Patient Resource Center

20066 N Rand Rd - STE C Palatine, IL 60074-2014 Phone: 847-359-4607 Fax: 847-359-4650

3 Questions You May Have About Heart Health and Incontinence

Posted on: February 19th, 2018 by Medserv Blogger No Comments


There’s hearts, chocolates and cupids everywhere this time of year. February plays host to Valentine’s Day, but did you know that it’s also American Heart Month?

While many people are aware of the dangers of heart disease, fewer are aware of its connection to other health conditions, including incontinence. An estimated 25 million Americans have some form of bladder disorder, and half of those who have heart issues have incontinence. It’s not a pretty or fun subject to talk about, but given how many people live with it, we thought it would be worth our while to touch on it.

  • Why is it Connected?

Heart issues can impact incontinence in a couple different ways. On one hand, it can cause someone to have to urinate often. On the other, it can cause you to have urine backup, which will cause you to have to go to the bathroom suddenly and without warning.

Additionally, heart issues can bring in a host of other problems, such as diabetes and stroke, which themselves can increase your probability of having incontinence issues.

  • How can I cut back on heart-related incontinence?

Healthier lifestyle choices can help you overcome incontinence issues. This includes quitting smoking, eating a better diet and getting regular exercise. Another step to take is reviewing your medication. Some drugs that treat heart conditions can also cause you to experience incontinence.

We would never encourage you to stop taking your heart medication. Talk to your doctor about strategies to overcome unwanted side-effects.

  • What are some of those strategies?


Your doctor may tell you to change the time you take your medication. Timing your bathroom breaks can also help, as you’re emptying your bladder before you have the sudden urge to go. Making adjustments to your diet, such as cutting out caffeine and sugar, can have a positive impact as well.


In addition to following some of the above tips, you can also swing by and see our friendly staff! We carry a number of adult incontinence products, and can find the right product for you.


5 Ways Technology Can Help Seniors Stay Independent

Posted on: February 5th, 2018 by Medserv Blogger No Comments


Are you worried about mom and dad aging safely in-home? There’s an app for that. Since February is Senior Independence Month, we’re going to focus on a few modern technologies that can give you peace of mind and help your parents stay in their home longer:

  1. Home delivered Food.


More grocery stores than ever are now offering home delivery via online orders. If mom or dad are uncomfortable using a computer, you could offer to help set it up for them initially. You could also offer to shop for them. Just ask for their list and have the items sent to them. The best part about this solution is that you don’t even have to live in the same town. With a few clicks, you have helped make their lives that much easier!


  1. Medical Alerts.


If you’re worried about mom or dad having a fall, a medical alert system could give all of you peace of mind. These are the devices that are worn around a lanyard that they can push to call for help if they’ve had a fall.


  1. Surveillance System.


Another thing to consider is a home video surveillance system. As these devices become simpler and more affordable, it can help keep them safe if they live in an area with burglaries. Since many of them can be checked from a tablet or smart phone, it can also allow you to check in on them from time to time.


  1. Automated medication dispensing systems.


Touted as a “smart pill box,” these systems look like the traditional weekly medication dispenser, but they take it a step further. Most of them include alerts that let your loved one know when it’s time to take a dose. Others will even alert you when they haven’t been complaint with their medication!


  1. Health Tracker.


Even moderate daily activity can help increase your loved one’s overall strength, which decreases their chances of a fall and increases their ability to perform activities on their own. Devices such as FitBits or others like it can help them track how active they’ve been in a given day, encouraging them to stay healthy.

We’re all about helping senior citizens stay independent longer! That’s why we offer aging in-place home modifications. In addition to the above suggestions, these modifications can really help your loved one stay safe. Visit or give us a call today to learn more!

Alternatives to Taking Away the Keys from Your Elderly Parents

Posted on: January 17th, 2018 by Medserv Blogger No Comments


It’s never easy to watch our parents grow older, especially as we find ourselves having conversations with them about their independence. Driving, in particular, can be a sticky subject. On one hand, you don’t want them to be unsafe. On the other, you know what losing that much freedom will mean to them.

