He is 81 gets SSI, Medcaid/Medicare. He has an oxygen tank but he is so weak & frail that it is too heavy for him to make it even to the store. Tired by time he gets there can't hold out to get supplies. Just got out of 3 night hosp stay-Dr released cause he's borderline for NH/PT. So released to home. Lives by himself no real friends lives an hr from me(I'm taking care of my Mom), my cousin is not well (Mom lives with her) & can't drive so she can't really help. Different people tell me he should qualify for a smaller portable oxygen tank but can't seem to get home health to help as well as Dr. Maybe it's not possible to get smaller unit. He needs more skilled help but he answers he's fine so the home health leave him alone. Seem to visit but evaluation results in only 1 visit a week if that. Forgot to mention he has a colostomy bag. Difficult for him to change bag especially when he is upset or nervous. If he bathes its difficult so long periods lapse in between time cause he is weak & frail. And of course, he is my Mom's baby brother, so she & other distance relatives want me to go rescue him, sign off on POA & health directive. I helped him in the past that's how he got SSI & other benefits & found a senior apartment complex where he said he wanted to live. Seems he is sane most of time but there is a question about other times. I know the laws have changed & varies state to state. In Louisiana. So far folks I speak to in health system have suggestions but actually getting these suggestions done are time consuming & difficult. Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks.

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Is the prescribing doctor a pulmonologist or a PCP or family doctor? A pulmonoligst is much more knowledgable about the needs of patients for oxygen as well as the Medicare requirements for providing oxygen 24/7, including back-up tanks.

If I recall correctly, we had a choice between the metal cylindrical tanks or the portable concentrator with rechargeable batteries. We have the latter. The portable concentrator weighs less than 10 pounds and is much easier to handle than the large tanks. We have 4 batteries, some lasting only about 2.5 hours and others lasting 4 hours (newer batteries).

I've also called the oxygen supplier directly to ask about various options. Your uncle could do that, or tell his doctor that he needs more manageable portable equipment, that this is confining him, and eventually could cause a loss of mobility as well as difficulty getting to appointments.

It's possible also that he may not have understood what options he had when he was prescribed oxygen. He still has the right to contact his doctor, or possibly the DME supplier, and ask to be switched to a portable concentrator.

Medicare has changed its rules for oxygen over the recent years; if this doctor isn't a pulmonologist, he/she might not be familiar with Medicare's standards.
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