Assistive technology (AT) supports caregivers to do what they love well. Happy National Family Caregivers Month!
Matthew is a young man who acquired a traumatic brain injury at the end of 2018. He spent much of 2019 in a rehabilitation facility, and when he was finally physically able to return home, his facility was quarantined due to COVID-19. Matthew waited several months more for his transition to be approved, and his family eagerly awaited him.
The level of care Matthew needs, however, meant his family sought in-home services in their rural Iowa community. This meant that although they’d waited so long for this moment, Matthew’s transition was stalled yet again. Seeking in-home care proved fruitless. There are not many providers serving their community and those they turned to declined them.
So, Matthew’s family contacted the Iowa AT Act Program. With the right equipment, his mother realized, she could perform his daily care routine herself!
The AT Act Program in Iowa is run by Easterseals Iowa, which operates a durable medical equipment program that loans devices for as long as a client requires them. Not all AT Act Programs have the same services, but in Iowa, anyone with a prescription for DME can obtain devices for a one-time fee, including… a height-adjustable hospital bed!
Matthew’s family borrowed a bed that can be lowered for when he is transferring to his wheelchair but also rises to a position that allows Matthew to access his communication device in its bedside floor stand (and for other needs).
In addition, the family borrowed a stand assist. This is a device that supports Matthew to stand up for transfers, and for stretching his legs, and improving his circulation.
Matthew’s family was incredibly grateful. Equipment that supports caregiving meant an end to years of waiting. Plus, Easterseals Iowa fully sanitizes its devices and arranges for a no-contact equipment pick-up. Once Matthew’s bed and stand assist were in place, training was provided (virtually) by the same occupational therapist that Matthew was working with while in the rehabilitation facility.
And Mathew came home.