. If you haven’t done so yet, PLEASE send messages to your legislators today.

Urge your legislators to preserve access to quality equipment and care. 

Message them here

Please note: In order for the bidding expansion to be, the bills must be passed and enacted by December 31, 2015.

 

5 Reasons to Shop Local this Holiday Season

With the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to determine where you will do your shopping. Where you choose to shop can not only affect the economy, but also the environment. Because the holidays are quickly approaching, we know the number of advertisements we see on television, the internet billboards, and print magazines, newspapers, etc., will quickly soar. However, caught in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle large retailers bring during the holiday season, are the small, local businesses. Why should you consider buying local this holiday season, rather than investing in gifts from the big-box retailers? We have pulled together 5 spectacular reasons below!

Benefits of Shopping Locally

  1. Create more jobs. Small businesses are among the largest employers in the country and offer a multitude of jobs, particularly to those in the local community. Not only do independent businesses employ more individuals per each dollar of revenue, but they also are the customers of local accountants, wholesalers, farmers, printers, etc. Support your local businesses, and you will create jobs for your friends, your loved ones, and even yourself.
  2. Keep the community unique, and let it thrive. There is nothing more fulfilling than watching a small community develop and thrive as the years roll along. Where you shop, eat, and have fun are what helps make your community a HOME and adds a unique sense of character to the area. Plus, studies show that entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to settle in communities that recognize, support and preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses, helping the community to continue to grow and be successful.
  3. Local businesses give back (chain stores [typically] do not). Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future. In other words, local businesses, no matter what, are more likely to “do good” for the community and support local causes within the community.
  4. Achieve and receive more diversity. Typically, smaller businesses have a far greater diversity in products and services than that of chain stores. How often do you walk into a chain store and know (for the most part) what you will find? Not in a small business! Small businesses often add an element of surprise in their inventory –because of their ability to be more diverse!
  5. Support yourself. Let’s face it, you’re not just supporting the local businesses, but you’re also in turn supporting YOURSELF. Multiple studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, instead of a large, nationally owned business, a much greater chunk of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms which helps to strengthen the economic base of the community. What else does this mean? A greater percentage of local businesses helps keep your taxes lower!

We would love to hear from you! How do you support shopping local? Please visit our Facebook page to share the local businesses you enjoy shopping with most and why!

Ask Sarah: Will Medicare Pay for Scooters

Sarah,

As my mother ages, she becomes less and less independent and more dependent on myself and my siblings. I think it is time for her to get a motorized scooter to help her get around easier; however, I am concerned about the costs and what exactly Medicare will cover. Do you have any insight to offer on when Medicare will help pay for a scooter?

Thanks for your help.

Gina –Greenville, Ohio

 

Hi Gina,

I understand your concerns entirely. It is important that your mom get a motorized scooter as soon as possible in order to help her get around more efficiently and take some of the stress off of you and your siblings; however, Medicare, like you said, can be an extremely confusing topic. Here are some tips to help you determine when Medicare will cover paying for a motorized scooter:

Remember, Medicare may not cover the entire cost of the scooter. There will likely be a 20% cost that you have to cover; however, sometimes this, too, can be covered by insurance.

Gina, we would love to have the opportunity to help your mom find the perfect scooter to fit her everyday needs. Please feel free to give me a call personally at 419.678.4979 or stop in today to look around!

I hope this information is helpful for you and your family.

Sarah at New Visions

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Ask Sarah: What’s New in Shower Safety?

Dear Sarah,

I have recently had a hard time getting in and out of my shower, as well as struggling with some other day-to-day activities. A friend of mine recently told me that you sell various products for bathroom assistance, and even do some installation yourself. Is this true? If so, what products and services do you offer to help with shower safety?

Thanks for all of your help,

Claudia – Greenville, Ohio

Hi Claudia,

I am very glad you asked about New Visions Medical Equipment’s role in bathroom safety, as we have recently begun changing and expanding our offerings.

First off, did you know that the majority of falls within the home occur in the bathroom? This is why it is vital that you keep your bathroom as safe as possible, and in turn, that is what the staff at New Visions Medical Equipment strives to do!

