Category Archives: Fall Safety

Are all Safety Grab Bars the Same? What Makes Them Different?

Not all grab bars for the disabled are the same. Safety Grab Bars tend to serve the same purpose but they are made to work in different environments and for the comfort level of different people. In general, grab bars are standard for commercial buildings but personal grab bars come with more options. In order to be sturdy enough, all grab bars are between one and one and a half inches in diameter. This gives them a sturdy feel yet makes them easy to grab for most people.

Easy Grab Grab Bars

Easy Mount Grab Bars

Length of Grab Bars

The length of grab bars is between 18 to 48 inches depending on the space where you are trying to put the grab bars. If you are dealing with a smaller space you will want a shorter length where as in commercial sized bathrooms there are often longer bars. Depending on the length, the specifications for how to mount the bars are different. The longer bars may require a secondary anchor in the center of the bar to keep it form bowing.

Finishes and Colors

If you are putting a grab bar in your home you may want to match the color of the area. In commercial bathrooms, grab bars are usually just steel but you can get them in a variety of colors. This can make them match the tile or the wall in your home so they don’t stick out as much. You can also get various finishes on the bars. Slip-resistant surfaces are preferred for the Bathroom Grab Bars and other areas that are likely to get wet. You should try out the finish on your hand first because if you have more delicate skin, rough bars can cause damage.

Quick Suction Bathroom Grab Bar

Quick Suction Rail by Drive

Angled and Shaped Bars

Angled and Shaped Grab Bars allow a person to hold on to the bar consistently. Instead of having to have multiple bars at different levels, you can use an angled bar to go from a seated position to a standing position without ever letting go. Falls often happen when you must balance without holding onto something. The constant contact reduces the opportunity for accident. There are also rounded bars that can be clipped on surfaces like bathtubs. Bathtub Grab Bars give you something to hold onto away from the edge. This can help center you in the bathtub or give you more control over exactly where the bar sits while you are using it, enhancing bathroom safety.

Invisia Grab Bars Accent Ring

Invisia Accent Ring

The grab bars are meant to help with the transfer of patients from place to place. The bars are also used as a way to help older people keep their balance in circumstances that tend to throw you off kilter. Grab bars are an important safety feature, especially for those who are ill or frail. A fall can be much more traumatic, causing additional damage. The use of a grab bar can help prevent broken bones, slips, falls and other injuries that can be difficult to recover from if you are already weakened.

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What is a Hoyer Lift?

A Hoyer lift is a device usually seen in hospitals or in areas where in an accident has just happened.

So What is a Hoyer Lift?

Hoyer lifts look life giant slings which carry a patient from one point to the next with the patient exerting very little or no effort at all. These are very important machines since they ensure that patients are at their safest in their most fragile state.

Patient lifts are easily used by a single individual, but it is always best that there will be at least two people operating the machine to make sure that the patient is safe at all times.

Hoyer Elevate Professional Lift

Here are some tips when using the Hoyer lift:

  • To begin with, gently roll the patient so that he or she faces his or her side. Gently place the sling beneath the patient and return the patient to his or her original lying position. Gently take the other side of the sling and place the ropes properly on both sides of the patient as well as in between the legs. You can ask the help of your colleague during this step so that the patient would not feel uncomfortable as the sling is being lifted. It may take some time, but it is better that everything even if done slowly.
  • Raise the lift slowly while carefully positioning the patient. Make sure that the ropes are tight.
  • Secure the lift once the patient has been lifted.
  • Slowly push the machine to the area where the patient will be transferred and lower the lift slowly.
  • Once the patient is in place it would be a bit hard to remove the sling behind him or her. To do this you can ask the patient to turn to his or her side and gently remove the sling.

Remember that safety of the patient is of top priority. Most of the time these patients have injuries or fractures so it’s always best to make sure that you practice caution while using the lift.

Protection From Falling

It’s very seldom that we think about placing fall protection devices at home especially when there are no elders around. However, in a home where your parents or grandparents live, it is especially important that they are protected in case they stumble or fall.

It is common for elderly people have weak and brittle bones, which sometimes make it hard for them to walk from one place to another. Most of the time they rely on canes and other walking supports, but most of the time even with these devices we cannot avoid sudden falls.

Here are some of the devices and tools you can use to assure that your home is equipped with elderly protection:

Active Safe Hip

Active Safe Hip by Tytex

Hip protection. Hip protectors come in the form of underwear with sewn in plastic hip guards. Hip guards protect against unprotected fall and prevent hip fractures. Hip fractures happen due to sideway falls, which is why hip guards are sewn on the sides.

