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  • Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Mobility Scooter

    Mobility Scooters Mobility has turned into one of the biggest problems for many older Americans in recent years. There are millions and millions of people over the age of 65 who simply can’t get around like they used to. If you fall into this category, you might be thinking about purchasing a mobility scooter to make life a little bit easier on yourself. This is a great idea, but before you buy one, there are some questions you should carefully consider. Take a look at them below:

    Are you going to be able to control a mobility scooter safely?

    While mobility scooters are an excellent option for many seniors, they could potentially be unsafe for those who don’t have good hand dexterity. If you suffer from a condition like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, you might not be a good candidate for a mobility scooter. You could have trouble controlling it and put yourself and others in danger.

    How are you going to travel around with your mobility scooter?

    Although a mobility scooter can help you travel around, transporting your scooter to and from different locations can be a challenge for some people. If you decide to invest in one, try to find a scooter that will fit easily into most vehicles. You want something that’s as portable as possible, so you can bring it with you wherever you go.

    Will your insurance company cover the cost of a mobility scooter?

    Worried about the cost associated with buying a mobility scooter? Your health insurance provider could very well cover the cost of it for you. If you’ve tried other mobility aids like canes, walkers, and even wheelchairs in the past with no luck, your insurance company might be willing to pay for part or all of your mobility scooter. It never hurts to ask to see what you qualify for.

    Would you like to check out some of the best mobility scooters on the market today? BEK Medical has a large selection of mobility scooters in stock. Call us at 915-599-1129 to speak with someone about which scooter might be your best option!

  • Will Your Lift Chair Be Covered by Medicare?

    Will Your Lift Chair Be Covered by Medicare.If you have trouble standing from a seated position, your doctor may have recommended a lift chair. A lift chair can be a lifesaver for those of us with limited mobility, but they can be expensive.

    Will your lift chair be covered by Medicare?

    The short answer, from the Medicare website: while Medicare won’t typically pay the entire costs of a lift chair, Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) or Medicare Part C (Medical Advantage) might cover the seat lift mechanism as DME, or durable medical equipment. Your doctor will need to determine that the seat lift is medically necessary and will help with your condition.

    Generally, Medicare coverage eligibility for your chair lift mechanism will include the following:

    • You have a condition that inhibits your mobility, like severe arthritis in your hip or knee or a neuromuscular disease like muscular dystrophy.
    • Because of this condition, you are unable to stand up on your own and would otherwise be confined to a bed or wheelchair.
    • Your doctor has determined that regular movement is medically necessary and has prescribed a lift chair as part of your treatment plan.
    • You are able to control the seat lift yourself and the equipment helps you sit or stand up without other help.

    Medicare typically won’t pay for recline functions or seat lifts that use a spring-release mechanism.

    If you’re having mobility issues, BEK Medical is here for you. We have a variety of mobility products and other offerings that will make your life easier and more comfortable. Give us a call at 915-599-1129 to find out more.

  • Seniors and Food Safety

    Foodborne Illness and SeniorsDid you know that adults age 65 and over are at a higher risk of hospitalization and even death from foodborne illnesses? Here’s what you need to know about seniors and food safety:

    Changes in seniors’ organs and body systems lead to greater risk of foodborne illnesses.

    For example, the gastrointestinal tract tends to hold onto food for a longer period of time, creating conditions in which bacteria can grow. Also, the stomach may not produce enough acid to get rid of these bacteria. Chronic conditions like diabetes or cancer exacerbate these circumstances, and weakened immune systems increase susceptibility to illness.

    How can seniors reduce their risk of foodborne illnesses?

    Set the fridge and freezer to the proper temperature

    Keep the fridge at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer at zero or below. Use a fridge thermometer to check temperatures. Always store perishable food in either the fridge or freezer.

    Avoid thawing food at room temperature

    Instead, take it straight from the freezer to thaw in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, you can use cold water or a microwave to defrost the food, but make sure to cook it immediately.

    Always wash your hands before handling food

    Also, make sure to wash any cutting boards, knives, or other utensils immediately after contact with raw meat, poultry or fish.

    Thoroughly cook all meat, poultry and fish

    Use a meat thermometer and keep your oven at 325 degrees or higher.

    Food safety is an important component of helping seniors live comfortable and healthfully. For the rest, check out the mobility aids, personal care products and more available from BEK Medical. Give us a call at 915-599-1129 to find out more and place your order today.

