If your spouse has a serious illness such as end-stage COPD or cancer, and wants to stay at home rather than go to a nursing home, then you'll need to prepare yourself to be a caregiver. Even so, you won't be able to do everything yourself or you may put your own health at risk. You can bring additional help into the home and make things easier by renting the medical equipment you need. Here are a few suggestions for medical equipment and supplies that may be useful when taking care of a terminally ill spouse.
If your spouse has the strength and desire to get out of bed and move around the house or go outdoors, you can make it easier and safer by renting or buying a wheelchair or walker. If your doctor prescribes one of these mobility aids, it will probably even be covered by your insurance. A wheelchair is especially helpful because it doubles as an additional chair you can push up to a table during meals and it can be used even when your spouse is too weak to stand and walk. If you don't have a prescription for a wheelchair, you should consider buying one from a medical supply store so a professional can help you choose the right size for the most comfort.
A bed with an adjustable head and foot is helpful when taking care of someone who is very sick and weak. When your spouse is unable to get out of bed, you can elevate the head so he or she can eat and drink safely. Sleeping with the head elevated might make it easier to breathe and prevent choking and coughing at night while sleeping. Elevating the feet can help with swelling and circulation in the legs.
If your spouse is confined to the bed all day and night, you want to consider the type of mattress you use as well. You can buy a foam or gel mattress with a waterproof cover that is comfortable and easy to clean. You can even buy a mattress topper designed to prevent bedsores. These are hooked up to a small pump that constantly circulates air through the topper so it inflates and deflated regularly, which alternates pressure against the body and prevents sores.
Caregiving is exhausting, so you want to make it easy on yourself. One way to do that is with disposable supplies. In addition to disposable underwear, you can buy disposable bed pads that will keep the sheets clean and cut down on the amount of laundry you have to do. Disposable bibs are handy during meal times, and a supply of wet wipes will cut down on the amount of washcloths and towels you have to launder each day.
In addition to these general supplies, your spouse may need specific medical equipment such as oxygen, catheters, and wound supplies. Insurance helps pay for many of the things you'll need, but you'll probably have to pay out of pocket for many of the items you want to make caregiving easier and to make your spouse the most comfortable. Your doctor, the medical supply company, and a home health service can help you determine what supplies are essential so you spend your funds wisely. To learn more, contact companies like Medi-Rents & Sales Inc.