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Stephen Sprigle
01-06-1997, 04:34 AM
Re: Assistive technology for folks with MS

Literally hundreds of simple, inexpensive devices are available
to address activities of daily living (cooking, eating, dressing, etc).,
including cooking from a wheelchair.

I strongly suggest that your friend be seen by an occupational
therapist for this type of evaluation- in addition, an OT or PT
is best able to address bed positioning- both of these
are 'medically necessary' issues of disability so insurance
should pay for the assessment (as would medicare or medicaid).

With respect to positioning changes- several air systems have been
designed, and are on the market. Special mattresses and
bed systems are designed to alter positioning via inflation and deflation
of bladders- of course the prices reflect the complexity and need- if she
is at risk or has a history of pressure ulcers, she will qualify for
a mattress overlay or replacement mattress.

Funding for assistive technology is often a crap-shoot, but is
fairly straightforward if medically necessary- that designation
will come from her primary care physician

the ADL equipment is inexpensive because the market is fairly large-
the mattress world has a huge price range, in part because of the limited
market

some numbers to call:

Abledata 800-227-0216 (federally funded database of assistive devices)
Sammons 800- 323-5547 (vendor of AT, including ADL equipment)
Maddak 201-628-7600 (similar to Sammons)

Dig around- it'll be worth her time

Stephen Sprigle
Center for Rehab Technology
Helen Hayes Hospital