  • Four Ways to Prepare a Senior’s Home for Winter

    Senior Care As the autumn leaves drop along with the temperatures, it’s clear that winter is on its way. Is your senior loved one’s home ready for the change in season?

    Here are some ways to prepare a senior’s home for winter:

    Be prepared for emergencies

    When the roads are snowy and icy, it’s more difficult for seniors to get out and get the food and medications they need. During a snowstorm, it may be downright impossible. Stock your loved one’s home with nonperishable food, bottled water, extra medication, a first aid kit and a flashlight. Don’t forget to make sure plenty of warm clothing and blankets are on hand.

    Take care of home maintenance

    Before the season is in full swing, make sure to take care of some home maintenance essentials for your senior loved one. These include cleaning out gutters, shutting off water supply to any outdoor faucets and arranging for someone to come by regularly to remove snow and ice from driveways and walkways.

    Consider lighting

    Seniors are at risk of seasonal affective disorder during the winter months, when natural light is in scarce supply. Make sure your loved one’s home is well-lit and swap out dim bulbs for brighter ones.

    Stock up on home medical products

    Make seniors’ lives easier and more comfortable in winter (and year-round) with mobility aids, personal care products and more from BEK Medical. Give us a call at 915-599-1129 to find out more and place your order today.

  • How to Choose Between a Handicap Accessible Ramp or Lift

    Handicap Accessible Ramp or LiftIf you or someone in your home is in a wheelchair or uses a walker, it’s time to make your home and vehicle more handicap-accessible. However, it can be difficult to choose the right types of modifications.

    Here’s how to choose between a handicap-accessible ramp or lift:

    For your home:

    • How much space do you have available? Ramps require significantly more space than lifts.
    • Think about maintenance. Lifts require regular professional maintenance and inspection. A friend or relative could maintain a ramp by salting it and removing snow in winter and by replacing anti-slip material when it becomes worn.
    • Are you planning to sell your home any time soon? A lift is easier to hide, and its installation is less likely to require the removal of decorative elements like planters.

    For your vehicle:

    • What is your budget? Vehicle ramps are, on the whole, less expensive than lifts. Portable ramps are the most cost-effective of all and can be used with multiple vehicles.
    • What are your mobility needs? Some individuals may not be able to get into or out of a vehicle without a motorized ramp or a lift.
    • How much room do you have? In tight parking spots, there may not be room for a ramp, so a lift would be a better choice.

    Whether you choose a handicap-accessible ramp or a lift, BEK Medical has the products you need. We offer a variety of home and vehicle mobility solutions that will make getting around easier and more comfortable. Contact us today to find out more!

  • Four Reasons to Get a Residential Elevator

     Residential ElevatorsMany seniors find that injury, balance issues, the need to use a wheelchair or just a general decline in energy make stairs tough (if not impossible) to manage. If getting up and down stairs isn’t as easy for you as it used to be, why not make life simpler?

    Here are the reasons why you should get a residential elevator:

    A residential elevator will make your home safer

    Gone are the days that you risk a nasty tumble down the stairs. What’s more, residential elevators make your home safer for everyone. This includes children, who are prone to injure themselves playing on the stairs.

    You’ll have an easier time moving things around

    Residential elevators have a heavy load capacity. They’re great for moving groceries, bags of dry cleaning and other bulky or inconvenient items between floors. They can even be used to move furniture from one floor to another!

    It’s a good investment

    Adding a residential elevator can increase the market value of your home. Potential buyers are looking for homes where they can age in place, and a residential elevator lets them do just that.

    An elevator takes up less space than a stairwell

    Adding a residential elevator instead of a stairway can open up unexpected space and give your home a new configuration. You can use the extra space for storage or add some decorative furniture.

    If you’ve decided that the time has come to get a residential elevator, BEK Medical can help. We offer full-service residential elevator installation. Shop now!

  • Tips for Buying a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

    Wheelchair Accessible VehicleIt can be a challenge to travel with a wheelchair, power scooter or other mobility device. Not all cars are made to accommodate these devices.

    Here are our tips for buying a wheelchair-accessible vehicle:

    Find a reputable dealer

    A dealer will have trained experts, inside knowledge and special equipment, whereas a private seller may not have any of the above. Speak to a professional about your needs, and whatever you do, never by a wheelchair-accessible vehicle sight unseen. Dealers belonging to the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association are the best choice.

    Consider the warranty

    Make sure you have a warranty that covers at least three years.

