MELROSE PARK, Ill. – For those living with chronic conditions, the best holiday gift is something that will make navigating the daily routine easier.
“Sweaters, pajamas, candy and perfume are all very nice, traditional and thoughtful gifts for the compromised, but if you want to really show them you are concerned about their well-being, check out your local pharmacy for gifts they’ll use every day,” said Debbie Jansky, assistant nurse manager, Home Health Services, at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System.
Jansky and her team of 35 registered nurses, therapists, social workers and home health aides make about 1,600 home visits each month to those who have a need for skilled nursing or physical therapy in their home. “It’s very sad to see patients receive gifts of expensive perfume or cardigans that they will never enjoy because they can’t open the bottle or unbutton the buttons,” Jansky said.
“These are the items I recommend regularly, and are used and appreciated every day,” she said.
A rethink on holiday gifts:
• Medication Organizers – $1.50 – $10. Help Grandma keep track of her pills. Available in all sizes (daily, weekly) and shapes, these tools will give the whole family peace of mind that the right pill is being taken at the right time.
• Pill Cutter-$3. Many pills and tablets need to be halved or quartered. These handy devices offer precise cutting with minimal effort.
• Pill Punch – $8. “Many medications come in a multipunch card that those with arthritis have trouble manipulating,” said Clark Chrisman, a Gottlieb pharmacist. “The pill punch easily pushes the individual pill through the sealed packaging.”
• ID Bracelet – $7 and up. A simple piece of jewelry alerts paramedics, nurses and doctors to important medical information, such as allergies to penicillin, congestive heart failure or diabetes.
• Item Grabber – $28. A sturdy clawlike hand tool that can be used to retrieve the box of crackers from the top shelf or a slipper that got kicked too far under the couch.
• Adjustable cane – $27. These canes compress to a 5-inch-long stick, much like a collapsible umbrella. Discreetly placed in a purse or coat pocket, it can quickly and easily be assembled to provide support when they need it most.
• Medicool – $45. Keep insulin or other medications cool and organized for easy application.
• Rollator – $160. A luxurious walker with high-quality wheels and brakes, with a basket for shopping and a handy bench to stop and rest.
• Accessible bathroom aids – $27 – $100. Handheld water sprayers, toilet seat benches and bathtub safety rails may look insignificant in their box but install them in the bathroom, and you have created a safe haven that will be used often.
Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.