Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dealing with Dysphagia? A Provale Cup can help.

Individuals who have had a stroke often develop a condition called dysphagia.  Dysphagia causes difficulties in swallowing such as aspirating or inhaling liquids when swallowing.
Normally, the muscles in your throat and esophagus contract to move food and liquids from your mouth to your stomach without problems.  But after a stroke, this complex series of contractions may not function properly.  As many as 70 percent of stroke survivors may suffer from Dysphagia according to the National Stroke Association.  
People with dysphagia aspirate when they drink, which leads to fluid trapped in their lungs.
Studies have shown that taking smaller sips when drinking reduces the likelihood of aspirating.  That is where the Provale Cup comes in handy.  The Provale Cup regulates the amount of liquid in each drink or sip; allowing only small swallows with every drinking motion.  
Click here to learn more about the Provale Cup and how it can help with Dysphagia.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weighted Utensils for people with Parkinson's Disease or Hand Tremors

People with Parkinson's disease or hand tremors can benefit from using weighted utensils when they eat.   At Elderstore, we carry two models of weighted utensils.   KEatlery utensils have the appearance of normal, quality flatware, but they weigh approximately 8 ounces each.  The other model of weighted utensils we carry are the same weight but with contoured handles to help you or your loved one maintain a better grip.  Click here to learn more.       

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Laundry Carts

Lugging heavy laundry baskets around the house gets more difficult with age.  One of our most popular products to deal with this problem is the Panache Laundry Cart.  You can set your laundry basket on this lightweight, folding cart and wheel it wherever you need to in your home.
The other product we really like for moving the family laundry around easily is the VersaCart laundry cart.  This cart has swivel wheels and folds up like an umbrella.  This cart eliminates the laundry basket altogether since you can directly place the laundry directly in the cart bag.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation reminds us that April is Parkinson's Awareness Month.  As many as one million Americans live with Parkinson's Disease.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Incontinence products for men

Lots of men dislike the idea of using incontinence products -- items like adult diapers, clamps, travel urinals, and catheters. But if you are a man having a problem with incontinence, these products can really help. They can prevent embarrassing accidents and increase your confidence.   We described some of our most popular  incontinence products for men at this link.  The Afex incontinence management system is one of our best selling items to help men with incontinence.  You can find descriptions of all of our incontinence products for men on

New Travel Pill Box

Check out this sleek new travel pill box.  The travel pill box is designed to carry daily medications or vitamins when you are on the go.

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Pill Cutter

Our latest addition to elderstore is this cool pill cutter.  If you need your pills smaller to make them easier to swallow or to reduce the dosage, take a look at this easy to use pill splitter.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March is National Essential Tremor Awareness Month

In 2010 Congress designated March as National Essential Tremor Awareness Month.  This year, the International Essential Tremor Foundation is organizing walks on March 22 to raise awareness of the disorder.  Visit the foundation's site to learn more.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Alcohol consumption and elderly drivers

A study by the University of Florida has found that alcohol consumption, even within the legal limits, impacts older drivers more than younger ones.  It is a good caution to us all as we age that just because we are under the legal limit doesn't mean we aren't driving impaired.  Use a designated driver!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Red meat and exercise

So this study suggests that the combination of eating lean meat and doing strength training can prevent the muscle deterioration of old age that can lead to falls.  Not surprisingly, it also has a positive impact on mental health. So get a pedal exerciser or a stepper to do your exercises and keep eating your steak and hamburger!

The Death of Santini

Pat Conroy has always been one of my favorite authors.  Last fall I got to hear him speak when he was in Nashville.  If you haven't read his book about his evolving relationship with his father, I highly recommend The Death of Santini.  Here is a picture of Pat Conroy signing a book for my son.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Study - Arthritis pain is impacted by weather

According to Reuters a new study says that weather may in fact effect arthritis pain.

The study concluded:
"It turns out the participants' aches were just a little worse and joints just a little stiffer when humidity and barometric pressure levels rose."

Independent living aids for the kitchen

As a person ages, it becomes more difficult and sometimes painful for them to do the things they have done their whole lives. The kitchen is an area where many feel they become very challenged as they get older. If you are a person who is finding it harder to make your way around the kitchen, or you are the concerned child or loved one of an aging person, then you should check out the following independent living aids for the kitchen:
The Eye Vac automatic vacuum allows you to sweep the kitchen without worrying about needing to bend over to pick up the debris. Infrared technology is used to activate the vacuum when debris is in need of vacuuming and the vacuum will turn off automatically once the debris has been collected. This product makes cleaning the kitchen much easier.
Arthritis sufferers can find it extremely difficult to fight with cling wrap. The Easy Cling Wrap Cutter is one of the greatest independent living aids because it makes cutting that cling wrap extremely easy. The cutter attaches easily to the box of cling wrap and you can slide the cutter easily through the cling wrap once you pull out the desired amount.
MaddaGrip Jar Opener
As a person ages those jar lids get tougher and tougher to open. The MaddaGrip Jar Opener adds the necessary amount of grip to make it extremely easy to get even those stubborn jars open. The outside of the opener is textured and it has a longer shape to it which makes it great for those with weaker hands.
Someone who has challenges with arthritis or weakness in one hand as a result of a stroke will find a one handed cutting board extremely useful.  There are a variety of cutting boards designed to be used with one hand, but one favorite board comes with a knife, spikes and corner guards.  Even with only one good hand it is perfect for safely cutting, chopping, grating, peeling and making sandwiches. 

There are Independent living aids for many purposes
There are independent living aids to help with everything from cooking and eating to cleaning the kitchen. These aids will give you your freedom back and help you to continue being able to do those things for yourself that you have always done, but which may be becoming more difficult.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lap Desks and Lap Trays

When my grandmother lived alone she had this one particular chair she sat in to read, write, watch television and sometimes even eat.  She had arthritis so it was hard for her to move around the house a lot.  At Elderstore we stock several lap desks and bean bag lap trays that would have been so helpful to her if I had known about them at the time.  The lap desks are really useful for every day tasks like opening the mail, paying bills, writing notes, or even holding a laptop or book.  If you want to have dinner while watching the olympics, "Nashville", or some other favorite show then one of our bean bag dinner trays is a comfortable way to hold your plate and protect against spills.  Consider one for yourself and one for your favorite grandmother!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cold weather impacts on elderly

With the temperatures dropping outside, I got to thinking about the impact cold weather has on the elderly.  I found this article from the American Heart Association with some good advice on avoiding hypothermia and reducing your risk of heart attack when dealing with the cold.

Popular item - Panache Laundry Trolley

One of the best-selling items on Elderstore is the Panache Laundry Trolley.  Well built and easy to use, this laundry trolley prevents having to carry a laundry basket by hand or bend over to reach the clothes to put them in the wash or in a drawer.  You can find this laundry trolley and others on as well.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

New research linking low levels of pesticide exposure and Parkinson's

A new report in Medical News Today links low levels of pesticide exposure to the development of Parkinson's disease.

Challenges with snow and ice

Having trouble with all the snow and ice this winter?  Some people have found the shoe treads for snow and ice and the ice grip cane attachment to be helpful ways to improve their footing in all this snow and ice!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Recliner Lever Extender

Having trouble reaching the lever on the side of your recliner?  Try this Lever Extender to make your life easier.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Outdoor Grab Bar

This outdoor entry way grab bar is attractive and can provide useful stability for elders without detracting from the exterior of the home.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dealing with Incontinence in Everyday Life

Incontinence is a condition found in the old and the young. The lack of bladder control and function can be as embarrassing in youth as it is in advancing age. For those experiencing incontinence and those with a loved one living with it, understanding the proper way to handle this common condition and making life easier for those suffering with incontinence is imperative. 
Discuss Incontinence 
Incontinence is a sore subject both for the senior citizen or young adult suffering from the condition and their loved ones. Often incontinence sufferers feel ashamed and embarrassed by what is a simply a body malfunction. They feel ostracized for their condition and a lack of communication enhances these feelings. 
Rather than ignoring incontinence, have an honest, open, and judgement-free discussion with those closest to you. Incontinence isn't a reflection on the sufferer or the result of a lack of control. It's a medical condition that should be treated delicately and with respect. Only the sufferer knows the best course of action for preventing incontinence or minimizing the social effects so discuss incontinence to decide what help you can offer. 
Choose Incontinence Pads for Comfort
Technology has come a long way since the adult diapers of yesteryear. Independent senior citizens used to balk at the unsightly and bulky incontinence underwear because it was noticeable and embarrassing. Today, incontinence underwear are available in all cuts and sizes with completely discrete padding for unexpected leakage.  Boxer shorts and panties are available to adults with incontinence that look identical to the fashions available in any department store. 
You or your loved one with incontinence shouldn't feel self-conscious in public. Incontinence underwear with reusable pads allow active adults to take part in their day to day life without feeling like they're modeling a bulky diaper to the world. Medical supplies for the elderly, such as incontinence pads and underwear, are a helpful piece of resource when facing incontinence. 
Be Prepared
Incontinence comes in all varieties. Many elderly adults simply cannot "hold it" anymore. Waiting five miles for the next exit or making it to the other end of the shopping center can be frustrating and ultimately lead to accidents. Preparation is a key ingredient of gracefully handling incontinence in the young and elderly. 
Before going to new places, make sure to include frequent bathroom breaks en route. At stadiums, museums, or other attractions, find a map that includes all the available bathroom facilities. Even with the best planning, unexpected need for the bathroom may arise. Portable travel urinals are medical supplies for the elderly that provide a great way to avoid accidents caused by incontinence. They are small enough to find in a purse and can be easily stored and discarded. 
Incontinence is a common condition and medical supplies for the elderly are recognizing the need to address incontinence with discrete but vital equipment. Handling the day-to-day challenges facing those with incontinence requires open communication, preparation, and adequate yet discrete accessories. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Why do my hands shake (and what can I do about it)?

As we age many things change in our bodies, some signs are more obvious than others.  If you have noticed hand shakiness in your own hands or of those you love there could be a variety of causes.  Answering the question "why do my hands shake?" can be complicated as there are many reasons as to why this may occur, some of which are more serious than others.
Why do my hands shake?
There are no simple or straight answers to why your hands may be shaking but here are some examples of what may cause hands to shake.  We will start with the two major conditions that may cause hand shaking, but there are many reasons why this may be occurring.
Parkinson's Disease - This brain disorder can effect many areas of movement and coordination.  The reasons your hands may shake with Parkinson's is due the the nerve cells that control movement deteriorating. As deterioration of the nerve cells happen, your muscles will receive less signals, causing shaking in the muscles including the hands.
Essential Tremor - More manageable than Parkinson's Essential Tremor is more likely to only occur while you are trying to achieve voluntary movement.  This could be while writing or drinking a cup of tea.  Essential Tremor hand shakes may stop when you are at rest and pick back up when you start movement of the hands again.  You are likely to find essential tremor is a stand alone problem and should not have any other health issues that develop alongside the hands shaking.
Hand shaking or involuntary hand tremors may also happen due to:
  • physical abuse
  • alcohol abuse
  • depression
  • bi-polar disorder
  • withdrawing from drug or alcohol
  • other nerve related issues
  • bad circulation
  • too much caffeine
  • low blood sugar
  • stress or emotional outbursts
So what can you do about your hands shaking?
The first thing you will want to do is see your Doctor.  Your physician can give you a diagnosis or reason for your hands shaking so you can then work on finding the best treatment for your condition.
Here are a few additional things you may want to try. Start by adding in or changing one thing at a time so you will know what has negative or positive effects on your hands shaking.
  • Eliminate or lower the amount of caffeine you are drinking or eat a full meal when you consume caffeinated drinks.
  • Cut alcoholic beverages down, 3 or more alcoholic beverages a day can almost double your chances of developing Essential Tremor.
  • If your hand shaking does not happen all day long but you notice the shaking more when you are hungry, it could be due to low blood sugar. Eating regular balanced meals throughout the day may help keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
  • If you are feeling stressed or emotional, do something that calms you. Whether it is taking a walk, having a nap, or drinking some herbal tea. Reducing stress can reduce hand shaking.
  • Consider taking a magnesium and Vitamin B1 supplement.  These vitamins and minerals can help with many things including insomnia, cramping, and shaking hands.
  • Try some of these foods and herbs as they are known to help with the nervous system that is effected with Parkinson's Disease: Berries, Curry Spice, Green Tea, Salmon, Nuts
Remember when trying to find an answer to the question, "why do my hands shake?" it is best to talk to your Doctor or Medical Practitioner first to rule out any major concerns.

(Elderstore note: we have a number of weighted utensils available in the store to make eating easier if you have shaky hands)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gift ideas for elders in a nursing home

If you need a gift for a family member or friend moving into, or already living in a nursing home, there are many ideas for you to consider. It is important to think about the individual person when choosing these gifts, and how your gift may be able to assist their transition, improve their quality of life, and help keep your loved one smiling throughout their later years. It is important to keep the individual person in mind and cater to their likes, dislikes, and possibly needs when choosing gifts for the elderly. 
Preservation of the mind is one of the most important things when aging, and especially when moving into a nursing home. There are many gift ideas that can keep the mind sharp, and even improve cognitive function for the elderly. Consider electronics such as e-readers and tablets as they can serve a variety of functions. Touch screen features can improve hand-eye coordination while allowing older people to read, better connect with friends and family, as well as play familiar games such as chess, checkers, and solitaire, as well as learn to play interactively with others. 
In addition, scientific studies have proven that exercise overwhelming helps preserve the memory of the elderly. There are many gifts that can cater to this, and make it much easier for older people to actually engage in exercise.  Consider exercise equipment like a mini bike pedal exerciser or something such as a three-wheeled bicycle --they can not only promote fitness, but also motor skills, in a very safe and effective manner. These products are excellent for physical as well as mental and emotional well-being, and make excellent gifts for the elderly.
For many elderly in nursing homes, maintaining a sense of independence is very important. Unfortunately sometimes physical or medical limitations make this somewhat difficult. Consider a gift that allows for this to a much larger degree. A good example would be carts that are made for laundry or groceries. In addition to allowing for the independence desired, this can also help elderly people in nursing homes remain more active--these carts also promote activity and provide stability while walking.
Other items to consider as gifts for the elderly moving into nursing homes should be items to make them feel comfortable in their new setting. These items can be as simple as home items, or even decorations. Keeping the individual person in mind, you can customize their new home to truly make it feel like their old one. Practical items such as skid-free plates or cups can also be very useful and practical gifts to improve your loved ones quality of life. 
When it comes to choosing a gift for the elderly, you should consider practicality, taste of the individual person, as well as how your gift can improve their mental and physical well-being so loved ones can maintain a good quality of life throughout the years.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Independent living aids make great gifts for grandparents

Perhaps the most precious gift you can give a grandparent is the simple gesture of spending time with them. There is nothing more wonderful then spending a few hours listening to fascinating stories while drinking tea, baking cookies or watching a movie with a loved one.  As lovely as this sounds, this can not always be possible. So if you are waiting for the holidays to come around to share beautiful moments like these, why not consider one of these independent living aids to send as a gift to let them know you are thinking of them.
Here are just a few favorite independent living aids that will make life so much sweeter for your loved ones.
  • For the exercise enthusiast or nature lover, an adult three wheel bicycle is the perfect solution whether you are enjoying the weather or racing your grandkids. They are safe, sturdy and secure. They even have a cargo basket so you can pack a picnic or get the mail with ease. 
  • Non slip bean bag dinner trays are lightweight form fitting making them essential for folks who want to enjoy a movie with their dinner, finish a crossword or two, write letters and maybe even have breakfast in bed.
  • Fishing is a relaxing hobby, but some times it can be exhausting to have to hold the fishing pole for a long time and some times it may not be possible. Fishing pole holders can be attached to wheelchairs, benches, and lawn chairs. When fishing with a fishing pole holder, all you have to do is reel in the bounty!
  • Playing card holders make playing cards even more fun by taking away the hassle of having cards fall off the table. They make it easier for individuals with grasping issues to enjoy their favorite game.
  • Weighted insulated mugs are great independent living aids for individuals living with Parkinson's or other disorders that may cause tremors. The mug weighs 10 ounces empty and holds 12 fluid ounces.
  • Treat your loved one to some much needed pampering with a nail plus set which is ideal for diabetics and can be used with either natural or acrylic nails.
  • Soft Fit Knit home care sheets will make your bed feel like paradise. They are designed to be soft and non-abrasive even to the most sensitive skin.
  • Tenura Silicone Jar openers and Tenura Silicone Bottle openers are your knight in shining armor even against the toughest of lids. The flexible dome shape allows for more leverage while angled ridges allow for a non-slip grip ensuring victory.
  • bowl with a handle is a useful everyday product for someone who is less sure of their grip.