Programs that distribute condoms, lubricants, dental dams, bleach kits (ammonia or bleach for cleaning needles and instruction for use) and/or other supplies that can be used to help stop the spread of AIDS, other blood borne infectious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases among high-risk populations. Individuals who have a history of injection drug use, sex with a person with HIV/AIDS, sex with a man who has sex with other men, sex with an injection drug user, a sexually transmitted disease, or are exchanging money or drugs for sex are considered to be at high or increased risk.
Programs that pay for or provide special stockings which prevent swelling, provide comfort and promote circulation of blood in the feet and legs in order to reduce the incidence of leg ulcers, thrombosis disorders such as varicose veins and other problems associated with poor circulation. A medical doctor generally indicates the necessary compression ratio which is greatest in the foot and lessens further up the leg.
Programs that pay for or provide emergency medical kits which include band-aids, gauze, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, alcohol swabs, tongue blades, cold packs, CPR masks, sterile eye pads, sterile eye wash solution, syrup of ipecac, hand towels, blankets, disposable gloves and other items that equip people to provide emergency assistance in case of an accident in which someone is injured or otherwise disabled.
Programs that maintain a comprehensive collection of medical equipment and supplies for use in the home and make it available to people who need it, generally on a rental purchase basis.
Programs that pay for or provide adjustable beds that that are required by people who are unable to leave their beds on a temporary or long-term basis. Included are programs that loan hospital beds and those that provide beds that people can keep.
Programs that pay for or provide adult diapers and other garments, bedding protection, control devices and alarm systems to help people who have bowel or urination control problems deal with their situation.
Programs that pay for or provide syringes, needles, external insulin pumps and other necessary equipment which enables individuals with diabetes to inject the insulin they need.
Programs that supply breast prostheses (artificial breast forms that can be used after surgery in which the breast has been altered or removed) which are worn to simulate the natural breast and body shape; mastectomy bras which have pockets to hold the prostheses; and postsurgical camisoles. Breast forms may be full or partial breasts, known as equalizers, that can balance the appearance depending on what type of surgical procedure was performed. The forms come in a variety of materials (usually silicone, foam or fiberfill) and can be worn inside a bra or attached to the body with a special adhesive. Advantages of having a breast prosthesis include help balancing one's posture and prevention of problems with curvature of the spine, shoulder drop and muscular pain in the neck and back. Most women are able to wear a prosthesis (breast form) within 2-8 weeks after surgery. Camisoles that have soft attachable prostheses can be worn immediately after surgery until the surgical site is healed.
Programs that pay for or provide gauze, cotton, adhesive tape, bandages and other materials which are used to provide protective covering or support for strains, sprains, fractures, wounds or other injuries.
Programs that pay for or provide equipment which keeps track of specific bodily functions such as respiration, heart beat or blood pressure and which may sound an alarm when an individual's functioning falls into abnormal ranges.
Programs that collect medical equipment and supplies (such as sickroom equipment, hospital beds, monitoring devices, resuscitation equipment, respiratory aids, incontinence supplies and first aid kits) as they become available and distribute whatever they have on hand to people who need them. Because acquisition of these materials is intermittent, it is difficult to specify exactly which items may be available at any given time.
Programs that pay for or provide stoma caps, collecting bags and other materials that are required by people who have had a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy.
Programs that pay for or provide equipment, appliances and assistive aids such as mats, rolls/inclines, positioning/strengthening aids, ambulation or balance training aids, stand tables, treatment tables and whirlpools that enable people to develop (or restore) and maintain the movement and functional abilities that are needed to perform activities of daily living. Use of therapy aids allows individuals to increase their strength, flexibility and/or physical endurance.
Programs that pay for or provide mattresses, mattress overlays, specialized beds or other pressure reducing support surfaces that are designed to prevent pressure sores in individuals have limited or no mobility and are confined to a bed for most or all of a day, and encourage the healing process in people who have burns, extensive skin lesions or fresh surgical wounds. Included are alternating pressure, low air loss and powered flotation mattresses and mattress overlays, and air fluidized beds (also called static high-air-loss beds) which use warm air under pressure to set small ceramic beads in motion simulating the movement of fluid. The beds ensure that the patient’s weight is evenly distributed over a large surface area and creates the sensation of floating.
Programs that pay for or provide equipment which enables people who have ongoing respiratory disorders to breathe comfortably. Included are programs that loan respiratory equipment and those that provide equipment that people can keep.
Programs that provide stools, benches, chairs and other seating equipment that allow people who have difficulty standing to sit while taking a shower or a bath. Included are portable devices that can be moved into and out of a shower stall or bathtub and folding seats that can be affixed to a shower wall.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.