Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Destination: Grand Canyon

John Z. of Hanover Park, IL is a real explorer. This past summer he took his portable oxygen concentrator on a road trip across America. Starting in Illinois, John made a 2,000 mile drive along historic Route 66 until he reached his destination, The Grand Canyon. "It was a long, but beautiful trip," says John. Along the way he made stops at many restaurants, museums, and other national landmarks like Meteor Crater in Arizona and the Continental Divide.  The whole drive was possible due to his portable oxygen concentrator.  

With his portable concentrator he didn’t need to worry about driving with dozens of oxygen tanks. Instead, all he needed to do was plug it into his car’s cigarette lighter and begin his day’s drive without worrying about running out of oxygen. "We averaged about 400 miles a day for 5 days. I don’t see how I could have done that using oxygen tanks."  Open-Aire is happy that we could help John on his amazing road trip, and look forward to hearing about where he goes next.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November is National COPD Awareness Month.

This observance is a time to raise awareness among those afflicted, healthcare providers, and the communities in which we live.

Did you know?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The disease kills more than 120,000 Americans each year – that’s one death every four minutes – and causes serious, long-term disability. The number of people with COPD is increasing. More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million likely have the disease and don’t even know it. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends the following:

1. Be aware of the risk factors
2. Recognize the symptoms
3. Ask your physician or healthcare provider about a simple breathing test
4. Follow treatment advice

Key risk factors for COPD:
If you…
  • have shortness of breath, chronic cough, or have trouble performing simple daily tasks like climbing stairs, grocery shopping, or laundry;
  • are over age 40 and currently smoke or used to smoke;
  • have worked or lived around lung irritants like chemicals or fumes; have certain genetic conditions;
… you could be at risk for COPD.

If you are at risk for COPD:
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about shortness of breath, chronic cough, or decline in activity level.
  • Get a simple breathing test, also known as spirometry.
  • Quit smoking. Need help? Talk to your physician or healthcare provider.
  • Avoid pollutants or fumes that can irritate your lungs.
Manage your COPD:
  • Take medication as directed by your physician or healthcare provider.
  • Use oxygen therapy if prescribed by your physician or healthcare provider.
  • Enroll in a pulmonary rehabilitation program.
  • Avoid pollutants or fumes that can irritate your lungs.
  • Get flu and pneumonia shots as directed by your physician or healthcare provider.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Handyman

James B. of Las Vegas, NV had only been on oxygen a short time the day he saw a commercial for Open-Aire’s portable oxygen concentrators.  “A small concentrator that you can fly with? That sounds better than what I have,” he thought to himself. He soon called and started working with Open-Aire’s case managers.  He was able to get a portable concentrator through Medicare and his supplemental insurance, and had a great experience during the entire process. “The employees were absolutely super the whole way through." Now he’s getting ready to fly to Phoenix, AZ to visit family, and preparing for another trip back east later in the year.

Traveling isn’t the only thing that has become an easier experience. James is even able to get back to doing his home handiwork. “A few days ago I replaced a sink and faucet and had my portable oxygen concentrator going the whole time. And I got it done too!” says James.  He does it all from start to finish. He goes to his local hardware store, grabs a shopping cart, puts his portable oxygen concentrator in it, and starts looking for all the things he needs to get the job done.  “I can take my time and walk around like it’s not even there.” James has other projects that will be keeping him busy, and his portable oxygen concentrator will ensure he’s able to do them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Freedom to Mow!

Jerry B. of Mansfield, OH always took great pride in his lawn. Every weekend he would spend his time trimming bushes, weeding, and mowing.  "I start mowing from one angle and then switch to the other angle on the next pass to give it a checkerboard look. Neighbors would tell me I manicure my yard, and not just cut it," says Jerry. However when he was prescribed oxygen tanks, he could no longer do it. Trying to mow while dragging an oxygen tank on the grass was just too difficult.

For several years Jerry was stuck with oxygen tanks, limited to what he could do, and feeling very confined. Simply leaving his house was difficult, and taking care of his lawn like he used to was out of the question. However, one day he saw a commercial for Open-Aire and thought maybe a portable concentrator could be an alternative to oxygen tanks. After speaking with his doctor and Open-Aire case managers, it was determined that a portable concentrator could be a great option for him. Once he was given the go-ahead he did not waste time in switching from tanks to a portable oxygen concentrator.

Once he had his portable oxygen concentrator, Jerry was able to mow his lawn again for the first time in three years. He tells us, "I still can’t do it all at once. I have to take a couple breaks, but I get it done and it looks great!"  Now Jerry's lawn is looking manicured again, and the compliments from the neighbors have returned.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Not Enough Tanks

When Richard R. of Rosendale, NY was using oxygen tanks he never had enough. A single oxygen tank wasn't good for anything. One tank wasn’t even enough to get him to his doctor’s office and back home. No matter where he went or what he did, he always had to bring several spares with him, and even then if an appointment ran late he could run out of oxygen. One time while visiting friends at a nursing home, he had to borrow THEIR oxygen because he had run out.

Finally, after seeing a commercial for Open-Aire, he thought a portable oxygen concentrator would eliminate his constant need for extra oxygen tanks. Open-Aire case managers helped him through the process, and soon he was able to enjoy portable oxygen.

Now he can finally go outside the house for more than a short time, and doesn’t have to worry about running out of oxygen. Richard says, "yesterday I went to the doctor, did some shopping, yapped it up with a couple of buddies and when I got home I still had plenty of battery life." While he was at the doctor’s office he enthusiastically showed it off to her. His doctor was happy he wasn’t using tanks anymore and told him that if he had any issues she would help resolve the problem. Richard just smiled at her, pointed to his portable concentrator and said, "the problem has already been resolved."

Monday, June 20, 2016

Keep it Cool

Summer has arrived and along with it hot weather. High temperatures bring several health concerns, but oxygen patients who use portable concentrators have an extra one – overheating units. Most portable concentrators are very durable and can endure extra warm temperatures, but under certain circumstances overheating is possible. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your portable oxygen concentrator cool. These simple rules can help you all year long, but are especially important during the summer months.

Preventing Overheating
  • Be sure the vents for your portable oxygen concentrator are unblocked.
  • Do not leave it in a car with the windows up or in small spaces where it can become especially hot.
  • Do not use it while carrying it in a backpack or sack that does not have ventilation.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Getting out of the Man-Cave

David L. of Willow Spring, NC is a long-time Open-Aire customer - almost 6 years! Prior to using a portable oxygen concentrator David was using oxygen tanks, but he never liked using them. "It was tough to get out of the house because you can't stay out for more than a couple hours," says David.  Being on oxygen along with a few other health problems forced him into a position where he didn’t want to leave his house anymore. So if he was going to be stuck at home, he was going to make himself comfortable. He put together a man-cave for himself. "It's got a recliner, TV, mini-fridge, and everything I need. I hang out in there with my chihuahua, Nester." 

As nice as his man-cave was, it wasn’t enough. David wasn’t trying to travel far, he just wanted to get out of the house a little bit more and enjoy life.  Around the time he found out about portable oxygen concentrators from Open-Aire from an online ad.  After a quick call, an Open-Aire case manager helped him switch from his old provider and set him up with a portable oxygen concentrator. 

He still uses that great man-cave of his today, but now he's able to spend afternoons out of the house doing things he likes to do. He takes trips around town, goes out to eat and attends some local auctions where he recently won a very expensive vacuum cleaner with a bid of just a few dollars. Best of all it allows him to be a little more active. And now that the weather is warming up again that means more walks for Nester.