Friday, May 29, 2015

How to Safely Maintain Your Oxygen Concentrator

Oxygen concentrators have become enormously popular in the past few years as fast-moving technologies have made these units more affordable, more reliable, quieter and more durable. Just the simple relief from having to schedule, wait for and receive O2 tank deliveries is incredibly liberating for those tethered to an oxygen supply as a normal part of their everyday lives.

Invacare Perfecto2 V Rolling Oxygen Concentrator

Patients requiring continual supplemental oxygen will typically first opt for a larger home oxygen concentrator, especially if they're primarily receiving oxygen therapy at home or confined to an indoor environment. These units can be affordable to purchase, such as this Invacare Perfecto2 V Oxygen Concentrator being offered by PHC right now at a 40% discount. Regular maintenance for these home oxygen concentrators is fast and simple, and, with the exception of wiping down the cabinet to keep it clean, most maintenance steps need occur only once a year. These include:

  • Verifying the unit's pressure, flow rate and oxygen purity level
  • Checking the inlet compressor's filter and changing if needed
  • Confirming that the warning alarm for power loss is operational
  • Inspecting the bacteria filter, change when needed

The only weekly maintenance required for your stationary oxygen concentrator is the cleaning or replacement of the oxygen concentrator’s cabinet filter. However, there are some oxygen concentrator safety measures to be aware of. Care should be taken not to operate one in the presence of wood smoke, tobacco smoke or airborne chemicals. Because these units are sucking in ambient air to produce concentrated oxygen for the patient's breathing needs, anything in that air can potentially make its way into the system. Once fouled, the contaminants are nearly impossible to get rid of without a total machine tear-down.

The Portable Revolution
For those who are able to get out and about a bit, but still need a steady supply of supplemental oxygen to deal with their breathing challenges, the relatively new portable oxygen concentrators, or POCs, have become a godsend. Even those who had previously been using portable oxygen tank setups were often reluctant to take them any distance from home. They feared running out of O2 and were sometimes self-conscious about the image portrayed by these cumbersome systems.

The new portable concentrators cost a little more than the stationary home models, but they can actually replace the need for a home system altogether, if desired. These units work on battery power, conventional electrical plug-in power or even D/C on some models, so they'll plug right into an automobile's cigarette lighter receptacle.

The batteries on these POCs are important accessories, and many come with an additional battery so the user will have one in reserve. Depending on the particular model, a single battery charge will last anywhere between 3-8 hours. When a unit is plugged in and operating on A/C power, the batteries will normally recharge simultaneously. For long battery life, it's important to recharge the batteries as soon as possible after use. Letting them sit uncharged for any length of time is not a good idea.

Maintaining a POC is a snap. Clean it with a damp cloth and don't use any strong chemicals. Find out where the filter(s) are located and determine if they can be cleaned or if they must be replaced. Take special care when making any connections as these parts may break if handled roughly. The same goes for the entire unit, which is a fairly fragile piece of equipment.

Oxygen concentrators will save you time and money and free up your life in many ways. For more information, give us a call. Let us help fulfill your supplemental O2 needs.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to Choose a Wheelchair for Your Mobility Needs

When living with mobility issues or rehabilitating an injury, getting around isn’t as easy as it once was, and a wheelchair may be necessary for assistance. However, not all wheelchairs are created equal – many are specially designed for particular users and their conditions, so it’s important to first consider your lifestyle and the level of movement you need in your day-to-day regime. The information below serves as a brief wheelchair buying guide to help you choose one that is most suitable for your mobility needs.

Drive Cruiser 3 Wheelchair

Standard Manual – The most basic model where the user can either self-propel themself without the assistance of a motor or relies on a caregiver to push it around for them. These chairs are typically collapsible and easy to transport between destinations. Fairly durable, manual wheelchairs typically have a footrest or leg rest, several arm variations and selectable seat sizes. There are also extra-wide and lightweight manual wheelchair options available, like this Cruiser III Folding Wheelchair.