In regards to our offerings, we provide and install all of your basic shower assistance products. These include items such as hand-held shower heads, grab bars, shower chairs and much more. Not only does New Visions offer the basic shower products, but we also offer services and products that are more extensive, but pertinent to your safety, such as replacing your existing tub with a barrier-free walk-in unit or a Safeway Step.

Our exciting expansion, however, includes entire bathroom remodels (see our Facebook page for pictures and examples of remodel projects we are currently working on!). We know that it is extremely important to you and many others to remain in your own home for as long as possible, but sometimes the bathroom can become a tough obstacle.

This is why we have partnered with Homan Interiors and Best Bath Systems to ensure that your bathroom remodel project goes as smoothly as possible, giving you the bathroom of your dreams, allowing you to remain in your home safely and comfortably!

If you have further questions about how New Visions can help you remain in your home by giving you the bathroom you have always dreamed of, give me, Sarah, a call at 800.617.6795 today!

-Sarah at New Visions

Ask Sarah: How Can I Convince My Aging Parent They Need a Lift Chair?

Dear Sarah,

My mother has recently been admitted into the nursing home due to her hip surgery, and my father has quickly been losing his strength, especially now that my mom isn’t around to help him do things around the house. I have noticed recently that he has a hard time getting in and out of his recliner. When I suggested he look into getting a lift chair, he completely shut down and stopped listening to me. I think he is afraid that purchasing a lift chair would mean he is losing his independence. Can you help me convince him to see the benefits of purchasing a lift chair? I don’t think he realizes how much it could help him.

Thanks for your advice!

Tammy -Ohio City

Hi Tammy,

Making the transition and admitting that you need more assistance is never an easy feat, especially for our senior loved ones as they age and are unable to do things as easily as they once could. However, it doesn’t have to be. Is your father aware of the many benefits of a lift chair, or were you unable to talk to him at all when you mentioned a lift chair?

Now that your father should have had some time to cool off, I suggest approaching the situation again, but in a more casual tone. Don’t make him feel like he has to purchase a lift chair, but instead list the many benefits (see below) a lift chair could bring him. Maybe try to make a fun afternoon out of going to your local medical equipment store and testing out lift chairs.

Try sitting in a lift chair along with him (bring your kids, too!) so that he doesn’t feel as if he is being pressured. I strongly believe that once your father sits in a chair and realizes how it can help him regain his independence–not hinder it–you will have no problem convincing him (heck, you may not even have to convince him!) to purchase a lift chair.

Here are a few of the many benefits a lift chair can bring:

  • Independence
  • Opportunity to remain in home
  • Ease of mobility
  • More spacious than normal chairs
  • Reduced risk of injury (this one is particularly important, especially now that your mom is no longer living at home!)

I hope you find my advice helpful and that your father sees the importance and advantages of purchasing a lift chair. If you have any further questions, or would like to try out a lift chair in person, please feel free to stop in or give us a call at 419.678.4979.

Sarah at New Visions

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woman on scooter

Top 6 Questions to Ask When Buying a Scooter

Purchasing a scooter can be a time-consuming, headache-causing and frustrating process –but it doesn’t have to be! If you go into the scooter-buying process with an open mind (and a little behind-the-scenes knowledge from yours truly!) you will walk away with a smile on your face and the scooter of your dreams. It’s all about knowing what to ask beforehand in order to get what you NEED.

