What You Need to know About Treating Crohn's and Colitis

With some time and effort, Crohn's and Colitis
can be successfully managed.
For anyone who is diagnosed with Crohn's or Colitis one of the first priorities is seeking out the right treatment. It is important to remember treating any form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be a complicated and at times confusing journey. It will require patience and persistence on the part of the patient and the health care provider. However, with some time and effort it can be successfully managed. 

Common Questions About Crohns Disease

Crohns Disease can be managed and treated.
If you have been recently diagnosed with Crohns Disease or are the caregiver for someone that has, you probably have lots of questions. This somewhat unfamiliar medical condition can seem overwhelming and confusing. However, there are ways to manage and treat this condition. Educate yourself on options, but keep in mind educating yourself is not a substitute for medical treatment. Making an appointment to see your health care provider is the number one step you should take. Here are some common questions and answers about Crohns Disease. 

What Are the Tests for Crohn's Disease?

Through testing your doctor can make the correct diagnosis. 
If you or your doctor suspects you may have Crohn’s Disease then you will need to undergo tests and have an examination to determine if this is the cause of your symptoms. 

There are a variety of tests which may be performed which include but are not limited to: imaging tests, blood, urine, and stool tests. Along with this your doctor will want to get a thorough medical history and perform a complete physical exam. It is important to understand often times Crohn’s goes undiagnosed for years. This is mostly due to the fact that symptoms can gradually develop and it does not always affect the same part of the intestine. In addition, there are many other conditions which can mimic this medical issue. The symptoms must be carefully assessed before the doctor can make a final diagnosis. However, the good news is once a diagnosis is made you can begin to manage and treat your symptoms.

What To Do If You Have An Incontinent Episode

Be aware of changes in your body and seek corrective actions.
Most people never give any thought to incontinence until that first experience. Perhaps you have laughed a little hard or sneezed and are suddenly shocked to find that you are leaking a few drops of urine or have even lost control of your bladder. Other people report that before they experienced their first incontinent episode they were lifting something heavy or participating in some physical activity. This can be a disconcerting and upsetting experience. However, it should be stressed that this does not mean that you are fully incontinent only that you need to be aware that there are some changes in your body, and seek corrective actions.

Think Outside the Box This Mother’s Day

Get creative this Mother's Day!

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, here are some out-of-the-ordinary ideas to make Mom feel comfortable, healthy and safe.

What Are Crohn's and Colitus?

Helping you access toilets. 
What are Crohn's and Colitus? They are medical conditions affecting the bowel and GI tract. If you are unfamiliar with these conditions you may be surprised to learn they affect 1 in every 200 people throughout the United States, making them quite common. However, many people with these conditions often feel embarrassment and a reluctance to talk about them. What makes matters worse many health care professionals are unfamiliar with these medical issues as well. This makes it crucial that if you are a patient who has been diagnosed with either of these conditions, you should make it a priority to learn all you can. Here is what you need to know to answer the questions- What are Crohn's and Colitus? 

Using the Right Products to Increase Mobility

the most compact, portable, easiest open-and-close walker ever invented
 by Stander Mobility Products
One of the most common problems people have as they age is decreased mobility. Many seniors find it more and more difficult to get around their home and complete daily tasks. In addition, when the ability to move around becomes diminished safety becomes a concern. Decreased mobility can prevent seniors from safely leaving their home and being able to participate in needed social and other activities. 

Skin Care For the Incontinent

Anyone with incontinence
(or if you are a caregiver to someone with this condition),
should learn all they can about skin care for the incontinent. 
Anyone who is experiencing problems with incontinence is at greater risk for having skin problems. Skin is simply not meant to come in contact with urine and fecal matter for prolonged periods of time. This becomes even more crucial when a senior is dealing with this problem since aging skin is more susceptible to breakdown and infection when it comes into contact with urine and fecal matter. These skin issues are more likely to occur around the buttocks, hips, genitals, and the area between the pelvis and rectum (perineum), however, any skin anywhere on the body can be at risk. This makes it crucial that anyone with incontinence (or if you are a caregiver to someone with this condition), should learn all they can about skin care for the incontinent.

