Living with a disability has many challenges, but for those with aggressive muscular dystrophy, there are even more significant physical limitations to contend with. As the condition progresses, muscle loss becomes more severe and mobility becomes increasingly difficult. Without proper support and assistance, it can be hard to remain active and engaged in everyday activities. Fortunately, there are many different types of accessibility aids available to help individuals with staying mobile and maintain their independence.
Accessibility Aids Overview
These Aids can range from simple tools such as grab bars and shower chairs to more complex systems like motorized wheelchairs and automated lift systems. Here is an overview of the various accessibility aids.
Installing grab bars in your home is a great way to promote independence and safety for individuals. With a plethora of styles and sizes, it can be hard to select the right one for the job. For maximum support, it is essential to securely mount the bar into studs. This simple process ensures that your home is safe and secure.
Shower chairs provide extra stability and support while bathing, allowing individuals to remain independent for longer periods of time. There are many types of shower chairs available on the market, so it’s important to select one that meets the user’s individual needs and budget.
Motorized wheelchairs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles and can be customized based on an individual’s needs. Automated lift systems may also be installed in homes in order to allow users easier access when entering or exiting their wheelchairs.
A residential elevator is an invaluable tool for individuals with mobility issues. It provides them with a safe and reliable way to move between multiple levels of a building without having to climb stairs or risk falling. Residential elevators are designed to be easy to use, with accessible buttons and controls for those who may have limited dexterity or strength. They can also be customized with features such as safety sensors, voice-activated control, or wheelchair ramps to make them even more accessible and convenient. Residential elevators make it possible for people with limited mobility to remain independent and active in their own homes.
Mobility Assistance Equipment
Other types of mobility assistance equipment include transfer boards, which allow users to move from one seated surface to another without needing help from another person. Specialized standing frames can be used to help an individual stand up independently, while reachers and dressing sticks offer a convenient way to reach items or dress oneself when reaching is difficult due to impaired upper body strength.
For those who have difficulty speaking, text-to-speech devices can be used to translate written words into spoken words. These devices often come with a variety of settings, allowing users to customize their devices to sound like them. For individuals who are unable to use their hands or arms, eye gaze technology is available that tracks the movement of the eyes and translates it into commands on the computer screen.
Financial Support Programs
Finding financial support for the purchase of such equipment can be difficult, but there are a number of options available to parents and guardians looking to cover the cost of accessibility equipment.
Most health insurance plans cover durable medical equipment (DME), including accessibility equipment. However, it is important to speak with your insurance provider to determine if they cover the specific item you are looking to purchase and what the coverage limits are.
Crowdfunding is another popular option for parents and guardians looking for financial support for accessibility equipment. Platforms such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter allow individuals to reach out to a large network of friends, family, and strangers to raise money for a specific cause. Those who choose to use crowdfunding in order to purchase accessibility equipment should be prepared to explain their story and why the purchase of the equipment is so important.
Special Grants and Programs
There are a number of special grants and programs available to individuals in need of financial support for accessibility equipment. For example, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation offers grants to those with paralysis and their caregivers for the purchase of adaptive equipment and home and vehicle modifications. The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides grants to veterans with service-related disabilities to help cover the costs.
The US government offers tax credits to those who purchase accessibility equipment for a qualifying individual, such as the disabled, elderly, or those with a chronic illness. It is important to speak with a tax professional to determine if you are eligible for any tax credits for the purchase.
There may be charitable organizations or non-profits in your area that provide financial assistance for the purchase. Some state and local governments may offer assistance programs that can help cover the cost of the equipment.
Home modifications can make living spaces more comfortable and accessible, while financial support programs provide resources to cover the cost of accessibility aids. With the right support, individuals with muscular dystrophy can lead more versatile lives.