Providing the best possible care in the home is a draining and stressful task, but there are caregivers all around the country that won’t settle for anything less. It is our goal to give them as much support as possible.
When it comes to home health care, a caregiver’s tools, medical equipment, and a wide range of other products can make a huge difference to effective patient care. However, finding the right products that will meet the needs of the individual best is often a drawn-out process with many cases of trial and error.
From blood pressure medicine to diabetic supplies, and incontinent supplies to personal care products and treatment for arthritis pain, there is a wide variety of medical equipment to treat patients that can be sourced from the comfort of your own home.
Whether you’re searching for yourself or a loved one, we hope that you can get some much-needed help throughout this article. Independent home living and in-home care can do amazing things for a senior and their family. You deserve home health care products that truly support your mission.
Hang In There!
With a quick search on the Internet, you can find all kinds of articles discussing long-term issues, big decisions, and coping mechanisms involved with home health care. The problem is that the basic, everyday needs of caregivers and seniors in the home simply take precedence over these issues and it is surprisingly difficult to find information to help with these needs, especially regarding the selection of the right products.
Private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid policies regarding product selection are just plain confusing. Not to mention the sheer number of different options and methods out there today. Don’t get too discouraged, with a little knowledge and determination, you will get better at shopping for home health care products.
The Most Important Home Health Care Products
While we can by no means say that this guide will include all the necessary products for home health care, we hope that these essential items give you a big head start.
Safety in the Bathroom
The bathroom can be a dangerous place for almost anyone, so individuals with limited mobility are especially at risk. Slick wet surfaces and hard bathroom fixtures cause thousands of injuries for seniors living at home every year. While making the bathroom a safer place should be a priority; you don’t necessarily need to do a complete renovation. There are quite a few great products out there that can make the bathroom safer either temporarily or in the long-term.
Tub And Shower
Start with some well-placed grab bars and non-slip mats to make moving around much easier. If you or your loved one have especially limited mobility, a transfer bench might be a good solution for moving into and out of the tub in a safer way. Look into shower seats with sturdy frames and a hand-held shower head to allow bathing in a more comfortable position.
Since the process of sitting down on the toilet and standing back up can be painful for some, you can look into safety frames and toilet seat risers to make things much safer and easier. There are many different styles available including those with independent or attached arms.
3-in-1 commodes can be set up over your existing toilet and come with a splash guard. They are great to use as safety frames and risers, plus they can be easily removed by the caregiver or another member of the family. They also have built-in or removable arms for help sitting, standing or transferring from a wheelchair.
Since they are not actually connected to your toilet, commodes can also be moved to another room of the house if needed. In this case, you would attach a commode bucket with a liner instead of the splash guard.
Shopping for the best medical supply products starts with stocking the basics for your bathroom, living areas, and vehicle. Once you have first aid kits, you can start supplementing them with products to meet unique needs.
A minor abrasion or burn can cause a lot of panics if the simple medical supplies are not readily available. By stocking up on home healthcare products and medical supplies online, you’re preparing yourself to handle minor issues and accidents with the best care possible.
- First aid items like sterile bandages, gauze rolls, self-adherent wraps and surgical tape can make a big difference when it comes to home health care. Make sure you have a full selection of these items at all times.
- Ointments offer fast relief and also help to prevent future damage by protecting the affected area. These can include topical painkillers in spray form or ointments for the relief of muscle and joint pain. Things like this will come in handy when the time arises.
- Disinfectant wipes are very helpful for preventing the spread of germs in the home, and antibacterial skin cleansers make it easy to stay clean during the day.
- Nutritional supplements, used either as meal replacements or as snacks, offer much-needed protein and calories throughout the day. Some even include vitamins and minerals that help maintain overall health
- Compression socks are great for circulation problems, and they come in a range of different tension levels.
- Cold packs are important to provide pain relief and reduce swelling, while heating pads help to soothe painful areas and make individuals more comfortable. These can be used sparingly for acute injuries or regularly for chronic issues.
Other Helpful Medical Supplies and Devices Depending on Needs
- After an injury or surgery, a cervical collar or neck brace may be necessary for rehabilitation.
- For nerve and muscle stimulation, electrotherapy and TENS devices for the home can be very helpful. Many of these units are similar to those used by physical therapists.
- Exam gloves are always a great idea for protection against germs. They are available in a range of different sizes, in latex or latex-free material, and can be powdered or powder-free.
- There are a variety of different respiratory care products on the market to help individuals breathe more easily. Air purifiers and humidifiers can be great tools for seniors suffering from allergies and other conditions in the home. For those with serious respiratory conditions, nebulizers and oxygen concentration devices are essential and should be chosen according to the doctor’s guidelines.
- Edema pumps provide support for seniors suffering from circulation issues in the home.
- Oral swabs can also be helpful to provide relief from dry mouth.
There’s a popular belief out there that seniors don’t need as much sleep. This is simply not true. A restful night of sleep is just as important for seniors as it is for those in their 20s and 30s. There are multiple ways to make the bedroom a safe and soothing place that promotes good sleep.
For promoting overall bedroom safety and aiding in the prevention of falls, a bed rail should be strongly considered. Bed rails protect the individual from rolling out of bed during sleep, and they also act as mobility devices to help them get into and out of bed in the safest way possible. Bed rails are pretty simple to install, and some styles allow you to easily take bed rails on overnight trips.
Comfort in the bedroom starts with a good mattress pad. Memory foam toppers and mattress pads help seniors sleep more comfortably with an extra layer of cushioning. Memory foam pads are designed specifically to mold to the individual’s body. Air-filled mattress pads and “egg crate” foam mattress covers can ease pressure and evenly distribute body weight more effectively.
If your loved one spends a lot of time in bed, solutions like these are especially important. They help to encourage improved circulation, prevent the formation of skin ulcers and reduce friction at pressure points. Specialty pillows and foam bed wedges also provide improved comfort. Body positioner pillows, which are firmer and longer than a normal bed pillow, help seniors align their bodies more easily.
Bed wedges are designed to provide support while sitting up in bed, other shapes are available to help elevate the body while sleeping for improved breathing. Cervical rolls and other wedges can be placed under the knees of the individual to support better back positioning.
Other bedding products are available for protecting the actual mattress. Waterproof mattress covers are great for creating a barrier between the mattress and fluids, allergens, and dust mites. When trying to manage incontinence, mattress covers are your first line of protection.
These covers are available in sizes that will fit almost any bed size. Waterproof sheets can also provide an extra layer of protection. The over-bed table is one of the most commonly-purchased specialty products for home health care today. They work similarly to the ones you see in hospitals, but feature designs that make them fit better in the home.
These tables keep essential items within easy reach and some tilt to help individuals who like to read in bed. No matter how old we are, it is important to remember that we spend a substantial portion of our lives in our beds. Seniors tend to spend even more time in bed, so choosing products that maximize the quality of this time is essential.
When it comes to home health care, a caregiver’s tools, medical equipment, and a wide range of other products can make a huge difference to effective patient care.