Cost, Uncertainty, Stress Plague Long-Distance Caregivers

“Imagine working with a single care coordinator who, on your behalf, scrutinizes healthcare providers, offers assistance with financial questions, manages the care delivered by different physicians and other healthcare specialists, and generally takes on all tasks associated with providing care.” #caregiver #family #carecoordination

InnovAge

$8,728 a year. No vacations. No retirement savings. 23 hours a week and up.

This is the not-so-secret code of the long-distance caregiver:

  • $8,728 is the average annual out-of-pocket cost;
  • 47% stopped taking vacations to make up for caregiving costs and a lack of extra time;
  • 35% stopped saving for retirement; and
  • 23 hours up to 41 hours a week are spent on providing care depending on income.

Being a long-distance caregiver is incredibly stressful and frustrating.  It’s difficult locating and vetting caregivers from a distance and the National Institute on Aging says there are approximately 7 million people in the United States trying to carry out this daunting task.

But there is help available.

133-SeniorsInc-Staver-1372716892-OImagine working with a single care coordinator who, on your behalf, scrutinizes healthcare providers, offers assistance with financial questions, manages the care delivered by different physicians and other healthcare specialists, and generally takes on all…

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Rechargeable Batteries Power Overhead Patient Lift

The Traxx Mobility Systems Titan 500 is a patient lift system for the home. The electric motor is rated to lift up to 500 pounds. Two rechargeable 12V sealed lead acid batteries are used to power the system.

ceiling lift

Traxx Mobility Systems Titan 500

Lead Acid batteries are a time-tested design and offer lower costs than newer battery technologies like Lithium Ion. However, their advantages in cost and storage can be offset by their size and weight. This post is designed to act as a guide to the differences between the two types of batteries and the reasons why we chose to used sealed lead acid batteries in our patient lift motor.

Lithium Ion batteries are a newer technology. They are a different type of electrochemical battery that requires separate safety considerations. There is a danger of explosion if moisture corrodes the cell. Volatility must be closely managed and addressed. Lead Acid batteries pose different risks, which have been addressed in the design of the sealed types. Charging limits or valves keep gasses from building up, which could become explosive. Acid is in a gel state which prevents it from leaking should it be damaged. It is very important to use the correct charger for the batteries as they provided safety features to protect you and the battery.

overhead patient lift

Sealed Lead Acid Battery

Li-Ion batteries are idea for digital devices as they are good at providing a constant feed of energy. However, the charge decays quickly when not in use. Once again, fine for your phone that is constantly working, but not so good for a patient lift if you have to continually charge it. Sealed Lead Acid batteries prefer a “shallow” or short discharge, once again, ideal for a patient lift that may run only a few times a day and be idle the rest.

Sealed Lead Acid batteries work better in a patient lift as they are much more powerful and they hold a charge much longer than a Li-Ion battery. They retain their charge four times the amount of a Ni-Cd battery.

Some of the downsides of Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries is the longer charge times, the larger size and weight and the fact they must be stored in a charged state when not in use for longer periods of time. The latest lead acid batteries have addressed safety issues over the years through technology.

Unlike the flooded lead-acid battery, both SLA and VRLA (valve-regulated lead acid) are designed with a low over-voltage potential to prohibit the battery from reaching its gas-generating potential during charge because excess charging would cause gassing and water depletion. Consequently, these batteries can never be charged to their full potential. To reduce dry-out, sealed lead-acid batteries use lead-calcium instead of the lead-antimony. [Battery University]

To reiterate, Lithium Ion batteries are expensive, can be volatile, do not hold a charge over long periods of time and are ideal in situations where smaller size and weight are required. Sealed Lead Acid batteries are less expensive, are relatively safe, hold a charge for longer periods of time and are best for situations where more power is needed and size and weight are less of an issue.

We hope this has shed some light on the batteries we use in our patient lift system. We have weighed the issues of power and safety and chose the best battery for the application. Remember to charge your batteries weekly under normal operating conditions, only use the charger that ships with the unit and keep the motor unit clean and dry.

For more information on our patient lift system, visit our website, watch our YouTube channel, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Patient Lifts and Potential Complications of Immobility

For those patients with limited mobility, getting out of bed is crucial to maintaining their health. Above and beyond the obvious mental health issues with staying in bed all day, the physical aspects of inactivity and extended periods of time in a prone position can have catastrophic effects on a patient’s health.

mobilityThe most visually apparent complication is pressure ulcers on the patients skin. Other problems arise with the musculoskeletal system with muscle atrophy and weakened bones through non-use. Our gastrointestinal tract relies on gravity to move waste through our system. Staying in bed hinders that process too.

ceiling track lift

Traxx Mobility Systems Titan 500 Patient Lift

Traxx Mobility Systems Titan 500 Overhead Patient Lifts are an extremely affordable solution for an in home lift that only requires one caregiver for effortless patient transfer. A hand-held remote operates the overhead track lift motor that is rated up to 500 pounds. A gentle push on the patient moves the wheeled motor unit across the track to allow the patient to be lowered into a wheelchair or commode chair.

ceiling lift system

Titan 500 Overhead Patient Lift

The Titan 500 Overhead Patient Lift ships directly to your home and assembles in minutes. The freestanding aluminum frame does not attach to the home and the modular design allows it to be disassembled and moved to a cottage, second home or assisted living facility. Rechargeable batteries allow the unit to run even when the power is out.

Visit our website, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch our YouTube channel to see our patient lifts in action.

 

 

Deciding to Serve as a Family Caregiver: 8 Factors to Consider

“If you are considering serving as primary caregiver for a parent or other elderly person, or you think you might be called upon to do so in the future, or if you already are providing care but your role is likely to expand, here are some questions to consider:”

Right at Home of Central NJ

In our rapidly aging society, more and more of us find ourselves transitioning into the role of caregiver for an older relative. Consider these common scenarios:

  • A senior experiences a stroke, heart attack, hip fracture or other health crisis, and family step in to support recovery.
  • A senior loved one is living with a chronic illness or Alzheimer’s disease. As time passes, family members provide a greater amount of transportation, healthcare management and hands-on medical and personal care as their loved one’s care needs grow.
  • It seems unsafe for elderly parents to be living alone—but Mom and Dad don’t want to move to an assisted living community.

Or, maybe your senior parent is still independent and in good health, so you really haven’t given caregiving much thought? Whatever your situation, if you are an adult child of senior parents, thinking through your role and planning ahead will help you be…

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Getting Past the Stigma of Canes and Walkers

Don’t make life any tougher, use mobility aids to help you get up and out.
” …it’s important for caregivers and healthcare providers to discuss the advantages of these mobility aids and gently encourage their use.”

InnovAge

For many older adults, losing their independence is extremely upsetting. As we age, many activities we did with ease when younger become more difficult and, potentially, dangerous. Something as simple as walking can be a significant challenge.

Difficulty walking often leads to falls—2.3 million adults 65 years and older have falls—which leads to injuries and hospitalizations. Falls can be causbus 5ed by medication side-effects, past injuries, loss of balance and other issues.

One way to lessen the chance of falls is to use a cane or walker. The inherent problem with using either, but especially a walker, is the loss of independence. Nevertheless, it’s important for caregivers and healthcare providers to discuss the advantages of these mobility aids and gently encourage their use.

In general, walkers provide more stability than canes. With a cane, you’re already leaning toward one side or the other, which exacerbates balance issues…

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