Medical Equipment and Supplies

Medical Equipment and Supplies

Do you ever find yourself wondering what is considered durable medical equipment and how it’s paid for? Every week, we get asked this while helping caregivers find longterm care for their loved ones. 

Durable medical equipment (DME) consists of the following:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Hospital beds
  • Traction equipment
  • Canes
  • Crutches
  • Walkers
  • Kidney machines
  • Ventilators
  • Oxygen
  • Monitors
  • Pressure mattresses
  • Lifts
  • Nebulizers

Does insurance pay for durable medical equipment?

Fortunately, most policies consider these items to be medically necessary and are covered. However, we recommend checking with your insurance provider to determine if DME is covered in your policy.
According to ehealthmedicare.com, “If you have Medicare Part B, Medicare covers certain medically necessary durable medical equipment if your physician or treating practitioner prescribes it for you to use in your home.”

To be covered, the prescribed medical equipment must be:

  • Durable.
  • Used for a medical purpose.
  • Not typically useful if you aren’t sick or hurt.
  • Used in your home.*

*If you are currently residing in a hospital or nursing home that is providing you with Medicare-covered care, these facilities don’t qualify as your “home.”

However, a long-term care facility does qualify as your home.

If you’re staying in a skilled nursing facility and the facility provides you with durable medical equipment, the nursing facility is responsible for the durable medical equipment.”

This means when you leave the nursing facility, you cannot take the equipment with you. 

  • Something to remember!!!! If your equipment is worn out, Medicare will only replace it if you have had the item for its whole lifetime. Its lifetime depends on the type of equipment, but it is never less than five (5) years from the date you began using the equipment.

Regular medical equipment and supplies consist of the following, just to name a few:

  • Incontinence (briefs & diapers, underpads, incontinence accessories)
  • Diabetic supplies (lancets, glucose meter test strips, glucose meters)
  • Wound care (gauze, bandages, tapes, band-aids)
  • Nutritionals and feeding supplies (oral supplements, pediatric electrolytes, feeding   tubes)
  • Ostomy (pouches, irrigation sleeves, colon, and rectal tubes)
  • Personal care (skin care, mouth care, personal hygiene accessories)
  • Aids for daily living (eye drops, utensil holders, first aid kits)
  • Therapy aids (reaching aids, non-slip matting, sock and stocking aids)

Shop for Medical Equipment and Supplies at Wholesale Prices

If you have questions contact us TODAY at 386-847-2322 or here.

Don’t Panic Over Coronavirus!

Seniors should take precautions, but not panic.

Coronavirus has been front-page news for a while and we are told it is now starting to spread in the U.S.

Yes, it is a serious situation, it’s extremely important not to panic. It’s equally important to learn the facts and follow the recommended prevention tips to protect yourself and your senior family member.

Quick facts and prevention tips

Today. the risk of getting coronavirus in the U.S. is low. But if the illness does spread, seniors and people with chronic health conditions are at higher risk, just as they are with the flu.

To reduce the spread of disease, CDC recommends using common-sense prevention practices:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick, this may seem to be common sense but for some it is not. A mask does not protect others if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Where Can You Get Updates on Coronavirus?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is monitoring the situation closely and is the best source of information about coronavirus. For the latest information and recommendations, visit the CDC’s Situation Summary page. And check the CDC’s quick tip sheet Share Facts, Not Fear for key coronavirus facts that put a stop to rumors and misinformation.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. In general, human coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that range from the common cold to more serious illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).COVID-19 is the name for a new virus that’s been spreading across the globe since late December 2019. It hadn’t previously been seen in humans.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

Similar to seasonal flu, COVID-19 is passed between people through coughing, sneezing, or close contact like touching or shaking hands. It can also be transmitted by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth without washing hands. Hand washing is very important. Just like the flu, the virus spreads very easily, which makes it hard to contain, and easily contracted if exposed. The incubation period is between 2 and 14 days, so it can be spread by people with no symptoms.

Prevention

To protect from coronavirus, the CDC recommends the same methods that you’d use to protect against the flu or other common respiratory diseases.

Preventive measures include:

  • Have you gotten a flu shot
  • Washing hands often with soap, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the event soap and water is not available.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick. stay home.
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then immediately throwing the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, remote controls, phones, computers, and mobile devices.

CDC recommends considering “social distancing” for those at higher risk
People who are over the age of 60, pregnant, or on medications that weaken the immune system are at higher risk of infection and complications of infection. Someone who’s at higher risk should consider “social distancing

That means if there’s any reported risk of COVID-19 transmission in the local area, avoid large gatherings of people and public transportation (bus, subway, taxi, rideshare). In addition, keep a safe distance from other people.

What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?