Joy or Duty? Regain the Fulfillment in Being a Caregiver

Taking care of anybody, whether it’s an elderly adult that needs help with day-to-day tasks or a healthy child, can be a stressful task. It doesn't matter if it’s a family member you’re caring for, or if the job is paid - the stress is equally difficult to deal with.

At the same time, the role of a caregiver is also incredibly rewarding. In fact, it was probably a very rewarding task when you first began. Over time, however, that sense of fulfillment can turn into a simple sense of responsibility, and one that many people grow to resent, even just a little bit.

Monitoring and Alert Systems for Seniors

Senior monitoring and alert systems
 are used in a variety of different settings.
Studies show one of the most pressing concerns for seniors is whether they will be able to stay in their own homes as they grow older. Most people want to be able to age in place and not have their independence affected. While this is possible for most people as they age, often times they may need some additional monitoring so caregivers and concerned family members can know they are safe. These concerns can range from falls in the home to having a loved one wander off and not know where they are. The good news is there is a variety of different monitoring systems which can help to make sure your loved one can still be at home but also receive help if they need it.

The Right Tools Can Help Ease Elderly Travel

 The right tools make travel more enjoyable.

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

As nicer weather turns thoughts to travel and recreation, even senior family members can join in the fun with confidence.  

HELPFUEL INC. Starts a Family Caregiver Revolution

Be the best family caregiver we can be. 
We are here to raise awareness of what the family caregiver faces.

We are here to change the system so family caregivers can sustain themselves.

We are here to connect family caregivers and help them mobilize as a group to become empowered, educated and enlightened.

We are here to start a movement, to sound a thunderous call to be heard and to take the mystery out of a family caregiving. YOU will probably end up caring for a loved one in your adult life. We are here to shine the light on resources and encourage everyone to share their stories.

