Oxygen Concentrator for Seniors

Most older adults are faced with difficulties to breathe freely as their ages advance. Difficulty in breathing among seniors can be caused by chronic Respiratory Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), cyclic fibrosis, and other respiratory problems. Seniors facing the inability to breathe freely may be forced to remain homebound to avoid the extra effort of leaving home with a tank. If they have to leave home with the tank, then that could affect not just their physical mobility, but also their overall quality of life. And let’s face it – seniors going through mobility problems are more likely to be isolated from friends and families. This could eventually lead to feelings of loneliness. While the supplemental oxygen need is being met, older adults suffer when it comes to socializing, and this can eventually be a serious problem.

The need for Portable Oxygen Machines for Seniors

The traditional metal tanks (stationary oxygen containers) have been challenging for seniors to cope with as some of them weigh up to 18 pounds, and walking around with them is almost impossible. Because these oxygen tanks require regular refilling, older adults must ensure they have enough tanks for the refill and definitely device a perfect pick-up and transportation plans. Even life’s simplest activities, such as walking around or maybe going to say hello to friends require an extra effort. These tanks are overwhelming and often disconnect the elderly from their loved ones.

Over the past two decades, technological advancements have come up with more ways to tackle the oxygen problem. Now there is a portable oxygen concentrator that one can carry in a small bag.

So, What is Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POCs)?

A portable oxygen concentrator separates the oxygen, and then stores it, eliminating the need for seniors to keep refilling their oxygen tanks. These devices are specifically designed to enhance the mobility of older adults. With a special filter that comes with these devices, they can separate oxygen from nitrogen very easily.

POCs are smaller in size, lighter, and easy to operate than the traditional oxygen tanks. Devices that are currently available on the market including the Inogen One G4, are very light, weighing less than three pounds, and seniors can always wear them around their shoulders, perhaps as a backpack.


Inogen was founded by Alison Bauerlein, along with Byron Myers, and Brenton Taylor in 2001 to enhance Alison’s grandmother’s life and other seniors like her who were on supplemental oxygen therapy. The company continues to develop highly portable products to allow seniors to live more freely. Inogen offers a variety of lightweight portable oxygen machines, and seniors should easily find one that meets their needs.

  • Inogen One G3: this device comes with three years warranty, rechargeable batteries lasting 4 hours for a single battery and 8 hours for a double battery, and has five different settings for oxygen. The price of Inogen One G3 starts from $2,295
  • Inogen One G4: Comes with three different settings for oxygen, rechargeable batteries lasting 2.7 hours for a single battery, 5 hours for a double battery, and has a 3-year warranty.

Visit https://www.inogen.com/ for more about Inogen.

Most POCs, apart from Inogen, come with rechargeable batteries that can last for hours once charged. The devices require DC or Ac power to operate, and there are double battery units and portable DC chargers for seniors moving around in cars.

While most of these POCs ensure seniors have a continuous oxygen supply, Inogen One has a different approach; one that doesn’t waste oxygen. The device delivers a small amount of oxygen every time the user breathes. This matches the breathing pattern, and not much oxygen is wasted as in the other brands.

How Much Does a Portable Oxygen Concentrator Cost?

A new oxygen concentrator machine is a costly investment. It is not possible to get a device costing less than $2000, no matter which model you go for. However, seniors or their loved ones need to put some factors into consideration before investing in these devices, including the level of need for oxygen supply and the type of health insurance coverage they have.

When buying a portable oxygen concentrator, the elderly should keep usage of the product in mind. Do they need a 24-hour oxygen supply? While some seniors need a 24-hour oxygen supply, others only need oxygen usage during flare-ups. These machines are expensive, and most older adults or their loved ones may find it hard to pay a one-time price. The good news? Many companies are offering many payment plans allowing seniors to pay for these devices in installments.

Buying a refurbished or used portable oxygen machine is also an option if purchasing a new one is a problem. The only drawback of second-hand portable oxygen concentrators is they can have real problems which brand new devices will not have.

Renting Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Those who don’t require oxygen for 24 hours can always rent these devices. Rented portable oxygen concentrators come with short-term and long-term options. Seniors can go for either a weekly or a daily package from the Oxygen Concentrator Store. Weekly package deals start at $210, and daily packages start at $35. Seniors who are mostly homebound with the stationer oxygen machines can use these rented portable oxygen concentrators if, for instance, they have to travel somewhere. Once ordered, the older adult will get the rented device, which comes with extra batteries 24 hours before the scheduled date for traveling.

One can also opt for a long-term rental option, which may come with additional cost, depending on the type of insurance. There are rental devices offered without insurance and usually cost between $200 to $5000 per month. Read more at https://www.theseniorlist.com/portable-oxygen-concentrator/prices/. The elderly should factor in ongoing costs, including extra batteries for replacement and other accessories when they are budgeting for a portable oxygen concentrator.

The Bottom Line

These devices can be expensive but don’t worry about the cost when you need them since they are necessary. Ensure you purchase or rent the portable oxygen concentrator that fits your needs. And remember renting or buying a new model depends on those needs, as explained by your doctor.