Something for Everyone
Medical equipment for seniors has become quite sophisticated, with technological breakthroughs and better designs helping to increase quality of life in the later years.
Just What the Doctor Ordered
Be sure to talk to the doctor, nurse, physical or occupational therapist to determine exactly what your loved one needs. Some equipment is covered by insurance or Medicare, but you'll need a written referral. Check with your insurance company to see what is covered and the documentation that's required.
Wheels and Deals
Ask your health care professional to recommend a good medical equipment and supply store. Pharmacies, hospitals and home health care agencies are also good
sources for everything from wheelchairs and scooters to canes and walkers. You may also be able to find good prices on some types of used equipment from online sources, such as EBay and Craigslist, but use considerable caution and consider sizing and service issues, especially on items like scooters. It's probably best to buy these items from a store that specialized in medical equipment.
If the equipment is only needed for the short-term, consider renting it from your local charity or senior center. In fact, sometimes insurance companies will only pay for the cost of renting. You may also be able to find the rental equipment you need from these groups:
- Visiting Nurses Association
- Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- Easter Seal Society
Protection in the Powder Room
The bathroom is the most dangerous place in the home. That's true for any age, but especially for elders. Fortunately, there is a lot of equipment available that increases this slippery room's safety. Here are a few you'll want to consider:
- Raised toilet seat and toilet frame
- Grab bars for tub, shower, and toilet
- Bath bench
- Bath transfer bench
- Hand-held shower
Assistive Technology That Opens Doors (and Jars)
There are countless devices and supplies that help keep seniors mobile and functioning in the home and out on the road. Simple solutions, like canes, lever door handles, and jar openers, to the more complex advances in speech amplification and emergency response systems can all work together to make more opportunities available for your parent or loved one.