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As we age, it is not uncommon for our bodies to become more susceptible to injuries and illnesses.

It is important to take necessary precautions and ensure safety, especially for senior citizens living alone at home.

Durable medical equipment (DME) can play a significant role in providing support, mobility, and independence for senior citizens.

However, it is essential to use them correctly and maintain them appropriately to ensure safety. In this blog, we will discuss some safety tips for senior citizens using DME at home.

  • Read the manual thoroughly: Before using any DME, it is crucial to read the manual carefully to understand its proper usage, maintenance, and safety instructions. The manual provides important information on the equipment’s weight capacity, limitations, and proper care. It also includes instructions on how to operate, adjust, and troubleshoot the equipment. Be sure to keep the manual in a safe place where it can be easily accessed if needed.
  • Choose the right equipment: Different types of DME are available for different needs. It is essential to choose the equipment that suits your specific needs and physical condition. Consult with a healthcare professional or a DME provider to select the right equipment. Avoid using equipment that is too small or too large, as it can cause discomfort and lead to accidents.
  • Ensure the equipment is in good condition: Inspect the equipment regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, rust, or loose parts. Do not use equipment that is damaged, as it can be dangerous. If you notice any problems, contact the DME provider immediately for repair or replacement.
  • Use the equipment properly: Follow the instructions provided in the manual for proper usage. Do not use the equipment in any way other than its intended purpose. Make sure you understand how to use the equipment safely and correctly before using it.
  • Adjust the equipment to fit properly: Ensure that the equipment is adjusted to fit your body correctly. Adjust the height, width, and other settings as needed to ensure maximum support and comfort. If you are not sure how to adjust the equipment, ask a healthcare professional or the DME provider for assistance.
  • Use non-slip mats: To avoid slipping or falling, use non-slip mats in areas where DME is used, such as in the bathroom or kitchen. Non-slip mats provide a secure footing and reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Use proper footwear: Wear proper footwear, such as shoes with non-slip soles, when using DME. Avoid walking barefoot or wearing loose-fitting slippers, as they can cause tripping or slipping hazards.
  • Keep a clear path: Ensure that the path you take when using DME is clear of any obstacles, such as furniture or rugs. Clear the path of any items that may cause tripping or slipping hazards.
  • Maintain good lighting: Good lighting is essential for safety when using DME. Ensure that the areas where you use DME are well-lit. Use nightlights in areas where you may need to walk during the night.
  • Use caution when using mobility devices: If you use mobility devices such as walkers or wheelchairs, take extra precautions to ensure safety. Avoid steep slopes, stairs, and uneven surfaces that can cause tipping or falling. Use the devices only on smooth, level surfaces.
  • Keep emergency contacts handy: Keep a list of emergency contacts, such as your healthcare provider or family members, in a visible and accessible place. If you experience any issues or emergencies, contact them immediately.
  • Hire resources like Compassionate Callers to call people anywhere they call home to make sure there have been no falls during the day or at night. Besides Compassionate Callers there are other resources available to people needing DME, such as companies that can install the equipment, companies that can assess the home and see what DME is needed and physical and occupational therapists who can train people on how to use the equipment properly.

In conclusion, using DME can be an excellent way for senior citizens to maintain independence and mobility. However, it is essential to follow proper safety precautions to avoid accidents and injuries. By following these safety tips, senior citizens living alone at home can use DME.

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Bina Seplow Colman is a highly experienced HR professional with over 25 years of experience. She has a strong commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and has developed innovative HR programs to attract, develop, and retain top talent.