Exciting new medical technology for the home in 2020

Exciting new medical technology for the home in 2020

As technology continues to innovate each year, so do the improvements in medical alert systems. These advancements in medical technology help those with certain medical conditions or disabilities to live as independently as possible, knowing they can get help if needed.

A man in a wheelchair looking at the sunse

For instance, with 3 million Americans affected by epilepsy, using a medical device could help them to live a more active life, knowing help isn’t far away.

What’s more, many people later in life suffer from health conditions which can affect their standard of living.

A man standing by a  window peeking out through  the  blinds.

Many devices offer a range of options to suit an individual’s needs and to minimize the restrictions on their day to day life.

1. Medical Guardian

This is one of the highest-rated alert systems at present on the market. With pricing starting at $29.95 a month, this device supports over 200 languages and doesn’t require a long-term contract. It’s perfect for short-term medical conditions or people who don’t want to commit to a contract. The only commitment is a 90-day service agreement.

Depending on the plan you choose, the device can detect falls either at home or outside, and alert the emergency numbers and family members on a contact list.

With an optional mobile plan to use the GPS, the power lasts for up to 32 hours per charge and, with easy installation to boot, it’s clear to see why this is such a popular alert system.

2. LifeFone At Home

One of the great things about this system is that there is no need for a landline with the home cellular package, which starts at $30.95 a month. This is perfect if you’re reasonably able to get around the home but tend to struggle when out and about. Otherwise, you can opt for the Home and On-the-Go package for a little more assistance.

You can also subscribe to extra services such as daily check-in calls, medication reminders, and location services.

3. Bay Alarm Medical + GPS Medical Alert

The monthly subscription for this starts at just $19.95, with no long-term contract required and with monthly, quarterly or semi-annual payment options to choose from. If you’re looking for a medical system for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, this device can send you (or another contact) an alert if they leave a certain area, making it easier to find them if they happen to get lost or become disoriented.

Someone  holding a compass in their hand.

4. Mobile Help

Mobile Help is another popular choice for medical technology. With coverage in all 50 states and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, this wearable device offers two-way communication, a 1000-foot range from the base unit and up to 600-foot range outside the home.

Mobile services are optional for extra peace of mind when away from home. GPS tracking helps to locate the wearer if needed.

Like many of the medical devices mentioned here, the wristbands and pendants are waterproof. The monthly charges vary depending on the package but are quite reasonable with several payment options. Fall detection is available too, although at an extra charge.

5. ADT Health

While rating a little lower than some of the other devices, this is still A+ rated – and from a business that has operated for over 140 years from around 200 locations across the US and Canada.

Home temperature monitoring is included too, and panic pendants are optional. While some features are limited, there is the option to pick and choose from available services to match your exact needs.

For any of these or similar devices, it’s always best to check the prices and options to suit your needs. Some are easier to use than others, but they are all designed to get help easily and therefore will be easier to use than most technology, even for technophobes.

Importance of Strength Training in People with Cerebral Palsy

Importance of Strength Training in People with Cerebral Palsy

Physical activity and exercise have been an important aspect of cerebral palsy treatment plans for several decades. However, it is only in recent years, that researchers realized the importance of strength training for people with cerebral palsy. Studies indicate that strength training has the potential to improve several aspects of life by increasing mobility and strength. With cerebral palsy month just around the corner, it is fitting to take a closer look at how strength training can help people living with cerebral palsy.

The Benefits of Strength Training in People with Cerebral Palsy

Reduces muscle weakness

For people living with cerebral palsy, muscle weakness of the arm and hand can make it difficult to complete everyday activities such as getting dressed, bathing or even using cutlery. Furthermore, this muscle weakness often co-exists with spasticity (stiffness) and dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements). Similarly, muscle weakness of the legs can make it difficult for a person to maintain their balance and walk. A recent study on the effects of strength training for children with cerebral palsy concluded that a combination of progressive strength training with task-specific training can reduce muscle weakness. A similar study found that task-specific strength training for children aged 4-8 years with cerebral palsy resulted in improved strength that was maintained over time.

Increases in joint strength

The amount of muscle is directly proportionate to the strength of the muscle. Since people with cerebral palsy have less volume of muscle, they have less strength. Orthoses are often used to provide joint stability but this can have a negative effect in the long run. For instance, researchers found that ankle-foot orthosis can provide stability of the ankle but it can lead to disuse weakness as it restricts the movement of the ankle joint. Strength training which focuses on the hip extensors and flexors, the knee extensors, and the ankle plantar flexors increases the strength of the joints of all the targeted muscles. Other studies have found a correlation between walking speed and walking endurance and lower-limb isometric joint strength.

