Sunday, May 31, 2009

Capabilities Out and About

We often wonder where on earth Pam's travels around metro Denver take her on behalf of Capabilities. Pam fills us in with her blog on some of the details on the who, what, where and how of her recent days. She brings back valuable information that informs our product selections and helps each of us bring better service to our customers and colleagues in the health care world. Staying connected to the many who serve our elders and those with disabilities, as well as communicating and meeting customers and would-be customers every day, keeps all of us at Capabilities so clear about our purpose. We are here to be part of something bigger, to help solve life's challenges. For me and the staff, we are so grateful to Pam for her huge network of colleagues, her affable ways that make meeting new people easy for her, and her passion for the mission that is Capabilities.

We talk so much about our great store that sometimes we forget to mention how much of a community presence we have! It is very important for Kathryn and me to show our support for all the wonderful communities and groups that help support us.

For example, over the past two months, I have been busy presenting topics of interest to our colleagues at retirement communities. Along with Mary Lilley from Right at Home, I talked to a group of residents at St. Andrew’s Village, an independent living retirement community in Denver, about home safety and what to look out for to avoid accidents. Mary brought ice cream, an inducement that I’m sure attracted many. She then hosted a wine and cheese social a few weeks later for the assisted living group at St. Andrew's where I had the chance to speak to a different group on these important topics.

In April I brought our traveling Capabilities' collection of products to the Resource Fair co-hosted by Home Instead, an in-home care company, and Columbine West residential community for their residents. Since I always take a variety of interesting gadgets for people to look at, my table is usually crowded. How else will people find out what is out there to make their life more comfortable! Thanks to Amy Santorelli from Home Instead for inviting Capabilities.

I exhibited at the Talk Yourself into Action Vision Fair held by Center for People with Disabilities in mi-May in Boulder. The day was a combination of speakers and resources. As usual, our table was a hit with the variety of gadgets and assistive aids we show. An event like this draws many individuals (and their families) who experience low vision as a result of macular degeneration, cataracts, or other situations that cause low vision. Macular degeneration is especially prevalent in those over age 75.

On Saturday, May 30, the National Federation of the Blind of Northern Colorado held their Vision Fair in Greeley. It was great to be able to join other vendors and meet the chapter members of the NFB. They provided the seniors in the area with food, drink, door prizes and awards. Our collection of low vision products is among the largest in the greater metro area. As you know, we also sponsor regular low vision seminars throughout the year, featuring experts in the many fields of vision and related diseases, as well as the latest products available.

Next week we will again be providing the wheelchairs for Salute To Seniors, an annual event hosted by the Colorado Gerontological Society, held this year on June 3, with performances by Shirley Jones. The theme for the day is the ‘50s so if you are attending, check out the costumes and booths. Stop by our booth and say hi and have some chocolate.

Occasionally, my travels take us to celebrate with a competitor! Kathryn and I were pleased to participate in annual festivities celebrating Accessible Systems, a company that specializes in home modification. The company has its walk-in storefront and offices in a house in a Littleton neighborhood. While we do compete with this company for some business, we also refer to them for projects too big and extensive for our growing business. It is a delight to be part of a community of so many caring people who share so much in common with us about the greater good.

As you can tell by my busy schedule, we are always eager to display, attend events, and support our colleagues in the industry. Let me know if you would like to offer any of our presentations to your groups. Kathryn and I both love to do that! And, take it from the many who flock around our table, we do have some of the coolest stuff around!

The Green House Project

The Green House model is to create "small intentional communities of elders and staff." Finding its roots from the Eden Alternative approach, founded by Dr. Bill Thomas, Green House homes are intended to be a viable alternative to traditional nursing homes. Imbedded in neighborhoods, Green House homes are not only architecturally part of the neighborhood, looking just like every other home, but they integrate the goings-on of a neighborhood, including opening their doors to local residents. Designed to house and care for six to ten elder residents, Green House homes are organized around a self-manged team of individual workers and leaders who all share in the tasks involved in caring for the residents - everything from housecleaning and cooking to medication management, delivered in ways completely different from those in an institutional setting.

Dr. Thomas has led innovation for over a decade in the reimagining of elder care. He speaks often about the lack of respect towards elders in our culture, including the institutionalization of our citizens as we age. Struck by the loneliness affecting a vast majority of aging Americans, he set out years ago to find suitable alternatives to the high cost of "at home" care and the cold stark environment of nursing homes. His Eden Alternative approach has been adopted by many traditional nursing homes, creating smaller "residences" within larger facilities. For example, if there are large populations of a particular ethnic group inside a nursing home, that facility might organize a unit around the residences, providing ethnic foods and traditions to ensure comfort and familiarity to those elders.