Floor guards. You can start placing floor cushions on places, which are likely to be accident prone areas in the house. This could be the kitchen or the bathroom. Aside from placing a floor cushion you can also place anti slip mats to avoid the elders or anyone from any unwanted accidents.

Posey Floor Cushions

Posey Floor Cushion

Most of the time, we oversee these things and forget that a small slip can lead to a bruise or even a hip fracture. Hip protections devices and floor guards are usually the first things that come to mind when we think of preventing these accidents. But these are only initial measures to be taken.

For elderly protection around the house it is also ideal that bed rails, hand rails, and different types of grab bars are installed all around the house so that our elders will never run out of things to cling on to while walking around.

Achieving More Mobility

Many people, both old and young, have mobility issues. If you have mobility problems, choosing the right mobility item is important. Most people have their first experience with their mobility device in the hospital. But here is some of the information about common kinds of mobility devices:

  • Cane – This is one of the most common kinds of mobility devices available. They come in different heights and they come in straight canes and in the 4-piont, quad cane style. This latter style comes with four feet on the bottom instead of just one and it is sturdier than the straight cane. Canes also come with a regular or an offset handle.
  • Walker – When most people think of a walker, they usually think of the walker that has wheels and gliders. But walkers have changed. One of the most popular walkers is the one that is known as the knee walker. This kind of walker allows a person who has an injured leg to get around without having to worry about slipping because they are not comfortable using crutches.

Another thing that’s important to have when it comes to mobility devices are accessories. These are things such as cane tips to help walking on ice or other surfaces. These kinds of accessories can help your life be safer and can also make life much easier. They are also something that you may need once you have had your mobility device for a while to replace things that have worn out on your cane or your walker.

Knowing what kind of mobility device is right for you will depend on your situation and what kind of injury or condition you have.  Your doctor and your therapist will give you suggestions on what kind of mobility device is best for you.

When you have your mobility device, you will want to find out what kinds of accessories will work well with you. Then you will be able to get started with your new life and adjusting to your situation.

How to Select a Raised Toilet Seat

Bathroom Safety for both Patients and Caregivers - Raised Toilet Seats

For people with mobility issues, picking a Raised Toilet Seat can make the task of using the toilet much easier and safer.  A raised toilet seat can offer the user a new level of independence that they may have lost through illness, injury or aging.  The benefits of picking a raised toilet seat include personal safety and extend beyond the user themselves. Bathroom safety products are a great help to nurses and caregivers who need to help patients use the toilet.  A raised toilet seat reduces the strain on the caregiver when raising and lowering the patient to the seat.

The first consideration when picking a raised toilet seat is in which bathroom you will install the raised commode.  This decision should be based primarily on which bathroom is the most accessible and the most frequently used by the person who requires the raised toilet seat.  Also consider if anyone else will be using that bathroom regularly.  This is an important consideration because, in some cases, raised toilet seats are permanently affixed to the toilet and cannot be removed if someone else needs to use the toilet.

Rubbermaid Elevated Toilet Seat with Undergrips

Once you have determined the bathroom where the Elevated Toilet Seat will be installed, the next step in selecting an elevated toilet seat is taking accurate measurements. There are several different types or styles of these safety seats that accommodate different size toilets or toilet designs. To ensure that the raised toilet seat you select will fit safely and securely onto your existing toilet, it is important to measure the existing toilet. Match the measurements to the seat you intend to purchase.

Next, when picking a raised toilet seat it is important to determine the reason you need one.  Will you be using it only to facilitate easier transfers to and from the toilet?  Or does the user need the seat to also provide support for them while they are on the toilet?  This will help you when picking a raised toilet seat to determine whether the seat will need to have extra features such as a back rest or a strap that will help keep the user supported and safe.

Columbia Medical Padded Toilet Seat with Splash Guard, Seat Belt and Back Support

Picking a raised toilet seat should always be a consideration of what particular needs the user will have.  Not all seats are created equally, and each user’s needs will dictate the kind of seat and features that are necessary.  Additional features that could be available include Splash Guards for male users, Armrest with Adjustable Footrest Toilet Seat for added comfort and stability, Toilet Safety Frames to help patients get on and off the toilet seat, Hi Back Support or the Low Back Toilet Support with seat belts for added security, Sitz Bath Toilet Seat which is inflatable, Padded Seats for additional comfort which can be especially important if the user is recovering from surgery in the area or if they are prone to bed sores.  Some seats feature Elevated Toilet Seats with Removal Arms or grab bars to assist the user, while others do not.  More features are not necessarily better; the important thing is to assess what the user’s actual needs are.

There are many choices to consider when picking a raised toilet seat.  Sites like Vitality Medical offer many choices for a variety of needs and users.  Several different toilet seat options can be viewed at Raised Toilet Seats.

