Today I return to an issue we’ve been exploring for some time: aging in place, which also has a lot of crossover to younger home owners who may have special medical requirements in order to live more independently.
We recently talked about the options homeowners (or prospective home sellers) have, or could create if they plan to house an individual with long-term medical care requirements. But what if you are already a home medical device user?
In 2010, the FDA launched the Medical Device Home Use Initiative to support the safe use of medical devices in the home. Through FDA’s efforts, additional information and resources for home care recipients and consumers continue to be developed.
Among the important things the FDA wants new or first-time medical device users to know is that your device works during a power outage and that you should have a plan in place to ensure you know what to do in that situation.
By completing the agency’s booklet “Home Use Devices: How to Prepare for and Handle Power Outages for Medical Devices that Require Electricity,” you will have a viable plan to obtain and organize medical device information, take necessary actions so you can continue to use your device, have the necessary supplies for its operation, and know where to go or what to do during a power outage.
Just remember to update this booklet as your treatment, doctors, caregivers, or personal contacts change.
The FDA also offers these tips for consumers integrating any home medical device into their environment:
- Know how your device works; keep instructions close by.
- Understand and properly respond to device alarms.
- Have a back-up plan and supplies in the event of an emergency.
- Keep emergency numbers available and update them as needed.
- Educate your family and caregivers about your device.
- Frequently ask your doctor and home health care team to review your condition and recommend any changes related to your equipment.
- Report serious events to the device supplier and to FDA’s MedWatch.
For more advice to consumers, visit the agency’s Home Healthcare Medical Devices Checklist.