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small changes BIG DIFFERENCES

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small changes BIG DIFFERENCES

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  1. small changesBIG DIFFERENCES Aimee Sterk, MSW Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (616) 797-9769

  2. Welcome & Introductions • Name • Organization • Why did you decide to come today? • How does your life or job intersect with Assistive Technology?

  3. What is Assistive Technology (AT)? Assistive Technology or AT is any item, product, system, or equipment that improves life for people with disabilities. Most AT is low-tech.

  4. Accessing AT--Evaluation Steps • Identify what you want to do or need to do (goals) • Recognize strengths/weaknesses • Know your environment • When and where you need AT • Know your resources • Economic, community • Research • Talk to others with similar needs • Access OTs and other healthcare professionals • Choose devices you will actually use

  5. General Rules for AT • Use the simplest device or approach • Use the cheapest device that works • Always try it out to make sure it fits • Include warranties, training, and maintenance in your consideration

  6. What are the benefits of AT? • Verbrugge Study (1997) American Journal of Public Health • Surveyed people with disabilities of all ages • Younger people were more like to access AT • AT is the most effective strategy for reducing and resolving limitations of disabilities • AT is more efficacious than personal assistance for reducing disability • For the bulk of people with health and age-related disabilities, low-tech equipment is sufficient • People that used more devices were more independent • People owned an average of 14 devices and used 11 • There isn’t a need to invent more devices, just a need to make them more widely available, known of, and more appealing to use

  7. Effectiveness of AT • Mann Study (1999) Archives of Family Medicine • In a randomized controlled trial, half of subjects received assistance from OTs who performed home environmental and AT assessments and intervention. The other half received supports as usual. • Decline can be slowed with AT intervention (compared to standard supports) • Institutional costs can be reduced • Increased use of AT is related to greater functional independence

  8. Mann Study (1999) Interventions • A majority of intervention devices addressed motor impairment and of these, devices for bathing and meal preparation were the most often used • Other frequently used devices addressed dressing, leisure, and use of the telephone. • Researchers propose that the decrease in institutional (hospital) costs was related to falls and falls accounted for 4 hospitalizations in the treatment group and 11 hospitalizations in the control group.

  9. Prevention of Falls in the Elderly • Ellis Study (1999) Lancet • Post fall referrals to medical and OT assessment for treatment group • The risk of falling was significantly reduced in the intervention group • The odds of admission to the hospital were significantly reduced in the intervention group • Functional decline was reduced in the intervention group

  10. Vibration devices to wake people up Motion detecting lights to prevent falls Assistive listening devices for conversation and TV Bath transfer benches (bathrooms have the most falls and injuries) Toilet & tub bars Meal preparation tools Walkers with wheels, baskets, seats, and brakes Bed assists (help sit up) Ramps and temp. ramps Photophones Pill dispensers Over 28% of hospital admissions for 65+ is due to med errors/problems Talking watches w/reminders Jar openers Dressing aides Eating aides What type of AT was used for these study participants?

  11. Some Caveats • We can’t show you every type of device because: • We don’t want to carry that much stuff, especially the big stuff • Some devices really do need evaluations • We are trying to show some innovative and useful devices to get you thinking… and hopefully doing additional research

  12. Group Presentations • Divide into 6 groups • Present the items in your bags to the rest of the group • What are the devices? • Some are tricky, take a guess and we’ll tell you the ones you do not know • Would people you work with find them useful?

  13. Kitchen-related AT What other Kitchen-related devices have you helped people access? Any brainstorming needs/difficult situations?

  14. Waking & Grooming AT What other Waking & Grooming AT devices have you helped people access? Any brainstorming needs?

  15. Environmental Control AT What other Environmental Control devices have you helped people access? Any brainstorming needs?

  16. Mobility AT What other Mobility AT devices have you helped people access? Any brainstorming needs?

  17. Memory/Wandering/Safety What other Memory/Wandering/Safety AT devices have you helped people access? Any brainstorming needs?

  18. AT for Recreation What other Recreation AT have you helped people access? Any brainstorming needs?

  19. Where to buy the AT you saw today: • Two main providers (discounts available) • Active & Able • Dynamic Living • or Home Depot (motion-activated light) • Bed Bath, and Beyond •

  20. Resources • Access to information about AT and AT devices can slow decline, increase functional independence, and decrease hospitalization stays and costs • Resources: • • • • OTs, PTs, Rehab Engineers and other experts on AT

  21. What am I going to do with that used device? AT Xchange I sure do need a new device… A free way for people with disabilities to access used AT.

  22. Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund • Low-interest loan program for people with disabilities, seniors, and their family members • Use your loan to buy AT • modified vehicles, ramps, scooters, hearing aids, computers, or other equipment, which will help you navigate your daily life • You may borrow up to $30,000, flexible loan terms • Make monthly loan payments back to the credit union • Visit or call 1.800.828.2714

  23. Whew!