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  • Assistive Devices

    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
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