Otherwise known as infusion therapy, IV therapy is used in hospitals and clinics to deliver blood, platelets, medicines, vitamins, and other fluids. As a selective care option, IV therapy is growing in popularity as a way to boost hydration, provide anti-aging treatments, and reduce recovery times. Even better, now mobile IV therapy providers can come straight to your senior’s door and provide both medically prescribed and elective wellness treatments in the comfort of their own home. But what exactly is IV therapy, and is it the right choice for your senior?
With this in-depth guide, Seasons will answer these important questions and many others about home infusion therapy. You can also access our Resource Hub to find mobile IV therapy providers in your local area. This free online resource helps family caregivers and seniors connect with the most qualified and experienced individuals nearby – whether they’re searching for mobile IV therapy, adult day care, geriatric management, or any other senior care option.
Mobile IV therapy – innovative treatment at your senior’s home
What is mobile IV therapy?
Intravenous therapy provides the body with fluids via a drip IV infusion. You’re probably familiar with how this works if you’ve ever been to a hospital. A catheter is inserted into a vein, and IV fluids are introduced into the body directly through the bloodstream. A pouch is suspended above the patient on a pole, filled with a saline solution or another form of medication. IVs are used for hydration therapy, chemotherapy, blood transfusions, pain and anti-nausea medication, and much more.
Mobile IV therapy for seniors is aimed specifically at older adults and their unique health concerns. These medical issues might include:
- Illnesses such as colds and flus
- Chronic conditions
- Overall declining health and well-being
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Stress or mental health concerns
- Compromised immune systems
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Cancer (chemotherapy)
Even if a senior has no specific medical concerns, mobile IV therapy can boost wellness as they contend with the natural aging process. Seniors may be able to improve their well-being and overall energy levels by introducing antioxidants and other vitamin-infused solutions via an IV drip. Treatments such as NAD+ are gaining in popularity for the purposes of energy, mental health and clarity, and other purported benefits. Because mobile IV therapy providers bring treatment to your senior in the comfort of your home, the experience is less physically demanding and more convenient for family caregivers.
Why not simply take vitamins in pill form?
The logic that proponents of vitamin infusion therapy use is this: vitamins introduced into the body intravenously are very easy for the body to absorb, and the health benefits of these nutrients manifest faster. Many vitamins in pill form have high concentrations of active ingredients, but the human body is only capable of absorbing a certain percentage. IV therapy is said to overcome these barriers, allowing your senior to receive a revitalizing surge of the most effective vitamins and antioxidants for their unique health care needs.
Can I administer IV therapy myself?
The quick answer is no. IV therapy should only be administered by trained medical professionals, and in many states, it’s required to be done under the supervision of registered nurses. IV therapy comes with its own set of risks, including potential injury and infection. When you trust qualified mobile IV therapy providers, you can feel confident about your senior’s safety as they receive this innovative new treatment.
Why would my senior need mobile IV therapy?
IV therapy is especially helpful for seniors who need to rehydrate. This is a very common issue among the elderly population, and up to 30% of seniors are not getting adequate hydration. Seniors are particularly vulnerable because older adults struggle to retain water in their bodies due to the natural aging process and degradation in kidney function. However, dehydration may be especially prevalent with the following issues:
- Specific kidney problems
- Certain medications that cause dehydration
- Poor diet
Of course, mobile IV therapy can help seniors with more than just dehydration. Along with electrolytes, fluids, and vitamins, IV solutions may contain a range of medications based on your senior’s unique needs. This might include medication for high blood pressure, antibiotics, hypothyroidism, diabetes, acid reflux, high cholesterol, and many other health concerns.
Seniors undergoing cancer treatment may also benefit tremendously from mobile IV therapy. Dehydration is common among chemotherapy patients because they lose significant amounts of moisture through vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Some doctors also recommend IV hydration before and after chemotherapy sessions to improve overall outcomes. In some cases, the chemotherapy and anti-nausea treatments themselves can also be administered by mobile IV therapists in the comfort of your senior’s home.
Finally, older adults may need mobile IV therapy if they are physically unable to drink enough fluids. Perhaps a recent surgery has made it impossible for them to sit up and consume liquids. They may also be unable to swallow due to certain throat conditions. The inability to swallow is known as “dysphagia” in the medical world. Both IV fluids to rehydrate and for nutrition can be provided as necessary.
Several studies have established a clear link between healthy hydration levels and better digestive health, potentially resulting in less constipation and improved overall wellness. In addition, a well-hydrated senior is less likely to struggle with coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer, and bladder cancer. Because dehydration is often associated with dizziness and lack of balance, IV hydration therapy can even help reduce falls.
What are some signs I should seek out mobile IV therapy for my senior?
