Immediate recovery can take time for a senior who has sustained an injury/illness or undergone an operation. While you would love to see your senior get better and resume normal living after being discharged from the hospital, the fact is that complete recovery can be a lengthy process for your aging family member.
Owing to increasing age and illness/injury, your elder will need assistance with performing his/her activities of daily living (ADLs). In such a scenario, the provision of in-home medical supplies can support your loved one and significantly improve his/her overall quality of life.
Most of the tools suggested by your medical practitioner will include senior medical equipment that will support the mobility, the stability, the range of motion, and the overall health of your aging family member.
The medical supplies you choose for your aging parent/relative will assist him/her until he/she recuperates and resumes leading a normal life. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you provide him/her with the best medical equipment and supplies.
Here are five tips to consider when arranging for the finest medical supplies for your senior so that he/she is safe and comfortable at home.
1. Be Clear on Your Requirements
Investing in medical supplies is a crucial, yet a costly process; therefore, you must list down your specific needs. Evaluate your senior loved one’s health condition before you choose the equipment.
For instance, if he/she needs support with moving around but is unable to stand, you can consider investing in a wheelchair. In case, he/she has been advised to walk slowly, you may need a walker. The medical practitioner may also recommend an in-home ventilator if the aging senior is critical and needs life support.
Thus, depending on the condition of your loved one, you may require these and other medical supplies like a hospital bed, shower chair, raised toilet seat, oxygen cylinder, intravenous apparatus, and disposable gloves.
2. Consider Procuring Medical Equipment on Rent
Take into account the length of time for which you will require the medical equipment. If the cost of purchasing the equipment is high and your senior requires it for a short time, it is wise to research the available rental options.
Compare the cost of hiring and purchasing the supplies. Make sure you read the rental agreement properly. Check whether the agreement covers the maintenance/repair costs of the equipment as they can increase your expenses.
3. Keep Your Senior’s Budget in Mind
If your senior family member is going to spend his/her savings on buying/renting the medical supplies, see if his/her budget can provide for them.
If he/she is unable to afford them, seek assistance from health care foundations, mission/charity organizations, veterans’ organizations, and other non-profit organizations. You can also look for a low monthly payment scheme that can help you and your elder manage finances in a better manner.
4. Check the Technical Aspects of the Equipment
It is important to consider certain technical aspects like the type of support your senior will need, his/her body size/height, and the accessories preferred before procuring the medical equipment.
For instance, if you want to choose the right type of walker/rollator for an obese elder, you must ensure that it supports his/her weight. In case you opt for a rollator walker, check the hand grips and brakes, and the height of the rollator to avoid accidents.
Similarly, if you are investing in a wheelchair, make sure it is safe and comfortable for your loved one as he/she will spend a considerable amount of time in it. A power wheelchair is apt for disabled seniors as it allows them to move around independently. If your senior lives in a smaller apartment/house, consider investing in a mid-wheel wheelchair that has a smaller turning radius.
Whether you purchase or rent the medical equipment, you must inquire about the long-term maintenance and repair services. This is especially applicable to electronic medical equipment like electric wheelchairs and ventilators.
5. Check Your Medical Insurance Plan
If medical supplies/services are necessary for bettering your aging family member’s health and are recommended by your health care provider, they are probably covered under Medicare Part B.
Items like hospital beds, walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs are reusable and classified as “durable medical equipment”. Medicare Part B covers preventive care, ambulance assistance, durable medical equipment, and a few other services. Check your insurance claim options before investing.
Self-dependence is extremely crucial for your senior parent’s well-being and faster recovery. Choosing the right in-home medical supplies will not only ensure his/her safety and comfort, but also boost his/her will to get better. As the family caregiver, it is crucial that you empower your elderly loved one with the best medical supplies so that he/she can regain confidence and stay healthy and happy. The above-mentioned tips will guide you when selecting the necessary medical supplies for your elderly family member.