In 2001, Dr. Thomas received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to take things to the next level. He piloted the idea of the Green House. He then partnered with NCB Capital Impact, a national nonprofit group that provides capital to underserved communities. Since then there are 18 cities and towns participating in the Green House project. With 16,000 nursing homes in the United States, Green House homes have a ways to go. Their influence is growing on traditional nursing homes, in just the ways that the Eden Alternative has affected many across the country.

I have a lot of respect for many traditional nursing homes. My own mother was in one during the last months of her life and I spent a lot of time sitting by her bed, observing the hustle and bustle of staff as they care for large numbers of residents. I remember thinking about the demands on a staff to provide this kind of care. I also saw many a resident who looked lost and lonely. With the creativity of Dr. Thomas and those behind the Green House project, we can all envision a time when choices for living as we age will be as abundant as the choices we experienced at other stages in our lives.

For a local flavor to this news, consider the work of Washington Park Cares (WPC), which we have written about previously in this blog. Taking inspiration from Beacon Hill Village, our Denver-based WPC, offers services and companionship in a neighborhood setting so that those who prefer to stay at home as they age can do so with a local support system to rely on. NCB Impact has played a role helping Beacon Hill Village emerge as one of the pioneering neighborhood "villages" across the country. WPC, Beacon Hill Village and other pioneers in this field, present a regional workshop on June 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Denver Convention Center. Get details about this event or register now.

Celebrate the one year anniversary of the launch of WPC on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at picnic area #3 at Grasmere Lake near the Franklin St. entrance to Washington Park in Denver. The festivities start around 4 p.m. For more information, visit WPC.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Featured Product: Tena Protective Underwear for Men

"At last!" I hear some of our customers breathely a sigh of relief. While everyone wrestles with the emotional and physical impact of incontinence, there are some men who fight with their loved ones helping them find solutions. And, to be fair, some of the traditional briefs and protective underwear available, is generic, not providing protection in the "right" places for men. Tena has long been a leader of specialized incontinence products. They introduced Men's Guards a few years ago; that product has become one of our most popular. Shaped specifically to the male anatomy, the guards offer extra protection exactly where it is needed.

And now Tena introduces Protective Underwear for Men which combines a style more suitable to men along with the extra protection of the Men's Guard. Find out more about this great product or purchase now.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Featured Event: Home Safety Day and Tub Fest at Capabilities

On Saturday, June 20, 2009 we are planning a festive and interesting day full about ideas and state-of-the-art products to make home safe, especially for aging relatives and those with illnesses or injuries that increase risk of falls. We will feature an array of easy-to-access tubs along with our local supplier, JRD Steam, experts in walk-in tubs and roll-in showers. We will have a number of models on hand all day that you can sit in, compare and get detailed information, including installation costs from our specialists who install.

See our price calculator to help you weigh the costs for modifying the home as you consider alternatives to living at home. Sometimes "aging at home" is the best approach and the most cost-effective.

You can also browse our large showroom and try out a stairlift, automatic door opener, adjustable cabinets and cook surfaces, lift chairs, not to mention the hundreds of smaller items designed to ensure safety and comfort in the home.

Since we are always up for a party, there will be plenty of food and prizes, too. Consider another great way to welcome summer. And perhaps you will find something just right for dad or grandpa. Don't forget that Father's Day is Sunday, June 21!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Catheters: Internal and External

In this business we handle all kinds of situations and hear about the many challenges that people face every day. We have written about incontinence previously in this blog. Today, we want to take a look at another of the many options as folks handle temporary or permanent incontinence, catheters.

Most of us unfamiliar with the world of incontinence might only associate catheters with the use of them in a hospital situation. If you have been in the hospital for an inpatient procedure of some kind, you might find that a catheter has been inserted to make you more comfortable as you recover. While generally comfortable when inserted while you are under anesthesia, inserting an internal catheter yourself can take a bit of getting used to.

