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Be Safer After Post Bunion Surgery, Ankle Surgery, Knee Surgery, etc. With Safety Products

by Barbara 30. January 2014 06:52

Question about products to make recovery after foot surgery safer.

Q: "I am scheduled to have bunion surgery in a few weeks. Do you have suggestions about what preparations I need to make and what products I need to make my recovery safer. Thanks, Mary."

Answer: Having gone through bunion surgery in November 2013, I have some knowledge about this, for sure! I wish someone had given me this information prior to my surgery.

First, at the visit where you schedule the surgery date, ask the doctor for a medical statement so you can get a temporary handicapped parking permit. In the State of Iowa this means filling out a short form and sending it to a state office with the doctor's statement. In my case, I learned about this permit 6 weeks after my surgery. My sister knew Pennsylvania had them. I got the mdical statement and took the on-line form to the orthopedist after my hospital discharge. (I was one of the 10% who developed an infection and spent 5 days on IV antibiotics in the hospital two weeks after surgery). In Iowa, the permit is good for 6 months. (Oh, and if your foot hurts worse 5 days after surgery, what you need is to see the doctor quickly, not be prescribed more pain medicine. I was not to unwrap the foot prior to the first post-op visit and took the additional pain meds.

Second, here are some items I believe you need for safety prior to your surgery.

  1. A foldable walker with wheels. Buy or borrow one. Medicare does pay for walkers. Your insurance might. Have it at home when you return from surgery. Why? Because the "boot" (Medicare pays for this, too) is made so that you can put no weight on the front of your foot. Therefore walking is dangerous to say the least. Your "booted" foot is higher than your barefoot or foot with a shoe. Also getting on and off a toilet without a walker requires at least one grab bar (which my bathroom could not accommodate due to design. You will need this when you walk outside your house as well unless you have a wheelchair and someone to push it!
  2. A shower chair or bath bench. Borrow or buy one. I love my shower chair even now. Your foot cannot get wet and washing standing up is a real trick if you cannot put weight on both feet. My shower chair has side handles. For a shower, you take off the boot and wrap your foot in plastic bags, etc.
  3. Either a higher toilet or a toilet seat riser or one that clamps onto the toilet toilet seat with lid that clamps to the side of the toilet. Here is one with removable arm rests.Getting up and down off a low toilet is a real chore. We have had the higher toilets installed in two bathrooms.
  4. Grab bars. See below.
  5. Slip proof your ceramic tile floors. Either use Grip On solution which lasts for years and years or use lots of skid proof floor rugs and shower and bath mats.
  6. Make a chart for date, time, medications, etc. or buy a pill box with timer. You don't want to miss your meds!

Remember that you must keep your foot elevated above your heart level as much as possible to reduce swelling. This means you'll be sleeping on top of your comforter with your foot propped up on a large or many pillows. Ice packs do help when the boot is off. I found having an electric blanket or electric mattress pad under me and wool blankets as covers kept me comfortable in the winter. Get lots of library books or tape your favorite TV programs. You'll spend a lot of time prone those first weeks. Ask the doctor lots of questions like: do I have to wear the torture boot day and night? Etc. Do not miss your pain pills!

Home grab bar installations can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal.

1. Vertical grab bars  (straight up or down).  Have a handyman or carpenter install grab bars into studs or use anchoring devices.  A shorter vertical bar mounted at the tub or shower entrance helps the person to enter or exit without losing their balance and falling..  Two more grab bars in the shower or tub let the person rise from the tub or bath chair or give more stability when the person is washing herself or himself. Usually the grab bars are 12, 16 or 18 inches long. We also sell Lumex Chrome Grab Bars - 32 Inch, Knurled that have better gripping surface and have a 250 lb. weight capacity. Save if you need several by buying the Chrome Grab Bars, 32 In Knurled, 3/CS by Medline.  For those with glass sliding tub doors, the grab bars offer a secure way to regain balance.  In order to install this grab bar for my mother, the handyman had to remove the 1950's glass sliding doors as the door track interfered with the mounting.