P&G and the Incontinence Category: Updated Sept 15, 2015

1 Year In-Market Update:  Firm Hold on 2nd Place

Always Discreet has been in the market in the U.S. 1 year - since September 2014

    • As of the latest 4-week period ending August, P&G's dollar share nationally is 9% of the entire incontinence category.  If you consider they don't compete in the male market or within heavy end products like briefs, their share is more like 13% to 15%.  If you just look at branded light to moderate incontinence products for women, where Always Discreet competes, their dollar share is closer to 20%.
    • Their annualized sales are $140 million, growing at 9%.  Always (+9%) and Poise (+7%) are clearly driving double digit category growth of 12% the past 52-weeks.  Depend is down over 1% while SCA's TENA, as anticipated 15 months ago, is the big loser, down 12%.  Sales of Always Discreet are at least 50% above the TENA brand which competes in segments that P&G does not.  SCA brought in a new marketing leader who may replace the current President.
    • When P&G launched last year, they promised a 3 year sustained marketing effort with print, TV and digital and heavy coupons.  Lately, we've seen $3 trial oriented coupons running nationally in Sunday papers.
    • In June 2015, P&G announced that more than 500,000 women in the U.S. have tried Always Discreet underwear.  Women like the security, protection, flexibility and soft fabric which make them feel confident and secure.  For their pad segment, they are now claiming that more women prefer Always Discreet over Poise pads.  They are comparing only the moderate regular version and the statistics are among only those women with a preference.  This is not much of a claim.
    • K-C's persistent claim is that Poise works better than Always... but they aren't talking about Always Discreet, just the Always products intended for feminine protection use, not incontinence.  To a degree its a misleading claim (or at least confusing).  Since its technically truthful, P&G hasn't been successful getting them to cease and desist. 
    • Meanwhile, TENA continues with more marketing happy talk such as 'the TENA proven personal protection system', 'TENA technology, 'Fearless Protection' and 'Unexpected Leak'.  Their product point of difference has pivoted to 'odor protection' (something all brands have).  This, while K-C continues rolling out innovation after innovation (Depend Silhouettes and Real Fit, Poise Impressa, Poise Thin Shapes and Depend seat covers and bed protectors).   At the same time K-C and P&G have really stepped up their couponing activities with monthly $2 and $3 coupons delivered via full page Sunday coupon sections.  Meanwhile, TENA continues with an occasional $1 half page coupon.  It is a losing strategy no matter how you view it.  And that's exactly what's happening.
    • In April, P&G announced a number of awards for their Always Discreet brand.
      • The Good Housekeeping Seal
      • Product of the year in the bladder protection category 
      • Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Award 
      • Product of the Year in the bladder protection category for 2015 (40,000 consumers voting) 
      • Best New Adult Incontinence Product for 2015 (70,000 consumers voting – study by BrandSpark)
    • In early March annualized sales were tracking as high as $198 million during March 7th (a weekly share) driven by a $3 trial coupon. At the same time, the Always Discreet share reached a 17.7 unit share (11.6 dollar share).
    • As predicted, P&G's Always Discreet is making inroads in the disposable incontinence products category and helping to expand it.  On January 27, P&G's CFO made the following comments regarding the product launch:
      • 1 of 3 of women suffer with incontinence; only 1 of 9 use an incontinence product
      • Women trust and prefer the Always brand for fit and protection
      • Always Discreet is beating targets with a 7% value share in the U.K. and U.S.
      • The introduction in the U.K. (July 2014) has helped grow the category double digits - now growing 50% faster than before the introduction.
      • In the U.S. (August 2014 launch), the category growth rate has more than doubled to 9%
      • Germany, Switzerland and Austria are the next expansion markets during Feb 2015.
    • On January 30, SCA CEO Jan Johansson told a news conference that "so far we have been reasonably successful in defending our position versus P&G in the incontinence market".   Note: The numbers below through November 2014 do not seem to support that.  As of March 2015, it appears SCA is in a serious situation.  There has recently been another round of management changes.  Its uncertain what will be able to turn things around with no new product plans or aggressive marketing to match rivals K-C and P&G.  K-C just introduced consumer preferred Depend Silhouette Active Fit for women and may expand the revolutionary Poise Impressa, a bladder support which prevents, rather than absorbs urine.
    • During November, P&G's reported retail revenue on Always Discreet nearly overtook the entire TENA brand with sales of $8.5 million versus $8.6 million for SCA's TENA.  TENA's sales dollars declined 16.2% during the period.
    • Always Discreet is helping drive category growth which increased 9% in November and 6% for the 52-week period ending November 29.  A portion of this is likely accounted for from incremental pantry loading as consumers take advantage of purchase incentives.
    • Kimberly-Clark's Depend and Poise brands are holding their own, up 3.7% in November and +6.1% the past 52-weeks (sales dollars).
    • Always Discreet is now the #2 branded competitor in the heavy end segment of the category, more than doubling TENA's retail sales volume.  The TENA heavy end segment declined 25% during November alone.
    • Based on an analysis of consumer marketing spending and product plans over the next 6 months, we believe Always will take the #2 position away from TENA and TENA's share loss will accelerate as they lose more distribution points.  TENA has less than half the retail distribution compared to TENA in the latest 4-week period ending November 29.
    • P&G is now taking square aim at Kimberly-Clark's Depend and Poise brands with ad claims that Always Discreet absorbs faster than the leading brand (Depend) and that Always Discreet pads are preferred over Poise.  TENA is also taking aim at Poise with their line of pads. 
    • Most people I talk to inside and outside the industry have been surprised by the 'me too' nature of the Always Discreet product line, its positioning and marketing execution.  There is no denying the incredible shelf space and distribution P&G achieve. 
    P&G is emailing consumers links to a host of brand videos on YouTube

     This video (1:17) has two women talking about 'no smell'.  As discussed below, P&G is bombarding women with a litany of features and benefits.  The core brand positioning is unclear.

