Safety > Home Oxygen Therapy Tips for Your Senior Parents in India
15th Feb 2024
Oxygen Therapy Tips

Home Oxygen Therapy Tips for Your Senior Parents in India

As our parents get older, their health needs evolve. A very common age-related condition is decreased lung capacity, which can make it challenging for seniors to get adequate oxygen into their bloodstream. This is where home oxygen therapy can help provide relief.

Home oxygen therapy involves using an oxygen concentrator or another oxygen delivery device at home to increase the level of oxygen in the blood. This therapy allows seniors to breathe easier, have more energy, sleep better, and ultimately maintain a higher quality of life.

If your aging parents in India could benefit from supplemental oxygen at home, here are some useful tips to make the process go smoothly:

Get Evaluated by a Doctor

The first step is to have a doctor properly assess your parents’ condition and oxygen needs. They will conduct tests to determine if home oxygen is medically necessary and safe.

A prescription for home oxygen therapy will specify the oxygen flow rate, hours per day of use, and device required based on the doctor’s evaluation. This prescription acts as a medical order and is required by oxygen supply companies before dispensing equipment.

Talk to your parents’ physician about any chronic lung conditions or diseases they have been diagnosed with to determine if home oxygen is an appropriate treatment. Some common conditions requiring supplemental oxygen are:

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Severe asthma
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancers

Oxygen levels may also be prescribed following hospitalization or when managing chronic heart failure.

Choose the Right Oxygen Equipment

There are several types of oxygen equipment used for home therapy. Meet with your parents’ doctor and oxygen provider to select the system that best fits their unique needs:

  • Oxygen concentrators: These electric devices work by filtering nitrogen out of room air to supply a continuous flow of purified oxygen. They do not require regular refilling, only occasional filter changes, making them very convenient and low maintenance for home use. Renting an oxygen concentrator in Kolkata is easy to arrange.
  • Portable oxygen cylinders: These compact metal tanks contain compressed oxygen gas. They provide mobility for short trips out of the house. However, cylinders run out fast and must be repeatedly refilled.
  • Liquid oxygen systems: Liquid oxygen is converted to gas and stored in large stationary tanks installed at home. This offers a very high concentration of oxygen but requires frequent vendor delivery and more maintenance.

Your parents’ activity levels, desired mobility outside the home, and doctor’s prescription should guide whether a stationary or portable system is recommended.

Also Read: The Benefits of Water Therapy and its Considerations

Find a Reputable Oxygen Company

Searching “oxygen concentrator rental near me” will bring up medical equipment providers in your local area. Look for an established company with expertise in home oxygen services. Asking your parents’ physician for a recommendation is also wise.

When contacting companies about oxygen concentrator rentals in Kolkata, be sure to ask questions like:

  • Do they service the specific type of equipment prescribed?
  • What is included in equipment delivery, set-up and maintenance?
  • Will they provide thorough training for safe operation?
  • What is their response time if repairs or issues arise?
  • What are their equipment cleaning and sanitization protocols?

Choose a provider you feel confident your parents can rely on 24/7 for their supplemental oxygen needs. A reputable company like Emoha Elder Care specializes in home medical equipment with professional service.

Prepare the Home

Before the oxygen equipment arrives, take steps to optimize your parents’ home environment:

  • Set up the room where oxygen will be used most. Place the unit near an electrical outlet and ensure tubing can comfortably reach where they sit or sleep.
  • Remove clutter and tripping hazards from walking paths in this room and hallways. Oxygen tubing should always be safely out of the way.
  • Post clearly visible “No Smoking” warning signs. Oxygen therapy systems cannot be near open flames or heat sources due to fire risk.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if not already present. These safety devices are crucial when using oxygen equipment in the home.

Double check all preparations to make their home as safe and accessible as possible for daily oxygen use.

Learn Proper and Safe Use

When the oxygen equipment is delivered, an experienced technician will provide hands-on training for your parents on proper operation and care. Key points to understand thoroughly include:

  • How to power on the oxygen device and verify settings.
  • How to adjust, position, and secure the oxygen tubing.
  • How to monitor blood oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter if prescribed.
  • Their doctor’s recommendations for when to use oxygen and duration per day.
  • How to properly clean, handle and replace the nasal cannula or oxygen mask.
  • How to identify warning lights or alarms and what they indicate.
  • When to change filters or call the company for any servicing needs.

It’s essential your parents feel 100% confident using the equipment before starting solo therapy. Don’t hesitate to ask questions – the technician is there to educate.

Develop a Consistent Routine

The oxygen company should provide clear written instructions from your parents’ physician on their prescribed therapy regimen. Work with them to establish a schedule incorporating oxygen use into their daily routine.

Using the system at consistent times daily, and not skipping prescribed sessions, gives the best therapeutic results. Timers, reminders, and family check-ins can help reinforce regular use, especially at first. With time, operating the equipment will likely become second nature.

Monitor Their Condition

Check in regularly with your parents to ensure supplemental oxygen continues meeting their needs:

  • Is the oxygen flow rate set by their doctor still comfortable?
  • Do they experience any shortness of breath or discomfort while using it?
  • Is the therapy schedule too difficult or disruptive to follow?
  • Has their mobility or activity tolerance improved?

Discuss any concerns with their physician. Adjustments to the oxygen settings or hours of use may be needed over time. Monitoring their condition helps optimize ongoing therapy.

Maintain the Equipment

You’ll also want to periodically inspect the oxygen equipment yourself:

  • Are there any signs of damage or wear and tear?
  • Do warning lights or alarms activate at any point?
  • Is adequate oxygen concentrate being produced and delivered?

Immediately contact the oxygen company if any issues arise. Do not try to service or fix rented oxygen systems on your own. Alert a technician for repairs.

Proper maintenance ensures the equipment functions safely and reliably throughout ongoing home therapy.

Must Read: What are some effective therapies for seniors to keep their blood sugar levels under control?

Provide Support

Caring for aging parents on oxygen therapy extends beyond just equipment delivery. Ongoing family support is invaluable:

  • Help reorder oxygen supplies or refills on schedule.
  • Make sure back up oxygen cylinders or batteries are always on hand.
  • Assist with cleaning and filter changes.
  • Be present for emotional support and encouragement.

With attentive home oxygen providers like Emoha Elder Care and a caregiver’s loving support, your parents can confidently use supplemental oxygen therapy to breathe easier every day.

Consider reaching out to Emoha for complete home health services tailored to your parents’ unique needs in Kolkata.