As seniors age, they may feel less thirsty despite their bodies losing vast amounts of hydration through poor kidney function. This is known as a “weak thirst response,” and it is very common among the elderly population. Because of this, family caregivers should look closely for any potential sign of dehydration in their senior loved ones – even if they’re not complaining of thirst. These signs may include:
- Trouble maintaining balance
- Sunken or dark eyes
- Infrequent urination
- Darker urine
- Stiff and cramped muscles
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
While most older adults can deal with mild or moderate dehydration by simply drinking more fluids, IV therapy can be extremely helpful if your senior is dealing with more serious levels of dehydration. Remember, severe dehydration can lead to potentially fatal consequences – such as hypovolemic shock. It’s always a smart idea to have your senior examined by a medical professional to search for signs of dehydration that you might have missed.
Questions to ask yourself as you consider mobile IV therapy
- Am I certain my senior is getting enough hydration?
- Does my senior have any specific health issues that could make dehydration worse?
- Does my senior complain about the time they have to spend in a hospital or clinic receiving treatment?
- Does my senior have trouble remembering to take vitamins and other medication?
- Would having someone come to the home make IV treatment more palatable for my senior?
What benefits does mobile IV therapy provide?
Immune boosting and faster recovery times
Not only could IV treatment help seniors avoid colds, flus, and other illnesses, but it could also significantly boost recovery time. Hydration fuels the body’s response to a variety of illnesses, and vitamin infusion therapy may help the body defend itself from getting sick in the first place. Giving your senior the IV fluids they need helps them fight off a range of issues and is more efficient than simply drinking water and electrolytes.
Many seniors say they typically feel the effects of IV hydration therapy almost instantaneously, resulting in an immediate boost of energy, clearer thinking, and a better overall mood. This is especially true if symptoms were quite severe prior to the infusion. IV therapy is faster-acting than pills, tablets, or liquids because it completely bypasses the digestive system and goes directly into the bloodstream.
How quickly results are felt also depends on the specific type of IV treatment your senior receives, and sometimes the effects may be felt gradually over the course of a few days. Proponents of NAD+ treatment, for example, suggest several consecutive days of IV therapy for the best results.
No need to worry about pills
Even young people can forget to take prescribed medication sometimes. When seniors are tasked with taking several medicines on a daily basis, it’s easier for mistakes to happen. This is especially true if your senior is dealing with cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or general memory issues. IV therapy negates these issues by introducing reliable levels of medication directly into your senior’s bloodstream on a regular basis.
Mobile IV therapy is also an excellent choice if your senior needs to eliminate toxins from their body. Sometimes, these toxins can build up over the course of many years, becoming very difficult to flush out without a professional care option like IV therapy.
Avoid transfers to hospitals
Let’s face it – no one likes going to the hospital. Not only are these visits time-consuming and costly, but they can also be highly stressful for older adults. IV therapy at a hospital may take days to complete, racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills in the process. Even outpatient IV therapy can take hours when travel and waiting room time are taken into account. In contrast, mobile IV therapy provides your senior with affordable, effective assistance – and a visit from an IV therapist is typically much quicker than a visit to a facility for treatment.
Questions about mobile IV therapy
What types of options are available with mobile IV therapy?
One of the best things about mobile IV therapy is that it can be tailored to meet the needs of your senior. There are many options available, including:
- Myer’s cocktail: A popular solution, Myer’s cocktail is a blend of B complex, B12, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C that helps boost energy.
- Lactated ringers’ solution: An effective choice for tackling dehydration, lactated ringer’s solution consists mainly of water and electrolytes.
- Normal saline solution: Considered the most straightforward way to replace lost hydration, a normal saline solution contains 0.9% saline to keep fluids in the extracellular compartment, supporting healthy blood pressure.
- Customized vitamin solution: You and your senior are also free to create a customized solution, choosing specific vitamins and other antioxidants that meet your senior’s needs. These might include glutathione, vitamin C, vitamin D, taurine, and many others.
- NAD+: This molecule is produced in the body and supports functions such as cell regeneration and metabolic reactions, but production reduces naturally as people get older. Adding it back into your system via IV fluids could improve metabolism, energy levels, mental fitness, and more. NAD+ treatments have become a popular anti-aging measure.
- Customized medication: In addition, you can ask your IV therapy specialist if it’s possible to add your senior’s medication into the solution. These might include toradol, zofran, benadryl, pepcid, reglan, and many others.
- Chemotherapy: Finally, chemotherapy and associated anti-nausea treatments can be conducted at home in certain situations with the help of mobile IV therapists.
Is mobile IV therapy safe for seniors?
