Tackling Caregiver Stress Before it Becomes too Much

38 % of Caregivers

Of caregivers report a “highly stressful” caregiving situation.

20-27% of Caregivers

Caregivers reporting fair or poor health increases from 14-15% in the first year to 20-27% after 5 years.

16-41% of Caregivers

Of caregivers report worsened health due to caregiving.

40-70% of Caregivers

Of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and out of control when dealing with another person’s fluctuating health. The stress you feel as a caregiver can be found in many different forms and can have long term effects on your overall health. Recognizing early warning signs will help you manage and overcome caregiver stress before it becomes too much.

Recognize some of the symptoms of caregiver stress.

It is important to take the necessary steps to ensure you maintain a healthy and well balanced life as a caregiver.

1. Stay in the moment

Rather than thinking of all the tasks and challenges you must tackle throughout the day, focus on the current task at hand. Being in the present and focusing on current tasks allows you to easily break down the overwhelming number of tasks you have in a day into “bite-sized” easily manageable tasks. Thinking in this mindset will help keep you motivated and moving in the right direction. It will also aid in preventing negative feelings from creeping up.

2. Eat Right

Skipping meals is common amongst caregivers. However, proper eating habits are vital for caregivers to get the fuel they need to function. A muffin and coffee in the morning will likely not get you through lunchtime. Instead, try eating oatmeal with fresh fruit. This option offers convenience and nutritional value that will keep you going.

Easy Comforts to help you get the nutritional and easy breakfast you deserve. Cook up to four hard or soft boiled eggs in minutes with a microwave egg boiler. You could also try out the microwave egg muffin cooker.

Pro tip: when cooking an egg muffin, use a whole grain bread such as an english muffin to help fill you up and stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Microwave Egg Boiler

Perfectly boiled eggs from the microwave in minutes, without the worry of exploding shells.

Microwave Egg Muffin Cooker

Prepare breakfast sandwiches easily and inexpensively in the microwave.

3. Get the right amount of sleep

Scientific research reminds us that seven to nine hours of sleep per night is best. Establishing a sleep routine and sticking to it will help keep your body and mind in check. While you sleep, your body is hard at work getting you ready for tomorrow by doing things like growing and repairing tissue, restoring energy lost, and relaxing overtired muscles. The quality and amount of sleep you get each night affects almost every aspect of what you experience while awake.

However, as a caregiver, it is normal to experience your mind racing with a million worries about the care of their loved ones. Just as children need bedtime stories and lullabies, many adults need routines before sleep. Playing video games and watching TV tend to be too stimulating before bed, and alcohol may put you to sleep but won’t allow your body to repair from that day’s activities. Instead, try starting a journal and writing down all of your worries and thoughts each night, gently stretch before getting into bed, or read a book.

Easy Comforts offers a variety of products to incorporate into your sleep routine that help promote sleep and relaxation. Experience the calming scents of lavender and other essential oils in one of the aromatherapy diffusers, or try giving yourself a relaxing foot massage with a vibrating foot massager. Easy Comforts also offers products such as Native Remedies Hemp + Sleep tablets which are a healthy and natural way to promote relaxation and sleep.

Healthful Naturals Premium Essential Oil Kit

Made from various plants and botanicals, each bottle contains its own holistic health benefits that can be used alone or blended with others.

Lighted Essential Oil Diffuser & Humidifier, 600 ml

Whether your goal is personal health and well-being or creating a fragrant, spa-like atmosphere, this versatile electric diffuser beautifully does both.

Vibrating Foot Massager

As you glide your feet across its six massaging rollers, it stimulates pressure points on your soles to soothe fatigue and help promote circulation in feet and legs.

Native Remedies Hemp + Sleep

Combines hemp and melatonin for an effective, all natural formula to aid with sleep.

4. Exercise

As a caregiver, finding the time or will to exercise can be daunting. You don’t want to spend any of your hard-earned free time working up a sweat and feeling a whole new kind of tired on top of everything else. However, exercising can actually have the adverse effect on how tired you are. Regular exercise promotes better sleep, reduces tension and depression, and increases energy and alertness.

If finding time for exercise is a struggle for you, try incorporating it into your daily activities. Take your loved one for a walk outside. The fresh air and exercise will be very beneficial for their health as well. Finish off the walk with a stretching exercise for the both of you.

