As our loved-ones and care recipients get older and experience health challenges, medical equipment in the home may be required. Using medical equipment (also called durable medical equipment-DME) required education, instruction, and return demonstration. Some medical equipment is complicated and someone who is simply caring for another person may be frightened by how to use or make medical equipment work. There are two types of consideration for caregiving items: durable medical equipment and disposable medical supplies. Both types are used at home to make it easier to manage the basic needs and medical care of our loved-ones. Mindfulness of cost, availability and effectiveness is necessary to keep in mind.
Equipment as simple as a blood pressure cup can be complicated if the individual does not understand how to put the cuff on correctly or what to do with readings or how to interpret them or when to report them. What about a holier lift? Have you seen the size and attachment process? Scary! And let us not talk about how big it is, and, where to store the monstrosity. What about the equipment and required supplies for home peritoneal dialysis?
Some medical equipment is used for recuperation at home. Equipment of this nature may be hospital beds, walkers, canes, shower chairs, disposable gloves(sterile), crutches, oxygen, IV equipment (home antibiotics), just to name a few. Even with these items, proper instructions and demonstration and return demonstration should be provided to avoid safety worries, because they are real. A major concern with any equipment…you got it…FALLS! Some equipment is for purchase only. Some equipment is compensated by insurance companies, so do your homework.
Question…Is home medical equipment knowledge created equal?
The answer is no! Caregivers come into the role with many disadvantages, especially if they are thrust into the role. Knowledge deficits regarding supplies and equipment is real. As your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, my passion and my role are to share ways to decrease the stress and emotional toll of the caregiving role.
There were days I needed support. Even as a nurse, I was overwhelmed sometimes. Just because I was a nurse did not take away the reality of the 24/7 role. I am here for you!