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sdsyd

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Hi everyone. I am new to the board, have only posted a couple of times, but would like to offer ANYTHING to help you folks get through your day a little easier. Generally an occupational therapist prescribes and trains you on how to use assistive devices. Sometimes though for insurance reasons you can't get to one, or one is not available in your area. Here in the Black Hills of SD we have a place called the TIE office and Dakotalink- they help people USE, RENT, PURCHASE used equipment, and sometimes check it out ( like a library) And will come to your home and set it up for free. Assistive technology to use computers, close your curtains, turn on and off lights. tv/dvd controls radio, communication devices, etc. I am in the field of occupational therapy and am certain a lot of you could benefit from OT services. NOT for strenthening, but for learning strategies to modify or adapt things in your daily routine. They also can do caregiver training on various transfer techniques, and setting up a home to be more handicapped accesability.

Some of these things you need coordination to use, others you need only SINGLE teeny tiny bit of controlled movement or a single voice command. ( I have a pt. with cerebral pasly in his 50's that can operate almost everything in his life with with the smallest amount of movement he has at his elbow ( the only place he can form a purposeful movement) . He is unable to speak. These things gave this man quality of life. I wish I could blog about all of this to save space, but can't figure out how to post a new blog. Anyhow. I think about the people on this forum alot, as its been a place for me to come for now and I am so incredibly thankful for that.
 

PDaddy

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Glad you're here! I do have an question for an OT. I have limb onset, hands and arms. They are working ok (I'm slowly touch-typing this). I have heard that I should sleep, or in other basic free time, put my hands in a position that the fingers are gently stretched. If that is true, can you let me know details in where to get them (Sammons Preston?). I am losing confidence in Doctors. Thanks in advance.
 

sdsyd

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That supplier is a good one. If you want a gentle stretch in a semi-natural position you would want what is called a resting-hand splint. If you call the company they should be able to tell you how to do the measurements to find your size. With splints though- make sure to keep your hands CLEAN and most of all- DRY, so you don't cause sores. Also, you must build up your "wearing time" so you don't get breakdown. Try starting with one hour on and then check for red or sore areas, then gradually increase time so you can wear them at night and off in the daytime. This is not medical advice, rather suggestions from one friend to another. :) Can you get an order for an OT?
 

CindyM

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Hello SDSYD. We will certainly make good use of your skills around here! So nice of you to offer to help! Cindy
 

kelly

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keyboard adaptations

Hello,
wondering if you have any suggestions .....my husband is having difficulty typing using his keyboard. He also has difficulty accurately controlling the mouse. He has been using the on screen key board..but it is very slow. Any suggestions? Thanks
 

PDaddy

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Automotive Key assist

Thanks again for the hand splint info, I am waiting for word now from the dr.

New question: I need help starting my car with the key, turning it is difficult. I have a nifty thing that fits around my house key that works great for the front door, but the car key has a bulge in the top area (which includes some electronics) that won't fit the thing that fits my house key. The bulge must be about 1/4 inch thick. Any suggestions?
 

sdsyd

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Hey PDaddy-
I'm no expert on driving rehab- loL! I know that several folks with rheumatoid arthritis use key turners.
They make all sorts of built up handles for everyday objects. I looked on sammons preston.com under " Aids to daily living" and then clicked automotive- there are several varieties there. Hope that helps. A key is a hard thing to modify yourself without affecting its function.

If I am in a pinch and don't have needed equipment for clients ( like silverware) I first put some squishy foam material on there to add bulk and then use medical tape around and around it to build it up to the correct girth.
 

sdsyd

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Hi Kelly-

It really depends on what his abilities are. The trick on this one is to find his strongest asset. Some people command keyboards by software programs they control with their voice, does he have speech difficulty? Is it difficulty with both fine motor and gross motor? (small movements and big movements of his hands?)

I'm sure there are many people on this website using some sort of modification or assistive technology- Anyone got suggestions for Kelly's husband?
~Cindy
 

PDaddy

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Thanks Cindy,

The key helpers on their website are for flat keys, my Toyota key is really thick. I have bought one from SP already for a flat house. I just make my own.
 

Al

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When I was driving I had a pair of small handle needle nose pliars in the console to turn the ignition key. They were also great for grabbing ticket stubs from parking kiosks.
AL.
 

kelly

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adaptive keyboard

Yes, my husband does have speech difficulties. He has a dynavox..but does not really use it yet. He has little to no fine motor skills. Still has some strength in his legs..and little in his arms. Thanks for helping us brainstorm. Fondly, Kelly
 

sdsyd

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Yes, my husband does have speech difficulties. He has a dynavox..but does not really use it yet. He has little to no fine motor skills. Still has some strength in his legs..and little in his arms. Thanks for helping us brainstorm. Fondly, Kelly


Quadbliss had an awesome set-up on his website and went through various stages of modifying it. I wonder if you have any resources in your area. We have several here in the Black Hills such as Western Resources for disABLED Independence and Dakotalink. They are hard to find in the phone book sometimes, but It would be worth a try to call a Social Worker or even an OT or Speech Therapist in your area for ideas of who does this stuff in your area, then they could service it if they had kinks to work out, and ALSO SOME places do LOAN them to you. It can get very spendy to modify a computer. PM me if you need more help. Maybe I can call the places here and ask if they have extensions in other areas? I'll be on vacation for a week, but I'll check into that,k?
 

kelly

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Will contact OT

Thank you so much for your kind offer. I will definitely ask the OT at the ALS clinic. Will also check out Quadbliss's website again. So kind of you to be helping families with ALS. Fondly, Kelly
 
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