Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category


Sleep Problems in the Elderly

Sleep disorders become more common as we get older. We start to receive less than 8 hours of sleep and suffer with a lot of restlessness. We also start having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, sleep talking, sleep walking, sleep apnea, or bed wetting. This is caused by our natural clock, the circadian rhythm, being disrupted and changing our sleep and wake patterns. Sleep disorders can also be caused by certain medications, caffeine or alcohol, allergies, pain, being inactive, psychiatric disorders, or by chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, these issues can lead to more detrimental illnesses, such as increased heart problems (especially in people with Alzheimer’s), aggravation of epilepsy, and more severe depression. However, there are ways to improve one’s sleep patterns in order to avoid these health issues in the future. Antidepressants and sleep medications, such as Lunesta, Sonata, and Ambien, may seem to be a plausible answer to all your sleep problems. However, they can have more harmful side effects than good—such as heartburn, headaches, gas, mental impairment, stomach pain, parasomnias, becoming dependent on the pill, and more which can lead to serious health problems over time.

By simply avoiding caffeine and alcohol, exercising, having a set sleep routine, elimination of loud noises and lights, and avoiding naps and large meals before going to bed could contribute in better sleep patterns. You can also receive treatment from medical clinics if necessary. Click on the links below to see more causes of sleep disorders, how it can affect you, and how to avoid these issues for your future betterment!

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/understanding-the-side-effects-of-sleeping-pills
http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems
http://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/0501/p2551.html

By: Roshni Jain

Safety Tips for Winter

Welcome to the Encompass Meds, LLC first blog. We hope that this blog will serve as a go to point for the latest information for our patients and their families.

Winter is fast approaching and recently the AGS Foundation For Health in Aging published some helpful tips to stay safe during the winter.

To avoid hypothermia:
Know the warning signs of hypothermia: lots of shivering; cold skin that is pale or ashy; feeling very tired, confused and sleepy; feeling weak; problems walking; slowed breathing or heart rate.

Note: Don’t rely on shivering alone as a warning sign, since older people tend to shiver less, or not at all, even as their body temperature drops. Call 911 if you think you or someone else has hypothermia.

Stay indoors when it’s very cold outside, especially if it’s also very windy; and keep indoor temperatures at about 65 degrees.

  • Wear two or three thinner layers of loose-fitting clothing. Layers are warmer than a single thick layer.
  • Always wear a hat, gloves or mittens (mittens are warmer), a coat and boots, a scarf to cover your mouth and nose and protect your lungs from very cold air.
  • Go indoors if you start shivering — it’s a warning sign that you’re losing body heat.
  • Injury while shoveling snow:
    As the temperature beings to drop your heart has to work harder to keep you warm. Increasing the workload on your heart by shoveling snow could put a dangerous strain on it. Therefore consult your physician first if you have a heart condition to see if it is safe. If not, there are plenty of neighborhood kids looking to make some quick money so hire them to do the hard work!

    Avoid falling:

  • Wear Boots with non-skid soles so you do not slip when you walk
  • If you use a cane make sure the replace the rubber tip before it is worn smooth. You can also purchase an ice pick-like attachment at your local medical supply store that fits on the end of the cane to prevent you from slipping.
  • Fires and carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • If you use a wood-burning stove of fireplace make sure you have your chimneys and flues inspected.
  • Make sure your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are working. This would be a good time to change the batteries.
  • Safety while Driving:

  • Make sure you let someone know where you are traveling to and have a cell phone handy for emergency situations.
  • It would also be wise to have an emergency kit in the car consisting of: a first aid kit, blankets, extra set of clothing, booster cables, food (canned or dry), water, can opener, salt (just in case your car gets stuck in a ice patch), a small shovel and a flash light.
  • For more information and other tips:
    These and other tips from the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging can be read online at http://www.healthinaging.org/public_education/wintersafety_tips.php.