For individuals who are able to find some free time for exercise, find activities you enjoy to make it something you look forward to rather than another task. The activities you choose to do could be things such as jogging, gardening, walking the mall, biking, swimming, or really anything that gets you moving for at least 20 minutes a day.

5. Accepting and asking for help

Help can come from many different resources including family, friends, community, and professionals. Be prepared with a mental list of ways that others can help you. For example, your friend could pick up a few things for you on their weekly trip to the grocery store. A relative could fill out some insurance papers. Your physician can suggest ways to help the individual you are caring for sleep through the entirety of the night allowing you a more restful night’s sleep.

More often than not, friends and family want to help, you just have to speak up and let them know how. It’s important that you don’t wait until you are overwhelmed and exhausted to ask for or accept help. When you accept help, it will give you time to relax and clear your head which can ultimately lead to you better understanding you and your care recipient’s needs.

Remember: Reaching out or accepting help when you need it is a sign of personal strength.

Fall Prevention

As our bodies age and change, the risk of falling and incurring a serious injury increases. Each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older has a serious fall, with more than 2 million people treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. Along with the pain and impact to health and independence, a serious fall can also be a financially costly accident.

In the US about $50 billion is spent on non-fatal fall injuries and $754 million is spent on fatal falls each year. Thankfully, falls aren’t an inevitable part of aging. In fact, many dangerous falls can be prevented with some simple precautions.

1. Talk to your doctor about medications

Some medicines or combinations of medicines have side effects that cause dizziness or drowsiness, which can make a serious fall more likely. A simple doctor’s visit to review your medications can help reduce the chance of unwanted side effects. 

2. Stay active/exercise

Staying active and healthy is important in any stage of life, and can help keep legs from weakening. To help keep strength and balance intact, consider maintaining a light exercise regimen. Walking, water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi and light physical activity throughout the day can reduce fall risk dramatically. 

3. Wear the right shoes

Improper footwear has been the culprit of many a bad fall. Steer clear of wearing high heels, flip flops, backless shoes or shoes that don’t fit well when at all possible. Any shoes without good treads or nonskid soles should be avoided as well, especially in slippery conditions. 

Silver Steps Feather Lite Walking Shoe

Keep in control on any terrain. These shoes feature a thick sole for shock absorption and a non-skid waffle tread to add versatile safety for everyday wear.

Dr. Comfort Breeze Women’s Sandal

Sandal features lightweight leather with a spacious, protective toe box and hook-and-loop strap for custom fit. Feet stay dry thanks to the open design where air flows freely through.

4. Remove potential home hazards

Since around half of all falls happen at home, doing a quick home safety check can be the difference between living comfortably and having a serious fall-related injury. Removing floor clutter and furniture in unsafe places, securing rug edges and repairing loose floorboards can help reduce the risk of a fall.

Nonslip Rug Grips Set/2

Special texture keeps rugs in place on wood, tile, carpet, and linoleum. Rug gripper allows you to easily remove rugs without sticky residue left behind.

Corner Rug Grips, Set of 8

Reusable corner rug grips. Simply press polymer rug grips to underside of rug to eliminate dangerous curling and bunching. Will not damage floors.

5. Vision and lighting

More light/keep vision sharp: Poor vision and lighting conditions can make it harder to see obstacles and get around safely. Routine eye exams ensure prescriptions are up to date and at the appropriate strength for clear vision, while also offering a venue to speak to an eye care professional. Adding light to hallways and other high-traffic areas, turning on lights before going up or down the stairs and installing nightlights in bedrooms and bathrooms can all help prevent a serious fall. 

Himalayan Salt Healthy Night Light

Breathe easy and wake up refreshed. Ideal for creating tranquility while lighting any dark area. Salt lamp helps boost serotonin for improved moods and energy.

12 LED Motion Sensor Table Lamp

Motion sensor table lamp helps prevent trips and falls when light is low. The wireless lamp automatically switches on when motion is detected and switches off after a minute in motionless areas.

6. Don’t be afraid to use assistance

Simple assistive tools like tub bars, handrails and non slip treads on stairs offer the right amount of grip and traction to prevent serious falls, and can eliminate hazard areas in homes. Non-slip mats are also great resources in high-risk areas like bathtubs and shower floors.

Adjustable Tub Grab Bar

Protect from dangerous slips and falls in the bathroom by installing bathtub adjustable grab bars. Clamp attachment design makes for an easy install.