Heavy Duty – Most standard wheel chairs are available as heavy duty models that are designed to offer wider seat widths and to hold weights up to 500lbs. The heavy build and larger size is ideal for keeping persons more comfortable. Heavy duty wheelchairs are also available in more lightweight, transport models.

Bariatric – Designed to hold up to 1000lbs, Bariatric wheelchairs, like the Invacare Topaz Bariatric, are ideal for those needing an increased weight capacity and a roomier seat. Most have seats measuring 24, 26, 28 or 30 inches with several adjustment options to suit the user’s height and preference.

Reclining – Reclining wheelchairs are designed to redistribute the user’s weight in a safe and comfortable manner. These will typically feature an extended head support and can be adjusted to any angle for better blood circulation, comfort and restful sleep. Several chairs are designed to where only the back moves when adjusted, while some others can feature elevated leg rests that can be adjusted for optimal comfort.

Tilted – Unlike simple reclining wheelchairs that would leave patients staring at the ceiling, tilted wheelchairs allow for the caregiver to adjust the user so their gaze meets others’. These chairs are ideal for patients that have lost control of mobility throughout their body and require a more comfortable model. Many feature intricate pivot systems and a rotational design allowing for many different adjustment combinations.

Kanga TS Tilt-in-Space Pediatric Wheelchair

Pediatric – Lower to the ground and featuring a smaller build, pediatric wheelchairs are especially designed for children. These wheelchairs feature all of the available adjustments of a standard wheelchair but are better equipped to handle a significantly smaller weight limit with a shallow and narrower seat. Different transport, tilting and reclining models, like this Kanga TS Pediatric Tilt-in-Space wheelchair, are available to best suit the needs of each individual child.

Powered – While they aren’t suitable for everyone, powered wheelchairs offer the greatest range of mobility with the least amount of exertion from the user or the caregiver. The design consists of the power base, which holds all of the mechanical parts, and the seating component. Power wheelchairs tend to be more expensive but are very easy to operate and can make a huge impact on a person’s independence when they are living with limited mobility.

If you find yourself or a loved one needing a wheelchair, be sure to check out the selection of manual and power wheelchairs online from Preferred Health Care for quality products for a mobile lifestyle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Product Spotlight: Golden Comforter Extra Wide Recliner (PR-502)

Many things in life are listed as one size fits all. The reality is that this statement is never 100 percent accurate. The fact of the matter is that people are tall, short and everything in between, so there is no way that one size can accommodate everyone’s needs. The Golden Comforter Extra Wide - PR502 was designed to provide people who need more spacious living room furniture with a comfortable seating option. Golden lift chairs were designed to have unmatched safety and provide the most protection to its patients.

This extra wide recliner has a 33” wide seat and weight capacity of 700 lbs. The PR-502 uses three motors to control all the functions of the chair. Two of these motors control the back and footrests, which can both recline 65 degrees. It comes with a six-button hand control that allows you to customize your settings, including seat lowering, inclination and adjustments for your back and legs. The ability to tilt downwards also makes it easier for a chair transition or to bring you to a standing position.

When it comes to medical furniture, the pieces can often look clinical and uncomfortable. This Golden Technologies lift chair comes in a variety of fabrics and colors, so it can fit right in with your living room set. Choose from vinyl, cryton, velvet, or brisa fabric in any color you could think of. Underneath the fabrics are comfy filler materials to prevent the motorized chair from having any sagging or an overall worn down look. The overstuffed armrests provide you with comfort and security while the chair is moving. You will love the support that your body receives from this chair.

PR-502 Extra Wide Recliner

Other great features include:

  • 1 year in home warranty and on electrical components
  • 2 year warranty on chair frame, lift frame and recline mechanism
  • Extra long arm and head covers
  • Back up power source in case of local power failure

Order this heavy duty lift chair to maximize your comfort. Special delivery and setup included when you purchase today!