Fortunately, there may be some alternatives to giving up the keys completely, including:

  • Sign up for a driver’s safety course with them to help them refresh their skills. By taking it together, you can keep them from feeling singled out and isolated.
  • Many occupational therapists specialize in driving rehabilitation, and can make recommendations for adaptive equipment that will allow your loved one to continue driving even when their physical health declines. Offer to explore that route with them before they give up driving.
  • The time of day can affect how well they drive. If they’re having problems at night, help them work out an alternative schedule. Can they take that gym class during the day instead of the evening? Can they meet their friends for morning coffee or lunch instead of dinner?
  • Find out all the alternative transportation options available in your community, including buses, subways, taxis, etc. Contact your Area Agency on Aging to see if they offer a senior transportation service. While they may not be ready to stop driving quite yet, if they’re having a bad day these services can prevent an accident from happening.
  • Make sure their car is up-to-date on maintenance. If they’re already slow to respond in a traffic situation, it won’t help if their tires are bald or their brake pads are low.


If these solutions don’t work and it really is time for mom and dad to give up the keys, remember that it’s you and them against the problem, not you against them. By making their unsafe driving a problem that you’re tackling together, you can take some of the adversity out of the situation.

Bathroom Safety: Don’t overlook it!

Posted on: January 3rd, 2018 by Medserv Blogger No Comments


In January, we celebrate new beginnings, new goals and bathroom safety! That’s right – it’s National Bathroom Safety Month, and we cannot emphasize enough just how important it is to stay safe in this part of the house! Each year, one in three Americans over the age of 65 experiences a fall, and of those, 80 percent are in the bathroom. Below are a few tips and hints on how you can stay safe in the bathroom:

  • Leave the door unlocked


If you do experience a fall and the door is left unlocked, it will be easier for your loved ones to come help you. If you are worried about privacy, hang an “occupied” sign outside when you are using it. Another thing to consider is getting a locked elevated toilet seat. It makes standing and sitting easier, and reduces the risk of having a fall in the first place.


  • Be cautious around steam


When taking a hot bath or shower, steam can quickly build up, making the floors and surfaces slick and dangerous. The best way to combat steam is to have a bath safety mat inside the tub, and a secure bathroom rug on the floor outside of it. You also want to have the vent running (if you have one) and keep the door open a crack to let the steam out.


  • Hand towel racks are not grab bars


The same bar that holds your light towels is not going to be able to support your weight. Many people are tempted to grab ahold of them as they get in and out of the shower, but we recommend you invest in a safety grab bar instead. It’s a rather nasty shock when a towel rack breaks in your hand and you fall to the floor!


  • Dry off before exiting the tub


This means less water on the floor, thus less chance of you slipping. This is when a bath or shower chair can come in handy. Not only does it mean you can sit down while showering (which is great when you have limited mobility) it also makes it easier to dry off prior to stepping out of the shower.


We’re passionate about helping seniors remain independent for as long as they can. That’s why we carry bath safety products in our catalog. Why not stop in today and see how we can help your loved one stay safe?

Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on: December 14th, 2017 by Medserv Blogger No Comments



the back of your mind, you may find yourself worrying about one thing: those New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s not quite time to start making them yet, but it’s coming up fast. Only 8 percent of people who make them end up meeting their goals. Maybe you’ve been one of the lucky ones in the past, but more than likely, you’re one of the 92 percent who aren’t able to follow all the way through.

Many people make the resolution to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise more. We applaud all that, and want to help you stick to those goals as much as possible. If you are planning attempting those things in the New Year, here are three ways you can trick yourself into doing so:

  • Tell someone…. Or don’t!


Statistics say different things when it comes to telling others about your goals. Some studies show you are more likely to stick to goals when you have someone keeping you accountable. Others say you are more likely to break your goal if you tell everyone about it. Find out which category you fit in and go with it. If you’ve told people in the past, stay quiet this time! If you usually don’t tell people about your goals, find someone who will hold you accountable this time around.


  • Don’t use up your willpower tank


They say that willpower works like a gas tank: the more of it you use, the harder it is for you to resist temptation the next time it comes around. Keep your willpower tank full by planning for triggers that can cause you to lapse back into bad habits. Or, allow yourself to have very small cheats—in fact, build them into your daily diet plan. This will keep your willpower tank full, while not breaking your (diet) bank.