Essentially, there are two types of catheters available to men - internal and external. For women, there is only the internal catheter option. There are several internal styles designed for self-insertion, the Foley catheter, straight, or coude tip. The circumference of a catheter is measured using the "French" system, typically 14FR, 16 FR, 18FR, and so on. Specialists often recommend using the smallest French possible, which they can help you determine. Catheters are attached to a bag that collects the urine, unless an individual inserts a catheter for immediate relief of a temporary condition and can direct drainage directly into a toilet or other receptacle. Leg bags strapped to the upper leg are typical for catheter users who continue their everyday activities. For those who are not ambulatory, there are bags of a larger capacity that attach to wheelchairs or beds.

  • The Foley catheter is a thin sterile flexible tube that is inserted into the bladder to drain urine. Because it can be left in place for a period of time it is often referred to as an indwelling catheter. There is typically a balloon at the end inflated with sterile water to help keep the catheter in place.
  • A straight catheter is designed for insertion into the urethra and features an opening at the inserted end. It is a straight flexible tube with a rounded end to prevent any trauma to the tissue.
  • Coude tip catheters feature a slight bend at the tip, generally making it easier for some men to slip the catheter past the prostate. This type of catheter is also recommended for those with a narrowing of the urethra or a urethral blockage.

Insert catheters under the most sterile of conditions, including the use of gloves, to avoid risk of infection. Lubricants are also recommended to assist with insertion. Training and practice will provide more comfort to the person inserting the catheter, generally the individual him/herself.

Men also have the option of using an external catheter which operates like a condom. The external condom catheter, sometimes called a Texas style catheter, comes in small, medium or large sizes designed to slip over the penis. A drainage tube at one end connects to a bag that collects the urine.

Speak with a health care professional if you believe your condition could benefit from the use of a catheter. At Capabilities, we have trained professionals who work with individuals having a range of conditions with incontinence as a key symptom. We keep a selection of typical catheters on hand and can order specialty catheters upon request. Please contact us for more information on catheter types and availability.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Reflections

Pam and I come from families that have served our country. Pam's grandfather, Claude, died fighting in WWI. My uncle John went missing in hostile waters during WWII. My father, who became a citizen of this country from Canada, served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. My three brothers served, each in a different branch of the military during the 50s and 60s, and Pam's two brothers also gave years of service during the Vietnam era.

Since we opened Capabilities nearly four years ago, we are honored that so many of our customers are veterans. It is striking how much pride there is with older generations who want to tell us about their experiences and how grateful they are to have been part of the greatest military force around. Many of the men will still use their rank when they give us their contact information or write a check for their purchases. Their pride of having achieved the rank of Captain or Lieutenant Colonel swells as they walk back in time to days of heroism and competence, qualities many struggle to find in their everyday lives marked by so many of the challenges of aging.

The women are quieter about their service, although occasionally a story will spill out revealing that Mary reached the rank of Lieutenant or Captain serving in the Army, or Alice went on to play a leading role in the U.S. Navy after enlisting in the early days of the Korean War. A recent customer stationed at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs was on her way to a new assignment in California. She wears compression stockings for her long days of work.

Our work with the VA and other organizations that support our veterans introduces us to both the tales of glory and satisfaction as well as those of pain and suffering. Younger veterans returning now from their mid-east assignments speak to us most often of head injuries and trauma. Their limbs may be intact, but their battles now are with memory and emotional balance.

We recently featured John Garrett and Inga Tomasino who work with veterans and others addressing PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), an ever-present outcome for so many returning from war zones. The national organization, Easter Seals, is teaming with one of our favorite suppliers of products, Posit Science, to help veterans address the more temporary, but confounding, affects of head trauma, especially the impact on long- and short-term memory. Using the Brain Fitness program to retrain the brain's ability to product essential neurotransmitters for memory and recall, Posit Science and Easter Seals contribute greatly to rehabilitation efforts of veterans.

As Pam and I honor our families and customers who have served our country so selflessly, we reflect, too, on the challenges for veterans returning from their tours of duty today. Some of our family members were killed during war, but happily our brothers all returned safe and sound. If any of them suffered from PTSD, we never knew it. Perhaps they never knew it, since in their day no one spoke of such a diagnosis. We are fortunate to be part of a culture that now has so many alternatives for respecting our veterans and helping them get back on their feet, literally and figuratively.

