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Purrfect Pair: The health benefits of owning a cat

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -

Purrfect Pair_ The Health Benefits of Owning a Cat

We’re all about connecting people with the right products that can increase their health. But, there’s one item we don’t carry that can do wonders for you: owning a pet. Since June is Adopt a Cat Month, we thought we would take time in today’s blog to cover the health benefits of owning a furry friend:

  • Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk


Studies have shown that those who owned cats were 30 to 40 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. This might be because cats have been shown to lower stress and help their owners become more relaxed. The same studies weren’t able to find a correlation between dog ownership and lowered heart risk.


  • You’ll have a better night’s sleep


That’s right, a cat can actually help you sleep better! Polls have shown that 41 percent of people sleep better because of their cats, while only 20 percent reported that cats cause them a disturbance.


  • Fewer allergies


While a cat won’t suddenly cure your hay fever, they can do wonders for newborns. A National Institute of Health study has found that when children were exposed to cats early on, they were far less likely to develop allergies. And it wasn’t just allergies around pets—they were also less likely to develop other types of allergies as well.


  • They’re great companions


While we may joke about the single friend who’s going to end up as a “crazy cat lady” they truth is, cats have been proven to lower feelings of loneliness. They’re especially a boon to Older Americans, who often experience feelings of loneliness as their children leave home or their friends die or move away for retirement.


  • They can lower anxiety and depression


Some people have even been known to engage cats as “service animals” just for this reason. They’ve been proven to mitigate the effects of both conditions.

Remember, while cats are one item we don’t carry in our online catalog, we do have a number of others that can help you live a better life, including products to help you age in-home or sleep better.

What you should know about firework safety

Posted on: June 14th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -

What You Should Know About Fireworks Safety

Boom! Crack! Pow! Chances are, you’re already hearing these noises from your neighbor as everyone gears up for the Fourth of July celebrations. But, while these colorful displays are great for showing off your patriotic spirit, they were responsible for 11,400 injuries in 2013 and 8 deaths. If you do decide to take part in this particular festivity, follow these safety tips:

  • Don’t hold Roman Candles. Missing fingers, burns and other injuries are just a few of the things that can occur. Use a holder to set these fireworks off.
  • Don’t allow small children to handle fireworks, and older children should only do so under adult supervision.
  • Always wear protective eyewear when setting off fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks inside of a building. This should go without saying, as fireworks are the cause of many home fires this time of year.
  • If you’re in a drought, don’t set off fireworks at all. You will risk setting the brush, grass or trees on fire. The best time to set off fireworks is right after a good, hard rain.
  • Don’t point fireworks at other people, and don’t light a bottle rocket and throw it at someone. It’s most common to see teenagers do this sort of thing, but even some adults have been known to engage in “fireworks wars.”
  • Keep water close at hand in case a small fire does occur. Whether it’s a bucket, a hose or even a powerful squirt gun, make sure it’s nearby.
  • If it’s a dud, don’t pick it up or try to light it again. Instead, spray it down with water before discarding.
  • Douse all used fireworks in water before discarding, and never throw away unused fireworks before soaking them.
  • When you light a firework, make sure you back up a safe distance before it goes off.

Remember, the best thing to do is to leave fireworks displays to the professionals. But, if you do experience an injury as a result of fireworks, we can help. We carry products in our online catalog that can help speed along your recovery.

Just what is an occupational therapist, anyway?

Posted on: April 26th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -


So, you’ve had an accident, and the doctor has told you that you will need to see an occupational therapist in order to get back to where you used to be. But, what exactly does an occupational therapist do? And what should you expect during your sessions?

The basics of occupational therapy

An occupational therapist is there to re-teach you the skills you used to have before your accident or illness. Some of these include dressing, cooking and bathing. The eventual goal is to enable you to live more independently and not have to spend so much energy on everyday activities.

The progression of occupational therapy

The first thing the occupational therapist will do is try to teach you the smaller steps of whatever it is you need to re-learn. For example, they might start off with motions you need in order to open a can of coffee. From there, they will progress to actions that might be a little more complex or dangerous, such as cutting up vegetables.

Occupational therapy away from the office

Therapy of any kind often requires you to do some homework in order to progress, and occupational therapy is no different. Your occupational therapist may give you some exercises to do at home, such as repeating certain activities over and over until you rebuild muscle memory.

Occupational therapist as motivator

What many occupational therapists will tell you is that their favorite part of the job is motivating patients to push past their physical limits and achieve things they never thought would be possible. Your occupational therapist will be your coach, cheerleader and biggest fan throughout this process.

