Rarely is there a single “best” medical device that every expert and patient deems premier. “Best” doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, the most well known brand or the device that’s been around the longest. What’s best is what works the most seamlessly for you, and this can take some trial and error (which can be expensive) but it’s also about knowing what your needs and preferences are. Don’t take your doctor’s recommendation as gospel, and be wary when family or friends suggest a device because they’ve heard good things about it.
Instead, start by making a list of things you need from a device followed by “wants.” When shopping for masks for CPAP machines, for example, you may need a tough to find size due to your unique head dimensions. With wheelchairs, you may need an electric instead of manual one. You may want certain bells and whistles, and if the wants can be added to the needs while sticking within your budget, you’ve found a match.
A case for settling
Sometimes you’ll find your dream machine or gadget but it’s astronomically expensive. There might be options for used or refurbished devices, waiting it out until a new model arrives might lower costs, or perhaps low-interest financing is available. However, if it doesn’t fit into your budget without putting your financial health in jeopardy, it’s not worth it when other devices can deliver similar results. There’s a fine line between making small sacrifices for a better for you device and reckless splurging.
Comparison shopping online is a savvy move, but only if you’re perusing shops that are reputable and match their quality products with service. Check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints, check out online reviews and peruse testimonials if available. A reputable retailer that’s been operating awhile should have plenty of reviews on third-party sites as well as knowledgeable customer service staff to answer your questions.
If this is your first time requiring this medical device, remember that you can always “trade up” in the future. It’s unlikely that you’ll find the be all, end all make and model the first time around. As science advances, you’ll want more features and comforts. Research potential outlets for selling or trading in your device as soon as you buy it. It’s easy (and fun) to keep an eye out for the latest devices but not as enjoyable to scramble for a trusted buyer when the time comes.