At a certain point in your life, it will likely become your responsibility to care for those who once cared for you. Caring for the elderly is a lot of work, but it?s a labor of love. However, it?s a very different task from that of caring for children. Elderly people are still adults, and many continue to have a level of independence for many years after entering the care of others. Certain medical supplies for the elderly are great tools in helping people maintain some measure of independence, while aiding in their physical health at the same time.
Wheelchairs: Easier To Use Than You?d Think
The wheelchair is among the most commonly-used medical supplies for the elderly, with up to 2.2 million Americans depending on a wheelchair for day-to-day activities. Often, a wheelchair is used by those who can?t walk at all anymore. Some power wheelchairs are made for patients with a limited range of motion in their upper bodies as well, operating through batteries. Others prefer to use older versions of the wheelchair to maintain their physical strength through operation. Either way, a wheelchair is a great way for people who maintain active minds and lives, even if their bodies are not as physically able as they used to be. It marries convenience with ability, allowing users a great deal of freedom.
Mobility Scooters: A Compromise
So what about those that need help getting around, but aren?t quite ready for a wheelchair? Mobility scooters are great compromises, allowing people to use them not constantly, but when they need help getting around. These kinds of medical supplies for the elderly allow people to walk around on their own at home, while moving around more quickly during daily routines like shopping. At the moment, there are two different types of mobility scooters available: front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. Mid-range scooters can reach speeds of up to five to seven miles per hour. This convenience means that age and limited mobility is not the obstacle that it used to be.
Sleep Apnea Machines: More Necessary Than Many Know
It seems strange to think that people can risk death simply by sleeping. However, sleep apnea affects 18 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep apnea involves a stopping and starting of breath during sleep, which is difficult not only on your lungs but your heart. It is especially dangerous for the elderly, and with apneas capable of occurring up to 30 time or more an hour, it needs to be taken seriously. Luckily, there are many different machines that can help people get through the night without suffering the severe consequences of sleep apnea. They can be found at a medical supply store, just like wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
If you?re caring for an elderly person, know that there?s a delicate balance between caring and being overbearing. Helping them maintain independence with the right medical supplies is a huge step in the right direction.