Spring Fever….

As soon as the weather changes, as soon as we get to at least 50 degrees, I am opening the doors in my house, opening the windows and letting all of the fresh air in. My mind goes into overdrive and I am wanting to get outside and work in the dirt that I call MY garden. If anyone else looked at the mess,  they would wonder why I waste my time with that mess. It is MY rewarding mess.

As soon as the days get longer, we feel the need to clean out and purge. That’s a good thing. Get rid of all of the stuff that has been building up with no use or no where to put it. This happens also when families are trying to find useful places for old medical equipment that is no longer needed.

If you have a wheelchair, a walker, used hospital bed, you can donate it to Good Will or maybe post it on a board at your local senior center. Once the word gets out that these type of items are available, they will go quickly. Remember to clean them up so they are clean and ready for the next user. A little Pine Sol or Clorox mixture go along way.

Then there are the “soft goods” like packages of diapers, pads and washable pads. As long as they have not been used, the nursing homes, adult family homes and senior centers are always appreciative with that type of donation.

So , when the sun starts to shine,  the days get longer and the breeze starts to clean the air, remember that all of “the stuff” can be paid forward to be part of someone else’s stuff.

Let’s talk again,

** Remember, when you wake in the morning, Give thanks!

Sue Graafstra

Pharm A Save Medical Equipment and Supply

360-794-4641 ext 200

http://www.PharmASaveMonroe.com

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Can I help you find something?

It happens all day long. People wander into Pharm A Save Monroe looking for a specific item. I ask, “Can I help you find something?”  I hear “Oh no, I am just looking.” After about 5 minutes, I see the same person is still roaming each aisle and looking back and forth in the Aids to daily living aisle. I ask , “Are you finding what you are looking for?” The response this time was, “I am getting ready for my father in law to move in with us, and I am trying to get a list together of the items we need before he gets there.”

That is where it all begins…..

From experience personally and within Pharm A Save Monroe, I have learned to ask a lot of questions to help get to a solution. You see, at Pharm A Save Monroe, we are not trying to sell you just “anything”, we are trying to help you make a decision on what best fits your needs.  More often than not, I help put a list together of items that may be helpful, and the customer leaves with a ideas and homework.  This give them the opportunity to discuss it with other caregivers, spouses and family. And, many times, that same person will purchase items from an “Online” store. Does this bother me? You may be be surprised with my answer.

Although every business needs to make sales to keep the doors open, Pharm A Save Monroe is focused on the patient and their needs. Each need differs from person to person. This also holds true for each persons financial situation and living environment. Pharm A Save does more that “Just sell prescription drugs”. The entire store is full of equipment and supplies. Sometimes some it up like this: You don’t know that you need it , until you need it.

I also supply information on local resources, insurance coverage reviews to see if an item is covered , and hugs. Hugs come free with the information.

So, does it bother me that so much time was spent with this person and there was no sale made? No, not at all.

You see, this was an opportunity for me to share my knowledge and expertise. And, this person was thankful for this knowledge. She left here feeling like she was better prepaired to make home adjustments for her father in law. In fact, this “person” and the “she” I am referring to is Jenny. I know this because I asked her what her name was. This was a personal interaction with Jenny, who was overwhelmed with where to start. I also gave Jenny my business card. I asked her to call or email anytime. I meant it, anytime. Not just if there was a question about a product, service or insurance. If I didn’t have an solution or answer, I could find someone who woud. But to call or email anytime. It is important for Jenny to have a way to communicate about different struggles she may run into during this transition.

Here is what happened next.

Jenny told her friend how happy she was that I took the time to help explain some of the available items and what obstacles may be coming in the future. Her friend, Saul, stopped in to purchase a Pik Stik. He did that because Jenny told him that Pharm A Save Monroe had these on the shelf. When speaking with Saul, he mentioned that he has a hard time getting in and out of his car. On most days, Saul did fine. But sometimes, it was just too much. I mentioned to him that we have a drive thru window, and if he called ahead, we could have items ready for him to pick up there. In the end, Saul transferred his prescriptions to Pharm A Save Monroe. Our Pharmacist packages them up for him each month in pill reminders. Saul is doing better managing his diabetes and blood pressure, now that he is remembering to take his medications.

And Jenny?

Jenny ran into one of those obstacles we discussed. She came into Pharm A Save Monroe and asked for me help. Jenny purchased the needed bed rails. The next time I heard from Jenny was at Christmas. She brought in a plate of fudge, peanut butter bars and a card.

To all of us at Pharm A Save Monroe, that is a success story.

