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Archive for December, 2019

Make Your Voice Heard: Help Protect Your Access to Medical Equipment

Monday, December 30, 2019 @ 11:12 AM  posted by jbuytaert

courtesy of People for Quality Care

A decade of reimbursement cuts, regulatory restrictions, excessive and unreasonable audits, and other poor legislative decisions have led to a significant loss of medical equipment providers across the country. Some states have lost nearly 50% of their suppliers as businesses have been forced out of business.

When medical equipment providers close their doors, you and countless others are directly affected. Much-needed equipment like wheelchairs, canes, and oxygen become even more difficult to access. Now, you can take action and help us stop these attacks.

We have a pre-written letter that you can send to your congressional representatives to show your support for the Protecting Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Act of 2019. This bill helps provide relief for durable medical equipment providers in rural areas of the country where reimbursement has been slashed. When we act, we can protect your access to the equipment and services that are critical to your well-being.

Ask your member of Congress to support this bill.

Take action today!

Date Night with an Ostomy

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 @ 08:12 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Courtesy of Andy Snyder and ConvaTec

Are you feeling nervous at the thought of date night after ostomy surgery? You’re not alone. With a little planning ahead, you can be sure to have a great night out.

My first question would be, what are your plans for the evening? Plans might be different for a first date versus dining with a long-term partner or spouse. You might be considering an event to follow dinner, such as a show, opera, sporting event or maybe a concert. Or you may need to keep in mind if there is a potential for intimacy at the end of the night.

Keep in mind where you will be throughout the evening. Will you be in a place where you won’t have access to a bathroom, or do have access, but have concerns about odor? There are certain foods or drinks that will cause an increase in output, gas and a potential embarrassing smell. Check out tips and tricks for diet here, but keep in mind that everyone will react differently; so you will need to try things out. I don’t entirely follow all the “food rules”, but I do limit carbonated drinks and monitor how much I eat.  I’m lucky, my stomach can handle most foods. I do not get blockages and am not too concerned about potential odors.

If you fear odor that may accompany emptying your pouch, I recommend carrying a small bottle of odor eliminating toilet spray. You spray it in your toilet before you empty, and it helps hide the odor. Now that doesn’t solve the problem entirely, but in combination with a lubricating deodorant you can empty with more confidence.

If you do end up having a little more output than expected without access to a bathroom, I find using one of the Ostomysecrets® wraps to both hide the potential bulge from your shirt or leverage extra support in case you fear an accident. The wrap can also prevent self-consciousness if your shirt “accidentally” comes off during the date or evening.

If you are hoping to avoid the bathroom altogether, keep in mind, how much you eat will also drive output. If you eat a lot, then you could potentially be in and out of the bathroom all night.

Bottom line: plan ahead thinking about where you’re going, what you’re plans are and you’ll be able to face the evening with even more confidence!

~ Andy Snyder

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 @ 12:12 PM  posted by jbuytaert


Commentary: Focus greater attention on structural barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities

By Sue Schettle

Published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune on 12/14/2019 (original publication here)

The latest article in the Chaotic Care series (Disabled Minnesotans Often Live in Costly Isolation, 12/08/2019) had the opportunity to continue the series’ constructive look into the current challenges Minnesotans with disabilities face in having the opportunity to live their best lives. Unfortunately, several core issues were glazed over, and some ignored, in exchange for painting a negative picture of group homes where hundreds of Minnesotans in fact do receive the support and services they need for a high quality of life.

Minnesota’s relatively large number of group homes is a manifestation of being one of the first states to close all state institutions housing people with disabilities. Beginning as early as the late 60’s and early 70’s, Minnesota led the nation in a commitment to the community integration of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Minnesota closed its institutions, establishing the alternative of group homes as the most individualized and community-based support setting conceived at the time. To this day, Minnesota is one of only 17 states with no state institutions.

However, this history is just for context, because progress never stops. Fifty years ago, the list of options for community-based services was short. Today, group homes are part of a spectrum of residence and support options for people with disabilities. This is a great advancement that offers the potential for people to customize the support they need with the independence they want.

I say potential because as the article calls out, too many still lack access to those opportunities. Yet centralizing group homes as the problem is a disservice to addressing the true factors preventing more people from living their best lives.

The article failed to address the lack of affordable housing or discriminatory zoning ordinances and tenant policies which limit options even in the most progressive of counties. Read more