2. Horizontal handicap grab bars. This installation gives the option of using the grab bar as a towel bar, too.  Typcially wall studs are 16 inches apart on center. If you examine other exposed areas of your home, you can determine more accurately where the centers are in the studs. Otherwise use a hollow wall anchor system available at hardware stores.  That is why 16 inch, 32 inch and 48 inch grab bars are most common.

3. Diagonal  installed. At the side of my Mom's toilet, there is a diagonally installed 32 inch grab bar. Installation may be more difficult. The positives are that grabbing a diagononal bar puts less stress on one's wrist. If installed in a shower, the diagonal bar is preferred by those who face only the shower head.  The horizontal bar has can be used facing forward or backward but the height if obviously the same no matter where one grabs.

Grab bars are  measured from the center of one flange (the round area that conceals the screws) to the center of the other flange. The flange covers typically measure about 1.5 inches on either side of the grab bar. So add three inches to the total length of the grab bar you need.

Safe Home sells quality grab bars from Lumex (Graham Field Health Products) and Medline Industries. Most are sold in packages of 3, all the same size. Lumex has individual packages as well. Your material/color choices include Chrome plated, White enamel over steel and Nickel Plated Steel. ADA compliant grab bars include the Carex brand from Medline in 12, 16, 18, and 24 inch sizes. Additional lengths are available. Just send us an email if your grab bars must be compliant with ADA.

Thank you for your question. Good luck with your surgery. By the way, I had an orthopedist do my foot: my podiatrist said that if he did it, I'd be on crutches for 6 weeks. I've since met women who had both feet done at the same time: they had family and friends care for them for several weeks.

Sincerely,

Barbara

24 Volt Heater for Large Construction Vehicles Provides Over 2100 BTU Heat Output

by Barbara 8. January 2013 07:08

Question about the Product: Roadworthy Back Seat Heater Plus 24 Volt

Q:"How much heat does this 24 volt heater produce? Our company operates large construction vehicles in colder climates. The vehicle heaters do not product enough heat to keep our employees comfortable. Thanks. Tom."

Answer: The 24 volt model of the Roadworthy Back Seat Heater would meet your needs. as it generates over 2100 BTU's of heat when it is operating. It hard-wires to the battery. The Back Seat Heater has an on-off switch, a heat control, a heat with fan or fan only modes. The vehicle engine MUST run in order to use the heater and fan. Wattage consumed is 600 watts.

Powered by the vehicle's battery, this truck heater is easily installed in different locations within the vehicle. The outer housing stays cool during use. An ignition block allows truck heater operation only when the engine is running. Unique cell design: 100% efficient heat transfer to room air.

Roadworthy Heaters are assembled in the USA.

Notes to Remember about Roadworthy Back Seat Heaters:

  •  Not intended as primary heat source. Air output is 20° to 30° warmer than air input.
  •  Alternator must produce 45 to 40 amps for enough power to operate heater.
  •  Mount low, along floor, under elevated seats, on wheelwells, or on the floor.
  •  Start vehicle before turning on heater. Operate heater and fan ONLY if engine is running.
  • Installation required. Included: wire, optional dash mounted switch and universal mounting bracket. 

 Roadworthy Back Seat Heat Model 4000 (24 Volt Only) Specifications:

  • Patent #4,9000,898 and 323,553
  • Voltage: 24V DC
  • Current: 25 amp @24 VDC
  • Power consumption: 600W, 2100 BTUs
  • High temperature cut-out recycling limit switch
  • Wire harness length: 20 ft
  • Universal mounting bracket
  • Auxiliary control: optional dashboard on/off switch
  • Controls: off, fan only, heat
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Fan rating: 102 CFM
  • Assembled in USA
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Dimensions: 5.25 in x 7.25 in x 8.25 in
  • Weight: approx. 6 lbs
  • Made in USA by Family Safety Products

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely,
Barbara

 

Snugglewool Baby Car Seat Cover SW-410 Fits More Types of Infant and Most Baby Seats

by Barbara 1. January 2012 08:48

Question about Snuggle Wool Car Seat Covers for Babies.