If you do have to undergo occupational therapy, we have a number of items in our online catalog that can help you, including  canes, crutches, walkers and rollators. We are your complete home medical equipment supplier, and will be here for you throughout your recovery.

Quick ways to relieve back pain when you’re in a wheelchair

Posted on: April 19th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -


The human body wasn’t made to sit in one position all the time, but if you’re a wheelchair user, that’s kind of hard to avoid. Unfortunately, a common side effect to sitting all the time is lower back pain. For today’s blog, we are going to talk about some modified yoga positions you can use to mitigate it:

Place your head between your knees

Lean forward as far as you can in your wheelchair and place your head between your knees. This is often a pose people will do when they feel dizzy, but it’s also a great way to take some pressure off the lower back. If you feel like you’re going to fall out of your chair, find something to hook your arms on. This will allow you to lean even further.

Leg crossing

While this position is associated with modest ladies in skirts, it’s actually very effectual for those who use a wheelchair. Crossing the legs can help relieve some of the pressure that’s being put on the lower back.

Do the twist!

No, we’re not talking about the dance. For this position, you want to grab your right knee with your left hand and put your right hand behind as far as you can. Then, switch it up and do the same for the left side. Hold the positions for at least 10 seconds each time you do it.

Ankle Pull

For this, you want to lay on your back on a bed or sofa, with your legs dangling off the end. Brace your upper body. Then, have a helper pulls your ankles downward. The goal with this is to lengthen your back. This should help you feel quite a bit of relief.


No one should have to suffer through excessive back pain. If even some basic stretches just aren’t cutting it, it might be time to visit your physician. We also carry a number of wheelchair accessories in our online catalog that can help you be more comfortable, including seat cushions.

Top myths about colon cancer

Posted on: March 25th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -

top myths about colon cancer

What you don’t know CAN kill you. Unfortunately, for people at risk for colon cancer, there are an abundance of myths surrounding this disease. Since March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we thought we would spend some time dispelling the common myths about colon cancer.

Myth #1: Colon cancer is a man’s disease

Truth: Just as many women are diagnosed with it as men.

Myth #2: Colon cancer is not that common

Truth: It’s the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the Unites States. Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 die from it.

Myth #3: Colon cancer is not preventable

Truth: It’s totally preventable, all because of a thing call a polyp. These are growths in your colon that, if found early on, can be removed through a medical procedure called a polypectomy. The removal of these growths prevent the cancer from growing later on.

Myth #4: Colon cancer is not treatable

Truth: Just like colorectal cancer is easily preventable, it’s also easily treated. If it’s found and treated early (while it’s small and before it has spread), the 5-year survival rate is about 90%.

Myth #5: African-Americans are not at risk

Truth: Actually, African-Americans are the ethnic group within the U.S. that is most at-risk for colorectal cancer. Scientists aren’t sure what the reason behind this is.

Myth #6: There’s no warning signs

Truth: Certain health conditions could indicate that you are at-risk, and should consider getting tested early. If you have experienced inflammatory bowel disease for 8 to ten years, then you are at-risk for developing colorectal cancer.

Myth #7: Genes do not play a role

Truth: Family history is a very important factor in the risk. If you have an immediate family member who had colon cancer, get screened 10 years before the youngest case in your family. So, if your dad was diagnosed at 35, get yourself screened at the age of 25.

Just remember: screening early and often are the keys to overcoming colon cancer. Talk to your doctor about what steps you should take if you think you are at risk for colon cancer.


Multiple Sclerosis 101: What you need to know

Posted on: March 18th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -

signs, symptoms, and steps

It impacts approximately 500,000 people within the U.S. alone, and doctors don’t yet know the cause. Those who live with it are often left with limited mobility, among other symptoms. With March being Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, we thought we would take the time to talk about the signs, symptoms and treatment for multiple sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis occurs when the myelin coating around the nerve fibers in the central nervous system become damaged, leading to an interference with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body. One analogy people often use is that multiple sclerosis is akin to an electrical wire that’s been stripped of its protective coating.

Who gets Multiple Sclerosis?

Doctors aren’t sure what causes multiple sclerosis, but they think it may have something to do with people being pre-disposed to it and then being exposed to something in their environment that sets it off. It has not been proven to be hereditary, but doctors do know that it’s much more prevalent among those of northern European descent. Women are also more prone to developing it than men. Multiple sclerosis usually develops between the ages of 20-50, but some have had it as young as 2 and as old as 75.

What are the signs of Multiple Sclerosis?

Some of the common signs include:

  • Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs
  • Partial or complete loss of central vision, usually in one eye, often with pain during eye
    movement (optic neuritis)
  • Double vision or blurring of vision
  • Tingling or pain in parts of your body
  • Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
  • Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness


These symptoms can also appear in other diseases, so make sure you are tested.

