Surgeries and other medical procedures aren’t scheduled around good weather or good travel times. This means medical equipment rentals are needed year-round.
While the medical equipment rental process doesn’t change as the seasons change, the availability or necessary types of equipment might.
Let’s take a look at some popular types of medical equipment rentals and how the holiday season might affect them.
Walkers are one of the most common types of medical equipment people rent. Walkers are always readily available and relatively cheap (meaning many providers have a large stock). With that said, there are some things you need to know about renting a walker around the holidays.
The first thing to keep in mind is that traditional walkers have difficulties with snow and ice. If you need a walker rental during the holidays or winter months, a 4-wheeled walker or rollator is recommended. Rollators and 4-wheeled walkers offer better traction and have brakes, granting the user greater control in harsh conditions.
If you are traveling, especially by air, you’ll also want to be aware of the size of your walker. Lightweight models are available for rental which are easier to carry and take up less space when folded.
Finally, during the holidays you’ll want to make sure to reserve your walker rental early. Even though walkers are readily available, rental companies usually run low on stock during the holidays. Make sure to get your rental reservation in a few weeks before you need it, if possible.
Wheelchair rentals are a necessity–having a wheelchair for short-term use makes more sense than buying a relatively expensive piece of equipment. Wheelchairs may seem simple to the untrained eye, but there are some things you need to keep in mind when renting a wheelchair during the holidays or winter season.
First off, you need to ask the question ‘is the person using the wheelchair able to move independently?’ This is very important because if the answer is no, you’ll want to start looking at renting a transport chair. Why? Wheelchairs are heavy! Transport chairs are half the weight of a wheelchair and much more travel-friendly.
The travel-friendliness of a wheelchair is another thing to keep in mind when renting a unit for the holidays. The weight of the wheelchair is a huge factor. If you have trouble lifting more than 30 lbs or large, awkwardly shaped objects, you’ll want to kick the tires before renting a wheelchair. Be sure to go into your rental provider and see if you can handle the weight.
Finally, during the holidays you’ll want to make sure to reserve your wheelchair or transport chair rental early. Rental providers usually run low on stock during the holidays. Make sure to get your reservation in a few weeks before you need it, if possible.
Knee scooters are the best way to get around after lower leg or foot surgeries & procedures. This means that you’ll likely need to have one for the holidays if you plan on going somewhere to celebrate.
Most knee walkers are very travel friendly and don’t take up much space when they are folded. This means you’ll just want to check your trunk space or, if you’re flying, the airline policies and regulations regarding medical equipment.
Be sure to check the brakes and seat of any knee scooter before you rent it for the holidays or winter season. Some knee scooters have seats that double as elevation for your leg (if necessary) and/or have dual hand brakes for increased control. Make sure you have the right unit for your needs.
During the holidays you’ll also want to make sure to reserve your knee scooter rental early. Rental providers usually run low on stock during the holidays. Make sure to get your reservation in a few weeks before you need it, if possible.
Ramp rentals are primarily used when a home needs to be temporarily modified due to surgery or a handicapped visitor. Ramps are used to replace steps in order to get in and out of a house or other building. Keep in mind that most ramps are only able to be used on a maximum of 3-4 steps. Anything else will usually require a permanent modification or lift.
Ramps are easy to transport and install. This makes ramp rentals an advantage for anyone hosting a disabled relative for the holidays. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when renting a ramp:
- Measure the number of steps and the total height before making a rental reservation
- Check the width of the ramp and the area where you intend to use the ramp
- Check the material and weight limit of a ramp before rental
- If you intend to use the ramp in a garage or on a walkway, make sure the total length of the ramp fits. Some rental/portable ramps are 15’ long!
- If the ramp is going to be used on a hardwood floor, make sure to have padding. Ramps are typically made of aluminum and scratching may occur.
- Be sure to always help the person using the ramp! Rental ramps don’t have railings and tipping is something to be aware of.
During the holidays you’ll also want to make sure to reserve a ramp rental early on. Rental providers usually run low on stock during the holidays. Make sure to get your reservation in a few weeks before you need it, if possible. Rental measurements and remeasures can be an issue, so ramps may take a bit more time to rent than the other equipment in this article.
Mobility scooters are often an upgrade from a wheelchair for those with mobility needs. This doesn’t mean they are always better than a wheelchair or walker, however, they offer more when it comes to trips involving multiple locations and walking. If your family traditions include visiting museums, exhibitions, or holiday festivities, a mobility scooter may be just what you’re looking for.
Mobility scooters are big. When assembled most mobility scooters weigh more than 4 wheelchairs combined (approaching 100 pounds). Thankfully, most modern mobility scooters break down into component pieces that are easy to travel with. Making sure a mobility scooter fits in your car is important for anyone taking a road trip.
Flying with a mobility scooter is much different than flying with other medical equipment due to one thing: the battery. Airlines and FAA regulations restrict the size and types of batteries that can be transported on a plane, making some research necessary before traveling with one. Be sure to call your airline or airport before making a mobility scooter rental reservation.
Mobility scooters also have different types of wheels. Larger wheels do better on rugged terrain. Mobility scooters are not, however, recommended for use in snow (anything more than a light dusting). Make sure that you intend to use the mobility scooter primarily in indoor areas if traveling to a cold climate for the holidays.
During the holidays you’ll also want to make sure to reserve a mobility scooter rental early on. Rental providers usually run low on stock during the holidays. Make sure to get your reservation in a few weeks before you need it, if possible. Testing a mobility scooter rental before committing is also advised, as scooters of different sizes handle differently.
Oswald’s is Naperville’s best medical equipment rental provider. Our huge rental selection has multiple options for:
- Wheelchairs/Transport Chairs
- Knee Scooters
- Mobility Scooters
- Lift Chairs
- Hospital Beds
- Cold Therapy Devices