Q: "I see that you have a new Snugglewool baby car seat cover. How does the Snuggle Wool Infant Car Seat Cover SW-410 differ from the seat cover I bought two years ago for my friend? I am expecting, live in Arizona and am concerned about my baby's car seat heating up too much when we are out of the car shopping. Thanks. Sue."

Answer: Snugglewool redesigned the car seat cover to make it more adaptable to both infant carriers and to baby car seats. The Snugglewool  baby wool car seat cover SW-410 is made from soft edge-stitched Merino wool fleece with a neutral cotton trim. Included are cut-outs for seat belts and/or harness. This Snuggle Wool cover for infant car seats fits most infant carriers and convertible car seats with four and five point harness configurations. Keep baby comfortable in hot or cold weather: lambswool absorbs perspiration in hot weather and keeps baby warmer in cold weather. Note: Does NOT work well on car seats with head wings.

Snugglewool Infant Baby Car Seat SW-410 Specifications:

    37" from top to bottom (wool edge to wool edge, excluding cotton/elastic trim)
    24" horizontally at its widest point.
    Not for use in car seats with head wings
    Note: The lambswool is cut to a one inch length.
    The Merino lambwool is sliver-knit to a polyester backing and processed to withstand gentle machine washing. We recommend line drying. Fluff seat cover, if desired, on no heat setting in the dryer. Wash by itself for best results.

The earlier model, the Snuggle Wool Car Seat Cover- Universal Size SW-400 was not as versatile. The top part is 24" wide, 19" wide at the bottom,and is 35" in total length. The new one is made for the newer varieties of car seats for infants and babies.

I hope this answers your questions. Thank you.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

Comfortable Brondell Breeza Heated Toilet Seats Get Rid of Bathroom Odors

by Barbara 19. November 2011 15:18

Question about the Brondell Breeza toilet seats, the Breeza Warm Round, White Deodorizing and Heated BR60-EW Heated Toilet Seat and the Brondell Breeza Round White Deodorizing Toilet Seat BR30-RW.

Q: "My bathroom gets really cold in the winter. I don't want to use a space heater or increase the furnace temperature as we use an electric blanket on our bed. There is nothing worse than sitting down on a cold plastic toilet seat at night. How does the Breeza Warm work? I have a round toilet bowl. Does this use a lot of power? How warm does it get? Thanks. Mary"

Answer: The Breeze Warm uses as much power as a 25 watt light bulb. It does require connection to a GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlet. This heated toilet seat from Brondell comes with a 4 foot long cord. You can extend this by using an approved heavy duty extension cord. There is a "Set and Forget" power saver mode if you want the heat to be off when you choose. The seat heats can be 97, 104 or 107 degrees F.: you choose.

Anorther advantage is that the Breeza toilet seat reduces and/or eliminates bathroom odors. In the rear of the seat is a quiet fan that draws air through a replaceable carbon air filter. The air is then pulled through a natural fragrance cartridge vent from the seat rear into your bathroom Choices of scents are citrus eucalyptus, jasmine lavender and rainforest. You can also try all three in the variety pack which features one of each scent.. The other vent scents come in packages of 3 units. The carbon filter lasts about 6 months. Each cartridge lasts about a month. 

The seat itself is made from antimicrobial material which is easily cleaned. This is a soft close style seat and lid so putting the seat and lid down is very quiet. The lid is sittable, however. The unit has a sensor that turns the fan and the scent on and off when a person sits down and gets up. Below are the features summarized.

