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There may come a time when you or a loved one will need health equipment to safely remain in your home.
Nova Scotia Health (NSH) and Nova Scotia Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care (SLTC) offer a number of programs that provide health equipment services. NSH and SLTC contract certain suppliers to provide this equipment and check to make sure they meet set standards. You can get more information by calling toll-free at 1-800-225-7225 or online here.
There are private companies and organizations who offer health equipment and supplies outside the public health care system. You may choose to purchase or obtain the services of a private supplier. This is an important decision, so here is some information that may help you.
Before you choose a health equipment supplier, you should know that:
- NSH does not endorse or recommend any specific suppliers.
- Private companies are not funded, monitored or audited by NSH or SLTC.
- You pay for the full cost of your equipment that your health plan or insurance doesn’t cover.
Before you choose a health equipment supplier, you should:
- Work with a health care provider to determine the appropriate health equipment.
- Figure out how much money you will have available to spend on the equipment you need. If you have insurance ask your insurance company what they cover.
- Make sure the supplier takes the time to answer your questions and leaves you feeling confident in your purchase. A good supplier will not make you feel pressured into making a purchase.
- about the qualifications (education, training and experience) of the workers and the support they will provide. You may want to see proof of these qualifications.
- for references from current and past clients; follow up by talking to these individuals.
- to try before you buy. Do they allow an in-home trial and/or work with your health care provider to determine whether the equipment is right for you?
- to see a written statement describing all services and costs included in the price (special adaptations, set up, accessories, delivery and repairs in the warranty period). Read it carefully before approving any purchase or service work.
- for copies of any policies, including the return policy, maintenance or replacement of equipment policy.
- what are the hours of operation? Is there an emergency number or after hours service number?
- do they provide delivery and installation? How long will it take to receive the equipment?
- about the follow up provided after your purchase. Will they instruct you on how to use the equipment? Provide regular maintenance?
- about repairs during the warranty period and warranty exclusions. Is the equipment shipped elsewhere for servicing? If the device needs repairs, do they provide loaner equipment?
To find a health equipment supplier:
- Check Caregivers Nova Scotia www.caregiversns.org. Their Resources page provides a list of providers and services available in each region of the province. You can also call them at 1-877-488-7390.
- Call 211 or visit ns.211.ca
- Look in the NS Government Seniors’ Positive Aging Directory. Visit https://novascotia.ca/seniors/directory/ for an online copy or to request a print copy.
- Ask family and friends who they recommend and look online for local services.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau for ratings, verified customer reviews and information to help you avoid scams: call 1-877-663-2363 or visit www.bbb.org/atlantic
Health equipment can make a big impact on your life; be sure you get what’s right for you.