When caring for someone in your home, it’s important to be prepared for daily tasks and unexpected emergencies by stocking up on essential home care medical supplies.
You should be able to confidently perform some basic home care treatments for your loved one if you decide to take them in. Being able to effectively perform treatments yourself will ultimately save you money and give you a head start in an emergency situation…ultimately prolonging the life of your patient.
For example, if your loved one cuts them self and is bleeding badly, you have the opportunity to stop the bleeding before the ambulance arrives. If you do nothing, they could possibly bleed out. A lot of elderly patients are on blood thinners, so this is important to keep an eye on.
Top 10 Home Care Medical Supplies
Medically, some diseases will be easily treatable when relevant first aid is done immediately. In most conditions, early detection is vital for many of the common side effects people experience, such as pressure ulcers. In addition, some disorders will require immediate actions, such as hypo and hyperglycemia. In some cases you won’t be able to avoid calling the EMT and taking your loved one to the hospital, but for situations you can treat on your own, here is a list of the homecare medical supplies you should always keep easily accessible in your home…and why:
1. First aid kit and dressings
A first aid kit will be one of the most essential homecare medical supplies when injuries occur. Every home, no matter who is living there, should invest in a basic first aid kit in case of an emergency. When choosing the kit, you should ensure that it is portable and well stocked. Also, be sure to replenish the items after using the first aid kit, as it’s crucial to re-stock those essential supplies in case the situation arises again.
Dressings are always available at the pharmacies and they will be helpful when you have minor burns, cuts, or skin tears. They are included in some first aid kits.
Having a first aid kit in your home could save a life through prevention of excessive bleeding or the severity of a fracture. Remember: The components in the first aid kit should always remain sterile.
2. Blood pressure kit
Hypertension is a common condition among adults that will affect almost everyone at some point in their life. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to many complications, such as heart disease and stroke. Earlier detection is vital in preventing the complications that can arise. Having a blood pressure cuff and a pulse oximeter will always serve you best at such a time. In addition, knowing your pulse rates and blood pressures is a major step in a healthy and fit life.
3. Pain relievers
Common pain relievers, such as NSAIDs or tylenol, are readily available over-the-counter. Most households stock some form of pain relief. This could be one of the most important supplies you keep for your home care needs. Not only for pain, they have multiple uses; having Tylenol easily accessible could save a person who is having a heart attack. They require no special prescriptions making them convenient for home care use.
It is important to use the proper medication as brands will often use different formulas and have many different strengths.
4. Disinfectants and sanitizers
Hygiene plays a major role in our health. This means, disinfecting surfaces should be completed daily around your home. In addition, the disinfectants are very useful for cuts and wounds by suppressing the action of bacteria on the cut surface.
Sanitizers, such as alcohol, are easily available at any grocery store or pharmacy. They are great for sanitizing your hands when you can’t get to a sink to wash them. You also don’t want to spread germs and feces on your way to the sink.
5. Medicated creams
You can buy medicated creams to treat a lot of different conditions. The main 2 conditions you may face are rashes or joint and muscle pain. There are some creams you can acquire without a prescription, but in some cases you may need a strong solution.
Most often, mild skin infections or rashes can be remedied using a low medicated or barrier cream. Common joint pain can commonly affect people at home, even with no major underlying problems. Medicated creams, like voltaren can help resolve pain. A good amount of creams can be purchased over-the-counter and do not require prescriptions.
6. Digital thermometer
When taking care of a person with a vulnerable immune system, such as children or elderly, it is important to have a digital thermometer in order to detect and prevent illness. This is especially important for a person who may not show any indication of a fever. With a digital thermometer at home, such occurrences will be easier to manage.
Gloves provide an important barrier toward contact with an unhygienic surfaces. There are both disposable and indisposable types of gloves. Whenever some accident occurs and there is blood, feces, or other bodily fluids, the gloves will protect you from direct contact, keeping you safe from disease. Gloves also prevent contamination throughout the house.
8. Masks and aprons
Masks are an important piece of emergency equipment especially when dealing with airborne diseases like tuberculosis. There are medical masks that ensure safe but complete suppression against airborne particles. Aprons, offer the same protection, but to the whole body. Disposable masks and aprons are recommended because they can be discarded after use…throwing out the contaminants with them.
9. Wet body wipes
Wet wipes are great to have on hand as they make cleaning a breeze. Nothing beats good old soap and water, but for certain tasks wipes are fine to use. You can use them to wipe freshly cut wounds and clean the open surfaces. Or they are great for cleaning up after your loved one has been incontinent.
10. IV pole
An intravenous pole isn’t the most popular homecare medical supply on the list, but in certain situations you may find yourself needing one. You may need a nurse to insert the IV, but after that most people won’t have any trouble connecting the tube. Although its main role is to supply fluids to the body, you can use it to hold gravity bags for tube feedings while using a feeding pump, or even use it to hold oxygen tubing.
If your home is poorly equipped, it will be harder to treat emergencies if they occur. When your loved one needs medical attention it is crucial to have the necessary homecare medical supplies on hand and easily accessible. You do not have to be a paramedic or nurse to provide basic medical treatments or first aid, and keeping the patient at home instead of the hospital will be more cost effective. Just remember, it is always easier to prevent an incident before it happens, rather than having to treat it afterward. Now if there’s an emergency you can’t handle, please don’t hesitate to call the professionals.
By no means will you need everything listed here, but a majority of these products are essential to have on hand if you’re going to tackle homecare properly. The price for these items are almost negligible when you consider what’s at stake….your loved one’s health.