Breeza Warm Round White Deodorizing Toilet Seat (BR60-RW) Features:
  • Color : WhiteType/Shape: Round
  • Filter : Activated carbon filter, filter life is 6 months
  • Vents : Extract-infused fragrance vents, vent life is 1 month
  • Control : One touch control panel for deodorizing and temperature settings
  • Design : contoured, gentle-closing, antimicrobial seat and lid
  • Temperature : Can be adjusted to 3 levels
  • Body Sensor : Switches deodorizing system on and off automatically
  • Power : plugged into a standard GFI wall outlet (max. 4 feet distance from the toilet fixture)
  • Power Saver Mode : Set and Forget feature, the power saver mode automatically switches on and off when toilet seat is not used
  • 5 year limited warranty

The only concern to have is that you might find yourself spending more time reading that great mystery novel long after you should have flushed the toilet and gone to bed!

Thank you for your questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

bathroom | heated toilet seat | odor remover | toilet seat

Wagan Heated Velour Seat Cushion with Lumbar Support Eases Back Pain In Cars or Chairs

by Barbara 12. July 2011 10:18

Question about the Wagan Black Velour Lumbar Support Heated Car Seat Cushion and the Wagan Gray Velour Lumbar Support Heated Car Seat Cushion

Q: "Please give me dimensions on this heated seat cushion. I sit long hours at a computer. My chair is not the best. And neither are the seats in my "beater" car. I'd like to be able to get a heated cushion with lumbar support that I can move from office seat to car seat, at least until I decide I want a second one. What device can I add so I can use this seat on AC power? Thanks. Mike.

Answer: Last, first, Wagan sells a voltage converter that you can use with this unit. The AC to DC Adapter by Wagan for 12V Appliances 5 Amp Max.   This AC to DC adapter powers any 12 volt appliance up to 5 amps or 65 watts. Use this AC DC adaptor for 12 volt dc appliances in this range include most 12 v coolers, 12 volt heated seat cushions, 12 volt heating pads, cell phones with 12v cords, etc. Fill your 12 Volt cooler the night before departure. Keep food or beverages cool in motels or campgrounds with AC power. Use your Wagan 12 volt heated car seat cushion in office chairs or easy chairs to ease aching backs. NThis AC to DC adapter powers any 12 volt appliance up to 5 amps or 65 watts. Use this AC DC adaptor for 12 volt dc appliances in this range include most 12 v coolers, 12 volt heated seat cushions, 12 volt heating pads, cell phones with 12v cords, etc. Fill your 12 Volt cooler the night before departure. Keep food or beverages cool in motels or campgrounds with AC power. Use your Wagan 12 volt heated car seat cushion in office chairs or easy chairs to ease aching backs. Note: 12 volt heated seat covers and similar items may not become as warm using a power adapter as when plugged into 12v auto accessory plugs.        

Wagan Velour Lumbar Support Heated Seat Cushion Features:

    Comfortable and soft material, easy to clean: Seat front is super soft polyester velour;Seat back is a knitted polyester fabric. Colors are gray or black.
    Easy to use: Just plug in and warm up.
    Elastic straps and hooks to secure the cushion
    .5 inch thick Lumbar Support
    Universal fit for most cars, trucks, RVs and boats
    High – Low – Off Temperature Control , Maximum Heat 114 Degrees F.
    Input Power: 12V DC
    Maximum Heat: 114 °F
    Power Consumption: 40W
    Fuse: 10 amp
    Power Cord length: 4.3 ft
    Warranty: 1 year limited by Wagan

I hope this helps with your back issues.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

Bench Warmer, Self-Contained Heated Seat Cushion for Stadium, Hunting and Fishing

by Barbara 18. April 2011 08:22

Question about the Bench Warmer Portable Heated Cushion BLACK

Q: "How does the heated seat cushion work? I like to hunt, fish and go to outdoor sporting events. It gets pretty cold where I live. Thanks. Ted."

Answer:The Bench Warmer is a UL listed heated seat cushion with a self-contained NiCad battery that charges on 110VAC. When the unit is fully charged, remove it from the AC charger. To use, just connect the two cords and sit down. The heating occurs only when you are sitting on the cushion. This heated cushion is meant to fit all new stadium seats. There are a variety of colors available including camoflouge. The cover is water resistant Dupon 1000 denier cordura nylon. We currently stock four colors. If you have a group and want to have them personalized, let us know and we can set that up as well. Despite the "climate change," Safe Home has continued to sell the Bench Warmers even through the summer months!

