While working at my nursing home for the past 5 years, I’ve realized that having great equipment at your disposable is beyond valuable. I’ve also worked with some duds, so I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.
I want to get you off to the best start possible when taking on the commitment of caring for another individual.
You might be looking after your Mom, Dad, a sibling, your child, or anyone else needing a helping hand.
Whatever your circumstance is, there will be a piece of equipment that will make your life and theirs, a lot more comfortable and efficient.
I’ve used a lot of the items on this list at my nursing while taking care of residents. For the items I haven’t used, I have spent a great deal of time researching to find you the best equipment for caregivers.
When I say best, I don’t necessarily mean the most expensive or top of the line. I think it’s important to stay within budget in case of an emergency. I’ll recommended high quality items that are priced affordably. This is the type of equipment I use everyday at work.
So, you’ve decided to take on this commitment and I praise you for that, now you need the right equipment to get the job done safely and simpler. To do this, you’ll need to learn what to look for and your credit card. I didn’t say this would be a cheap undertaking, and that’s because it’s not!
It’s very important that you invest in what you actually need. Yes, there are items that would help make your life a lot easier, but if your budget doesn’t allow for them, don’t over extend yourself. You’ll have to come up with creative ways to solve the problems you’re facing.
With my experience working in nursing homes, I can tell you that safety is our number one priority. If you’re just starting out, I would suggest investing in items that will help prevent injuries. I remember witnessing my first fall at my care facility. The resident transferred them self from their wheelchair to their bed, but didn’t quite make it. They fell and hit their head off the bedside table. I was in the next room helping another resident, when I heard the loud crash. There was a nice cut on their head and a blood all over.
There’s no easing into this kind of work. It happens when it happens. This resident didn’t have a history of falls so the safety equipment he had was limited. After that fall, he was given a bed alarm and fall mats. This is usually the first items they’ll get after a fall.
After safety items, I think the next group of items to get would be transferring devices. They come in all sorts of varieties and I’ll cover each one eventually.
It’s hard for me to recommend a one-size fits all solution because I don’t know your situation. However, the main transferring equipment are transfer discs and boards, gait belts, and patient transfer lifts,like a sit to stand lift and the full body lift.
I’ve broken down all the equipment I recommend into different sections so you can find exactly what you need. Remember, you don’t need all of the stuff I recommend. Just balance out what you can afford money-wise and what your patient requires.
Top 10 Pieces of Home Care Equipment
1. Patient Transfer Lifts
Patient transfer lifts are assistive devices that help caregivers transfer patients with mobility problems. Patients transfer lifts are operated by either an electric motor or through hydraulic-manual pumping. These lifts comes in different types such as:
- Sit to stand lifts – They help patients go from a sit-to-stand position, manual and also electric models available.
- Full Body lift – They are operated with hydraulic power
- Ceiling Lift – A track system that is usually fixed to the ceiling
- Stair Lift – Uses electricity, better for home use than manual lifts.
2. Hospital beds
Hospital beds are perfect for those who need a hospital style bed at home. Most hospital beds are electric and have lots of adjustable positions for comfort t and to reduce bed sores. These beds have many options such as dimensions, weight capacity, and brand among others.
Hospital beds, come it two types:
- Full electric – Full electric beds have six buttons on the control that operate different sections on the bed. Two buttons control the head section, the other two controls the bed’s height, whereas the last do controls the leg section of the hospital bed. This type of bed uses one or two motors.
- Semi-electric – They have four buttons. Top buttons control the head section while the other two control the head and leg section.
3. Mobility devices
If you have a long-term or permanent difficulty with mobility, getting a wheelchair or a walker helps you live more independently. Mobility devices increase the patient’s autonomy and control in the event of mobility impairment. They also act as tools for rehabilitation and recovery.
Most old people prefer using an aid to walk rather than receiving assistance because they can be able to do it independently. Having assistance makes them feel like they are being treated like a child.
4. Transfer aids
Transfer aids are used to move people with physical limitations or challenges from one place to another. Transfer aids come in different shapes, styles, and sizes to assist the caregivers and patients during activities such as using a public restroom, or a bathroom or even getting in and out of a car. Some types of transfer aids are:
- Transfer boards – Transfer board the caregiver move a patient from a bed to a chair with a minimal lifting.
- Transfer discs – Minimizes the effort need to transfer individuals and also reduces back strain for both patient and the caregiver.
- Transfer belts – They immobilize patients or the elderly when being moved from one place to another.
5. Lift chairs
The key purpose of the lift chairs is gradually lifting someone to a standing/upright position or ease him or her into a sitting position without causing accidents. Lift chairs are designed to feel and look like recliner chairs so that they can provide maximum comfort. They are also designed to control the body perfectly for maximum comfort. They are designed to avert falling and minimize the strain on the joints. Lift chairs come in different sizes and models to fit every need. A variety has an option for heat massage.
This is a convenient and a safer toilet alternative for a person with reduced mobility. It is used as a raised toilet seat. Commodes are used by those who have difficulty when using a standard toilet. They have adjustable height, detachable arms and a contoured base for comfort. They also have transit wheels that are well fitted to 2 of the legs for easy movement. A good and effective commode should be durable and rust-resistant.
7. Shower chairs
Shower chairs are ideal for patients or the elderly who have a hard time standing up for a long period. The shower chairs provide the elderly and the disabled with the comfort they do deserve while enjoying a hot shower.
The elderly and the disable are able to remain independent when taking a bath. Different types of shower chairs have different levels of weight capacity. So, it is recommended that you choose one that will be able to accommodate the patient’s weight. An effective shower chair should be stable, durable and comfortable to sit on.
8. Walk-in bathtubs
Entering and exiting a bathtub are times when accidents can occur. Walk-in bathtubs are an easy solution to these accidents. They have doors that can open and close easily. These bathtubs have an anti-scald valve that keeps water from becoming too hot to prevent burns. They also have a built-in shower seat with a textured surface to prevent slipping off the seat, allowing safer bathing. An effective walk-in bath tub should have at least two grab bars. Grab bars are optional and should be chosen if the tub is being used by a person with limited mobility or a senior.
9. Bathtub lift
A bathtub lift is a special kind of seats found inside of the bath tub. People with limited mobility and seniors sometimes find it difficult to transfer from standing to sitting or raising legs enough to step into the tub. The bath lift gets rid of the need to stretch and bend when getting into and out of the tub, Moreover, with a bath lift, you will not need to renovate your bathroom or alter your tub to enhance its safety.
10. Call bell system
Call bell systems are used to alert and communicate caregivers or nurses when an elderly or a patient needs immediate attention. Call bell systems also acts as a way to reassure people with limited mobility that assistance is always close at hand.
They are motion activated call bell systems that are used to track the number of times a patient gets out of bed.