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    What Level of Compression (mmHg) Do You Need?

    You’ve decided to take care of yourself and part of that decision is wearing compression socks. Maybe you’re planning a long trip and want some circulation support on the journey. You might want help with swelling or circulation issues. Or maybe you are a busy person and want the comfort and support compression socks provide. Whatever the reason, you’re ready.

    But what is mmHg in compression socks? Aren’t socks just socks if you get the right size? With compression socks, no. The level of compression you choose really does make a difference.

    what mmHg do i need for my compression socks

     

    And don't forget, taking care of yourself doesn't mean sacrificing your style. Shop our curated compression socks for styles you will love that go far beyond boring black, white and beige. 

     

     

    The Best Narrow Walker for Small Spaces

    narrow walkers for doorways

    Most people take home a walker from the hospital or medical supply store then don’t use it. It doesn’t fit through the doorways in their home or in to their bathroom. It is too big to use in stores and restaurants and just gets in the way. A walker doesn’t do any good sitting in the closet. What you’re after is a narrow walker that works everywhere you want to go. No need to remove door frames in your home or leave your walker at the entrance of a restaurant while holding furniture to get to your seat. I’ve searched to find the best narrow walkers that work everywhere you need them. Check out these options.

    1. Escape Rollator Walker – I love the Escape! Not only does it provide all the features of a premium rollator, it can also be used when folded at a width of only 11 inches. Most walkers do not stand when folded and thus cannot be used to maneuver through small spaces. This is not true with the Escape. With a simple lift of the release handle, the 25 inch wide Escape folds to 11 inches and stands on its large 8 inch wheels. This allows the walker to be used for support in small spaces and through doorways. The Escape is also available in 3 heights making it the perfect fit for those 4’7” to 6’7” - a true custom fit!
    2. Escape Mini Rollator Walker – The “baby brother” of the Escape, the Escape Mini Rollator Walker is the slightly-pared down version but with many of the same benefits. Most importantly, it also stands and can be used for support when folded so it can also easily maneuver through doorways and tight spaces. Just like its big brother, the Escape Mini is 25 inches wide when open and 11 inches wide when folded. You’ll have all the mobility and stability of the Escape, but with a few less features and a more economical price. The upside is that it’s even lighter, coming in at 15 lbs (compared to 16.2 for the Escape). The handles are height adjustable but it doesn’t come in 3 height options like the Escape. It also has cable brakes, but for many folks these aren’t big issues. The Escape Mini is a small walker for small spaces.
    3. EZ Fold N Go Walker – This walker is perfect for you if you need a little help with stability but don’t want to be tied down to something big and heavy. The Fold & Go Walker is the world’s most lightweight and portable walker. It weighs less than 8 lbs and folds down 4x smaller than a typical walker. When open, it is 25 inches wide. The small base and 6” swivel casters make it easy to maneuver through tight spaces. Used by many as a secondary walker for travel, the EZ Fold N Go Walker can even be stored in the overhead bin of an airplane. It features a simple but functional design that makes it both durable (able to support up to 400 lbs) and extremely affordable.
    4. EZ Fold N Go Rollator - This is the world's most portable rollator. This walker with a seat is height adjustable, folds 3X smaller than the average rollator and is 27.5" wide when opened. And it only weighs 14 pounds! 

    Most standard interior doors are 28-32 inches wide with exterior doors being even wider. If you live an an older home, the doors may be narrower. It is always best to measure to be sure.

    Don’t rip apart your house or risk a fall. These narrow walkers will allow you to go through doorways and small spaces at home and on the road. Whether you’re looking for a narrow walker as a more mobile complement to a larger walker, or you need something that will work anywhere, consider the above three choices. When it comes to walkers, bigger isn’t always better!

    How to Best Make Your Home Wheelchair Ready

    how to make your home wheelchair ready

     

    It can be difficult to determine the all of the aspects of making a home wheelchair accessible, especially when a loved one becomes disabled in a matter of weeks or months. There is also the cost to consider in having to remodel several different areas of a home in a short period of time, so cost-efficient measures are of the utmost importance as well as creating an accessible and safe wheelchair ready environment. These are some important things to consider:

    1. Yard Access

    All the walkways and other access surfaces should be checked to see if they are free of bumps or uneven areas. You may have to widen paths to fit a wheelchair comfortably so it will not consistently run over into a grassy or landscaped area. Make sure the surfaces are also smooth but have enough traction to avoid skidding.

    2. Entryways

    According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, all entryway doors need to have a threshold of at least one-half inch in height to accommodate a wheelchair, and it must be sloped or rounded for wheels. There is also the consideration of installing a ramp or some form of incline. This needs to be at least 36 inches wide to comfortably accommodate a wheelchair. There are usually some form or handrails and safety “curbs” on the ramp to avoid slipping.

    3. Floor Plan Layouts

    Consider that a floor plan that will have the most convenience for someone who is wheelchair bound would be an open floor plan with a main floor that has a bedroom, full bathroom, kitchen, and sitting room. Avoid any carpeting that will impede the use of wheels. This includes throw rugs which will inevitably get bound up or shift with the chair’s wheels. Wood or tile flooring is always a better alternative.