  • Put your money where your mouth is


You’ve heard of a swear jar… now start using the diet and exercise jar! Every time you fail to go to the gym or eat something you shouldn’t, put some money in a jar. Designate a charity or religious organization that you want to donate to, and then give them the contents of the jar once a week.

We love helping people succeed in their health goals! That’s why we carry the items that we do in our online catalog. Why don’t you check it out now?

Holiday Travel and Your CPAP

Posted on: December 7th, 2017 by Medserv Blogger No Comments


Whether you’re flying or driving, CPAP users will find a unique set of obstacles during their travels. But with the right preparation and knowledge, you and your CPAP can travel with ease.


  • Bring a travel CPAP machine.


Just like other forms of technology, CPAP machines have been getting smaller over time. However, the most compact ones are those made for travel. Because of their smaller size, travel CPAP machines are also easier to use in the compact space of a plane, car or hotel room. Some of them even have a DC mobile adapter added to them, so you can plug in while your partner drives.



  • You cannot be prevented from using your CPAP machine on the plane.


Make sure you alert your flight staff that you will require the use of a CPAP machine if you’re on an overnight flight. Since it is a medical device, you legally cannot be denied the use of your CPAP machine. However, many airlines only offer outlets in business or first class sections of the plane, so plan accordingly.


  • The TSA will likely examine your CPAP machine for explosives.


This is what’s known as an ETD, or Explosive Trace Detection. TSA officials will run a white cotton swab over the surface of your machine and test it for traces of explosives. Most TSA officials have seen a CPAP machine come through their line before, so it’s doubtful they will give you much trouble. Just like a laptop, you can leave all your supplies in the bag while they examine the machine itself.



While you may be tempted to skip out on your sleep apnea therapy during the holidays, Medserv encourages you to stay compliant. Without your CPAP machine, you may find yourself falling asleep during family gatherings or being short with those around you. If you need a travel CPAP machine for your next trip, check out our online catalog to see what we have in stock!

It’s Exam Time! Getting Tested for Sleep Apnea

Posted on: November 19th, 2017 by Medserv Blogger No Comments


More than likely, you haven’t attended school in years. But that doesn’t mean you’re done with tests. In fact, some of the most important exams you’ll take in your life are yet to occur. So, get out your pencils and put on your study music—we’re going to get you ready for a sleep test!

Sleep apnea is a common condition in America, but many people aren’t aware they have it. If you wake up each morning feeling as if you haven’t slept a wink, you might have sleep apnea. If a partner has noticed you gasping in the night or has complained of excessive snoring, you might have sleep apnea. And if you find yourself falling asleep during inappropriate times during the day you might—you guessed it—have sleep apnea.

Should you demonstrate some of the major symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s highly likely that your doctor will order a sleep test for you. There are a couple of different options, including:


Lab Sleep Test


Formally referred to as nocturnal polysomnography, this sleep test takes place in a lab. You will be hooked up to equipment that will monitor a variety of things, including activity from your heart, lungs and even your brain waves. Your breathing will also be measured, as will any movement by your arms and legs.


Home Sleep Test


Some doctors may choose to have you evaluate your own sleeping patterns via a home sleep test. This will allow your results to come from your normal sleeping environment. Your sleep center will give a machine that gathers different data on you as you sleep. Don’t worry about knowing how to use it—they will show you before you go home.


Prepping for the Sleep Test


No matter where you do your sleep test, it’s important to follow your normal daily routine as close as possible. You should avoid napping during the day and limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon.
If your tests do come back positive for sleep apnea, we’re here to help! We carry everything you need to get this condition under control, including CPAP and BiPAP machines. You can even set up an appointment with one of our respiratory therapists to learn how to use your new equipment.

How to Keep from Getting Caregiver Burnout This Holiday Season

Posted on: November 12th, 2017 by Medserv Blogger No Comments


As a caregiver, you’ve probably given more of yourself than you ever thought possible. During the holidays, you may find yourself giving even more. This time of year is so taxing that many people in your position find themselves going through a burnout. Today, we have three tips that can help you get through the holiday season:

  1. Keep Your Routine

Gatherings, shopping trips, and reunions can make it difficult to maintain a steady routine. Avoid over-scheduling and try to stick as close as possible to your regular schedule. If you cannot make it to every holiday event, don’t be afraid to say so.

