Assistive Technology: Self Care and Environment Products
Original Editors - Lucinda hampton
Introduction[edit | edit source]
Steven Hawking was a valuable role model for technological solutions for those with disabilities. With his recognizable wheelchair and computer-generated voice, he demonstrated the value of technological solutions eg. liberating the voice of those with physical and communication disabilities.
So-called assistive technologies provide a means for people to move from place to place, to eat independently, to see and hear what they can’t otherwise perceive. They include basic things like wheelchairs to help people move around, magnifiers that increase the size of text or images to make them easier to see, even nonelectronic items like large-handled kitchen utensils that are easier to hold; assistive technologies range from the seemingly simple all the way to speech-generating devices (SGD) that provide a physical voice to those who don’t have one. The use of assistive technologies in our everyday world diminishes the differences between people with different abilities.
Defining Self Care[edit | edit source]
Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.
- Self-care is the fundamental level of health care in all societies and should be seen as a major public health resource.
- Self-care is often unrecognised and underappreciated.
Examples[edit | edit source]
Self Care and Environment Products adapt the environment, rather than the person, to support identified needs, choice, and control. These assistive devices may compensate for impairments and functional limitations and enable a quicker, safer, or more-efficient performance of everyday activities. Products may address vision, hearing, fine and gross motor, sensory, cognitive, communication, safety, and learning.
- Physical modifications in the built environment, including ramps, grab bars, and wider doorways to enable access to buildings, businesses, and workplaces.
- Mobility Products.
- Adaptive switches and utensils to allow those with limited motor skills to eat, play games, and accomplish other activities.
- Devices and features of devices to help perform tasks such as cooking, dressing, and grooming; specialized handles and grips, tub benches abs shower stools, devices that extend reach, and lights on telephones and doorbells.
- Assistive Technology.
- Wheelchairs and Walking Aids
- Posture control aides for cerebral palsy
- Pressure mattress
- Sling or hoist
- Complex home modifications
- Mobile or ceiling hoist
- Reminders applications
Home adaptation, using these devices, is a complex procedure whose implementation involves the execution of multiple actions
- Detection of individual needs
- Contact with several specialised professional profiles
- Visits to orthopaedics or companies in the sector
- Selection of the right device
- Search for financing options
- Purchase and installation of the selected assistive products
Cost Barriers[edit | edit source]
Despite the growing need, one of the primary barriers to obtaining needed or wanted self care and environmental products is cost; ie a large number of people with disabilities cannot afford them and get no reimbursement for them through existing funding systems. Eg tub benches have been found to support function and safety, they are typically not funded through third-party reimbursement systems, as they are considered “optional” and do not qualify as durable medical equipment. In response, a number of initiatives have occurred to increase access. Eg In the United States, a national network of alternative financing programs offers a consumer-directed program and range of alternative financing strategies to increase access to funding for these products and other technologies; Canada and Sweden, have implemented delivery systems that offer more-extensive access to these products as part of integrated community living plans.
References [edit | edit source]
- The Conversation Stephen Hawking as accidental ambassador for assistive technologies Available:https://theconversation.com/stephen-hawking-as-accidental-ambassador-for-assistive-technologies-70627 (accessed 17.6.2021)
- ISF What is self care Available: https://isfglobal.org/what-is-self-care/ (accessed 10.7.2021)
- Britannica AIDS for ADL Available:https://www.britannica.com/topic/aids-for-activities-of-daily-living (accessed 10.7.2021)
- NIH Assistive Devices Available: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/rehabtech/conditioninfo/device (accessed 10.7.2021)
- Ability action.Assistive Technology available:https://abilityactionaustralia.com.au/assistive-technology-equipment-aids-occupational-therapy/ (accessed 10.7.2021)
- Plos one Exploring the use of assistive products to promote functional independence in self-care activities in the bathroom Available: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215002 ( accessed 10.7.2021)