Thank you to all who have served to protect our country and freedoms. We appreciate you and your families very much.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Grab Bar Tip

When you are installing grab bars, be sure to work with the individual using them first to understand exactly the most comfortable way of reaching and grabbing for that person. What? you say. Imagine someone who has weak wrists trying to pull against a horizontally positioned bar. Try it and see how the wrist bends when you use a pulling action. Or for someone with weak fingers, imagine trying to grip a vertically placed grab bar. It won't work. They need something they can lean on or place a whole hand behind for leverage. Placing a bar on an angle can be helpful for someone who wants to use two hands in a climbing motion as they sit or stand in the shower or tub. If you experiment first with watching how the person you are assisting reaches and grips, the odds will be greater that s/he will actually use the grab bar.

For more on grab bars, see Kathryn's article in the Denver Examiner.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Retirement Homes Are Murder

"Remembering nothing from the day before, crotchety octogenarian Paul Jacobson must become an amateur sleuth to clear himself as a murder suspect when he finds a dead body in the trash chute of a retirement home. As Paul’s snooping and short-term memory loss get him in trouble with the local police, his new friends and granddaughter Jennifer help him solve an expanding list of crimes. Paul finds romance as he struggles to escape a murderer intent on a repeat performance."

Boulder author, Mike Befeler, launched his debut novel, Retirement Homes Are Murder, in 2007 to critical acclaim. As part of the sub-genre, "geezer lit," this book comes on the scene just as Boomers glimpse their own retirements just over the horizon.

Capabilities is proud to announce that Mike Befeler will join us for a reading and book signing on June 4 at 6:30 p.m. at our location in Westminster, CO. Come meet this author, enjoy snippets from his first novel and his most recent novel, Living With Your Kids is Murder, released in April 2009. Ask questions and offer your own "geezer" stories over refreshments.
RSVP highly suggested for this entertaining evening. You may purchase Befeler's books at Capabilities.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

June is Great Outdoors Month

As we celebrate Memorial Day, we also usher in the spirit of summer. While summer officially comes later in the month, we all start imagining the fun and relaxation so associated with this great season. Getting out and about is what we do. There are many, though, whose situations keep them inside, who itch to get out, who might consider going out if they could figure out the best ways to do this. Help someone get mobile this month. Offer a hand, a ride, a wheelchair, a scooter, or a ramp! Let Capabilities help you and those you care about enjoy the summer. We have dozens of affordable ideas.

We also have rental equipment. This helps you and those you care about try things out first, or dip the proverbial big toe in the great outdoors without investing too much. We have a huge fleet of wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, ramps and RollerAids, the terrific knee walker that you can use as an easy alternative to crutches.

Happy Memorial Day!

What are you up to this summer? Share your ideas and suggestions. Post a comment at the end of this blog.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Featured Product: Nuwati Teas Iced

It is warming up rapidly here in the Rocky Mountain State as it is in so many places. I have great memories of Aunt Emily's iced tea, brewed on the back porch in the sun with plenty of lemons. Aunt Emily used the popular black tea in bags so common to many of us Boomers. I have learned a lot about tea since those delightful and carefree summer days of long ago. And, while I still enjoy a tall glass of regular old iced tea now and again, I especially am fond of iced herbal teas. We have written in this blog of the healing effects of tea, of the many types of tea we carry at Capabilities, of the terrific suppliers we have partnered with to ensure a rich and interesting mix of teas on our shelves. But it is nearly summer again and I am drawn to tell you about a few of my favorite Nuwati tea selections that work especially well over ice.

Cloud Walking Tea: Enjoy this yummy brew when you are feeling especially anxious or worried. Sip it before you wind down at night, or on a Sunday afternoon when you don't have to drive anywhere or mow the lawn. Created from eleven herbs and roots, including catnip (!), a glass or two of this iced tea will calm even the jitteriest among us.

Laughing Coyote Tea: This is one of the newer additions to the Nuwati collection, mixed to ensure a mood enhancing experience. Maybe it's the stevia or rooibos or the incredibly unique combination of over 20 herbs, roots and fruits that makes you happy, but make no doubt, Laughing Coyote Tea makes you happy!

The Healer Tea: This is the most popular of the Nuwati collection. You can use this tea in two ways. Shake the bottle and sniff. Wow! Talk about clearing your sinuses. Then you can make some (hot or iced) to sip on. This combination of herbs not only helps the immune system, but you can use it effectively to combat headaches. Some folks even mix it with favorite foods and drinks. Dr. Pepper?!

Learn more about Nuwati teas or make a purchase.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Four Companies Work Together to Give Back to Senior Community

Capabilities, Interim HealthCare Inc., Elder Wellness LLC, & Colorado Seniors Resource Connection have developed a quarterly health educational series that provides a valuable benefit for the communities they serve and is consistent with their common commitment to consumer education. They believe education is a valuable part of their mission to improve people’s lives.