Compact Swivel Stool

Make daily showers safer and easier by preventing slips and falls with this compact swivel stool. Easily adjust the height to meet any user’s needs.

Knee & Ankle Pain

The Facts

Over the course of our lives, our knees and ankles are under constant assault from everyday movement. It may not seem like much, but years’ worth of walking, running and basic activity can leave a painful, cumulative mark on the joints and bones in these areas. For athletes or other highly active people, this can happen much more quickly with extended use or injury of the knees and ankles. Sprains, tears, tendonitis, dislocations and muscle or ligament issues can all cause severe pain all along an individual’s knee or ankle, and are all too common. Around 23,000 ankle sprains occur each day in the U.S., with one in five ankle injuries leading to long-term, chronic pain. When paired with other chronic issues like arthritis, many people can find it increasingly more difficult to maneuver later in life.

Living with Knee & Ankle Pain

When it comes to ankle and knee pain, the best medicine is preventing an injury from happening in the first place. Simple exercises, stretching, yoga and maintaining a healthy diet can aid in strengthening knee and ankle joints without putting them at risk. Wearing a knee or ankle brace for more rigorous activity can also give joints and muscles the support they need. Once knee or ankle pain happens, though, the best immediate remedies can be the old-fashioned ones. Rest, ice, compression, elevation (R.I.C.E.) and basic over-the-counter pain relievers can work wonders to cure temporary pain. For more chronic pain, finding the root cause is essential, which usually means a trip to the doctor. With proper medical help and lifestyle changes, knee and ankle pain can be managed.

How Easy Comforts Can Help

To help ease both short-term and chronic knee or ankle pain, Easy Comforts has a wide selection of products available. For support and confident walking, Easy Comforts has a vast variety of ankle and knee braces. Whether it’s magnetic lining to help with circulation, a knit support for affordable sturdiness or a bamboo weave for comfort and breathability, there’s a brace and material available for every need. For pain relief, topical creams and warming gels can help soothe away soreness. If rest is the goal, Easy Comforts also has a unique variety of full body pillows, wraparound foot pillows and knee-support cushions.

Dr. Kinash Epsom Salt Cream, 8 oz.

Add the muscle-soothing power of Epsom salts to your daily beauty routine for skin nourishment.

Native Remedies Full-Strength Hemp Extract 250mg

When taken regularly, can aid in mediating pain, inflammation, and overall well-being.

Native Remedies CBFreeze + Pain Relief Roll-On

Helps alleviate sore muscles, backaches, arthritis pain, and more! Easy to use roll-on application.

Hempvana Pain Cream

Quick-absorbing cream soothes joint and muscle pain associated with arthritis, strains, sprains, and more!

Getting Around in Winter Weather

1. Avoid Slips and Falls

Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy for anyone to slip and fall. Often times these falls can cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma, and major cuts. “Unfortunately, falls are a common occurrence for senior citizens, especially during the winter months,” says Dr. Stanley Wang, a physician at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. While younger individuals tend to recover from these injuries relatively quickly, older adults tend to face complications, which Dr. Wang says are a leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65.

Here are some tips to help seniors avoid slips and falls on icy, snowy roads and walkways:

  • Wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles
  • Replace worn cane tips to make walking easier
  • Take shoes off as soon as you return indoors to avoid melted snow and ice puddles forming and causing slippery spots

Dr. Comfort Victory Women’s Athletic Shoe

Extra lightweight mesh and leather fitness shoes cushion impact to help protect joints while stabilizing arches for enhanced support.

Shoe Ice Cleats

Walk safely with ease on ice and snow. No-slip studded shoe ice cleats firmly grip icy surfaces and packed snow.

Cane Ice Grip Attachment

Turn any cane into a winter safety tool with this cane ice grip accessory. Simply slip on the can ice grip, tighten bracket screw, and walk confidently with fewer worries of slips and falls.

Quad Cane Tip

Non-slip, non-marring rubber replacement. This four-footed quad cane tip adds stability and stands by itself.

2. Dress Warm

Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. It is important to make sure that your body temperature never drops below 95 degrees as it can be detrimental to your health. According to the CDC, more than half of hypothermia-related deaths are individuals over the age of 65.

If you go outside during the winter months it is important to wear warm clothing to avoid problems such as frostbite and hypothermia. Easy Comforts offers a variety of products to help keep you warm during winter.

