Right now is a tough time to find the right medical equipment to help a loved one limited by age or disability. But as we stay at home more, many families recognize the need for assistive devices that help make aging in place safer and easier.
Lift chairs, grab bars and other in-home aids make all the difference between living independently and depending on others for basic needs. The challenge is to make well-informed decisions about what equipment or adaptive devices will improve everyday life for a loved one.
We asked Marlies Selent-West with Goshen Home Medical what first-time users should expect when they shop for home medical equipment.
Getting to know you
Start by talking with an expert in home medical equipment and supplies, Marlies suggested. Our assistive product specialists are trained to evaluate the medical needs, living arrangements, physical and cognitive abilities.
"No two people are alike," said Marlies. "A person who rehabilitates at home after surgery has entirely different needs than an aging parent who faces mobility challenges."
Be prepared to answer several questions as you explore options. An experienced specialist considers today's needs as well as how a progressive or permanent condition may change those needs in the future.
"One size does not fit all," said Marlies. You may think it's OK to borrow diminutive Aunt Jo's walker for your dad to use. But his 6'2" robust frame needs an SUV, not a subcompact to get around safely.
A conversation with a specialist goes beyond the physical and medical condition of your loved one. The home environment makes a big difference too.
"We try to understand the current condition of the home as well as each person's physical and medical condition," said Marlies.
You may want something in the bathroom to help with balance issues. A quick search online for grab bars, and you'll find hundreds of choices. The right choice depends on your current bathroom environment.
What works for a walk-in shower is different from a step-in tub. When it comes to getting on or off the toilet, bottom size matters. Large-bottomed users may need a safety frame instead of a built-in grip bar that works well for small-bottomed users.
In many cases, you can't return bathroom equipment. That means more pressure to make the right choice the first time.
"Choosing the right equipment takes more than reading online reviews or buying based on price," said Marlies.
Local delivery, set-up, support
Free delivery may sound good. But what if your online purchase has complicated setup instructions? For example, you may feel uncomfortable using devices like oxygen equipment or CPAP without proper training.
That's when your local equipment provider makes a big difference. Curbside service and in-home delivery with all necessary safety precautions is essential for your safety and comfort, according to Marlies.
Professional service providers go beyond the order. Our experienced delivery technicians demonstrate, train and tailor equipment for specific needs, said Marlies. Local providers also offer ongoing support to help you maintain or repair devices.
During this pandemic, we want you to know Goshen Home Medical is open. Our team is ready to help – offering many ways to receive your home medical needs, including curbside service and free home delivery. So, before you opt to order online, take a few minutes to review how we can help. You might be surprised how much your local home medical store can offer. Visit GoshenHomeMedical.com or call (574) 533-0626.