  1. Start New Traditions


When you first found yourself taking on the role of caretaker, you no doubt found your life changing dramatically, taking on a “new normal.” Likewise, your holidays may need to take on a new normal, as there are some traditions that may just be out of reach. Work with your loved one to create rituals that will accommodate both of you and that still encompass your sense of the season.


  1. Focus on what you can control


Perhaps one of the most frustrating things to face as a caretaker is the loss of control. You can’t control the how the health condition is affecting your loved one, and you can’t control how much of your time is taken away from you. During the holidays, this can be especially apparent as you have to say “no” to invitations that you would like to say “yes” to.


While you can’t control the circumstances, you can control your attitude. A positive outlook can help increase your energy, mood and productivity, which can translate into being able to do more during the holidays.

Remember to take a step back and allow some self-care during this hectic time of year. If you need any other tips on how to make this time of year better for you and your loved one, stop by and talk to our experts! We have the tools you need to ensure they can remain safe and comfortable in their own home.

Don’t Let Your Mobility Aid Cause You to Have a Fall!

Posted on: October 8th, 2017 by Medserv Blogger No Comments

Mobility Aid

Falls are the number-one reason why senior citizens are hospitalized each year, with 29 million falls occurring in 2014 alone. Of those, the CDC found that 47,000 involved the use of a walker, rollator or cane. That’s why it’s so important to be sure you’re using your walking aid properly. Today, Medserv Equipment Corp. is going to give you some tips on how to avoid a fall when using mobility aid:

  • Make sure that it’s the proper height. No matter which device you’re using, your arms shouldn’t be bent or raised in an uncomfortable way.
  • Place the device in front of you and step into it. This is true of both a cane and a walker, and it shouldn’t be placed so far in front that you have trouble stepping into it.
  • Use proper posture. If you are hunched or slouched over, this will make it easier for you to sustain a fall while using your mobility aid.
  • When getting up and down from a chair, put your mobility aid in front of you and push up. Trying to grasp it after you’ve stood up could cause you to fall.
  • Make sure your path is cleared of anything that could trip you up, such as rugs, cords and other clutter.

In addition to using your cane or walker properly, there are some other things you can do to prevent experiencing a fall, such as:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Finding out from your doctor if your medications will have side-effects such as making you dizzy, tired or weak.
  • Get your eyes checked regularly to make sure your prescriptions are still working as they should.
  • Revamp your home environment to make sure it’s safe. This includes installing bathroom safety equipment such as grab bars, raised toilet seats and shower chairs.

For more tips on how to avoid a fall, talk to the experts at Medserv Equipment Corp. We can demonstrate in person how to best use a walker, rollator or cane and help you avoid a costly trip to the emergency room!

Do You Have Sleep Apnea? Take Our Quiz!

Posted on: October 1st, 2017 by Medserv Blogger No Comments



Approximately 5-20 percent of Americans live with obstructive sleep apnea, but it’s not obvious to everyone they could be living with this condition. It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of those who have sleep apnea are undiagnosed, mainly because they don’t realize they’re exhibiting one of the major symptoms.

Often, the first sign is excessive or loud snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and sleep apnea can have many other symptoms. The risk of having this condition varies with someone’s age, height, weight and current health conditions.

Here at MedServ Equipment Corp. , we have come up with a quiz to help you determine if you or a loved one may be struggling with untreated sleep apnea:

Have you or your bed partner witnessed any gasping or choking during sleep?

  • Yes
  • No


Have you or your bed partner witnessed a stop or pause in breathing?

  • Yes
  • No


Do you have to sit upright to get better sleep?

  • Yes
  • No


Do you visit the bathroom frequently when you wake up at night?

  • Yes
  • No


Do you snore in any sleep position?

  • Yes
  • No


Have you or your bed partner seen an increase in weight?

  • Yes
  • No


Do you find yourself struggling to stay awake, even after a full night’s rest?

  • Yes
  • No


Do you struggle with depression?

  • Yes
  • No



If you have answered yes for four or more questions, you might want to think about setting up an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to refer you to a local sleep test center to see if you live with sleep apnea.


For further questions about sleep apnea or CPAP equipment, contact MedServ Equipment Corp. today! Our experts can help you pick out the equipment that’s right for you.