Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is equipment which (a) can withstand repeated use, (b) is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, (c) generally is not useful to a person in the absence of an illness or injury, and (d) is appropriate for use in the home. All requirements of the definition must be met before an item can be considered to be DME.
  • Almost all DME is designed and specifically adjusted for the person who uses it.
    • It is rarely interchangeable with other equipment
  • Do not separate someone from his or her DME unless it is a absolute last resort.

Types of DME:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Walkers
  • Shower chairs
  • Adaptive toilet seats
  • Hospital beds
  • Lifts
  • Canes 

When interacting with someone who uses DME:

  • Respect the person's individuality
  • Don't lean on or touch someone's wheelchair – it is his or her personal space
  • Speak directly to that person and keep eye contact (same eye level)
  • Let the individual tell you what is the best way for you to assist them
  • Don't be afraid to ask someone, "What is the best way for me to pick you up/move you?"
  • Persons who use DME know what they can and cannot do
  • Don't assume there is one way to pick up every person who uses DME – people may have certain limitations or have parts of the body that are too sensitive to touch

Source: Buffalo Wheelchair