Thankful For Assistive Technology!

As I’m aging, I find I rely on assistive technology (A.T.) on a daily basis. I need a back brace now so I can lean over long enough to trim the grass from along the edges of the sidewalk. I carry my cell phone with me as backup in case I fall, and I use a 4-wheeled walker while I’m in the house because my balance is so poor. I’m amazed at how quickly I’ve healed from hip replacement surgery. I’m not back 100% yet, but I’m working on it. What a blessing it is to have so many A.T. items near at hand to get me through the day!

I find it difficult to get dressed in the morning without using a dressing stick. There are zipper pulls to help with closing my coat, and a sock aid so I can get my socks and shoes on in the morning. I think about how people managed 50 to 100 years or more ago when they dealt with the same problems without all the conveniences we have to make life easier. I wondered if the reason people died at such a young age was simply that they were so stressed trying to get their chores done. We are certainly blessed by technology!

The items I use are not high tech and most of them aren’t costly either. The most expensive has been the ramp I had put up when I first had my surgery. I really don’t know how I would have gotten into the house when I came home from the hospital. I could not negotiate the stairs at first. I didn’t need to have the ramp up for very long, but I was sure glad I had it when I needed it!

Disability Network/Lakeshore has a ramp program that allowed me to have the ramp erected for $800. That may sound like a lot of money, but purchasing a new ramp runs anywhere from $5,000 on up. Most run between $7,000 and $8,000, so in light of that, $800 isn’t a bad deal at all!  And, the workers who installed the ramp were so accommodating! They moved my steps and then placed them up against the ramp so my dogs still had a way to get into their fenced area.  

Most of the other A.T. items I used were available for $20 or less. The walker cost more originally, but I was able to get one from Disability Network/Lakeshore from their loan closet at no charge. That has many items available to loan out to anyone in Ottawa or Allegan County who need them. There is no time limit on how long you can keep the item, and the only condition is that you return them when you no longer need them if they are still in good enough condition to loan out again.

We are lucky to live in this age of technology where we can get so much help with the things we must do on a daily basis. If you are wondering if Assistive Technology can help you, give Disability Network/Lakeshore a call. They can send someone out to talk to you about the things you’re having difficulty doing and help you identify the A.T. you need to make life easier. Call them today at 616-396-5326.

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