The first of these health educational seminars will be held on Thursday, June 11th at
5:30 p.m. The seminars will be held at Capabilities located at 6805 W 88th Ave. (at Pierce St.) in Westminster. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The highlight of the seminar will feature a key note guest speaker. Yvonne Baca, President of the Board, Rocky Mountain Stroke Association will talk about education, awareness and living with stroke.

“A stroke is a very serious medical condition that can make life difficult for everyone involved” said Interim HealthCare Inc. program manager Jake Rankin. “Our hope is to get involved in the communities and create awareness for many of the medical conditions that face people today. Thankfully the healthcare community here in the Denver area is the best and most caring group of people I have ever seen”.

For additional information, please contact us. You can call us at 720-214-0339.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kathryn Arbour Selected as Denver Mobility Products Examiner

Have you seen yet? If you are on the hunt for information on just about any topic, you won't be disappointed on this website. Organized by city, category or topic, the site is fueled by writings from "Examiners," folks who apply as experts in the various fields represented. In my case, I suggested the field of expertise since Examiner had not yet created this category of Mobility Products Examiner. My job is to write about mobility equipment and tools for independent living, areas I know about through our wonderful experiences here at Capabilities. Check out my very first article posted just this week. Please comment and pass around to those who might find the information useful. If there are specific topics you would like to read about or have discovered a "not to miss" product, be sure to contact me. And, if you would like more information about how to become an Examiner yourself, I would be happy to give you the details. Send me a note and some contact information and I'll be in touch.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Risers: A Simple Solution to a Challenging Problem

In the past couple of months we have seen a number of families struggling with conflicting realities. A loved one needs some additional assistance, but the budget is shrinking and money has to go further. We recently worked with two families whose loved ones can no longer get up from a seated position very easily. Once in a chair or on the couch, they usually stay there until it's time to go to bed. This creates all kinds of issues, slightly different for each one, but worrisome nonetheless.

The simplest solution in these cases is a reclining lift chair. In these times, however, it is not always the least expensive approach. Capabilities, however, is offering affordable lift chairs in its newest spring collection. Be sure to stop by if you are in the Denver metro area to check them out. When the lift chair is beyond the budget, however, there is another approach - risers.

Available in different sizes, risers give you the flexibility to raise furniture to different heights, creating the same effect as a lift mechanism in a chair. Often by raising the back of the chair several inches higher than the front, you give the individual in need the height needed to lift more easily and gently from the chair. You can anchor the feet of the furniture to the risers for extra safety and protection. Risers can also be used to lift a bed to a height suitable for caregiving.

There are also portable lifting mechanisms you can purchase to put on a chair or sofa that are sized by weight. These are available in hydraulic or electric versions.

Capabilities offers an array of choices for most situations. Please consider us first as you look for a partner in solving some of life's challenges with you or your loved ones. Tell us about some of your favorite products for caregiving or coping. We love sharing good ideas or letting others know about the ones to avoid.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lifting Solutions For Caregivers

You already know how many potential pitfalls there are when caring for someone, whether by profession or as a family member. You usually stumble into most of them if you are not a caregiver by profession. Even professionals come upon some surprises.

One of the big issues to confront as a caregiver is lifting, especially if the individual under your watch is not ambulatory. However, some of the more serious injuries occur with individuals who have some ambulation; it is easy to let your guard down as a caregiver when you believe that someone can usually make a transfer from one location to another fairly easily.

Of course, preventing falls to the individual under your care is essential. Your own health and safety are also of primary importance. Keeping those outcomes foremost in our minds, let's look at various options for assisting with a lift or lifting the individual.

For assisting with transfers from one location to another consider these common, but essential tools:
  • grab bars and other support poles that can be placed around the home

  • transfer boards, benches and disks that allow the individual some control over his/her movements and are typically used for bathing, moving into or out of vehicles, chairs or beds

  • gait belts which can be placed around the individual to provide a wide, safe area to grab onto and hold while someone is trying to walk; handles are available to use with the gait belt to make the process even easier for the caregiver; vests and other devices are becoming more common to ensure even more support while assisting an individual to a standing position

For lifting someone who is not ambulatory, it is prudent to use one of the following types of patient lifts:

  • "Hoyer" so named for the company that first manufactured the lift that was patented in 1955 by R.R. Stratton as "floor crane with adjustable legs." The patent uses the analogy of an automotive crane used to lift engines. This type of lift uses a sling (often the sling used depends on the physical situation of the individual needing it, for example, an amputee sling, or the reason for the usage, such as a "toileting" sling that has an opening to allow the individual to be lowered onto a commode or toilet.