Who Provides Innovative Mobility Aids? — Stander!

Safety Living Aids for Happy Families

Aging adults have a variety of different concerns than the rest of the population. As our population continues to age, many individuals are interested in how they can improve the quality of their life while still maintaining their independence. To satisfy these needs, many organizations are beginning to strive to produce products and services attractive to seniors.

Stander manufactures some of the best and most innovative care safety products for seniors. They keep working on new ways to make life easier for older people who want to stay in their own homes and for the people who care about them. Their products help people stay safe in the bathroom, get in and out of the car more easily, and use walkers more advantageously.

Standers Curve Grab Bar

They don’t create and market products only for seniors. For example, they’ve just come out with toddler bed rails to keep the little ones safe. They are customer-oriented and very often use a customer’s suggestion to create a new product. The one word that defines them best: innovative.

Following are some of the products they produce and market listed by category with links to more information:

Bathroom Safety Products

  1. Security Pole
  2. Curve Grab Bar

Safety Bed Rails

  1. EZ Adjust Bed Rail
  2. Standers 30 Inch Safety Bed Rail

  3. 30” Safety Bed Rail
  4. Bed Rail Advantage
  5. Children’s Bed Rail and Sports Pouch
  6. Bed Cane
  7. Bed Caddie

Couch and Chair Safety

  1. Assist-a-Tray
  2. Couch Cane
  3. Standers CouchCane

  4. Lever Extender
  5. Recliner Riser
  6. Mr. Big Chair
  7. Furniture Riser

Vehicle Related

  1. Car Caddie

Ambulatory

  1. Metro Walker
  2. Standers Metro Walker 4100

With these products, many seniors are able to not only extend the amount of time that they are capable of living independently, but they dramatically improve the quality of their life.

Stander only sells through retailers, and Vitality Medical offers their products in their online Mobility Aids catalog, Bed Assit Rails catalog, and their Daily Living Aids Catalog. To order, simply go to the Vitality Medical website and choose the product you want. If we don’t happen to have it in stock, we’ll track it down for you and deliver it to your door.

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How To Prevent Injuries To Aging Parents

Protect Your Aging Parents from Fall Injuries and Other Accidents

For aging parents, their homes are certainly not the safest places for them to be. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that nearly one million people over 65 come into emergency rooms for injuries sustained in their own homes. In fact, accidental injuries in the home for older people is three times greater than it is for anyone else—60 deaths for every 100,000 people 65 and older as compared to only 20 deaths per 100,000 for people under 65.

Slips and falls are the main cause of injuries sustained in the home. Carpets and rugs that slip are a frequent cause for a falls. Bathtub mats with grippers and grab bars in the bathroom can reduce that number as can handrails on both sides of stairs.

It’s not uncommon to see patients who have been injured by hot water to have burns severe enough for hospitalization. The CPSC suggests that water heaters be kept no higher than 120˚ F to prevent scalding and the installation of at least one smoke detector for every floor. Flame-resistant nightwear is also recommended.

Bathroom Safety Grab Bars - Dependa Bar

The reason so many older people are injured is that they don’t see the hazards. Many of them are easy to fix, but they must be identified first.  One of the areas not often checked is cords. They should not be stretched across any open area lest they become a tripping hazard. It’s wise to avoid extension cords altogether if at all possible. Make certain there is no furniture resting on a cord. In addition, a cord under carpeting presents a fire hazard. Stapling or nailing a cord down is discouraged because a damaged cord can cause a fire.

Phones should be placed strategically so that if there is an accident, help can be obtained quickly. An alternative to the telephone which may not be accessible in the event of a fall is an emergency alarm that can be worn around the neck.

Aging parents easily get cold easily and resort to portable heaters for additional warmth. Space heaters can be big offenders. A three-prong plug on a heater should never be plugged into a two-hole receptacle. These heaters should have the safety feature that turns them off in case they are tipped over. If the heater uses kerosene or gas, correct installation and operation are important. If such heaters are unvented, a door or window should stand slightly open to provide ventilation. A carbon monoxide alarm is wise with one of these space heaters.

Safety Alarm System by Posey

Elderly people die frequently in fires. Wearing short sleeves or rolling back long sleeves in the kitchen is a wise preventive measure.

Vitality Medical carries a wide range of safety products for older people including patient safety alarms and senior medical alarm systems. Vitality Medical also carries devices to help people be safer in their bathrooms such as grab bars, shower chairs, hand-held showers, and raised toilet seats.

Visit the patient care store at Vitality Medical for everything a caregiver of elderly patients will need. The advantages of ordering at Vitality Medical are that the prices are right, and everything you need can be ordered online without leaving your home or in the case of the caregiver, the patient’s home.