Owners' Blog

Dad Needs Oxygen - What Precautions Must You Consider at His Home?

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Your dad's breathing has declined to a point he's not getting enough oxygen on his own. His doctor recommends home oxygen and respiratory therapy. Now that he has the oxygen concentrator, you need to know what precautions are necessary. Your dad's doctor will discuss these with you, but it's a good idea to keep a list available.

Avoid Any Device That Could Spark

If an electric device could spark, keep the oxygen tank away. Some of the small appliances to consider are hair dryers, electric razors and hair trimmers, and electric toothbrushes. Some electric toys, such as motorized race cars and tracks are also considerations.

Keep the Oxygen Tank Away From Flames

It's recommended that you keep the oxygen tank at least 10 feet away from any open flame. If your dad has a gas or wood-burning fireplace, he needs to keep his distance. Other sources with a flame to be cautious of are gas stove tops, furnaces, and candles.

Distance the Tank From Hot Appliances

You may need to use signs and posters, but there are places that your dad should not place his oxygen tank. If he has a space heater, he shouldn't have his oxygen near it. He also shouldn't put it near an oven or wood stove. Baseboard heaters and electric blankets are other considerations.

Make the Entire House a No-Smoking Zone

The dangers of smoking are already well publicized. When your dad's on oxygen, a cigarette can be extremely dangerous. His entire house needs to become a no smoking zone. If smokers are present, make sure they know they have to go outside. If your dad is a smoker, he needs to quit. Patches and gum may be helpful in getting him to stop smoking.

Make Sure Smoke Detectors Work

In the case of a fire, your dad needs to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Make sure his smoke detectors are working. If any detector is 10 years old, it's time to replace it. Change batteries, if necessary, twice a year. Fire professionals recommend using the days you turn clocks back or forward as days to change batteries in smoke detectors.

Hire a Caregiver

To keep your dad safe, bring in elder care services. One of the main benefits is companionship, but he'll also gain help with housework and laundry. A caregiver can also make sure safety precautions are followed. Call an elder care agency today to learn more.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Lawrenceville, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.