The majority of seniors over the age of 65 (87%, in fact) report wanting to age in place as they get older.
Do you have an elderly loved one who’s part of this group? If so, you may have concerns about them staying home, especially if they struggle with health problems.
There are steps you can take to make their home a safe place, though. For example, you can make sure certain senior medical supplies are readily available.
Read on to learn more about the most important supplies the elderly need in their homes. You’ll also learn about the best places to find these supplies.
Essential Senior Medical Supplies
There are a few pieces of equipment that should be present in every senior’s home, especially if they’ve dealt with health issues in the past. The following are some of the most important items to have at the ready:
Personal Alert System
A personal alert system is a must-have for any senior, especially those who are living alone and want to age in place.
With a personal alert system, they’ll be able to contact emergency services right away should they fall or have another accident that requires medical assistance. These systems also provide peace of mind to seniors and their loved ones.
There are many different types of assistive equipment that can be helpful to seniors.
For example, things like toilet risers and grip bars in the bathroom can help protect seniors from falls and provide them with extra stability. Canes, walkers, and wheelchairs provide additional support, as well, and help seniors to remain mobile even as they age.
In most cases, seniors rely on several medications that they have to take on a regular basis. To avoid forgetting these medications, it helps to have a reminder tool at the ready.
This could be as simple as a pill counter with the days of the week listed on it, or you could spring for a more advanced digital option that provides your loved one with consistent, automated reminders.
Depending on your loved one’s health conditions, they might require additional pieces of equipment. This could include a blood sugar monitor for those with diabetes or a blood pressure monitor for those who suffer from or are at risk of developing heart conditions.
Vision and Hearing Aids
Vision and hearing aids help seniors to stay aware of what’s going on around them and enjoy a higher quality of life. Having these tools readily available ensures your loved one can do everything from enjoy their favorite TV programs to know when someone is at their door and asking for them.
An automatic external defibrillator (or AED for short) can be a literal life-saver for aging seniors.
Having one at the ready ensures that they can get the help they need while waiting for an ambulance to arrive (as long as there’s someone else in the house who knows how to use the defibrillator).
These devices can be especially helpful to seniors who live in rural areas and might have to wait a long time for emergency services to get to them.
Tips for Finding and Buying Supplies
Okay, you know what types of supplies your loved one needs. How do you go about getting these supplies, though? Here are some tips to help you find high-quality, affordable medical supplies:
Talk to Their Doctor
A good starting point when you’re trying to get your hands on medical supplies is to talk to your loved one’s doctor.
In many cases, when you’re trying to get equipment, especially if it’s condition-specific or has to be made especially for your loved one, you’ll need a doctor’s order first.
In addition to writing a prescription or order for a particular item, their doctor may also be able to recommend resources to help you find the right supplies you need.
They’ll let you know which suppliers you should reach out to or whether or not there are lower-cost options available. They might be able to let you know which items are covered by Medicare as well.
Look into Lending Programs
If you can’t afford to buy an item outright, or if you don’t want to purchase it because you don’t think your loved one will need to use it for a very long time (for example, if they’ve had surgery and only need a wheelchair for a short while), you can also look into local lending programs.
These programs allow you to borrow certain medical supplies and pieces of equipment for a small fee (or sometimes for free). This is a much more cost-effective option, but it still allows you to get your hands on what the elderly individual in your life needs.
You can also always shop online for specific items, too. Sometimes, this is your only option, especially if you’re searching for something that isn’t covered by insurance or Medicare, like an AED defibrillator.
When you shop online, you’ll almost always find better deals than shopping in a store. You can also look at reviews to see what other customers have to say about a specific item before you pull the trigger and purchase it.
Buy in Bulk
When it comes to buying supplies like bandages or even over-the-counter medications, it’s almost always more affordable to buy them in bulk. Shop online for bulk quantities of these things, or go to a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club to stock up and make sure your loved one always has the things they need readily available.
As you can see, there are quite a few senior medical supplies you can keep on hand in your loved one’s home.
Having these tools at the ready will help you ensure they’re supported and have easy access to medical care should something go wrong. Pick them up today so you can help them be prepared for anything.
Do you want to learn more about the latest healthcare supplies and technology? If so, visit the News section of our site today for more interesting articles and pieces of advice.