Whether you are a bariatric patient-in-waiting or a person who has just had bariatric surgery performed, there is no doubt that you are carrying quite a few extra pounds. Many bariatric patients will have special needs both before and after surgery, and those who fill these needs will stand to profit as well as provide a valuable service.
Understanding the Needs of the Bariatric Patient
In order to provide for the bariatric patient, manufacturers must first understand the needs of this particular population. Offering a few random bariatric items will fail both the manufacturers and the patient group. Success requires a well-thought through and legitimately executed business plan.
Some areas of need for the bariatric patient include ambulatory equipment, bathroom equipment, daily living aids, beds and accessories, and patient lifts.
Ambulatory Equipment - It is often difficult for bariatric patients to support their body weight; therefore, ambulatory aids might become necessary. Heavy duty walkers with 500 pound weight capacity are available, as well as bariatric rollators. Three- or four-wheel mobility scooters can be purchased, as can power wheelchairs depending on personal needs. Lesser aids, such as crutches and canes, are also on the market.
Bathroom Equipment - Bathrooms are an accident environment for normal weight people and even more so for bariatric patients. Poor balance can lead to slips and falls, and bathroom areas should be made as safe as possible. Bathroom aids, such as grab bars and shower chairs, are a good investment. Bath benches with as much as a 500-pound weight capacity can be had for small to moderate prices.
Daily Living Aids - Aids for daily living activities--such as dressing, eating, and drinking--help make for a smoother transition to independence. Reach aids can be most useful, as bariatric patients often have difficulty reaching certain areas of their bodies. Such difficulty can make proper hygiene maintenance a challenge.
Beds and Accessories - Bariatric patients need a good, secure bed that can comfortably hold their weight without collapsing. Some bariatric beds can be lowered closer to the floor and make transferring the patient easier. Accessories such as trapeze bars, over bed tables, and safety fall pads are available as needed.
Patient Lifts - In some cases lifts and transfer equipment may be needed. Prices vary for these items, but you might want to consider them because some bariatric patients can weigh as much as 400 to 500 pounds. The possibility for injury to the patient, the caregiver, or both during patient transfer always exists.
Living life well-fed,
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Published On: February 23, 2014