Home Medical Equipment Offers Increased Safety
If your parent or elderly loved one lives alone, a variety of home medical equipment can help provide a safer, more secure environment for them.
A variety of products can be used throughout the home environment, from the bathroom to the kitchen to the bedroom, to provide greater peace of mind, stability, and reduce fear of falling.
For example, all-around pieces of medical equipment that can be used in most areas of the home include walkers or rollators. Such equipment offers greater stability and support for the elderly who may be diagnosed with conditions like arthritis or Parkinson's disease, as well as for those recovering from a knee or hip replacement procedure.
A rollator is similar to a walker, but unlike a traditional walker, has four wheels instead of legs and also has hand brakes and an area between the wheels that can be used for seating or storage.
Rollators are affordably priced, ranging between $70.00 and $135, depending on style and accessories. Known as a rolling walker, this type of equipment can be used throughout the home and outdoor environments for seniors, who are still independent, though may experience balance or stability issues.
In the kitchen, medical equipment that increases safety include
grabbers, which your loved one can utilize to reach objects near the
floor or above waist level without having to stretch, which often causes
balance issues and fall risks.
In the bathroom, one of the best types of medical equipment to have is grab bars mounted on the wall near a toilet, a bathtub, or a shower.
Non-skid rugs in the bathroom also
help prevent slips and falls. Place a shower chair or bench in the
bathtub or shower so that Mom or Dad can sit down while bathing, which
not only increases self-confidence and independence but also takes away
their fear of slipping or falling.
In the bedroom, night-lights, hospital beds, and a lift chair may also provide greater comfort, ease of use and security for the elderly. Lift chairs are a popular item in homes as well as assisted living and long-term care facilities.
Lift chairs reduce the need for seniors to bear their weight on weak knees or hips when sitting or getting up. Such chairs lift through a mechanism found beneath the seat that allows the senior to literally back up to the chair and lean slightly against the seating cushion. The mechanism in the chair does the work of rising and lowering, offering greater comfort and security to your loved one.
Other forms of home medical equipment may include but are not limited to tools, equipment and accessories for respiratory therapy or bedside products such as commodes, hospital bed accessories, mattresses and products that help you deal with incontinence.
Individuals requiring help and getting from bed to chair or vice versa may benefit from patient lifts and slings. Commonly found in nursing homes or long-term care centers, patient lifts and slings offer greater safety when transferring patients from one location to another. Patient lifts and slings also make it easier for caregivers to provide adequate, quality and safe care for individuals who weigh more than the caregivers, or those who are unable to help with the transferring or ambulating processes due to their own size and age.
Many types of home medical equipment are covered under health insurance policies as well as Medicare or Medicaid. When looking at a certain piece of home medical equipment however, talk to the supplier or sales representative in regard to insurance coverage. Most types of medical equipment purchased by those on Medicare will require a physician's prescription for the equipment in order to be reimbursed by Medicare services.
The safety and security of your loved one is of utmost importance. If you believe that a certain type or piece of home medical equipment will help make their life easier, more comfortable, and prevent fall or injury risks, talk to your parent’s doctor about current and future needs and how such pieces of equipment may increase independence and mobility for your loved one.