What steps should I take?

If you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, here are a few things you should be prepared to do:

  • Stay mobile. This can be accomplished through symptom management, mobility aids and using adaptive devices at home and at the office.
  • Take charge of your diet, exercise and weight. It can be hard to maintain a good weight when you have limited mobility, but it can be done. Studies have also shown that a good diet and exercise can help with MS symptom management.
  • Decide how to disclose. Who you tell about your condition—and whether you disclose to anyone at all—is entirely up to you and your comfort zone. Just realize your loved ones will be concerned and will need to be reassured—just as you will need their love and support in this time.
  • Be good to yourself. When you first find out, it can be a shock. Don’t take on extra stress, don’t blame yourself, and if you need to, reach out to a mental health counselor or a clergy member for help coping.

We are also here to help. Not only does our staff listen to you with compassion, we can also help you find the devices you need to take back your mobility, including canes, crutches, wheelchairs and bathroom safety devices.

Yes, you can beat back prediabetes

Posted on: February 17th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -


You’ve known for a while now that you need to knock off a few pounds, but you always figured that could wait until after the holidays… until after that big project at work was done… until after you didn’t have to run after little kids.
But now, your doctor delivers the news: you have pre-diabetes. You’ve joined approximately a third of the adult American population. There is no more time for excuses. You have to get this under control. Today we’re going to walk you through the steps you need to take to kick pre-diabetes to the curb!

Exercise to combat prediabetes

Your doctor probably already talked to you about this, but it’s easier said than done, right? Sometimes, the biggest hurdle is just carving out the time in your day to fit. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week. A few places you can carve out exercise time include:

  • Lunch breaks. If there is an area around your workplace where you can walk, exercise or otherwise move, take advantage of that. You may even find that spending part of your workday moving around can help you return to your job feeling refreshed for the rest of the day.
  • Morning routine. We know, it can be hard sometimes to sneak in those 8 hours of rest every day. But, if you have the kind of chaotic schedule during the day that makes predicting when you can get in a workout impossible, sometimes getting up a half hour early can really help.
  • In between tasks. If you have a few moments in between certain tasks throughout the day, try sneaking in a bit of a workout. Have exercise equipment—such as a stationary bike—close by so you can jump on it

Healthy eating for prediabetes             

The best way to go about this is to stick to a low-fat, reduced calories plan. But, just like exercise this can be easier said than done, especially when you start to get hungry. A few things you can do to combat that empty feeling are:

  • Try to eat as much lean protein as possible. This will give you energy and help you eat less throughout the day. For example, eggs, fish, chicken and turkey all tend to be high in protein and low in fat and calories. Make sure you read the nutrition information and compare how much it has of each.
  • Portion control. Understand what it takes to help you feel satisfied and stick with that. With some food, it takes more calories than others to help you feel full. For example—a cup of broccoli will last you longer and contains far fewer calories than a cup of ice cream!

Remember, losing 5 to 7 percent of your weight is a big step towards reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It will take some life changes, but you can do it! If you or a loved one are currently battling type 2 diabetes, we carry diabetic supplies to help you manage it.

3 Steps to a New Heart Healthy You

Posted on: February 10th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so that means you’re seeing hearts everywhere. But, don’t forget to take care of your actual heart! Take three simple steps in three major categories – diet, exercise, and stress management – to make your heart healthy today:

Heart Healthy Diet

  1. Eat the proper portion: It’s not what’s on your plate that matters most – it’s how much. Treat serving sizes as a rule instead of a recommendation and simply don’t go over the limit. Serving yourself with measuring cups, eating with smaller tableware, and taking smaller bites will help you fill up on the right amount.
  2. Load up on fruits and veggies. Packed with vitamins and minerals, fresh produce not only prevents cardiovascular disease but fills you up and leaves less room for fatty foods like cheese, meat, and processed offerings. Keep a container of washed and chopped veggies in the fridge for a go-to snack, and incorporate fruits into main dishes and desserts.
  3. Plan ahead. When you have a roadmap to follow, you’re less likely to veer off course. Sit down on a Sunday night to jot out your week’s plan of attack for food, creating a balanced mix of proteins, produce, and carbs. Knowing what you can expect for each meal can prevent a binge or overindulgence in less healthy foods.

Heart Healthy Exercise

  1. Aim for 150: Make it a goal to engage in movement that bumps up your heart rate for a minimum of 150 minutes each week. Splitting it up into five days of thirty-minute sweat sessions will prevent injury from over-stressed muscles and joints and help maintain fitness.
  2. Take up lap swimming. For achy joints or lungs that haven’t stressed in a while, swimming offers a low-impact, total-body workout. All major muscle groups are engaged when swimming laps at a moderate pace, putting your heart through its paces as it pumps blood and oxygen throughout your body.
  3. Go online: YouTube hosts thousands and thousands of fitness videos you can do in your own living room. From High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises to Bollywood dance cardio workouts, you can keep your routine fresh and discover new ways to move that you actually love.