  • Stand-assist lift, which cradles the back with a sling and provides reinforcement and padding at the legs and knees while the caregiver pulls the individual forward into a standing position. The advantage of this lift is for those who cannot bend easily, or who have an adverse reaction to be lifted in a seated position as happens with the "Hoyer."

  • Easy-Pivot lift, which we have blogged about previously. Developed by a Coloradoan who became a quadrapeligic as a young man and resisted what he called the indignities and discomfort of the "Hoyer" for both himself and his caregiving wife. This lift works with an individual already in a seated position, requiring a sling beneath the buttocks and around the knees. The individual "drapes" over a padded front piece and is safely lifted and moved to another seated position. It works well for those with little to no leg movements or strength so cannot easily be lifted to a standing position.

  • Ceiling lifts have become increasingly more popular as individuals are cared for in the home. The other lifts mentioned above have wide (mostly adjustable) bases that can be altered somewhat to fit around chairs, beds and commodes. However, they are often too wide for use in a home, especially a smaller home, and cannot be used effectively to transfer someone to most bathtubs. Ceiling lifts can be mounted in every room of the house, including some that offer a track to connect through doorways. The patient or caregiver controls the movement of the lift along the track with a remote.

  • Freestanding overhead lifts offer a more convenient and often less expensive way to provide some of the same advantages of a ceiling lift. This A-framed mechanism is placed over a bed or between transferring locations. It is most useful for lifting and transferring individuals who are not moved among widely divergent places in the home since the frame has limitations.

Caregiving is hard, and sometimes dangerous, whether you do this work professionally or as a family member or friend. Please remember to honor the two key principles of preventing falls and further injury to the individual you are caring for AND preventing injury to yourself. Be smart about lifting and consider using some of these tools. Let Capabilities help you assess the situation. We do free home assessments to work with you and your family on what solutions might be best. Contact us for more information. Please post your ideas on caregiving and tools you have used using the link provided below or sending us an email.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Managing Incontinence

You are not alone if you experience urinary or fecal incontinence. Research suggests that nearly 20 million people in the U.S. alone experience chronic or acute forms of incontinence. Incontinence is not a disease; it is a symptom. Tracking down what causes your incontinence is a journey worth taking as some of the causes can be serious. Some causes may not be treatable in a way that will eliminate this symptom.

So, today I write about living with incontinence while you are on the road to figuring out just how permanent the condition may be for you. There is no doubt that most adults cringe at the very topic. Regardless of the reason, most adults will feel some kind of embarrassment or shame at the idea of anyone learning that they are incontinent. Folks go to great lengths to hide it, ignore it, worry about it. We know many who will not go out because they fear exposure either through leakage, odor or the annoying crinkling sound that many adult briefs make beneath their clothes.
A few key strategies will help you face incontinence and manage it, regardless of how long the symptoms last.
  1. Workwith a physician or other health care professional first and foremost. Getting at the root of the problem is essential. Find a specialist if you know or believe that your incontinence is related to a specific condition. Follow the doctor's advice and take recommended prescriptions, even if you continue on your search for answers in other arenas.

  2. Do some research. There are dozens of products on the market. Of course, try the least expensive brands of adult briefs and pads first. If your situation can be managed this way, why not be as economical as you can. Be prepared, however, to spend a little more. There are some extremely great products available - some at premier prices - that match your specific needs. Work with someone in the business of handling incontinence and related products for advice on which product might work for your situation. Ask for samples. Most manufacturers offer free samples and most dealers of such products will have samples on hand for you to try out. Be very honest about issues like absorbency. If you underestimate your need, you are certain to be disappointed.

  3. Find a support group or someone you can trust to talk about your concerns.

  4. Stay active and involved. Secluding yourself will only create other problems, often much bigger ones. Isolation is one of the main causes of depression, which can lead to a host of other physical ailments.

At Capabilities we have expert staff trained in the use of so many products, including incontinence. We offer a selection of specialized brand options, products designed by manufacturers whose whole focus is incontinence, such as Tena and Dignity. Stay tuned for a special seminar in the works later this year on the topic of incontinence where we will feature specialists and an array of products with plenty of samples for you to try.