Limited mobility affects people of all ages. Symptoms that cause the limited mobility can come on quick or develop over time. Whether it is a senior aging safely in their home or a young person affected by chronic disease or traumatic injury, care for that individual will often fall on a family member first. Every case is different, but preparation of the home for the patient’s future needs will be at the top of the list. The basic activities of daily living will be addressed and a care plan will be formed.
Homes come in many different sizes and shapes. For someone with limited mobility, the home environment will need to be modified to create a functional space for receiving home health care. In the case of the elderly aging in place, home modifications can be made over time to address problems before they arise. For those affected by chronic disease or traumatic injury, many decisions must be made fairly quickly. Where will the patient live? Who will take care of the patient? What equipment must be purchased? Can the home accommodate the patient? Who will pay for all of this?
For those confined to a wheelchair or unable to move about on their own, the typical home can present many obstacles. First and foremost, getting in and out of the home. Second, is the bedroom accessible? Solutions to these problems often are based on the budget available. Those without budget constraints may add permanent concrete ramps, elevators or stair lifts, custom ceiling-mounted lifts for the bed and bath and even custom cabinetry in the kitchen. Those with limited budgets will have to spend their money wisely. They may build a wooden ramp, care for the patient in the den or family room, purchase a low-cost patient lift and shower chair and make small modifications to their kitchen and bath.
The costs of home health care can add up quickly, but it often is still more affordable than assisted living or nursing homes. If the patient does not need constant care or if a family member is available to care for the individual, savings can be found. The new ABLE accounts available in 2016 will help families save for care for those young people suffering from chronic disease or traumatic injury, tax-free without affecting other benefits designed to help those struggling to pay for care, like social security.
Traxx Mobility Systems offers the Titan 500, a freestanding overhead patient lift designed for home health care. The lift does not attach to the structure and can be placed nearly anywhere in the home. The overhead lift provided by the Titan 500 protects the caregiver and patient from injuries associated with the stress and strain of using a floor-based lift in the home. The electric lift motor is fully rechargeable and is rated to lift up to 500 lbs. The low price of our entire system, including the sling and shipping, is less than two months stay in a nursing home. It is comparable in cost to an electric floor-based lift or a portable electric lift motor by itself.
In reality, the obstacles that society has designed into the home and communities are the issues that need to be addressed. Technology will only help so much, the physical nature of our environments need to change to be inclusive of people of all abilities and ages. Those affected by limited mobility are not any less independent that you and me.