Improves walking ability

Children with cerebral palsy have about 36% to 82% of the muscle strength of typically developing children. This is associated with muscle weakness in the lower limbs which results in decreased walking capacity. A study on improving walking capacity through resistance training found that resistance training with exercises at high movement velocities provided significant improvements. The children in the study showed an increase of 13% in their walking velocity and walking capacity increases ranged from 13% to 83%. The results of this study indicate that 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions at maximal effort, 3 times a week for 14 weeks can help to improve walking and sprinting performance in those with cerebral palsy.

Increases gait function

Spasticity or contractures of muscles cause gait deviations which increases the energy requirement of walking. In fact, children with cerebral palsy expend as much as three times the energy required for walking as compared to their typically developed peers. Multiple studies show positive effects of strength training on gait function in children with cerebral palsy. One study found that strength training 3 times a week for 8 weeks increased muscle strength, stride length and Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM). The training focused on the lower extremity muscles and used free weights, rubber bands and body weight for resistance.

Provides psychological benefits

Most of the discussion on cerebral palsy focuses on physical disability and not on the psychological impact of this condition. 25% of children with cerebral palsy exhibit behavior problems such as hyperactivity and anxiety and are prone to conflict with their peers. Children with cerebral palsy are also more likely to have a strong emotional response to a new challenge. Similarly, teens and adults with cerebral palsy are at a higher risk for depression and anxiety disorders. Participants in a study on the benefits of strength training for young people with cerebral palsy reported psychological benefits from their 6-week program. This included feelings of increased well-being as well as improved participation in their school and leisure activities.

Conclusion

Strength training offers a variety of health benefits but it is important to keep in mind that each individual is unique and therefore has unique requirements. Researchers point to the fact that children in their study have a range of responses to the training. While some have marked improvement in strength and endurance others have moderate improvement only in strength. This is why it is important to ensure that each individual with cerebral palsy receives the type of treatment that is most effective for him/her. Therapy and counseling can help people living with cerebral palsy stay mentally and emotionally strong through the many challenges they face. Cerebral palsy support groups and forums can also help individuals to connect with others who are in similar situations and can provide practical advice and guidance.

Adult Changing Tables Are a Good Idea

Adult Changing Tables Are a Good Idea

When you fly and have several stops to get to your final stop, you feel all dirty and need to change. If you are an able body, you can change in the bathroom without any trouble. When you are a person with a disability, it is really difficult to change in a bathroom stall. In a bathroom, there is usually a changing table for little children, so their parents can change them easier. 

Is Adult Changing Table Possible?

Can this be scaled so that a person with a disability can be changed easier? The answer is yes, and Arizona’s government has passed a law on May 7, 2019. This law requires a public building to put an adult changing table if they are building a new building or are remodeling that cost $50,000 or more. 

Dignity

People who have disabilities are human beings and not dogs. They don’t want to be changed on the floor in a bathroom. I hate to sit on the toilet, so I can’t imagine laying on the floor. I know that they try to keep it cleaned, but they cannot clean after someone goes to the bathroom. 

A Mom’s Fight

I never thought about this issue before since I don’t need to be changed and I would say most people never thought of it either. How I heard about this was through a mom who I have met at the TASH conference in Arizona. She was the one who worked with the governor to get this law passed. She has a teenage daughter who has Cerebral Palsy and has to be changed. 

Safety

Some people would say that this law is silly, but I have a question for you to think about. If there is no adult changing table for your teenager or yourself, would you take them out in public knowing that they might have to be changed on the floor of a bathroom? You might say that you will stay at home to be safe. 

Is it fair for your teenager or yourself? I don’t think so because you have the right to go out to enjoy life. Your teenager or you should not feel sad that you have to be changed. It is a part of life and I know it feels awkward, but you should not stay at home. 

Requirements of a Changing Table

The requirements for a changing table are the following: 

  • Must be able to hold at least 350 pounds 
  • Have to be placed where the caregivers can safely and have the room to help the individual 
  • Must be designed to accommodate people with disabilities, children, babies, aging population, and the individuals who use a catheter

Doing the Right Thing

This is not a long list of requirements, so this should be easy to provide, but there will be some people who will say it will cost a lot to money. My reply for them is so what because if you do the right thing, you will get more people coming into your place. It is a wise decision to spend a little more money up front and get a load of money later. It is because people will come back over and over. That is why good companies survive and bad companies do

What is PBIS and Can it Help ALL Students

What is PBIS and Can it Help ALL Students

It is so fun to know what your I.Q. is and we sometimes ask our friends what their I.Q. is as a joke. What are these statistics for and does it have any importance for how smart we are? I will answer the latter question first. The answer is no. There is no evidence that shows how smart someone is. If I were to make a new test to know how smart someone is, it will be good as the regular test is. 