Buffalo Plaid Bomber Hat

This classic winter bomber hat looks great on everybody! The quilted interior and faux fur insulates for warmth.

Fleece Lined Leggings by Sawyer Creek

These sleek, comfortable fleece-lined leggings are so cozy, you’ll want to wear them 24/7, straight through spring!

Micro Fleece Vest By Sawyer Creek Studio

Ultimate in versatility for indoors and outdoors! Unlined fleece vest for women has zip front and open side-seam pockets to keep hands warm.

Polar Fleece Shawl

No buttons to fumble with or zippers to pull, this polar fleece shawl with hand-warming pockets gives you warmth when you need it.

3. Safe Winter Driving

Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone. However, it can be especially dangerous for older individuals who may not drive as often or whose reflexes may not be a quick as they used to be.

Getting your car serviced before winter hits can make a world of a difference. Make sure to get things checked such as the oil, tires, battery, and wipers. Additionally, making sure you equip your car with helpful tools can help you tremendously should you find yourself in a jam. Easy Comforts has some tools to help you put your mind at ease when driving.

No Frost Cloth

Specially treated to create an invisible, protective shield that helps prevent frost from forming on your windshield, allowing clear, safer vision.

Emergency Lanterns, Set of 2, by LivingSure

Arming you with 12 extremely bright LED lights and 360° of illumination each, these lanterns are a must have.

Cordless Auto Air Compressor by LivingSURE

Pump up a deflated tire no matter where you are. Built-in gauge lets you track air pressure while inflating.

Auto Helper Cane

Easily enter and exit the car safely! Cane fits securely into passenger or driver door — providing extra support to stand or sit without fall risk.

Winter months can definitely add to challenges that seniors already face, but with a little bit of planning and awareness, making it through winter can be safer and easier. In addition to the tips and tricks that we have listed above, it is important for seniors to remember to reach out to loved ones and friends should they need help.

Living with Incontinence

Most people treat incontinence, or having problems controlling when to go to the bathroom or the ability to “hold it in,” as an embarrassing, guarded secret. For many, the first time it happens is confusing and isn’t always in an ideal setting. However, incontinence is a widespread condition with a range of causes, affecting one third of men and women ages 30-70 at some point in their lives. Sometimes people can experience a loss of bladder control when they stress certain muscles, usually when coughing or laughing too hard. Other times, it’s caused by muscle spasms around the bladder, which can be made worse with multiple pregnancies, obesity or even genetic muscle weakness. While some forms of incontinence are circumstantial and temporary, others associated with old age can be more permanent.

Fortunately, there’s usually some way to manage incontinence depending on the type a person may be going through. With the exception of some severe cases, around 80% of those dealing with incontinence can be cured. For many, pelvic muscle exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, can significantly help reduce instances of incontinence. In other cases, doctor-prescribed medicine can help control sudden urges or help the bladder empty more fully during urination. Surgery is also available for incontinence caused by physical blockages or a shifted bladder, but should rarely be seen as the first and only option. But the most important step to take, regardless of the type of incontinence, is to visit a doctor. By consulting a physician, an individual can learn what their options are and how to best live with incontinence, namely with the cost. For people above the age of 65 alone, the societal cost of incontinence in the U.S. was $26.3 billion annually. With this in mind, finding the best value for incontinence products is key to having a happy, healthy life.

How Easy Comforts Can Help

Easy Comforts offers a wide array of affordable products to make living with incontinence comfortable. Incontinence briefs and panties provide the confidence to go out and enjoy life without always searching for the nearest restroom, while cleaning wipes and sprays allow for better hygiene and quick clean up in case of an accident. For an on-the-go solution for men, Easy Comforts also provides several options for suspensory urinal kits and supplies. Bed pads and disposable underpants are also available to protect valuable mattresses and furniture, potentially saving hundreds of dollars down the line.

Briefs, Panties, & Liners

Keep feeling confident with protection for every unexpected leak

Skincare & Cleaning Aids

Inexpensive and convenient freshness for your skin and home

Immune System Boosters for Seniors

Flu season typically ranges from October to May in the United States and can affect individuals from any age group. Symptoms can be mild or severe and typically last from one to two weeks. Although most cases do not induce serious problems, there is a greater risk for those who are 65 years and older. The reasoning for this is because older adults tend to have weaker immune systems.

