Thursday, April 30, 2015

Adapting to a Life of Decreased Mobility

This will be the last manual I mention in the ALS Association’s ‘Living with ALS’ series. Once again, since many symptoms with ALS are similar to Kennedy’s Disease, I found some of the information relevant and potentially useful for those of us with SBMA, if not today, then perhaps sometime in the future. 

Functioning When Your Mobility Is Effected,” is an overview on the subject of mobility issues and possible solutions as the condition progresses. It also discusses adapting your activities and your home to accommodate the declining capabilities. Look through the Table of Contents below to see if any of the topics has an interest to you.

Table of Contents
·         Physical and Occupational Therapy

·         Bone, Muscle, and Joint Problems

·         Equipment
Walking Aids
When is it time to get a wheelchair?
What types of wheelchairs are available?
Manual Wheelchairs
Power Wheelchairs
Types of Seating Equipment Used with Wheelchairs
Types of Positioning Equipment Used with Wheelchairs

·         Transfers
Transfers without Equipment
Transfers with Equipment

·         Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
Managing ADL
Brushing Your Teeth
Taking a Bath/Shower
Getting Dressed
Moving around in Bed
Hospital Beds

·         Home Adaptations
Grab Bars
Safety Rails
Stair Lifts (Chair Glides)
Porch Lifts
Adapting Narrow Doorways
Other Suggestions for Adapting Your Home
Home Renovations
Increasing Your Safety at Home

The last section is on Safety and I thought I would share these thoughts with you.

The following are simple, inexpensive ways to help increase your safety at home:
·         Let the Fire Department know you are disabled. In case of a fire or other emergency, the firemen will know there is someone in the home who needs assistance. Many Fire Departments have been helpful in other ways, like assisting a disabled person down the stairs in order to get to a medical appointment.

  •  Keep a cordless phone handy if you are alone. 
  •  Call your telephone company regarding free services for the disabled, including speaker phones. 
  •  Many hospitals have lifeline-type services where you can press a button and be connected to them instantly. In some states, there are private companies that provide this type of service for a fee. 
  •  If you can walk or are using a walker, remove throw rugs; they can be slippery. 
  •  Use an intercom. The ones for infants are inexpensive and effective. 
  •  Sliding glass doors in bathtubs make getting in and out, with or without help, very dangerous. If you can have them replaced by a spring-loaded bar with a shower curtain, you will be safer and also increase options of what kind of bath equipment you can use.”

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