6 Things to Ask When Purchasing a Scooter

  1. Will the scooter be used primarily indoors, outdoors, or both? This is important for not only you to know the answer to, but also for the scooter specialist. Knowing where you will be using the scooter can help determine what brand and type (durability) of scooter you may need.
  2. Will you need to transport your mobility scooter when traveling? Will you be going on family vacations where you need to take your scooter with you? Unless you have a large vehicle that can easily transport a larger scooter, you may need to consider looking into a compact scooter. Likewise, you may want to check with your local transportation authority for information regarding any size restrictions that you may need to be aware of when traveling long distances.
  3. Does it have the accessories and storage you are looking for? Don’t expect your scooter to have closet-like storage or Yacht-like accessories; however, don’t give in and settle for less than you deserve. Make sure the scooter you are looking for has any extra accessories or storage space you may desire, such as a second basket.
  4. How much do you plan on spending on your scooter? Prices can greatly vary depending upon various features, brands, new vs old, among many other items. For example, do you want a scooter with arm rests? If so, make sure you figure that into your budget. Do your research ahead of time and go into your shopping extravaganza with a budget in mind.
  5. Is the scooter comfortable for you to sit in? This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is important that you know what you are purchasing before you actually purchase it. The downside of purchasing a scooter online is you don’t have the chance to sit in the scooter and make sure it is the right fit for you. Shopping local at a store near you can allow you to test out various scooters and make sure you are pleased with what you are getting.
  6. What is the weight load on the scooter? This refers to all of the weight-bearing-stress being placed on (or in) the scooter at any one time. If you are overweight or have to carry heavy items on your scooter at times, you want to make sure the scooter expert you are working with is aware of this so that they can find the right scooter to fit your needs.

 

Finding the right scooter to fit your everyday needs is important. That is why we, at New Visions, focus on making your scooter shopping experience both positive and personalized, to find you the scooter of your dreams!

P.S. This month ONLY we are offering $100 off all new scooters! Give us a call at 419.679.4979 or stop in to test drive and get your very own scooter today!

Ask Sarah: 3 Ways Stairlifts Benefit Mom and Dad

Dear Sarah,

Both of my parents have recently had trouble getting up and down the stairs to the second floor of their house where their bedroom is located. I have read some recent articles about stairlifts on the internet and I think installing a stairlift in their home would help them to get around, but I’m not sure how to approach my parents on the topic. I know they want to regain their mobility and independence, which is why I think the installation of a stairlift may be a good idea. Do you have any advice on how to get my parents to consider the addition of a stairlift? 

Carol, Coldwater, OH

 

Hi Carol,

It sounds like the addition of a stairlift would be the perfect fit for both your mom and your dad! I know that sometimes as our parents age, they do worry about their independence. And while they may see a stairlift (at first) as a hindrance of their freedom, in reality, the addition of a stairlift to one’s home is a great benefit. We need to help our parents embrace the idea because it will allow them to continue to do the things they have always done so well on their own, but easier this time!

Try asking your parents if the following factors are important to them as they age and struggle with their mobility:

  1. The ability to carry everyday items and move between floors safely, reducing the possibility of injury.
  2. Remaining in the comfort of their own home.
  3. Maintaining their confidence and independence no matter what their age.

Installing a stairlift can help your parents maintain all of the above benefits, and much, much more. Likewise, I have had several customers who were surprised at how cost-friendly the installation of a stairlift was. While one may think the installation is extremely out-of-budget, they typically soon realize (after having the discussion) that installing a stairlift is much more budget-friendly than the addition of other in-home elevators and other lift devices.

At New Visions, we want you and your parents to know that we care about the safety and well-being of all of our current, potential and future customers. Together, we work with you to find the best fit for your needs. If you and/or your parents have any questions at all about the benefits of our stairlifts or any other products we offer, please feel free to give me, Sarah, a call personally at 419.678.4979.

I hope my answers give you and your parents a little more insight on the importance of finding the right stairlift in order to ensure the proper safety and desired independence levels for your mom and dad.

Thank you.

Sarah at New Visions

Ask Sarah Headshot

 

Do you have a question you would like to ask me? Please feel free to email me at info@newvisionsmedical.com and I would be happy to help!

Medicare’s Role in Adjustable Beds

One of the first things you may find yourself asking is, “Wait. What is the difference between adjustable beds, regular beds and hospital beds?” Well, we have the answer for you! Below we outline the difference between regular, adjustable and hospital beds, as well as which are covered under Medicare and which are not.

  • Regular beds – These are your everyday beds which don’t allow for any adjustment on overall height of the bed or the head/foot areas. Regular beds are commonly purchased by those who do not have any health/medical concerns.
  • Adjustable beds – Today’s more modern adjustable bed allows the user to elevate both the head and foot areas of the bed in order to find the optimal position for comfort regarding a variety of health considerations. Users can benefit from therapeutic features as well, including pillow top and memory foam mattress additions! These “luxury” beds are considered to be the most comfortable beds on the market.
  • Hospital beds -These beds are designed for individuals with more serious medical issues and their caregivers. Not only can these beds adjust at the head and foot, but they can also be raised toward the ceiling or lowered toward the floor, helping ease back pain caregivers may commonly experience.