Heart Healthy Stress-Management

  1. Pick up yoga techniques: When you feel tension rising at work, practice deep, slow breathing at your desk for an immediate release. Deeper stretches when you get home clears up residual stress and further gets your heart pumping with strengthening and toning exercises.
  2. Practice positive self-talk: Your words affect your emotions. Make sure the words bumping around your head are positive.
  3. Set realistic expectations: There’s a Swedish word for people who always think they have more time than they actually do—they’re called tidsoptimists. Don’t be one of those. Know how much you can get done in one day and don’t over-promise. Trying to get too much done in one day can definitely cause stress.

You only get one heart. Take time this Valentine’s Day to commit to treating it well! We can also help you keep your ticker in good order. Quite a few of the items we carry—such as exercise equipment and CPAP supplies—are built specifically to keep the heart healthy. Check out our online catalog today to see what else we have!

The bathroom doesn’t have to be dangerous

Posted on: January 22nd, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -

In January, we celebrate new beginnings, new goals and bathroom safety! That’s right – it’s National Bathroom Safety Month, and we cannot emphasize enough just how important it is to stay safe in this part of the house! Each year, one in three Americans over the age of 65 experience a fall, and of those, 80 percent are in the bathroom. Below are a few tips and hints on how you can stay safe in the bathroom:

  • Leave the door unlocked


If you do experience a fall and the door is left unlocked, it will be easier for your loved ones to come help you. If you are worried about privacy, hang an “occupied” sign outside when you are using it. Another thing to consider is getting a locked elevated toilet seat. It makes standing and sitting easier, and reduces the risk of having a fall in the first place.


  • Be cautious around steam


When taking a hot bath or shower, steam can quickly build up, making the floors and surfaces slick and dangerous. The best way to combat steam is to have a bath safety mat inside the tub, and a secure bathroom rug on the floor outside of it. You also want to have the vent running (if you have one) and keep the door open a crack to let the steam out.


  • Hand towel racks are not grab bars


The same bar that holds your light towels is not going to be able to support your weight. Many people are tempted to grab ahold of them as they get in and out of the shower, but we recommend you invest in a safety grab bar instead. It’s a rather nasty shock when a towel rack breaks in your hand and you fall to the floor!


  • Dry off before exiting the tub


This means less water on the floor, thus less chance of you slipping. This is when a bath or shower chair can come in handy. Not only does it mean you can sit down while showering (which is great when you have limited mobility) it also makes it easier to dry off prior to stepping out of the shower.


We’re passionate about helping seniors remain independent for as long as they can. That’s why we carry as many bathroom safety products as we do in our online catalog.

The do’s and don’ts of interacting with a wheelchair user

Posted on: January 15th, 2016 by FreedomHMEBlogger in Uncategorized -

Keep these five reminders in the back of your mind when you interact with a wheelchair user to show maximum respect:

  • Talk to, not above: Even if they’re with an able-bodied friend or caretaker, speak directly to the wheelchair user, not just to their peers. Speaking over their head, skirting around eye contact, or ignoring them completely and addressing someone else shows a lack of focus and respect.
  • Get on their level: If you’re chatting with a wheelchair user, pull up a chair next to them or squat down to eye level. This reduces neck strain as they don’t have to crank their heads upwards to maintain eye contact. It also shifts the power dynamic of the conversation from a lecture to a level playing field.
  • Don’t touch their chair: For a wheelchair user, their chair is an extension of their body and should be treated as such. Propping your foot on the wheels, or resting your hand on the back is an invasion of personal space, and the intrusion may come across as condescending. Just as it’d be awkward for a new acquaintance to casually lean an elbow on you while you talked, keep your hands to yourself and off the chair until you’re expressly allowed to do otherwise.
  • Refrain from assisting: Unless asked, never move a wheelchair user while they’re in it. Not only is it patronizing, but it can be dangerous for those with restricted balance who fall out of their chairs easily if not given forewarning. Before offering assistance, ask.
  • Hold your tongue: You wouldn’t appreciate a new acquaintance opening conversation by asking probing questions about your personal life. Similarly, a blunt and immediate, “So what happened to you?” directed to a wheelchair user is jarring and downright rude. Establish rapport first and foremost, and let the conversation direct itself down that road.


When in doubt, just remember the golden rule, and treat others the way you would like to be treated!