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5 Medical Supplies for In-Home Care

Medical Kit
Medical supply stores typically carry a broad range of products for those who require in-home care. Most medical supply carriers offer much more than lift chairs, wheelchairs, and walkers. For those caring for an elderly parent or a loved one at home, a medical supply store will typically have many of the essentials the average layman may need.

Here are several products to look for when in-home care and assistance is needed.

1. Some Type of Carry-All Bag

Many medical supply stores will offer nurse's bags or backpacks. A bag to hold and transport the essentials for in-home care may be made of a polyester material. Nurse's bags often are made with multiple pockets or compartments to hold various items. The bag may resemble a tote and be constructed to be durable and made to last.

Some modern supply bags are designed to be used as a backpack. This enables the caregiver to have his or her hands free if necessary and may be easier to transport.

2. A Digital Thermometer

More than practical, the fever thermometer is essential for most home caregivers. Many thermometers will have plastic housing with a flexible tip. A good digital thermometer should provide a readout within several seconds.

For children under the age of three, rectal thermometers are frequently used. Oral and ear thermometers may be used for older children and adult patients. Various models should be available at the medical supply store.

3. A Pulse Oximeter Designed for Home Use

The pulse oximeter is another product that is often sold at medical supply stores. The pulse oximeter is a relatively small device that is compact enough to carry if you're visiting your loved one. This is a device that is used to measure the level of oxygen in the patient's blood. The caregiver will attach the device to the patient's fingertip for a reading.

Those with certain medical conditions such as coronary disease or pulmonary disease may need to monitor their blood oxygen levels. A device, such as the above mentioned, will alert the caregiver to a low oxygen level. The probe of the pulse oximeter is also convenient for monitoring the patient's heart rate. This tool is designed for any non-professional who gives home care, and for self-care as well.

4. A Shower or Bathtub Seat

A shower or bathtub seat is especially useful for the elderly or anyone who has balance issues. This type of seat or bench will provide safety and stability. Most medical supply stores will offer either folding shower or tub chairs or benches, or even the wall-mounted style for extra stability.

If you are a caregiver for a loved one or someone who lives alone and needs some assistance, the shower or bathtub seat is a practical tool to consider. Before purchasing a shower seat, consider how much space there is to work with, as well as the maximum support it will hold.

5. Bandage Scissors 

The bandage scissors will be handy for cutting gauze when changing dressings on a wound. These scissors may also be used for removing the gauze or dressing. The differentiating aspect of the bandage scissors is the small knob located on one of the blades. This projecting piece makes it easy to slide beneath the bandage for easy removal.

Sometimes referred to as medical scissors or wound care scissors, this tool is often carried in the nurse's bag for in-home care. Many medical supply stores will carry this cutting implement.

Whether you are a patient or are caring for a loved one, check out your favorite medical supply store for options. If you don't see what you're looking for, the medical supply company may have the products at their warehouse.