I'm caring for my dad and struggling to get the oxygen supplies he needs; canula's, tubing, and back-up oxygen for power outages, etc. I originally had a very large stationary oxygen tank that would last a couple days and a concentrator to refill portable bottles. I changed insurance and now he gets 4 portable bottles, no back up bottle, and I can't fill the portables. Assuming he has used a couple bottles on any particular day to attend a dr's appointment and the power goes out later in the day he wouldn't have enough to make until they deliver! The bottles, if full, wouldn't last 12 hours. He uses a walker and would need to push the bottle and use his walker at the same time; impossible! It's ridiculous that I haven't been able to get a portable machine despite grievances and finally complaints to the state medical board. He runs me over with his walker and he can't use a public bathroom unless I stand in the restroom; zero autonomy. A prisoner in his own home. Not to mention the burden of traveling with someone who needs so much help and monitoring. I can't leave his side and I'm no spring chicken.
The final stressor; I can't even get the supplies he must have to stay healthy; such as soft canula's or bottles. The medical group switched DME companies and yesterday they delivered ONE portable bottle, another cheap Everflo oxygen concentrator (I can buy a used one on ebay for $300.00) ONE hard canula (requested soft) and ONE 50 foot hose. I do not have a canula for the portable bottles. He has diabetes (compromised immune system) and severe COPD (continuous oxygen). Getting clean cups for the nebulizer or clean hoses is impossible as well. I am disgusted and worn out fighting this battle and that is EXACTLY their plan. He has dementia so is continually dropping things and I KNOW he has cross-contaminated items that need to be replaced and bacteria free. I absolutely hate CA and their medical system; without hesitation I can promise you they are rationing care to the elderly.
What can I do about this? I don't have the energy to continually advocate for his basic needs and the Medicare/Medicaid guidelines are so vague the insurance company can interpret "provide supplies" any way they want. Why in the world hasn't the COPD foundation provided minimal guidance to regulating authorities? Why is this such a problem?