The Medicare-Approved Tools You Need to Age Gracefully at Home

Posted: 11/1/2021 12:19 PM by Interim HealthCare

It’s no secret most adults prefer to stay in their own home as they age. But as our bodies grow older, our health often tends to decline. And the everyday activities we once performed with ease can become more of a struggle. Fortunately, there are options and resources available to help make you or your loved one’s current living environment safe and more accessible. The best part?  Many of the tools you need to remain safely in your home really do exist. And they are often covered by Medicare, too.
DME Helps When Activities of Daily Living Become a Struggle
It’s important for caregivers and family members to pay close attention to how their loved ones are managing to perform activities of daily living (also commonly referred to as ADL). The needs of a senior adult may change quickly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to leave their home, the place where they’re most comfortable. 
Bathing, getting dressed, using toilet facilities, eating and simply moving around from place to place in your home are all considered activities of daily living. If you or a loved one are having trouble with performing certain daily activities, ask your doctor if home medical equipment could be a good option to lessen the burden or enhance your safety at home. Your doctor will likely ask you a few follow-up questions about your situation. Next, they will likely write a prescription for what’s commonly referred to in the medical world as durable home medical equipment (DME). DME can be any type of reusable medical equipment that assists you in performing daily tasks.
Home Medical Equipment You are Entitled to through Medicare 
Anyone who has Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) can get DME as long as the equipment is deemed medically necessary. Healthcare services or supplies that are needed to diagnose or treat an illness, injury, condition, disease, or its symptoms and that meet accepted standards of medicine are typically considered medically necessary.
Medicare Advantage Plans must cover the same medically necessary items and services as Original Medicare (Parts A and B), with your specific costs are dependent on which Medicare Advantage Plan you have. To learn exactly what types of DME you are entitled to under Medicare, it’s important to consult with your physician and your Medicare Advantage Provider.
Based on the coverage of your personal health plan, Medicare will often cover the following types of DME:

  • Home Oxygen Equipment
  • Hospital beds
  • Walkers 
  • Prosthetics
  • Orthotics
  • Blood sugar monitors and blood sugar (glucose) test strips
  • Canes
  • Crutches
  • Patient lifts
  • Traction equipment
  • Commode chair
  • Shower chair
  • Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine
  • Infusion pumps and supplies (when necessary to administer certain drugs)
  • Manual wheelchairs and power mobility devices
  • Nebulizers and nebulizer medications
  • Oxygen equipment and accessories
  • Sleep apnea and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and accessories
  • Suction pumps
  • Pressure mattresses, Bili lights and blankets, and lift beds

Home Health Resources that Help Seniors Maintain Independence
Home medical equipment may be just what your senior needs right now to maintain their independence and remain at home. But there will likely come a time when more assistance and medical oversight are needed. That’s why it’s helpful to know what resources are available to you long before you need them. 
A wide range of clinical services is available through Medicare-certified home health agencies. Home health nurses, therapists and other practitioners serve as a liaison between the patient and physician and execute physician-recommended treatment plans for patients in their homes. Home healthcare teams commonly help with things like recovery from an illness or injury, monitoring a patient’s medication, providing personal care and support services, and performing therapeutic treatments that help restore mobility and function. Your home healthcare team may also be instrumental in helping you get access to DME that can assist with your activities of daily living. All home healthcare services are performed in your loved one’s home, and they are typically covered by Medicare, as well. 
Resources to Help You Navigate Aging in Place
Unless you’ve spent a significant amount of time in the healthcare industry, the thought of evaluating options for senior living resources can be a bit daunting.
But don’t feel overwhelmed.
Senior living experts like Legacy Concierge Services can help you navigate helpful resources that are available to you in your hometown.
One quick Google search for “senior living concierge services” could be all that stands in the way of helping you find a local senior living expert that can answer your questions and connect you with resources that will make aging in place easier for you and your loved ones.

Download our Medicare DME Fast Facts Guide