High blood pressure is a “silent killer”

Healthy Heart Habits: Life’s Simple 7

As you started into the new year, did you resolve to have healthier habits? Many people do. But a long-term study found that Americans are not doing as well as they were 20 years ago in maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle.1 And that increases their chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease.2

Life’s Simple 7. In the study, the percentage of Americans who met all these heart-healthy lifestyle goals—what the American Heart Association calls Life’s Simple 7—dropped from 8.5 percent to 5.8 percent:

  • Eat a balanced diet.healthy heart month blood pressure ad
  • Be active.
  • Manage your weight.
  • Don’t use tobacco.
  • Maintain ideal levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Best for women. In the past, it was thought that hormones protected women from heart disease until menopause. Now we know that’s not the case. But two recent studies show that there may be subtle differences in what’s best for women and men.

In one study, women who followed these six habits cut their risk of heart attack by a whopping 92 percent.3                             

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Maintain a normal body mass index (BMI).
  • Exercise—moderately to vigorously—at least 2.5 hours a week.
  • Watch no more than seven hours of TV each week.
  • Drink no more than one alcoholic beverage each day.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish or omega-3 fatty acids. Limit sugary drinks, processed and red meats, trans fats, and sodium.

Even women who adopted just one or two of these healthy habits lowered their heart risk, with a normal BMI having the greatest impact.

Best for men. A Swedish study tracked 20,000 men and found that men with the following habits cut their risk of heart attack by 86 percent:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Drink no more than two alcoholic drinks a day.
  • Stay physically active, for example, walking or cycling at least 40 minutes a day.
  • Maintain a waist circumference of less than 37 inches.3

For men, healthy diet and moderate drinking appeared to have the most impact on reducing their heart risks.

Know your numbers. So where should you begin? One place to start is to know your numbers. That includes blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure—as well as your weight. The next step is to talk with your doctor about ways to improve.

I can also give you tips on tracking—and improving—these critical numbers. For example, if you want to track your blood pressure at home, I’ll advise you on how best to do that. Remember: High blood pressure is a “silent killer,” so the only way to know whether or not it’s lurking is to check it.

  • In fact, nearly 30 percent of Americans have high blood pressure. And, nearly half don’t have it under control with either lifestyle habits or medication.2 If your doctor has prescribed blood pressure medication, be sure to take it. For some people, that’s the only way to keep it at bay. And, don’t forget to check your blood pressure, especially when you are not feeling well. Having a blood pressure unit at home is inexpensive and needed, especially when taking blood pressure medications.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 Sources:

  1. HealthDay: Fewer Americans Than Ever Sticking to Heart-Healthy Lifestyle, Study Finds. Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_155611.html Accessed 12-11-15.
  2. HealthDay: Nearly Half of Americans with High Blood Pressure Not Controlling It: CDC: Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_155688.html Accessed 12-11-15.
  3. WebMD: Top Healthy Habits for Your Heart. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20150107/healthy-heart-habits Accessed 12-11-15.

 

 

Bathroom Safety

You may think of it as your hygiene haven, but your bathroom has the potential to be an accident trap, especially for the younger or older members of your family. A few of the leading causes of fatal injuries in homes are falls, poisonings, and drownings. The bathroom is often the scene of the “crime.2013-09-27 10.35.52” With a few simple precautions, however, you can greatly reduce the risks.

Although a soapy tub or wet floor can pose a slip-and-trip hazard for anyone, seniors are at greatest risk. Among people age 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of death from injury.  The risk is six times greater for people older than 75. Here’s where you can start to lower those risks: Replace loose throw rugs with nonslip bath mats, and bar soap with a liquid soap dispenser. Refrain from waxing floors, and make sure to clean up water spills right away. Install grab bars in tubs and showers and near toilets. It might be worth having a professional do this for you. A bathtub bench or shower chair and raised toilet seat can greatly help people in your family with mobility problems. Finally, use nightlights to reduce the risk of falls during those inevitable middle-of-the night bathroom visits.

Six thousand people die and 300,000 suffer serious illnesses from accidental poisonings each year. Yet, according to the State of Home Safety in America, 82 percent of families don’t secure their medications. One of the best precautions you can take is to keep medication lids tightly closed at all times and to store medications in a lockable cabinet. Be sure to also add the following to a locked cabinet: mouthwashes, nail polish and remover, hair dye and sprays, cosmetics, and cleansers, as well as sharp objects such as razor blades and nail scissors. Remember: many children are climbers and can reach a high medicine cabinet in an instant, using the toilet and sink as their “stepping stones.”

According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, hot water scald burns cause more deaths and hospitalizations than any other burns from hot liquids. Hair curlers, curling irons, and space heaters are other common causes of burns. Take heart. You can help prevent these kinds of accidents. First, set your water thermostat to 120 degrees F or below. Before bathing a baby, test the water temperature with your wrist or elbow. Consider buying a faucet cover to pad a hot faucet and install childproof knobs to prevent young children from turning on water in a tub or sink.