Bench Warmer Specifications:

  • Handy Carrying Handle.
  • Cover: Rugged DuPont Cordura fabric.
  • Cushion Size: 15" wide x 16" long x 2" thick.
  • Quality Foam: Years of comfort.
  • Water Resistant. Note: never submerge or expose to prolonged moisture.
  • Colors:Black,navy blue, camouflage and green.
  • Heats ONLY when using self-contained battery pack. Just connect the two plugs and heating begins.
  • Heats for 5 to 7 hours.
  • Heats to about 115 degrees.
  • Full heating in 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Best Performance: when sat on continuously by a human posterior. Uncovered cushions cool down.
  • Internal Bench Warmer rechargeable batteries never need replacing.
  • Included: Charging adapter with 6 foot cord.
  • No batteries to change nor heating packs to buy.
  • UL Listed
  • Self contained NiCAD battery, 14.4 volts, 2.3 milliamps.
  • Lightweight: 2.4 lb.
  • Limited Lifetime Manufacturers Warranty: If your seat cushion failed to hold a charge, the manufacturer will replace it..

Thanks for your question

Sincerely,

Barbara

 

 

 

Bench Warmer, Self-Contained Heated Seat Cushion for Stadium, Hunting and Fishing

by Barbara 18. April 2011 08:22

Question about the Bench Warmer Portable Heated Cushion BLACK

Q: "How does the heated seat cushion work? I like to hunt, fish and go to outdoor sporting events. It gets pretty cold where I live. Thanks. Ted."

Answer:The Bench Warmer is a UL listed heated seat cushion with a self-contained NiCad battery that charges on 110VAC. When the unit is fully charged, remove it from the AC charger. To use, just connect the two cords and sit down. The heating occurs only when you are sitting on the cushion. This heated cushion is meant to fit all new stadium seats. There are a variety of colors available including camoflouge. The cover is water resistant Dupon 1000 denier cordura nylon. We currently stock four colors. If you have a group and want to have them personalized, let us know and we can set that up as well. Despite the "climate change," Safe Home has continued to sell the Bench Warmers even through the summer months!

Bench Warmer Specifications:

  • Handy Carrying Handle.
  • Cover: Rugged DuPont Cordura fabric.
  • Cushion Size: 15" wide x 16" long x 2" thick.
  • Quality Foam: Years of comfort.
  • Water Resistant. Note: never submerge or expose to prolonged moisture.
  • Colors: Black, navy blue, camouflage and green.
  • Heats ONLY when using self-contained battery pack. Just connect the two plugs and heating begins.
  • Heats for 5 to 7 hours.
  • Heats to about 115 degrees.
  • Full heating in 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Best Performance: when sat on continuously by a human posterior. Uncovered cushions cool down.
  • Internal Bench Warmer rechargeable batteries never need replacing.
  • Included: Charging adapter with 6 foot cord.
  • No batteries to change nor heating packs to buy.
  • UL Listed
  • Self contained NiCAD battery, 14.4 volts, 2.3 milliamps.
  • Lightweight: 2.4 lb.
  • Limited Lifetime Manufacturers Warranty: If your seat cushion failed to hold a charge, the manufacturer will replace it..

Thanks for your question

Sincerely,

Barbara

Adding Locked Arm Toilet Risers Makes Physician Office and Public Restrooms Handicap & Elderly Friendly

by Barbara 25. August 2009 10:32

Question about the best choice to suggest to physicians' office and local hospital to make restrooms accessible to elderly and/or handicapped.

