5 Big Tips if your Elderly Loved One Is New to Using Oxygen
If your loved one’s doctor has just prescribed oxygen, you might feel intimidated by the prospect as his family caregiver. While there are some important things to understand about oxygen use, it’s not as complicated as you might think. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this new device.
Smoking is Extremely Dangerous Around Oxygen
Many people think that this is the case because oxygen is flammable, but that isn’t the case. Oxygen is what fires need to burn, so pure oxygen is like fuel for something that is already lit, such as a cigarette or a match. For that same reason, your loved one should never use oxygen around any open flame. If your loved one still hasn’t given up smoking, try to make sure that he at least doesn’t smoke while he’s actively using his oxygen.
Read Labels on Lotions and Creams
Another thing to get used to if your loved one is beginning to use oxygen is that skin lotions and creams that contain petroleum products, such as Vaseline, can combust around oxygen. Make sure that you read the labels of everything that your loved one puts on his skin or hair carefully. If he uses any products that contain any sort of petroleum product, you’ll need to switch him to water-based products.
Be Careful with Oxygen Cylinder Storage
It’s essential to store your loved one’s oxygen cylinders safely when they aren’t being used. They need to remain upright and away from any heat source at all. Look into something like an oxygen storage cart that can help you to manage full and empty canisters when they’re not in use.
Turn Off the Oxygen if You’re Not Using It
If your loved one only uses oxygen occasionally, it’s really important to turn it off when he’s not using it. This helps to conserve oxygen, of course, but it also helps to reduce energy costs and it keeps pure oxygen from building up in the home.
Get Help with Anything You Don’t Understand
Your loved one’s oxygen supplier and doctor should give you quite a bit of information specific to your loved one’s oxygen dosage and the use and storage of the oxygen and equipment. It’s a lot of information to take in, though, so don’t be afraid to ask questions until you feel comfortable with the equipment and the processes. Your loved one’s elder care providers can also help you with equipment since they have experience helping loved ones with its use.
There is a learning curve when it comes to using oxygen, but you and your loved one will both catch on quickly.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in the New Haven Area, please call and speak to the caring staff at Talem Home Care. Call today at (203) 590-9099.