Discovering the Right Bed for Your Needs

Now, which is the right one for YOU?

  1. Adjustable beds -If you are not worried about falling out of bed at night and are looking for something that looks like a traditional bed—and comes in multiple mattress size options, allowing you and your spouse to continue to share a bed—an adjustable bed may be the make for you. An adjustable bed can allow you to benefit from the therapeutic features of adjustability without the negative stigma associated with hospital beds. Have a headboard and/or footboard you love and don’t want to get rid of it? No problem! Simply attach it to the base for a seamless transition to your new bed. Likewise, your bed has the ability to come with wired or wireless hand controls, depending on the model chosen. This bed is the perfect solution if you are looking for the health and comfort benefits of adjustability and easy rest. Adjustable beds are not covered by Medicare, but are made to be extremely affordable.
  2. Hospital beds -If you or a loved one suffers from severe medical issues requiring a bed that can be easily moved or adjusted up and down, a hospital bed may be the correct choice. However, be aware that because these bed types are designed for industrial use, you will notice they have a much bulkier frame, come with side rails and are available ONLY in twin sizes, which does not allow a patient to sleep with their partner. Likewise, the heavy frame makes it extremely difficult to disguise a hospital bed as a traditional flat bed. A plus is that this bed is typically covered under Medicare.

We hope this information helped you get a better idea of which type of bed is the right fit for you. If you are looking to purchase or try an adjustable bed, give the professionals at New Visions Medical Equipment a call at 419.678.4979 or email us at info@newvisionsmedical.com today

 

Ask Sarah: Helping Mom Get in and Out of the Shower Safely

Dear Sarah,

A few months back my mom started having trouble getting in and out of the shower. It started slowly, but as the weeks go by she seems to be having more and more trouble. It has now gotten to the point where either one of my siblings or myself has to be there for her at all times in case she falls trying to get into the tub/shower area. Are there any solutions to help mom regain her independence, while ensuring her safety at the same time?

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,

Carla, St. Marys, OH

 

Hi Carla,

That is a great question, and a very common issue among older adults. Aging parents often begin to worry about being able to lift their legs high enough to clear the tub when getting in, or falling and or slipping once they are actually in the shower. Although this fear is a common occurrence, I know first-hand how stressful this can become for you and your siblings. In reality, you just don’t have the time to spend each waking minute at your parents’ house to ensure their safety, especially if you are caring for your own family.

Fortunately, there are several options you can consider to help your mother regain her independence and, in return, take some of the stress off of your own back. For example, one thing that would be a great addition to your mother’s bath area is a transfer bench, which would allow your mom a chance to sit down and then slide over into the tub.

She could even use the chair during the shower, should she become weak and fear that she may fall down. Likewise, a grab bar, which comes in many different lengths and styles will give your mother something secure to hold onto, helping her to regain her independence while decreasing her fear of falling when getting in and out of the shower area. If you are mostly worried about her ability to get in and out of the shower, consider looking into a new bathtub element known as the Safeway Step. This addition will provide your mother with much easier access into the bathtub, allowing her to walk right into the shower, rather than having to lift her leg up and over the tub. Plus, there is no need to buy a new tub –additions can be made to the current tub you have!

And remember, there is no shame in looking into hiring a professional caregiver to spend time with your mom throughout the day or help her with activities that she may not be able to do on her own anymore. If you are unsure of where to start looking for a part-time care provider, reach out to her doctor for advice.

I hope these suggestions help and that you and your siblings are able to find the best safety option to fit your mother’s needs. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to me at 419.678.4979 or stop by New Visions Medical to test out some of our bath safety products.

Ask Sarah HeadshotGood Luck!

Sarah at New Visions

Do you have a question you would like to ask me? Please feel free to email me at info@newvisionsmedical.com and I would be happy to help!