Google doesn’t always have the answers you need. When it comes to home health care equipment and supplies, having someone who can explain and demonstrate exactly what you need to know is a must.
Need someone to show you how to put on compression stockings? (There is an art to it!) Ask Penny.
Need daily living aids to make your life easier? Ask Penny.
Want to know your options for post-mastectomy products? Ask Penny.
You get the picture. Penny Adams, a Certified Fitter for compression stocking and breast prostheses at Muskoka Medical Centre Pharmacy, is a wellspring of knowledge when it comes to home health care products.
No matter what you need help with – ostomy supplies, wound management, mastectomy fittings and products, mobility aids, braces and supports, compression stockings, foot products for toes and arches, diabetic socks, or diagnostic devices like diabetic or blood pressure monitors – Penny knows them all and more.
But she isn’t just full of answers. She asks lots of questions, too. “I want to be sure that people are informed about what they are buying,” she says.
Take compression stockings, for example. The right fit makes all the difference in both how they work and how good they feel, and solid instruction in how to get them on and off will avoid frustration later. “There’s a definite technique to it,” laughs Penny.
Compression stockings are great for people who are on their feet a lot – chefs and restaurant servers, store clerks, construction workers, factory workers – and people who sit for long periods – office workers and long-distance travelers.
“People who have extended health benefits may want to check with their benefit plan to see if compression stockings are covered,” says Penny. “Employees who feel less fatigue in their legs are happier and more productive, so it’s a smart investment.”
Once Penny knows both why you need them and what strength will work best, she’ll take measurements for a proper fit – mornings, when your legs aren’t as swollen, are best for this. Then, she’ll show you how to use special rubber gloves to massage them up your leg. She can even recommend a water-soluble adhesive if your leg shape means the stockings need help staying up (it’s great for errant bra straps and braces that won’t stay in place, too), and a gentle wash solution that will prolong their life by not breaking down the elastic.
A perfect fit is important for mastectomy products, too. “Making sure that you have the right size can greatly increase your comfort and confidence,” says Penny. “You definitely want to take the time to get measured and try on a variety of products to ensure the best fit. There’s much more involved than just choosing a size off the rack.”
The pharmacy carries a wide variety of breast forms – leisure, silicone and swim varieties, for example – as well as pocketed bras, sports bras and camisoles. Penny can explain the benefits of all of them and also how to care for the forms in particular so that they retain their shape. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Assistive Devices Program provides funding for full or partial silicone breast prostheses for women who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy.
Measurements aren’t needed for all of the pharmacy’s home health care products, but ensuring a proper fit – which usually means trying different things – can make all the difference in whether or not you’ll be happy with it.
“For mobility products, like crutches, canes and walkers, there are many types available and you want to make sure that they are suitable for your needs, as well as your height and weight,” explains Penny. “Braces prescribed by your doctor will have the best results if they are measured and the fit feels comfortable. And buying the correct type of positioning aid for where you’re having discomfort or difficulty – like a cervical pillow to aid sleep or blocks to help you get out of a chair easier – makes life easier.”
Penny can also help ostomy patients to find the right products and can troubleshoot problems. “People aren’t always aware that they may not have to use the same products that were used in the hospital – we can try different things. There are lots of options.”
In fact, finding options is one of the things Penny is best at. She applies knowledge gleaned from her 31 years of pharmacy experience – 23 of those in home health care sales – to thoroughly understand what you need, and then she looks hard for the best solution.
If we don’t have exactly what you need, I will try to find it and bring it in. I want to make sure that people leave here happy.
It’s an attitude she says is shared by everyone in the store. “I started working for Bill and Barb Coon this past November and the staff here are just amazing. They are wonderful team to work with – whether you need a prescription, home healthcare products, or other items, the customer service here is awesome and we welcome everyone to come in!”
Penny is available at Muskoka Medical Centre Pharmacy (348 Muskoka Road 3 N, in the professional building beside the hospital) Monday through Friday from 9-5. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are recommended. Call 705-789-1785.
This is a sponsored story paid for by the featured advertiser.