Baby Boomers Regain Our Mobility/Quality of Life,
Unburdened by Oxygen Tanks –
Oxygen Concentrators the size of a hardcover novel are increasingly replacing large, bulky oxygen tanks.
For Over 2.5 million Baby Boomers and others that require supplemental oxygen1, being tethered to a large, heavy oxygen tank can be life-altering.
Baby Boomers lose more than our mobility, but also our quality of life as we become increasingly homebound due to the extra effort, planning and even physical strength required to leave the home with a bulky and heavy tank.
For Baby Boomers, any loss in mobility can lead to increasing disconnection from friends and family. Feelings of isolation and separation can emerge. Although the physical need for supplemental oxygen is being met, our social life suffers and can even impact our overall outlook on life. It can be a dwindling spiral.
Baby Boomers are at risk of respiratory diseases increases as we get older.
Take Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), for example. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the highest rates of COPD, a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs, are found in men and women over the age of 55.2
Baby Boomers on Oxygen Therapy require Supplemental Concentrated Oxygen.
For decades, the standard has been to prescribe large, refillable compressed gas oxygen tanks which can weigh up to 18 pounds as well as require regular refilling so users must ensure they have enough tanks on hand, schedule pick-ups of replacements and carefully plan how far they travel. Even simple activities like taking a dog for a walk or visiting nearby friends require extra effort with an oxygen tank.
Baby Boomers are unable to Travel on a Plane with an Oxygen Tank, as they are not permitted by the FAA. This makes staying connected with family and friends very difficult.
According to Sharon Hehn, who has a mild case of COPD and lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, the oxygen tanks provided through Social Security impacted her mobility significantly.
“I mentally boxed myself into my home and the walls felt like they were beginning to close in on me,” says Hehn.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to large, traditional compressed gas oxygen tanks.
Baby Boomers have found that a Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POCs) is the Best Alternative to Oxygen Tanks. They separate the oxygen out of the air and store it, eliminating the need for refills by removing nitrogen using a special filter.
Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) are much smaller and lighter and operate more quietly than the traditional compressed gas oxygen tanks. Units available on the market today, such as the Inogen One G4, weigh less than three pounds and can be worn over the shoulder as a hip bag or as a backpack.
As with all POCs, units like the Inogen One G4 require AC or DC power to operate. The rechargeable batteries typically last for several hours. Double battery units are available, as are portable DC chargers for cars.
Although there are POCs that provide a continuous supply of oxygen, the Inogen One G4 uses a pulse dose delivery method. With this approach, a small burst of oxygen is delivered every time the user inhales, matching the breathing pattern. The benefit is less oxygen is wasted.
According to Sharon Hehn, she has been on oxygen therapy for 14 months since her doctor first prescribed the treatment to address her COPD, which resulted from long-term sleep apnea.
After seven months using a traditional oxygen tank, the switch to a POC had a noticeable impact on Hehn’s quality of life. Having compared options, she selected and received a prescription from her doctor for the Inogen One G4.
After seven months using a traditional oxygen tank, she switched to a POC which had a noticeable impact on Hehn’s quality of life.
She refers to her POC as having “grab it and go” portability. She has returned to walking her dog every day and enjoys visits to a local farm each weekend with her husband. The POC unit has restored a sense of normalcy by allowing her to get back to many activities she enjoys.
Unlike Oxygen Tanks, which are not allowed on planes, POCs can be used as long as the model is FAA and TSA approved and can fit under a seat or in an overhead compartment.3
For Sharon, who is retired from over 34 years in the airline industry, this means she can more regularly visit her son’s family and four grandchildren who live in another state.
With enhanced mobility, Baby Boomers on Oxygen Therapy can have a more positive mental attitude. For Hehn, this has been the biggest advantage of using her Inogen POC since she cut what she describes as “an umbilical cord” with her oxygen tank. As she puts it, “I can do anything I want to do now. My wings are back.”
More information about Inogen Portable Oxygen Concentrators at:
Founded in 2001, Inogen was founded by Alison Bauerlein, Brenton Taylor and Byron Myers to improve the life of Mae, Alison’s grandmother, and the millions of individuals like her using supplemental oxygen therapy. The award-winning concept was conceived as a project at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) by the three while attending business school together.
1 Inogen website. https://www.inogen.com/about-inogen/about-us/
2 National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among Adults Aged 18 and Over in the United States, 1998–2009, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db63.htm
3Federal Aviation Administration. AC 120-95A – Portable Oxygen Concentrators Document Information. https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentid/1029589