With the aging population, the use of medical equipment inside people’s homes is ever growing. It is wonderful that our elderly and disabled can be looked after at home while relying on various medical devices and equipment. However, living this way does require a preparedness and planning. Thankfully new technologies are available that help towards overcoming some of these mishaps such as call/alert assistance buttons.
One challenge that often arises is how to plan for a power failure if some of the medical equipment that is relied on, requires electricity and can not be used? Let's consider what medical equipment used in the household setting that would be needed and not be able to be used during a power outage.
CPAP Machine Power Backup:
Although a CPAP is not a life-threatening device more and more elderly are using these machines to get their acquit sleep. If the power goes off in the night and shuts off the CPAP machine, it really is just more of an inconvenience than a life-threatening emergency. So you would have to weigh the odds to see if it would be worthwhile having a power backup to support your CPAP machine. Learn more about running a CPAP off a UPS backup here:
A Stairlift and/or Patient Lift with a Battery Backup
If you or a loved one is immobile and rely on patient lifts and/or a stairlift machine to move from floor to floor, get out of a chair or bed, or to exit the house, it could be a safety issue not to have a battery backup or have some way to power these devices during a power outage.
Many Patient transport devices do have batteries or run off batteries, but you need to be sure you have more than one battery charged at all times or have some way to charge the batteries during an extended power outage. Learn more about supporting patient transport equipment with battery backup power.
Running an Oxygen Concentrator on a UPS
Although you cannot survive without oxygen, it is still questionable if a battery backup generator is a right solution and way to prepare for a power outage. You may be better off storing bottled oxygen rather than try and support a concentrator with a backup. Learn more about running an oxygen concentrator with a battery backup system.
Emergency Backup for medications that are stored in Home Refrigerators
Many expensive medications are stored in household refrigerators. For the patients, we would recommend you check with your health insurance company to see if lost medication due to a power outage is covered. However this could be more to this risk than just the cost of the lost drugs, it could be a potential safety issue if you were caught in a storm without power and medication and no way to get a prescription refill. You might be put into a position where you have to wait a day or two until the roadways are reopened. A battery backup for your refrigerator may be a possible remedy for this potential hazard.
If your household relies on any of these above-mentioned pieces of medical equipment you may want to look into getting a generator that has the ability to power all these vital items.
If you live in the suburbs it may be best you install a propane-fueled generator. However, there are circumstances such as those who live in apartments and condos where a generator cannot be utilized then you would have no choice but to initialize a battery backup system. Also if you or your loved one is interested in moving into an assisted living quarters, you may want to be sure that the facility you are interested in is equipped with backup power.