Patients with COVID-19 have symptoms that are similar to other respiratory illnesses like colds or flu. Common symptoms include mild to severe symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath that usually begin two to 14 days after exposure. Less comm is sore throat and diarrhea. Many patients with severe complications from the virus develop pneumonia in both lungs, particularly those with already weakened immune systems.

Seniors are at higher risk of complications and death

Seniors are more vulnerable because their immune systems are weaker due to age and may be made worse by frailty or chronic illnesses. This reduces the body’s ability to cope with and recover from illness.

Does the flu shot provide protection against coronavirus?

According to the CDCRespiratory Diseases, there’s no evidence that the flu or the vaccination for pneumonia will provide protection from the coronavirus. In spite of that infectious disease specialists strongly recommend flu vaccination as a way to prepare for coronavirus. For seniors, having both the flu shot and the pneumococcal vaccine can increase the chances of staying healthy.

Do face masks protect you?

Surgical masks are a common sight in areas with coronavirus outbreaks. But are they effective in protecting from infection? Experts say that they offer some protection. Currently, the CDC doesn’t recommend that people who are not sick wear a face mask, they should only be worn if a healthcare professional recommends it.

However, face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19. This helps prevent the spread of the disease to others. They should be worn by people who are taking care of someone who is sick.

Is there a coronavirus treatment?

Currently, there is no cure for coronavirus. Treatments to help patients heal or to relieve symptoms are already in clinical trials. Currently, researchers are focused on testing the existing antiviral drug Remdesivir and a combination of HIV and flu drugs.

The best treatment for coronavirus is prevention.

Disclaimer

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only about senior living topics. The information provided on this blog is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge but there may be errors, omissions, or mistakes. It is not intended to be medical advice.

 

Do You Have a Backup Plan?

If you are responsible for the day to day care of a friend or family member you know what a challenge it can be. Seeking help with caregiving is not a sign of weakness.  It means you care enough to put together the best care for your loved one.

At some point, everyone needs help, one of the best things you do as a caregiver is to get some help

Many caregivers have a hard time doing this. They feel that getting help means they are not living up to their duties or responsibilities or even promises made. 

As you struggle with these thoughts, it can be helpful to talk about your feelings with other caregivers in a support group or with a counselor.  The other issue which makes seeking outside help difficult is knowing what kind of help you need, where to locate reliable, trustworthy help and how to best use these resources.  

The caregiving journey can be tough and a care team can help. 

Your care team may consist of other family members, medical professionals, professional caregivers, church members and volunteers, neighbors and more.  

Here are some of the common questions (or concerns) we hear from caregivers about bringing professional caregivers into the home or even to visit loved ones in an assisted living facility when we cannot be there. 

How will my loved one adjust to having a stranger coming into their home?

Every individual reacts differently, but time and time again, we find family members are surprised by how well their loved one adjusts and benefits in ways they didn’t anticipate. For example, a new face means new conversations and experiences for them to enjoy!  

I worry that no one can provide the care I do.  I feel it might be more work to deal with problems, it is easier to do it myself.

No one can provide the care you do, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be a successful solution for both you and your loved one.  Ask any home care agency you are considering how they work with you to select appropriate home caregivers and how they prepare the caregivers to help your loved one.  Interview and get to know all potential caregivers so YOU are comfortable.

Things feel almost out of control for me as a caregiver when something unanticipated happens, I get a crisis call, or have to deal with sudden issues in the middle of work or other plans.

The unanticipated can be the most stressful part of caregiving.  A care team does not solve this problem but can provide you some support to ease things.  Having a relationship with a relief caregiver means that when you have emergencies or responsibilities that arise, you have someone to call.  Care team partners can be your backup and help you with conflicts.  A professional caregiver, family members, or community members can help with errands, taking a shift with your loved one at the hospital or visit them in their assisted living or nursing home when you cannot. 

 

Contact the professionals at Assisted Living Made Simple for more resources or more information on assisted living and other senior resources. 

Are Your Important Documents Safe?

Have you heard of Legacy Lockbox?

This is a unique way to keep all of your important documents safe and easily accessible should something happen to you.

Right now they are offering a Father’s Day special that can’t be beaten!

Save 10% now through June 16th
Use Coupon FD2019
Veterans receive an additional 10%

How to Make a Gift to Dad for Fathers Day:

  • Go to My Legacy Lockbox home page (button below).
  • Go to Get Started button in upper right corner.
  • Complete the membership form with Dad’s name and his email address.
  • Enter password happyFD
  • Use the coupon FD2019. Check YES if veteran for an additional 10%
  • Give Dad the website, sign in name and password for Fathers Day!

That’s all he needs to get started!

Don’t go it alone. The Senior Advocates of Assisted Living Made Simple are here to help. Call us or stop by our office for more information. Our services are always free to the senior and their family.