One of the key benefits of mobile IV therapy is that it’s relatively painless with no downtime for recuperation. The best mobile IV therapy for seniors is conducted by registered nurses and other qualified medical professionals who only use the safest medical ingredients. These individuals carefully review the unique needs of your senior and rely on years of experience to deliver reliable, effective treatment options. IV therapists are often trained nurses, paramedics, or doctors, and they may even be employed directly by hospitals.
What does a mobile IV therapy visit look like?
- IV therapists often start by asking your senior about their medical history
- The therapist helps you and your senior choose an effective IV solution customized to meet their unique needs
- They may also conduct a brief medical exam prior to the infusion
- A therapist will help your senior get situated in a comfortable seated position
- They also sanitize the area and ensure a hygienic and gentle needle entry
- IV therapists carefully monitor your senior throughout the infusion
- When home infusion therapy is complete, IV therapists remove the needle and cover the insertion site with a bandage
- The therapist may then check in with the senior or perform additional examinations prior to leaving
What questions should I ask mobile IV therapists?
- How much experience do you have with IV therapy?
- What are your qualifications?
- What kind of medical equipment do you use?
- Where do you get your ingredients? What kind of add-ons do you offer?
- Are you an independent service provider, or are you employed by a hospital?
- What are your procedures if something goes wrong?
Talking about mobile IV therapy
Talking about mobile IV therapy with your family could be challenging. Your senior may not be too enthusiastic about the prospect – especially if they’re squeamish about needles. In addition, you may need to convince other family members that this care option is worth the cost. As a result, it’s important to approach this discussion in a careful, considerate manner.
How to talk to family members about mobile IV therapy
Try to assemble your family members together for a face-to-face discussion about the possibility of mobile IV therapy. If anyone has doubts, you can point out the efficacy of this care option – especially if your senior is suffering from severe dehydration. If they raise financial concerns, you can explain that this option is often cheaper than a multi-day stay at a hospital.
How to approach the topic of mobile IV therapy with your senior
If your senior seems unsure about mobile IV therapy, you can always point out that they won’t have to leave the comfort of their own home. You might also inform your senior that they can watch television or read during the infusion. Most older adults will jump at the chance to avoid a lengthy ordeal at a hospital.
Questions to help a senior consider mobile IV therapy
- Do you find it difficult to remember to take your medication?
- Are you struggling with fatigue?
- Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid a trip to the hospital?
Paying for mobile IV therapy
How much does mobile IV therapy cost?
The cost of mobile IV therapy depends on numerous factors, including the specific service provider you choose, your senior’s unique needs, and any add-ons you may choose during treatment such as additional vitamins. That being said, you’ll find that this care option is surprisingly affordable – especially when you consider the alternatives.
Mobile IV therapy for seniors: a more affordable option
While purchasing pills and tablets from a pharmacy is cheaper than mobile IV therapy, you have to consider the efficacy of each care option. IV therapy could provide stronger, more immediate results compared to pills – resulting in better overall value.
Mobile IV therapy is also much cheaper than a hospital visit. While a hospital bed can cost thousands of dollars per day, some mobile IV therapy services cost less than $100 per day. If you want to provide your senior with reliable, comfortable, and convenient hydration, IV therapy is a high-value, affordable option.
Can I get help paying for mobile IV therapy?
In theory, Medicare and private health insurance companies should cover home infusion therapy if prescribed by a doctor. Equipment and supplies related to this treatment falls under the category of durable medical equipment, or “DME,” which is covered by Medicare Part B. According to Medicare’s website, you’ll also be covered for the actual infusion therapy services, such as nurse visits and patient monitoring – but you’ll have to pay 20% of the cost. That being said, an employer-sponsored supplemental insurance plan may cover these out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare Part D may also cover the cost of infusion drugs.
On the other hand, some independent mobile IV therapy companies do not accept health insurance due to considerable red tape, long wait times for payment, and the possibility of denied claims. Somewhat ironically, Medicare may cover the cost of infusion therapy if your senior is staying at a hospital – but not if they receive mobile IV therapy at their own home. Since mobile IV therapy is significantly cheaper than a hospital stay, it’s often more affordable to forgo Medicare entirely and simply pay the costs directly. You’ll need to assess your unique situation to find the best option. VA benefits also cover IV therapy – both in the home and at the hospital.
How can I find mobile IV therapy?
If you’re ready to find mobile IV therapy, Seasons is ready to help. By simply accessing our Resource Hub, you can find qualified, experienced, and dependable mobile IV therapy professionals near you. This care option can drastically improve your senior’s symptoms and overall well-being – whether they’re suffering from dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, or simply a lack of energy. Check out our Resource Hub today to find the best local options for IV therapy, in-home care services, estate planning, and much more.