If you've finally scheduled a long-anticipated hip replacement surgery, you may be simultaneously excited at the prospect of receiving a new hip while worried about the recovery process. For many, it can be 4 to 6 months or more before you feel fully comfortable with your new hip, and if you're having your second hip replacement performed shortly after your first, this can mean nearly a year of limited mobility during your recuperation.
While your health insurance is likely to cover much of the cost of the mobility aids you'll need during recovery, the decision whether to rent or purchase this equipment can be a tough one, especially if there isn't a significant price difference between the two options. Read on to learn more about some of the factors you'll want to consider when selecting mobility medical equipment after a hip replacement surgery.
How long will you need assistance?
If you're hoping to return to a fully active life after your recovery, with no future need for any mobility aids until your golden years, you may find purchasing this equipment to be the wrong choice. Renting can allow you to return this equipment to the rental company rather than trying to find a home for it once you no longer need it.
On the other hand, those who have osteoporosis, vertigo, or other medical conditions that can make certain standing or transitioning tasks difficult may have a continuing need for some mobility aids. Purchasing rather than renting items like toilet and bathtub bars or portable seats can allow you to enjoy the benefits of these mobility aids for years to come.
In addition, those who are planning a follow-up hip surgery and who may need these aids for a year or more may find that buying is the more hassle-free option; rental agreements are often designed to cover only a certain period of time pre-authorized by your insurance company, and you could find yourself being required to return the wheelchair or shower stability bar you've been using for the last 6 months only to turn around and get another one for your next procedure.
How much assistance will you need?
Some of the "rent or buy" decision-making process will depend on how much outside assistance you're expecting to have during the recovery process. If you have a spouse, parent, adult child, or other loved one who has assumed caregiving duties and will be with you on a daily basis, you may need less assistive equipment than someone who may essentially be fending for him- or herself during the first few weeks of recovery. Purchasing this equipment can be a one-and-done transaction, helping avoid complications in your life like returning rental equipment or juggling insurance pre-approvals while you're focusing on recovery.
Do you have other family members with mobility problems?
In some cases, you may be able to pass along your mobility aids to another household member or loved one who has some trouble with certain tasks of daily living. Purchasing these aids yourself with the assistance of your health insurance company can allow you to defray these costs for your loved one, often a boon to those who are older and on a fixed income. In some cases, having access to the mobility aids you used after your hip replacement surgery may help an older relative avoid this surgery by minimizing the risk of falls at home.
On the other hand, those who don't have family members, coworkers, or friends who might appreciate these aids and who don't want to deal with the hassle of trying to sell or donate them may find renting to be the all-around better option.