My senior mom has been having more issues with arthritis lately, making it harder to her to easily move around. To help her, we decided to try a rolling table that goes up and down – like the kind you have in a hospital. Having learned years ago to always talk to the doctor first to find out what our health insurance might cover, I brought it up at her next doctor's appoinment. Her doctor did, indeed, think it was an excellent idea and wrote out a prescription for it.
With the prescription in hand, we stopped at our favorite medical supplies store. It turned out that the table wasn't covered by insurance BUT having the prescription did save us on the taxes. The table I found was about $200 so that was a nice savings.
Rather than a hospital table, which my mom was afraid would take up too much room, we brought home an intriguing table with two long foot bases, a post that came straight up, a nice size table that rotated to either side of the post, and a sturdy handle at one end. Basically, you put the long foot bases UNDER the feet of one side of a sturdy chair, like her recliner rocker. Then they can swivel the table in front of themselves or away from themselves. And the handle can be used by them to help rise from the chair. It sounded great.
Unfortunately, when we tried it out, it did not work for her. Because she has arthritis pain and weakness on both of her sides – including shoulders and arms – it threw her balance off too much to make it work comfortably for her. So back it went to the store the next day. And we're still pondering if we should go back for that hospital table or wait. She hates to give up the space it will take. But it would be more practical. As with so many things in this caregiving journey, we'll take this decision slowly to make sure she is happy with it.
In the meantime, the three big tips from this adventure:
1. Always ask your aging parent's doctor if a piece of equipment you are considering would be a wise investment, and if so, could you get a prescription for it.
2. For something big and/or unusual like this, I definitely prefer to buy locally to make it easier if we have to return it.
3. It may be necessary to make changes slowly, but it's worth it to be patient for your senior parent's peace of mind – and yours.
This intriguing table didn't work for my senior mom, but it might work for yours. I definitely liked the concept. How about you?