    Embracing the Privilege of Giving Back

    The one book on Alzheimer's/Dementia
    that no one else could write!
    Guest post by Elaine C. Pereira, MA OTR/L, CDP, CDC. 

    Writing a book was never on my post retirement to-do list. In fact I had explored volunteering for the Humane Society, which in retrospect probably wasn’t a good idea. I’m such a softie for mewing kittens and wide-eyed hopeful dogs with helicopter wagging tails I would have wanted to take all of them home with me. Three is enough, we already have two big dogs and a cat and the shedding is endless.

    My mother’s is a story that needed to be told and, as a tribute not only to her but also to everyone with a remarkable story, I did! She was a kind, brilliant and talented woman all of my life until Dementia took hold distorting her persona and leaving an agitated, bewildered and compromised person in its wake.

    The same woman who earned a BS in chemistry in 1945 post WWII, went on for her Master’s in Education and taught high school math for years, literally couldn’t add 2+2 in the end. She was a great mom not unlike all great moms except that she was mine.

    Blindsided. Help for 15 Million Boomers.

    Order your pre-production free copy of the book now...
    for a very limited time! 
    In addition to the pending dementia epidemic, it is estimated that 15 million baby boomers will become visually impaired over the next several years. To answer that need and help the millions of unpaid family caregivers throughout the United States, R.O.S. Therapy Systems is pleased to introduce the next book in their Activities 101 for the Family Caregiver book series:

    I've Got Sam in My Pants

    Two women talking about wanting to have Sam in their pants
    Watch the video

    This is a TV spot for new Poise micro liners.  Watch the video and/or read the copy below:

    I love Sam.

    Sam knows how to take care of a woman

    Sam is also very small okay but

    Sam can last for hours

    I have Sam in my pants right now

    Sam, its super absorbent material from Poise

    For those little leaks

    It’s crazy thin and look

    I wish I had Sam in my pants

    New Poise micro liners. Get a free sample and poise dot com.

    Some might think this spot is funny, cute or clever.  Others have found it offensive and called us on it because it ran while their young children were in the room.  I'm sure it will be pretty polarizing.

    What it isn't... is what its supposed to be - good advertising that sells products because it resonates with a consumer insight. 

    First of all, there is no USP or unique selling proposition.  Every incontinence product has super absorbent material (SAM) inside.  The Poise people aren't even talking about a better SAM - one that absorbs more, works harder or lasts longer.  At least this would provide a competitive reason why or point of difference -- what CenterBrain Partners, Inc. refers to as the 'Truth' or reason to believe in all good communication.

    This type of advertising is what CenterBrain refers to an 'ingredient story' advertising.  Its lazy advertising because it isn't based on a key consumer insight -- what they refer to as the "That's Me" factor.  For example, the consumer benefit is feeling fresh.  The most effective way to communicate that is 'Just Showered Freshness".  Visually "Just Showered Freshness" can be executed many different ways

    Learn more here about the Positioning 3 T's

    As David Ogilvy, the famous ad man once said, there are no low interest brands... only low interest ad agencies.  He also said to never write an advertisement which you wouldn't' want your family to read (or see).

    What is your reaction?  Do you like this?  Do you think it is advertising which convinces you to buy?

    How Senior Mobility Can Be Improved

    Stander products are a great place to start. 
    As most people age mobility can become an issue. Our ability to move around and do daily tasks can be affected not only by getting older but also by disease or injury. Improving senior mobility can lead to greater independence and increased ability to age in place. The following are tips which can help to improve senior mobility and keep active seniors able to take care of daily tasks. Here is what you need to know about how senior mobility can be improved-

    How Do You Know It's Crohn's?

    How Do You Know It's Crohn's?
    Statistics show nearly half a million Americans have Crohn’s Disease. This is a chronic inflammation of the digestive system. Symptoms can include but are not limited to: abdominal cramping and pain a short time after eating, chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, night sweats and a recurring fever. Anyone with these symptoms needs to seek medical attention right away due to the serious nature of this medical condition. However, it is important to understand making a clear cut diagnosis of Crohn's can be difficult due to the fact these symptoms can fit other conditions. The only way to be sure is to visit your health care professional and rule out other possibilities. 