    Ask the right questions

    Some questions to consider are:

    • How big is the wheelchair? Measure it at its widest point along with the width of the wheels, the height from the floor to the top of the user’s head and the length of the user when seated. Also make sure to get an accurate weight of the chair and user together.
    • How many people will be transported in the vehicle? Just you, or your entire family?
    • Where will you park it? In tight spots, a rear-entry ramp may be better than side-entry.

    If you need some help traveling with your wheelchair, power scooter or other mobility device, BEK Medical can help. Contact us to speak with one of our mobility experts today and determine which of our wide variety of auto lifts and vehicle modifications would best suit your needs.

  • Stair Lift Guide

    Info About Stair Lifts There comes a point in many people’s lives when they begin to find it difficult to walk up and down stairs without help. Such mobility problems can be the result of injury, illness, weakness in the legs, poor eyesight, reduced balance and a number of other conditions. If you find that it’s becoming harder and harder to manage the stairs in your home unassisted, it’s time to look into purchasing a stair lift.

    Here’s our handy stair lift guide:

    • There are several different types of stair lifts:
      • Straight stair lifts are designed to go up and down straight staircases. They’re mass-produced and are easy to install, but they can’t accommodate landings, curves or turns.
      • Curved stair lifts are more expensive because they’re custom-made, but they’re a better choice if you have curves, turns or landings.
      • Standing stair lifts are useful if your stairs are narrow or if it’s difficult for you to bend your knees.
    • Once you’ve installed a stair lift in your home, observe safety procedures. Always buckle up when you’re in the stair lift, avoid overloading it and make sure to dismount very carefully. Lock up the stair mount when it’s not in use and never allow children to play on or around it.

    If you need a little help getting around, BEK Medical offers a wide variety of canes, walkers and other mobility products to help you get where you need to go. Browse our online selection and contact us or stop in to any of our locations.

  • With Aging Comes More Creativity

    Seniors Creativity The need to create—whether it’s painting, writing, dance, floral arrangement, you name it—is one of the most basic human impulses, and it doesn’t diminish with age. In fact, studies suggest that with aging comes more creativity. You’ll probably be more creative at 70 than you were at 20, so make time for an old creative pursuit or pick up a new one.

    Don’t believe us? Did you know that the Italian painter Titian died while in the act of painting at age 99? Or that Herman Melville, an American novelist, wrote his second masterpiece, “Billy Budd,” in the last years of his life?

    The aging brain resembles the creative brain in important ways. It’s simultaneously more distractible and less inhibited. Distractible brains tend to be creative because creativity benefits from a broader focus. Studies also suggest that brain activities used to stave off dementia can spark seniors’ creativity. Moreover, seniors have a broad knowledge base to draw on, offering numerous sources for inspiration.

    Don’t let negative internalized judgements inhibit your creativity! Whether or not your artworks ever make it into a gallery show, the process of creativity is rewarding in itself. And hey, who’s to say the work won’t find an audience? Renowned minimalist painter Carmen Herrera sold her first piece at age 89!

    Moreover, creativity is good for your health, leading to fewer instances of depression and less reliance on medications.

    BEK Medical offers a wide variety of products that make life easier and more comfortable for seniors. Check out our products online and contact us to place your order today!

  • How Compression Socks Work

    Compression Socks Compression socks and stockings have a variety of benefits. They improve blood flow, lessen pain and swelling in the legs and reduce the risk of conditions resulting from poor blood circulation, such as deep vein thrombosis (DBT), which is a type of blood clot. Many different types of people wear them, including the elderly, pilots, pregnant women and athletes looking to improve their performance.

    You may be wondering: how do compression socks work?

    Well, you may already know that the blood in your veins works against gravity to flow back to your heart. If you have problems with blood circulation, venous insufficiency (meaning weakness in the walls of the veins in your legs) or spend a lot of time without moving when you recuperate from a surgery or injury, blood pools in the veins of your lower legs or feet. This leads to a variety of problems, like leg swelling, leg fatigue and aches. It could also predispose you to a venous clot, which could cause serious problems if it travels to your lungs or heart.

    Compression socks and stockings squeeze the leg tissues and vein walls, helping blood in your veins return to your heart. They also reduce tissue swelling by improving the flow of lymph, a fluid that bathes the cells in your legs.

    BEK Medical offers a selection of compression socks and stockings for men and women in a variety of styles and at many price points. Check out our products online and contact us today!

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