To prevent other accidents in the bathroom, keep electrical appliances, such as hair dryers, away from water and stored up high when not in use. Keep space heaters out of the bathroom. Make sure your bathrooms are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). These ground an appliance if it comes into contact with water. Also cap your electrical outlets with childproof safety covers. Finally, never ever leave a small child alone in a bathtub—not even to answer the phone or door.

At my Health Mart pharmacy, we can help you make your bathroom safer for every member of your family. Look for a selection of quality, cost-effective home safety products. If you can’t find what you need, come talk to me and we can order it for you.

Sue Graafstra – Medical Equipment Specialist – Pharm A Save Monroe

A Heath Mart Pharmacy

New Logo – New Decor – Same Store

On November 1st, 2015 Pharm A Save Monroe joined Health Mart, the fasted growing independent pharmacy network in the United States. “Pharm A Save Monroe Health Mart Pharmacy – will continue to be a locally-owned independent retail pharmacy and medical equipment store. While the pharmacy décor, signage, and logo will change, we will continue to deliver the same high level of personal care and quality services to the Sky Valley residents and their families. We can now be more competitive with the chains and the patient will have better copays”, states Bridgett.
Mike added, “We’re adopting the Health Mart look to better reflect our promise to our customers. You can trust your local Health Mart pharmacist to understand your family’s special healthcare needs. Locally owned businesses help Monroe and surrounding communities stay strong and growing. And no worries, we are also continuing with the medical supplies and equipment”.
But, change isn’t new to this independent community pharmacy.
There have been many changes over the 100+ years that Pharm A Save Monroe has been serving the Sky Valley Area. Name changes, location changes and even ownership changes, but they still have the same high level of personal care and quality service to the sky valley residents and their families.
Located at 17788 147th St SE in Monroe Washington, Pharm A Save Monroe has a unique story. One you rarely hear.

pas group photo2010 019
“The business started on October 22, 1909 and moved to Monroe in April of 1912”, said Sue Graafstra. “You may remember us as the Rexall Drug Store down on Main Street, Camp Riley Drug Company”. “It was the old fashion type of pharmacy, with a soda fountain and all”.
The story continues. On Aug 1, 1949 Gordon Tjerne, David Campbell and Ray Bolton bought the drug store form Walter Camp. Campbell sold his interest to Keith VanderHouwen in 1964. Ray Bolton retired in 1967. Mr. Camp passed away in 1966 at the age of 81. Gordon Tjerne retired in 1979; Keith then became the sole owner.
The store, Camp Riley Drug Co. on 108 E. Main St. closed in 1980 to consolidate with Tri-Valley Pharmacy which was at that time located in the Monroe shopping Center (which is where the Grocery Outlet is).
Tri-Valley eventually became Pharm A Save in 1983. Along with Pharmacy, and the growing home health care environment that was taking place, Pharm A Save decided to make the move in 1997 to be closer to the hospital and medical clinic to accommodate the growing number of patients.
In 2008, Keith VanderHowen sold the store to 4 of the employees.
Mike Skillen, Sue Graafstra, Bridgett Edgar, and Ben Weaver. Together, along side of the employees, they continue to work with the community and within the community.

“Give Pharm A Save a try , you won’t be disappointed. We are more than “just a pharmacy” we are a family”stated Bridgett Edgar.

Home Care Equipment

It is that time of the year when you need or have to have “a little tune-up” on your body such as a bunionectomy, knee or hip replacement.  Or you were doing something you enjoyed and fractured your ankle or leg. Even worse, did something to your back. Thank goodness for the wonderful and brilliant physician’s and surgeons that we have access to when we need them so that we can get  “tuned back-up”.

Some of the things to make a successful  recovery from any health issue is the access to Medical Equipment and the knowledge of someone in the profession to help make the correct choices for recovery. Just taking a bath or a shower can be daunting BUT when you see the vast amount of bath chairs, stools an transfer benches that are available, the decision is easy. You just need to take the time to look at what is available and the best for YOU!

Turning Leg Caddy, Roll A Bout, Knee Scooter, whatever you want to call them…it is one of the best item(s) available for an ankle or foot  fracture or injury if you need to be non-weight bearing for a successful outcome. They come in sizes, heights and style to accommodate the right size of a person.

Ever used a walker? What a great inexpensive item to assist you when crutches are just to much to handle. After having my knee replaced this past summer, I have a new respect for product. Seats and brakes are a great extra for someone who uses one daily and needs to sit and rest at times.

Bottom line…Pharm A Save has whatever you need to get back on your feet!

Sue Graafstra