I learned a lot, working with special education students. One of my students was granted an ISA-funded computer: voice-to-text, text-to-speech, Kurzweil, printer, scanner, headphones, and a laptop he could take to classes.
LIFE LIMITING ISSUES
The other drawback was that he felt guilty using it, while other students could not. It took up a lot of space in my classroom, too. The affect is a big barrier to such devices.
The features were terrific. He could dictate his pieces of writing, the computer would guess at the correct spellings, it could read his class text for him, and it would become familiar with his reading and writing style, and learn a special vocabulary and dictionary peculiar to him and his needs.
|Text-to-voice application on iPad|
This one, SmartNav, allows you to use the cursor without using your hands. The 'mouse' is a 'dot' that you can place on a cap, or on a pair of computer glassess, that works as a beam and moves the cursor across your computer screen.
|Phones, clothing, cushions, head support,|
Mobility issues, transportation, navigational issues, access barriers, clothing, glasses, hearing problems, there are many barriers to living life to its fullest.
I think the labelling is the most difficult concept for seniors to get over. It took my mother 10 years to convince my grandmother to get a hearing aid. It took me 15 years to convince my mother and father to get
Barriers to using assistive devices
I like the term 'Assistive Devices', because many of us are not disabled. Most of us are physically, socially, environmentally or emotionally challenged in one way or another. I've worn glasses since grade 4.
- Stigma is a huge barrier.
- Issues with batteries, or breakdowns cause 50 - 70% of assistive devices to be abandoned.
- Lifeline, emergency buttons, are often forgotten by those who wear them, in the panic of the moment, or the desire not to cause problems.
- Dementia causes patient to be unable to figure out the function of a phone or a TV Clicker. My father phoned us 8 times one day, having phoned the front desk of his retirement home, not realizing that they had been to his room to try to help him.
- My father kept fiddling with his hearing aids, and broke them several times (repairs = $500/fix) until he finally lost them. Both of them.
Many enjoy Wii, or card games, when shuffling becomes difficult.
Grab bars, tubs with doors, commodes for bedrooms, shower benches.
Commodes can be a great way to allow the client to have some control.
The big issues with the bathtubs you can walk into: you must sit in it and wait for it to fill, and you must sit and wait for it to drain, with the risk of being cold. The other barrier: they cost about $5000 CDN.
|The issue with grab supports like this|
- you cannot close the shower curtain.
|This tub, parents of infants love, too!|
Toilets need to be 48 cm (19" high) for easy transfer from wheelchair to toilet. The supports you can put onto a toilet often do not permit it to be flushed easily. You can purchase a regular 48cm toilet for your home.
|a light footstool - perfect solution|
For some, using the toggle switch on a motorized wheelchair requires a steep learning curve. It requires patience, coaching, and experience!
Ramps are a perfect solution for many.
Walkers can have no wheels, two wheels, or three, with or without a seat.
A simple device, a footstool, helps a senior get in and out of a high van more easily.
|She drags herself with one hand using the railing|
|Impossible to power it with only one hand.|
Patients at home, in LTC or hospital, can be designate a 1-person or 2-person lift. In this situation, it is important for the caregiver, as well as the care recipient, to relax, accept the help, and for the caregiver to know her limitations. My husband had 2 years of physiotherapy after lifting my Dad back into bed. Dad was begging him to be allowed to go back to bed. The personal support workers (PSWs) were very busy and were not available at that moment. This is especially true for volunteers who are not supposed to lift a client alone.
This is a big issue. The blister packs are terrific for those with mild issues.
Developed in the USA, marketed by e-pill Medication Reminders. High capacity allows the machine to operate without reloads for up to 30 days.
My father was adamant about taking his pills at exactly the right time. He fretted over which ones to take, when, and perseverated on the issue, phoning me often. For those who are so profoundly impaired that they cannot manage to understand when to take pills, they require human supervision.
Comfort or Safety
Both of us in my house have back issues. There are many back supports available.
|What do you suppose he is thinking?!|
We are careful to choose furniture properly, and to use it wisely. Slips in the tub will set us back months. The great risk for seniors are falls.
Much is written about preventing falls, but many choose to take risks, as well.