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Medical Equipment for the Elderly
Mobility and safety are two major concerns for families of seniors who live independently. The declining agility and slower reflexes can make them prone to falls and other injuries, even in their own homes. The use of medical equipment that is designed to facilitate their daily living can greatly enhance your peace of mind. When used properly, the equipment designed for elderly use can also increase the user’s independence.
Below is a list of medical supplies, tools, and equipment that will be of great assistance to seniors.
A lot of seniors who are able to walk still need mobility assistance. This will give them additional safety and support, especially when they are on their feet most of the time. The following are examples of mobility equipment for elders:
- Powered Wheelchairs – Powered wheelchairs are designed to be compact and easy to operate so that seniors can use them even without assistance. They increase the seniors’ independence, particularly since they are electrically powered. Aside from powered wheelchairs, senior scooters make a great alternative, too.
- Canes or Walkers – These are standard mobility aides that are available to seniors. In fact, these medical supplies are used by nearly all seniors.
- Hoyer Lift – This type of lift is available in two styles: sit-to-stand or sling lift. This assistive device is often used in hospitals and nursing homes but is also used for home health care.
Health Monitoring Aides
Health monitoring aides are some of the most important medical supplies for seniors to invest in. As the name implies, these health monitoring aides are designed to manage seniors’ health. There are a variety of these aides and each is designed for specific health or medical conditions:
Electronic Alerts – These are monitoring devices that are worn by seniors as medication reminders. They remind when it is time to take medications. There are even devices that call for help in the event of a crisis.
- Glucometer – This health monitoring device keeps track of blood glucose level. This is recommended for seniors who have diabetes or at risk for hypoglycemia.
- BP (Blood Pressure) Monitor – This device is used to measure the blood pressure level of seniors at home. You can find BP monitors that provide automatic readings to ensure the accuracy of the reading.
- Nebulizer – This is a device that is prescribed for seniors or individuals who have asthma. It is a portable device that can be carried by seniors even when they step out of the house.
- Hot and Cold Pads – These pads are essential for pain relief. They are easy to use and apply to provide a soothing effect on specific areas of the body that hurt.
- Arthritis Aides – Arthritis pain affects the joints in various parts of the body. There are various types of arthritis aides for seniors specifically designed to help manage the pain, such as moist heat pads and therapeutic gloves.
- Compression Clothing – Compression clothing is essential for seniors because this helps to promote blood flow and circulation. It is also prescribed by doctors for hypertension and other venous disorders.
- Stationary or Portable Oxygen Tank – It is not uncommon for the elderly to experience difficulty in breathing. Portable versions of oxygen tanks you normally see in hospitals have recently become available so that seniors can have oxygen therapy wherever they are. With a portable oxygen tank, there will a constant flow of oxygen readily available just in case breathing difficulties arise.
ADL (Activities of Daily Living) Aides
As a senior, performing daily activities can be challenging. The use of ADL aides can make it easier to perform these activities and enjoy a higher quality of living. Here are some of the ADL aides worth looking into:
- Clothing with elastic waistbands or velcro instead of zippers or buttons can make it easier for seniors to get dressed on their own.
- Shoes that do not need to be tied or that which can be slipped on.
- Easy grip homeware or dinnerware items such as beverage containers, mugs, glasses, and silverware.
- A grab stick to reach items placed on higher shelves and cabinets.
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous parts of the house for seniors. It is important to invest in the following bathroom safety equipment to enhance safety:
- Non-slip Bathroom Doormat – This is essential to avoid slipping while stepping into and out of the bathroom.
- Grab Bars – This is designed to provide stability for seniors as they move their way around the bathroom.
- Shower Benches – This is helpful so that seniors are safely seated while they shower. The wet floor can be a serious safety hazard in the bathroom.
- Raised Toilet Seats – This is a great aide for anyone with limited mobility due to arthritis or after undergoing hip replacement surgery.
Exercise is vital for senior health. While there is no need to perform strenuous exercises, any activity can help to strengthen muscles and achieve flexibility. The following exercise aides can be beneficial for an elderly individual to improve or maintain their physical fitness:
- Handheld Exercise Balls – These are versatile exercise equipment for seniors. They can strengthen the core, arms, shoulders, and other large muscle groups.
- Free Weights (Arm and Leg Exercises) – Dumbbells and other forms of free weights allow the user to target a wide range of muscles. They are great tools for improving strength and mobility.
- Floor Pedals – Pedal exercise equipment are beneficial as they are low impact. They are especially great for strengthening the lower body, which helps prevent instability.
- Exercise Bands (Adjustable Resistance) – Just like free weights, exercise bands for seniors are versatile. They are good for flexibility and strengthening.
In addition to the medical equipment and accessories for seniors listed above, there are a few more essential supplies to add. Among them are orthopedic supplies (such as braces and wraps for increased mobility), wearable medical alert devices, and assistive seating devices.
You do not need to acquire all of the above listed medical equipment for seniors. You can choose according to the user’s unique medical and daily needs. Matching the right equipment and supplies for your elderly loved ones will make you worry-free, too.