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Life’s Changes

What happens when you are told that you have to make some changes to your lifestyle for health reasons? How do you cope? For most of us, change is never easy. If your physician says you need to start using a walker for safety while you are walking, where you do start? There are lots of fancy walkers out there, some with 2 or 4 wheels, others with a seat and a special basket with choices in bright colors.

Elder lady with oxygen tank

Should you need oxygen or any other medical equipment, one of the first questions is how to pay for it and how much is it? Depending on the type of medical equipment, there are many suppliers out there, ranging from large home improvement stores to pharmacies to durable medical equipment providers. Even if a physician recommends that someone use medical equipment, it does not automatically mean that insurance will pay for it. The provider should be able to tell you how much, who will pay and of course, how to use the device.
A wheelchair, for example, is often used outside of the home, for longer distances when someone has difficulty walking or has limited endurance. Something to consider is how well it fits into a vehicle for transport, for example to a physician’s appointment. Who is the one to lift it in and out of the vehicle?
When home oxygen is being used, the standard, large concentrator remains in the home and a smaller portable tank is often supplied for traveling outside the home. These portable tanks can be awkward, and are limited in capacity, so may mandate how long the person can be out of the home. If you get a portable oxygen concentrator, the restrictions are far less, resulting in the adjustment to using oxygen for your health as a much easier transition.


A discussion is always recommended with your physician about options for your health and lifestyle changes. Know that you have choices about your care, and most people want the best, least intrusive yet effective care possible. What conversations have you initiated with your physician about health and lifestyle changes?


Author: Cheryl A. Acres RN, CCM


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