Q: "Recently I went to a Pittsburgh area hospital for tests to learn if I had a blood clot in my leg. Like most of my 80+ year old friends, I have an overactive bladder untouched by medications. My companion and I got directions to and tried three restrooms before we found one with a raised toilet seat. (My knees are so bad that I simply cannot get up and down from a regular height toilet plus I need the grab bars.)  My physician rents his office space and he claims that is why there are no handicapped height toilets in the restrooms. He's been my doctor for 20 years. But that means I am unable to use the restroom when I have doctor appointments. Which products should you (my daughter) or I suggest? I used to have a portable toilet seat riser. At home, I have a toilet seat riser with arms that attaches to my handicapped height toilet to make it a few inches even higher plus I have a grab bar on the wall. Thanks" Rosalie Lange, age 87, Barbara's mom.

Answer: Mom, I did write an email to the Pittsburgh medical hospital association with whom your physician and hospital are affiliated. I know you've brought up this subject with your physician many times in the past. I understand that the physician's building built must have been built prior to the ADA regulations went into effect. It still seems cruel to me not to be able to use a toilet at a physician's office. Thank you for your question and suggestion for the blog.

Some options that are removable and would help you and others include:

If there are physician's offices, hospitals, etc. interested in more options, please contact me.

Thanks for the questions and comments, Mom.

Love, Barbara

 

Wheelchair Foam Cushions and Gel Skin Protective Cushions to Help Avoid Pressure Sores

by Barbara 24. June 2009 11:52

Question about the product:Total Chair and Wheelchair Cushion , Skin Protective Gel Cushions and other cushions that help to prevent pressure ulcers.

Q: "My mother is in a memory care nursing home and cannot walk or move herself. She is getting pressure sores on her bottom from the sitting. She has lost so much weight and it's just skin covering bone. Will this pad help? I have tried every cushion on the market that I can afford and nothing works. Am looking at this pad or maybe sheepskin pads. Also, will this fit in a recliner chair? Thank you very much. Bonnie"

Answer: There are several cushions and cushions designated as skin protective cushions that might help your mom's comfort. One is the total wheelchair cushion that one of my employees gave her grandma for her 100th birthday last year. At that time Grandma weighed only about 70 lbs with no fat: she found the cushion comfortable: the shape allows this cushion to be adjusted for any chair.

A better option is a gel cushion made especially for wheelchairs and to prevent pressure sores. We can suggest two cushions at this time.

The first is the Lumex 17 inch gel cushion, 3 inches thick. This seat cushion pad is pre-filled with a non-toxic gel and surrounded by high-density, non-allergic foam with a tear resistant vinyl bottom cover and vinyl top cover that are fluid-proof, antibacterial and fire-retardant. It has a 250 lb maximum weight capacity and a one-year limited warranty.

The second is an 18 inch by 3 inch thick by 16 inch deep Lumex Gel wheelchair cushion, the Lumex skin protection cushion is a gel cushion with foam base. There is a moderate slope from front to back to make the seat more comfortable. This cushion is considered for people who are deemed at moderate risk for pressure sores. This is a non-aqueous gel filled cushion with a 300 lb. weight capacity and a fluid-proof stretch cover. The warranty is 18 months.

The third type are called Akros® Damped Fluid Displacement Cushions. An example of this is the GF-8114250, the Akros® D.F.D. Cushion 811 Series - 16" x 16" x 2" thick cushion. This is made for those who have temporary or chronic conditions that require prolonged seating and increased risk of pressure ulcers or by persons who experience discomfort when seated due to arthritis, lower back pain or other conditions,
Design minimizes bottoming out, reduces pressure and provides an extremely stable and comfortable seating surface.

The gel skin protective cushions come in many sizes to fit various sizes of chairs or wheelchairs. We offer a complete line of these plus we also sell the gel skin protective and egg crate mattress overlays.

I hope this helps with your mom's comfort. Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

Does the Snoozer dog seat connect to a car seat?

by Barbara 13. August 2008 15:42

Question about the Oversized Lookout I Dog Car Seat, NO Drawer.

Q: "Does the Snoozer dog seat connect to a car seat?"

Answer: Yes. To connect the Snoozer, take your seat belt/harness and hook it over the back of the dog seat in the grooves. Connect the dog's harness to the restraining strap (included with the car seat) which attaches to the car seat belt.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara