Saturday, November 7, 2009

Assistive Devices for seniors - part 2

The Ontario government provides assistance in renting or purchasing assistive devices for those without the finances to purchase special equipment Assistive Devices Program (ADP). There are agencies which provide money for  things such as wheelchair ramps, and other needs. 

If you suffer from a particular disorder, you are wise to contact their organization, as most have great plans in place. While agencies do much fundraising for research, we must ensure that financial support is there for those who need a wheelchair, a ramp, or a walker.

There are many sources of funding for the client's share of the cost, if you go through ADP, including :
  • voluntary/charitable organizations e.g. March of Dimes, The Easter Seals Society, Kiwanis, Lions Clubs, 
  • Canadian Cancer Society, WarAmps
  • social assistance
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • insurance companies.

What bothers me are concerns with clients who are emotionally or psychologically unable to determine funding sources. The CCAC in Ontario should provide simple equipment such as mattress pads, bandage changes, etc., or lack of knowledge of needs on the part of a case manager who does not understand a client. My mother avoided telling the truth to her case manager, as she was afraid of us forcing into another living arrangement. It was frustrating! She refused help from Red Cross, homecare support that would have made her life easier. She spent energy vacuuming, rather than fighting her cancer, leaning on the sink in pain as she made my father's lunchtime sandwiches, shaking with pain or fatigue?

Another issue that shocks me, is that at the time of Dad's diagnosis of being terminal, funding ceased for his walker and his wheelchair. They do not want to provide funding if they have less that 6 months to live. I guess it wasn't worth the paperwork for them.

Dad had a great walker, but CCAC also installed devices in the shower: a large handle to prevent him falling, and a wonderful seat that spanned the bathtub to allow him to sit and be showered, once he was unable to get in and out and have his daily bath.

Much research has been done in this area, especially in the large US market:

Assistive Devices: MedlinePlus (USA)

25 Sep 2009 ... The primary NIH organization for research on Assistive Devices is the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

  1. Many companies offer workers to help, but we were hard-pressed to get any help figuring out something simple like back support.

    1. Now, you would think that a company, like Obus, would have PK seminars for the many companies that specialize in Assistive Devices. NOT. We were looking for back supports. I have a chronic back issue, as does hubby, and sitting on the sofa, or in the car, is difficult. We phoned a large pharmacy chain, which offers many such devices. No one there knew if these products would help.

      We spoke to the physiotherapist. His comment: take them home, try them and see if they work. Of course, he doesn't know. I am amazed, in this day and age, that Obus would not provide enough information in Product Knowledge  seminars. I know that when our son worked in a small outdoor equipment store, they would have monthly PK sessions, in which they learned about various products (sleeping bags for subzero weather, hiking shoes( and such issues as foot pronation or suppornation, which affect product choice.

      Next call: to Obus International. Fortunately, an 800 number. The sales rep did not have a clue about her product. She read out the specifications, which we had found on their webpage, and added no new information. We bought it and will try it.
      Footwear, Pronation, and Knee Pain
      Arch height is a major factor in determining the amount of foot pronation. Flat feet often cause overpronation but not all overpronators have flat feet.

      Assistive Devices for Independent Living for Seniors, the ...

      Disability Products offers secure shopping for assistive devices that support independent living for seniors, the handicapped and disabled,

      Industry Sector Office: Assistive Technology/Assistive Devices

      16 Sep 2009 ... The Canadian Assistive Technology (AT) and Assistive Devices (AD) industry is tracked and supported by Industry Canada.

      1. Assistive Devices / Seniors Canada

        Seniors Canada On-line provides single-window access to Web based information and services that are relevant to seniors 55+, their families, caregivers

        Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - Public Information ...

        The objective of the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) is to provide consumer centered support and funding to Ontario residents who have long-term physical ...

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wheelchairs : Manish Steel Works said...
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