    4. Hallways

    These areas should be clear of wider tables, cabinets, and any other types of displays that could make access for a wheelchair difficult. The openings to each hallway also need to be at least 32 inches wide for a standard wheelchair to fit through comfortable whether the person is being pushed or rolling themselves through the entryway.

    5. Electrical Outlets

    If your goal is to make your wheelchair bound loved one as independent as possible, then you may want to consider having the electrical outlets customized and raised to 15 inches above the floor. This could include light switches and other electrical appliances that could be lowered to 48 inches from the floor as well.

    6. Bathrooms

    Since the use of a bathtub is almost impossible for someone in a wheelchair, customized the bathroom and removing the tub to create a shower large enough to accommodate rolling a wheelchair into it. They can also be customized with a seat so that anyone in a wheelchair that hop onto the seat and close the door themselves and use a hand-held shower head. Sinks need to also be between 30-48 inches and allow wheelchairs to be rolled up to them. Toilets can be purchased in taller models as well and grab bars should be put throughout the bathroom including next to the toilet and sink as well as several in the shower area.

    7. Kitchens

    For wheelchair users who intend on cooking for themselves, the sinks, ovens and counters in the kitchen area need to be lowered to the same height as the sink areas in the bathroom (30-48 inches). There are also appliances that are more wheelchair friendly like side-by-side refrigerators with the freezer at waist height as well as the main fridge area.

     

    This is a guest post by Carolyn Ridland, the founder of Caregiver Connection.

     

     

    Why are Compression Socks So Expensive?

     

     

    Why are compression socks so expensive

    Maybe you’ve figured out the benefits of compression socks. Or perhaps your physician told you to wear them. Either way, you’re on board. You looked online or went to a medical supply store and scouted the options. $30+ dollars for one pair of socks?! What is going on?

    First, compression socks are considered a medical device. They are subject to stringent testing and must meet strict standards. Compression socks must have true graduated compression to be medically effective. Graduated compression means a higher amount of compression at the ankle that decreases as moves up the leg.

    Compression socks are also made with specific high quality fibers to ensure that they are comfortable and provide the benefits they promise. The strength and quality of the fibers allow the socks to stay in place, provide gradual compression, be easy to put on and take off and to be comfortable. Compression socks are also available in more sizes than traditional socks which also improves the quality of the compression provided.

    Does Medicare or insurance cover compression socks? Not usually. Click here to learn more. 

    There is a boring explanation for a legitimate question. Compression socks are worth it if they help your health and provide comfort for you to keep moving and doing the things you love. And don't settle for boring black and beige compression socks. There are plenty of options that will make not only your legs, but also you happy. See Ease's collection here. 

     

    Does Medicare Cover Walkers & Canes?

    does medicare cover walkers and canes

    You’ve been feeling a little weak or unsteady lately and have decided to do something about it before it becomes a problem. Or maybe your doctor, therapist or child took a look at you and said, “Guess what? We are getting you a walker or cane.” Before you guffaw and so “NO WAY!”, take a step back and give it some thought. If a walker or cane keeps you independent and safe, it is probably a good idea. If you’ve had surgery or an injury, you might not have a choice.

    Will your cane or walker be covered by Medicare or insurance? It depends. And it is complicated.

    What does Medicare cover and how to make the claim?

    Medicare Plan B and Medicare Advantage Plans cover renting and purchase of walking aids like canes and walkers. But there are certain conditions to satisfy to receive coverage for the device.

    First, you must produce a prescription for the walking aid from a doctor who participates in Medicare. The prescription should confirm that your mobility impairment prevents you from doing daily activities as you should. In other words, it should suggest that the equipment is medically necessary to help you move independently. It should also state that you will be able to  use the equipment safely, without any danger of accident or injury.

    Once you have this prescription, you can buy your walker or cane from a medical equipment company that participates in Medicare. Not all medical supplies stores do participate in Medicare so make sure you call first. The DME (Durable Medical Equipment) company will direct you to walkers and canes that are approved by Medicare, and you can choose from these options. You will have to provide your insurance details to the supplier and fill out some forms to complete the purchase.

    Coverage under Medicare Plan B is 80% of the Medicare-approved cost or rent of an approved device. However, the actual amount you have to pay will depend on the type of Medicare coverage you have. Under Medicare Plan B, you will have to make the 20% co-pay from your pocket. If you have a Medicare Advantage Health Plan or Medigap insurance, it might cover the co-payment amount as well.

    Many people choose to buy a cane or a walker without a prescription as they decide they don’t want the hassle or dealing with Medicare or don’t like the Medicare options that are available. There are so many choices available when looking outside of what is covered by Medicare. You can find something that fits your style and your needs, which might make it more likely to be used instead of sitting in the closet.

    Ease Living offers a curated selection of canes, walkers and accessories here. Products chosen by an occupational therapist for their utility and for their style.