    Encopresis in Kids

    Encopresis in Kids 
    If you are the parent of a child who has bowel movements in other places then the toilet, you know how difficult this situation can be. However, you should not assume your child is misbehaving or is too lazy to use the bathroom. Children who are over the age of 4 and have this problem fall under the condition of encopresis. This means they don’t have the same strong urge to have a bowel movement and when an accident occurs they can’t control it. 

    3 Steps Toward Successfully Managing IBS-Related Incontinence

    Dianna Malkowski

    by Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant & Nutritionist

    In recognition of IBS Awareness Month, read on for three steps toward successfully treating and managing incontinence caused by irritable bowel syndrome.

    How Senior Mobility Can Be Improved

    Curve Grab Bar is a space saving support rail. 
    As most people age mobility can become an issue. Our ability to move around and do daily tasks can be affected not only by getting older but also by disease or injury. Improving senior mobility can lead to greater independence and increased ability to age in place. The following are tips which can help to improve senior mobility and keep active seniors able to take care of daily tasks. Here is what you need to know about how senior mobility can be improved-

    Are You Too Young To Do Kegels?

    Noone is too young to do Kegels. 
    Many people are surprised to learn urinary leakage is a problem which is experienced by nearly 50% of all women. This is most often due to the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. The pelvic floor muscles which regulate the flow of urine can be weakened and even damaged by these events. Coupled with the fact that later in life the hormonal changes which come with menopause can affect this even more, it makes it crucial that all women know how to do keels to strengthen these muscles. Knowing how to do this exercise and when they should be doing them is key. Here is what you need to know to answer the question- Are you too young to do Kegels?

    7 Tips for Senior Night Safety

    Lighting is the key for seniors to navigate their homes at night. 
    Unless you are a senior or a caregiver for a senior, you may be surprised to learn falls are the number one cause of accidents for the elderly. Worse yet, studies show when a senior has a serious enough fall to warrant hospitalization their stay is often longer and more costly then seniors being admitted for any other reason. Even if the senior does not have to go to the hospital, they can often be left with life changing injuries that dramatically affect their quality of life. It is also important to note many of these falls occur at night. For these reasons it becomes crucial that any caregiver or concerned family member know all they can about how to prevent senior falls. Here are 7 tips for senior night safety-

    Preserving Senior Independence Through Increased Mobility

    Security Pole with Optional Curve Grab Bar
    Studies show one of the biggest fears seniors have is losing independence. Aging often leads to the inability to maintain independence and continue living in their homes. And this is a valid concern as many seniors can't age in place due to mobility issues. However, taking steps to increase mobility can help to preserve senior independence and allow seniors to age in place. 

    Using the Right Products to Increase Mobility

    Adjusting, pivoting tray and mobility handle
    for any couch, chair or recliner. 
    One of the most common problems people have as they age is decreased mobility. Many seniors find it more and more difficult to get around their home and complete daily tasks. In addition, when the ability to move around becomes diminished safety becomes a concern. Decreased mobility can prevent seniors from safely leaving their home and being able to participate in needed social and other activities. 

    Fortunately for many seniors, there is no reason to have to live with a diminished mobility. Whether due to age, illness, or injury, there are things you can do and products which can be used to help increase the mobility of any senior.

    The CareGiver Partnership Announces April Sweepstakes Prizes

    Enter to win prizes by TENA and TriDerma!

    by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

    As part of our “Helping You Get On With Life” monthly sweepstakes, we are giving away a case of TENA incontinence underwear and three TriDerma products of the winner’s choosing.

    8 Things to Have the Doctor Check After an Aging Person Falls

    Help prevent dangerous falls. 
    Guest post by Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH, Geriatrician and Caregiver educator 
    If you want to prevent dangerous falls in an aging adult, here’s one of the very best things you can do: be proactive about getting the right kind of medical assessment after a fall.
    Why? There are three major reasons for this: