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  • Simple Spring Gardening Jobs for Seniors

    Simple Spring Gardening Jobs for SeniorsIt is extremely important for senior citizens to keep active, however, many seniors have limitations that prevent them from doing so.

    Gardening is one physical activity that can be very beneficial for senior citizens. Gardening can help get senior citizens outside, keep them physically active, reduce stress levels, and can help improve their overall mood.

    However, gardening can be a difficult task so it’s important to tackle projects that senior citizens can easily handle.

    Be Aware of Plant Choices

    It is important that seniors, specifically those with health issues or physical limitations, have a garden full of plants that they can easily handle. Some plants and flowers are hard to upkeep and it’s important you choose ones that are pretty easy to care for. For example, choose plants that require minimal watering which some seniors might not be up for doing on a daily basis.

    Keep the Garden Small

    If seniors are eager to have a garden of their own, make sure it’s a manageable size for them. You can have an incredible garden even if it is relatively small. Consider planting in a container, which keeps plants and flowers condensed into one space which makes them easier to care for. This also makes the garden a bit more “mobile” and can be moved as needed to a more accessible space such as an outdoor tabletop.

    Get the Proper Tools

    Without the right tools, gardening can be difficult for anyone. Seniors should have sharp tools that will easily cut, preventing injury or strain. Tools such as a kneeler stool can help seniors kneel to garden in a comfortable position, and also have grips which can make it easy to stand up safely. Many kneeler stools also transition into a sitting stool, for when you might need a break or are tending to tall plants.

    We definitely encourage senior citizens to garden, especially if they enjoy doing so. Visit BEK Medical for a variety of home medical equipment to simply your life today.

  • Signs You Should Stop Driving

    Signs You Should Stop DrivingLife as a senior citizen can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to making decisions about things that were once second nature. Many seniors find it difficult to give up their car keys, and it can often be hard to tell whether or not you should.

    According to Caring.com, your health should be the major factor in determining whether or not you are fit to drive. If you are suffering from any health concerns that impair your vision, your muscles, your hearing, or your ability to make quick decisions, it is likely time to stop driving.

    If you have chronic pain, such as in your neck or back which can make it difficult to turn around, it could be hard to drive as a result. It is important to be able to turn around and check your surroundings at intersections or when reversing out of a parking lot, says HelpGuide.org.

    AARP says that if you have experienced many “close calls” where you almost got into an accident, but ultimately avoided it, it could be time to give up your keys. If you find yourself getting lost more often than before, or if you notice that you respond more slowly to unexpected situations such as someone going through a yellow light at the last minute, you could be putting yourself and other drivers on the road at risk.

    If you are a senior and you are still driving, make sure to have your vision and hearing checked regularly. Don’t drive if you’re taking new medication before you understand how it will affect your body, and make sure you get plenty of sleep each night which can improve cognitive and physical functions. If you’re unsure whether or not you should be driving, talk to your doctor.

    Remember: we know it feels like you’re giving up a lot of your own freedom, but the biggest concern is for your safety and the safety of other people on the road.

    For more information on finding independence at any age, or to learn how BEK Medical products may be able to help you, call us today at 915-599-1129.

  • Best Breakfast Choices for Senior Citizens

    Best Breakfast Choices for Senior CitizensWith a weakened sense of smell and taste, a lack of appetite is a common challenge for seniors. It’s also not surprisingly that as you get older, you become less active. This combination makes it even more critical that seniors are eating a nutritious and balanced breakfast daily.

    They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that’s especially true for senior citizens.

    Breakfast is not only a prime opportunity for a nutritious meal, but it’s also your initial fuel to get your day started. However, you don’t necessarily have to have a gourmet breakfast every morning. There are simple meal options that you can work into your diet with little effort.

    Here are five easy-to-make and easy-to-eat breakfast ideas for seniors:

    Hardboiled Eggs
    This no fuss, yet delicious, low-cost breakfast option is also easy to prepare. You can boil the two eggs fresh each morning or save time by boiling a whole dozen at a time. When making a week’s worth, make sure to refrigerate in a sealed container.

    Toast
    Toast can be a simple, nutritious and delicious way to start your day. Consider pairing one or two slices of whole wheat or multigrain bread with avocado for healthy fats, or almond or peanut butter for protein as well as healthy fats.

    Yogurt & Fresh Berries
    A great source of protein, non-fat Greek yogurt is always a safe bet for breakfast. Avoid yogurts with high sugar content. You can buy individual portions or larger tubs, which allow you to portion it out yourself, which usually comes with some savings. If you’re looking to sweeten it up, consider adding a small amount of organic honey as a natural sweetener. Berries and nuts also pair well.

    Oatmeal
    A bowl of warm steel-cut oatmeal is another easy option. If you’re looking to save some time, try the individualized packs or instant oats. Dried cranberries, raisins and nuts are all delicious topping options.

    Fresh Fruit
    You can never go wrong with an assortment of fresh fruit to start your day off right. Feel free to mix it up with different types of fruit, including strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, bananas, cantaloupes and melons. You can prepare your own fruit salads or buy pre-prepared mixed fruit at your local grocery store.

    For more healthy lifestyle tips and all your home medical equipment needs, visit BEK Medical.

  • Importance of Taking Medications as Directed

    Importance of Taking Medications as Directed  If you take a lot of medications, you might fall into the habit of taking them “as needed” or at your own discretion. Many people, especially seniors, take it upon themselves to decide when they need medications.

    However, it is vital that you take medications as directed.

    According to the FDA, about 125,000 deaths each year in the United States are due to improper use of prescribed medications. In fact, about 20-30% of new drugs prescribed by doctors are not even filled by the patient and many patients decrease their dosage or stop taking their medication without speaking to their doctor.

    Some patients don’t take their medications as prescribed because they don’t understand the instructions. Elderly patients should ask questions at their doctor’s office, or bring a loved one along with them, in order to understand how to take their medication correctly. About 55% of elderly patients are not taking their prescriptions as directed, and about 200,000 are hospitalized due to drug reactions per year.

    If you fail to take your prescriptions as directed, the issue they are intended to treat will not improve or change. For example, if you’re prescribed blood pressure medication to regulate your blood pressure, not taking the medications as directed will not help you. Medications will only work if they are taken as prescribed.

    Many people, specifically seniors, don’t take their medications as directed due to forgetfulness: if you have ever forgotten to take your medication, consider picking up a weekly pill container, and placing the pills you need each day in the proper container. This will remind you to take your medication as needed. You can also set reminders on computers, phones, and otherwise. (Or, simply mark your calendar!)

    If you’re confused about directions that your doctor gave you about how to take your medication, or if you feel that you’re experiencing side effects that make you want to stop your medication all together, talk to your doctor right away.

    This applies to over-the-counter meds, too—if you’re confused about the directions of cold meds or pain killers, speak to a pharmacist before you leave the store, and make sure you understand how to take the medication before you start it.

    Click here to view some of BEK’s available pill containers to help you ensure that you are taking your medications just as you should be.

  • Brightening the Lives of Senior Citizens

    Brightening the Lives of Senior CitizensOne issue that is often neglected when it comes to senior citizens and their health is depression and anxiety. Life as a senior can be difficult. Many seniors often lose people they love frequently, end up having to change their day-to-day routines drastically, and often struggle from frequent physical health issues.

    Oftentimes, senior citizens are prone to loneliness that can lead to depression. They start to feel extreme anxiety about things like finances and retirement accounts, and worry about making it to the grocery store and pharmacy safely. All of the stresses and anxiety that go along with significant life changes, like retirement, can take a toll.

    For this reason, taking a few minutes to brighten the day of a senior citizen, whether it be a neighbor or a family member, is so important.

    Even just stopping in for a few minutes to chat about the weather and the latest news can make a huge difference in their day.

    If you live in a community where lots of senior citizens live, take advantage of the spring weather and arrange walks or picnics in your neighborhood with people that seem lonely or defeated. Seniors really just appreciate company, and it’s good for them to get outside.

    If you have a loved one that often spends time alone, focus on how you might be able to brighten their day that won’t take much effort from you. Something as simple as bringing a friendly pet for a visit, cooking a favorite meal, or sharing old stories can brighten a senior’s day.

    Thinking of ways to brighten a senior citizen’s day is simple; the important part of the equation is your follow through. If you’re not able to visit on a regular basis, call on your family and neighbors to share the responsibility. You don’t want to give your elderly loved ones the sense that they have lost their independence by checking in on them constantly, but a quick daily visit or phone call can keep them feeling positive.

    To learn about products that might help improve the lives of senior citizens in your life, click here to shop all of BEK Medical’s products.