If you or a loved one is over the age of 65, here are some things that can be done to help strengthen the immune system and help prevent illnesses such as the flu.

1. Get a flu vaccination

An annual flu vaccination can reduce your risk of infection by 40 to 60 percent. You may have heard that the vaccine is less effective in senior adults because their bodies tend to create fewer antibodies in response to the vaccination. Antibodies work to help your body fight and protect against infections. Although, the flu vaccine is less effective in senior adults, it does not mean it is not at all effective. The CDC estimates that for the 2017-2018 flu season, the vaccination prevented around 700,000 influenza cases and 65,000 hospitalizations, for adults aged 65 and older.

You may be surprised to discover that there are various types of flu vaccinations, including ones designed specifically for senior adults. Two influenza vaccinations designed to work more in line with aging immune systems have been approved specifically for individuals 65 and older:

Fluzone High-Dose: contains four times the amount of antigen compared to the standard dose. Read more about this vaccine here.
Fluad: contains an additive that is intended to stimulate a better immune response to the vaccine. Read more about this vaccine here.

Yearly influenza vaccinations are 100% covered by Medicare, with no deductible or co-pay.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Nutrient-rich diets are another way to boost immune systems and help fight off viruses. These diets are rich in fruits and vegetables – because of the large amounts of vitamins and antioxidants they contain – which help promote good health.

As you age, it is important to try and reduce the amount of sugar, fat, and processed foods that are ingested. Instead, try replacing them with lean meats such as skinless chicken, turkey, or pork chops with the fat trimmed off.

Try adding multivitamins and herbal supplements in addition to a nutrient-rich diet to help get all of the necessary vitamins. Easy Comforts sells a variety of herbal supplements to aid in your immune system boosting needs.

Native Remedies Immunity Plus

Helps build a strong immune system while protecting against viral and bacterial infections.

Native Remedies Detox Drops

Encourages overall immune system health, clear skin, and invigorated energy levels.

Native Remedies BronchoSoothe

Promotes respiratory tract and immune system health.

3. Get Active, Exercise

Physical activity can become increasingly more difficult with age, but that doesn’t mean that movement should stop completely. Regular physical activity can strengthen your immune system to help the body fight off infections and viruses, relax the mind and body, and promote circulation and heart health.

Seniors should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity three times a week. Activities do not need to be rigorous and can include things such as walking, biking, swimming, yoga, along with many others.

Find everything you need to support senior daily fitness routines at easycomforts.com. Shop from a wide selection of exercise equipment and fitness accessories including workout machines and tools, wellness trackers, fitness DVDs and much more.

4. Get plenty of sleep

Sleep deprivation reduces the effectiveness of an individual’s immune system. Having enough sleep becomes increasingly more important as we age. Sleep helps improve brain function, concentration, and memory. It has also been shown to help improve response to the flu vaccine. Senior adults who regularly do not get enough sleep start to become more susceptible to nighttime falls.

Whether you have trouble sleeping because of anxiety, snoring, restlessness, or any other ailment, Easy Comforts is here to help you get the restful sleep you deserve. Choose from a variety of products to aid in your mission for better sleep health.

Mattress Genie

Transform your bed into a completely adjustable bed for reading, watching TV, easing heartburn, indigestion, allergies, or snoring.

Sheet and Blanket Support

If you’re a restless sleeper – or simply prefer to keep bedding off your feet – you’ll appreciate the sheet and blanket support.

Full Face CPAP Mask

Enjoy deeper, more restful sleep with fewer interruptions. Full face CPAP mask is designed for effective sleep therapy every night.

5. Keep a positive mindset

Endorphins, known as the “feel good” hormones can be triggered in many different ways. Having a positive outlook on life is one way to help increase endorphins. Refrain from isolation. Try to stay socially active, and surround yourself with positive people.

The more you laugh, the happier and healthier you are. Not only does laughter increase your immune system it also helps relieve pain, release emotions, and increases oxygen levels while stimulating your heart. Comedy shows, plays, etcetera are great ways to induce laughter.

Keep your spirits high by engaging in your favorite activities and hobbies. Find puzzle books, coloring books, games, and more on Easy Comforts.

Illness isn’t inevitable, but taking the steps to live a happy and healthy lifestyle will make it so you and your loved ones can enjoy the most out of their lives.

What do you do to help yourself or a loved one keep a healthy lifestyle over 65? Let us know in the comments below.