  • Providing Seniors with a Safe Space

    When a senior citizen moves into an assisted living community or downsizes to a smaller space, it is a major adjustment for both them and their loved one. If a senior citizen lived independently in their own home for decades, moving can be extremely difficult.

    It is important for loved ones to help senior citizens embrace these transitions, and an easy way to do so, is to help them make sure their new home is as safe for them as possible.

    Focus on BathrProviding Seniors with a Safe Spaceoom

    The bathroom is one place that senior citizens often fall. The bathroom floor is often wet from the shower or sink and it can easily get slippery. It is vital that you ensure that the bathroom is as senior-friendly as possible. Consider installing grab bars, shower mats, shower transport chairs, and so forth. We have a wide variety of bathroom safety products available. Although it is impossible to absolutely prevent bathroom falls, you can protect seniors from them.

    Use Plenty of Lights

    Many senior citizens have a hard time seeing, especially in the dark. It is important to provide senior citizens with plenty of light sources so they can safely maneuver around their new home. It will take them time to get comfortable with their new surroundings which can make it difficult for them to get around it here and there. Purchase some decorative night lights and place one in each. You should also make sure that each room has a light switch or lamp right near the entrance so seniors don’t need to walk through the room in order to see.

    Shop for Safety

    Many common furnishings that we might put in our home are not fitting for a senior citizen’s home. For example, a square coffee table can be extremely dangerous for seniors. Encourage your loved one to purchase round tables instead. If a senior falls, a table with a sharp edge can bruise them or even cut them if they fall hard enough.  You should also make sure that all of your loved one’s belongings are stored somewhere that they can easily reach. It is dangerous for them to climb up on a stool or chair.

    At BEK Medical, we believe that everyone deserves the ability to live a healthy, active lifestyle at any age, and our full selection of home medical equipment makes that possible.

  • Healthy Foods Seniors Should Avoid

    Maintaining a healthy diet is importHealthy Foods Seniors Should Avoidant for everyone, but it’s especially important for senior citizens as they age. We often hear about the foods that seniors should be eating, but there are also a lot of foods for seniors to avoid, and not all of them are junk food. Below, we’ve compiled a list of healthy foods that senior should avoid.

    Soft Cheese

    Soft cheeses, such as Brie and blue cheese, are usually sold unpasteurized at the store which means that soft cheeses could contain unsafe bacteria. While that isn’t a huge threat for younger people, older people that have poor immune systems or sensitive stomachs could have a hard time fighting off bacteria. If you need some cheese here and there stick with hard cheeses such as cheddar.

    Raw Eggs

    Many sources say that we should eat raw eggs in moderation and other sources are against it.  However, senior citizens should absolutely avoid eating raw eggs. Similar to the soft cheeses mentioned above, raw eggs often carry bacteria called salmonella, which can have pretty serious health risks for senior citizens.

     “Low” Fat Foods

    We’ve typically believe that low-fat foods are better for us, but eating just low fat foods might mean we cut all healthy fats out of our diet.  Items such as yogurt and milk are often better for us when they are full-fat. Plus, foods like nuts, fish, and olive oil are high in healthy fats that are good for the heart.

    Oysters, Mussels, and Clams

    As you age, it is important to avoid uncooked seafood such as mussels, clams, and oysters. If a senior citizen eats a bad oyster, they will not be able to recover as quickly as a younger person would. Seniors might experience severe vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration which can lead to serious health conditions.

    Looking for more advice on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a senior citizen? Check out BEK Medical’s blog.

  • Getting Outside this Spring with Your Senior

    Spring is getting closer and temperatures will soon be warm enough for us to venture outside. While we are all itching to get out of the house, our senior citizen loved ones are as well. We’ve compiled a list of several outdoor outings that are ideal for the senior loved one in your life.Getting Outside this Spring with Your Senior

    Taking a Drive

    Many senior citizens no longer drive and that freedom to hit the wide open road is one of the hardest things to let go of as we age. For many seniors, a simple spring drive will lift their spirits and help them get some fresh air. If your senior has mobility issues and walking is a struggle for them, a drive is also a great alternative to get them out. Drive them to a favorite town landmark, a popular garden, or a favorite restaurant.

    Get in the Garden

    Gardening can offer huge health benefits to seniors, and with gardening being a primarily spring activity, it’s a great way to get seniors up and moving. Gardening is a form of moderate exercise and does require a bit of endurance. Gardening also can impact mental health, lowering stress and anxiety levels, which many seniors experience. Help your loved one plant a garden outside that they can continue to care for throughout warmer months, giving them a reason to get outside daily.

    Plan a Picnic

    Picnics are a timeless activity. They have been a great “go-to” activity for couples, friends, and families for years. Consider planning a picnic for your senior loved one. Get your senior to help you plan the menu, make the guest list, and pick out the location. A picnic can be a low-impact, quiet activity for a senior. It is a great way for them to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and some finger foods.

    Shop the Markets

    If your senior loved one loves a little bustle, consider taking them to a local farmer’s markets this spring. Many cities and towns have farmer’s markets (or general markets) where fruits, vegetables, crafts, and other local goodies are sold. Many seniors are unable to shop for themselves and they’ll certainly appreciate being able to browse around a market while sipping on some fresh lemonade.

    For more advice on how to care for your aging loved one, visit BEK Medical’s blog.

  • Spring Cleaning Tips for Seniors

    With the weather warming up, it is time to start thinking about your spring cleaning projects. Many senior citizens have physical limitations that don’t allow thBEK Medicalem to clean how they’d like to. For other seniors, they just don’t have the energy that they used to and cleaning is a tiring task.

    Regardless, there are simple ways for senior citizens to conquer their spring cleaning list safely and effectively.

    Here is some spring cleaning tips to help the senior community this season.

    Make a List

    Plan out what spring cleaning projects you would like to do ahead of time. Without a plan, the thought of cleaning can feel overwhelming. Get organized and make a list of things that you know you’re capable of doing. Prioritizing will help the process go off without a hitch.

    Ask for Help

    Don’t be afraid to ask family or friends for assistance. Recruit someone to do some of the tougher jobs for you and to keep you on track. It is also good to have someone around. Cleaning requires a lot of moving around and it’s good to have someone around incase an accident occurs.

    Little Rewards

    You don’t have to do all of your spring cleaning at one time. Consider doing little jobs, such as making donation bags, recycling old documents, and cleaning surfaces and reward yourself when they are done. Enjoy your favorite cup of tea or a walk outside when you’re finished.

    Consider Projects

    Spring cleaning can also provide you with an opportunity to evaluate your living space and make sure things are suited towards your specific needs. If you need a ramp installed, for instance, spring is a good time to do so.

    BEK Medical believes everyone deserves the ability to live a healthy, active lifestyle at any age, and with our full selection of home medical equipment, we can make that possible for you and your patients.

  • Preparing Senior Citizens for Travel

    Traveling can be exhausting, and as a senior citizen, it is a tremendousPreparing Senior Citizens for Travel challenge. If you are a senior citizen making a long distance trip, it is vital that you understand how to remain safe and healthy while traveling. Here are some hints on how to prepare for a long distance trip as a senior citizen.

    Visit Your Physician

    Before you make a long distance trip, it is vital that you visit your primary care physician ahead of time. You need to make sure that you are healthy enough to travel and what method you should be using. (For example, some senior citizens that have severe cardiac issues aren’t safe traveling by plane) Your physician should make sure that you have all of the necessary vaccines as well, to protect you against potential diseases.

    Prepare Your Medications

    The majority of senior citizens have a decent amount of medications that they should be taking daily. If you are planning on traveling, it is important to make sure that you have completed prescriptions so you don’t run out of pills during the trip. You should be taking your medications as directed, even when traveling. You should also bring a few extra doses of each medication in the event that you get delayed while traveling to prevent them from running out.

    Ask For Discounts

    Whether you are traveling by plane or train, both often offer senior citizen discounts on ticket rates. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of discounts that are meant for you. Not all airlines offer ticket discounts but many do so make sure you ask around and shop for the best rate possible before you purchase a ticket. Ask a trusted love one for help if you want to secure the cheapest ticket possible. Traveling can actually become more affordable as you age so it’s important to take advantage of that if possible.

    Secure Your Safety

    Senior citizens are often the main target of thefts in grocery stores, department stores, and home invasions. Sadly, the same is true when traveling. Seniors are at a risk for becoming an “easy target” of theft when traveling. If possible, avoid traveling at night when it is easy for people to approach you without being seen. You should also carry a reasonable amount of cash in your wallet (for food, souvenirs, or emergencies) and leave credit cards or debit cards secured in a safe within your hotel. In the event that you are robbed, you won’t have to cancel all of your bank accounts to avoid theft.

    For more senior citizen tips and hints, visit BEK Medical’s blog post.

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