Who Developed I.Q.?

Now for the answer for the first question, it was used so Hitler could get rid of people with disabilities. We only think he was targeting only Jews, but it is not the case. It was used to weed out all the people who had an intellectual disability. There is a great movie called “Intelligent Lives” and it is on Amazon Prime. It talks about how I.Q. got started and shows how people with intellectual disability can become an asset to society. 

Partners in PolicyMaking

We often live in our own world and don’t see what is happening. For those who are not getting my newsletter, I am in a class called Partners in Policymaking which every state has. This class is for people with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities. It meets for two days in a month for nine months and this past weekend we had the class. The topic was education. One of the subjects was on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports or PBIS. 

PBIS

What is PBIS? It is a framework for the school to adopt and it is mainly for the staff. It focus on the behavior of all the students. Many students don’t need help in school, but some do. The teachers are trained to help the students before they have a meltdown. The reason why they want to catch it before the student has the melt down is because if they can help the student early enough, the student can be calm down faster. Otherwise, the student cannot function in class. 

Example of How PBIS Helps

One student had stress and some days they were in a good mood and some days they were in a bad mood. The school figured out that it started first thing in the morning. What they did was every day the school would called the students at home to see if they were having a good day or a bad day. If they were having a bad day, they would see someone who could calm them before going into class. As the year went on, the student learned how to calm themselves without needing help. 

3 Tiers

Like I said that this framework is for everybody in the school to adopt. There are three tiers in PBIS and each tier aliens to the type of support students need. Tier one is for everyone. The school is structured to have positive expectations and behaviors. One thing that got to me is they focus on is respect for everyone. To me, this is really lacking in this country. 

Each tier gets smaller as the tiers increase. So, when they get to the third tier, the number of students is much less. If a student is in the third tier, there is a multi-disciplinary team for each student. The student has a behavior support expertise and formal fidelity and outcome data are collected. In the third tier, there are usually 1-5% of the students. This number of students is something that the school can handle.

Think Outside of the Box

The question that comes to my mind is why don’t more schools have PBIS? This framework is for everyone. Yes, this works for students with disabilities but let’s think outside of the box now. There is a lot of bullying at school but there are many unwanted shootings in schools. To my mind, PBIS might be one way of stopping the violence in schools. I don’t mean it will be the final answer, but let’s try something that might help everyone. Students need the support that their parents can’t provide and this might be one way that can save lives. 

Meet Jason Swann – An Amazing Story

Meet Jason Swann – An Amazing Story

Imagine being wakened up by a phone call from a hospital at 2 o’clock in the morning on a cold day in December. All they say is to come to the hospital right away. It is your son. What would you do? You don’t know what happened. It would freak me out for sure, but this happened to Mr. and Mrs. Swann on December 23, 1999, with their son Jason Swann. That day would change their lives completely for the rest of their lives.

Jason’s Childhood

Mr. and Mrs. Swann had three boys and one girl, and their oldest son was Jason. Now, Jason is a son that everybody wants to have. He had all A’s in high school and played sports like football, basketball, and baseball which he loved the most. Jason Swann had a job working at a local diner in Missouri. He went to church every Sunday with his family. Jason is a person who everybody loves dearly.

The Accident

On December 22, a group of friends was going out for fun because a childhood friend came home from the military. Since Jason is a great guy, he offered to be the driver for the night. They were coming home from a fun night on a one-way road and a car took a wrong turn and hit his car head-on. The driver of the other car was a nurse who was drunk. They took Jason to the hospital by ambulance and after the doctors looked at him, they didn’t know if he would make it through the night. By a miracle, Jason did survive. 

He mimics a Quadriplegic,
but he can feel everything. He’s also nonverbal, but he is smart. He talks when someone runs through the alphabet and when they say the letter that he wants, he looks up. This is a long process to do, but sometimes I do this too when I don’t have my iPad in front of me. His mom said he doesn’t have enough control of his head and hands to work a computer.

Back in 2015, he had kidney failure so now he is on dialysis four times a week. With the help of his care team at Fresenius Kidney Care and since his mom is a nurse, they found an at-home treatment option. I asked her why they do it at home, and she said that his body can’t control his temperature at all. So, if he goes out in the summer, his temperature would rise and the opposite would happen in the winter. He doesn’t go out very much. 

Jason Swann Loves Life

You must be wondering if he likes life and the answer is yes. He never once complained about being a person with a disability. He loves football so one of his friends or brothers helps him to play fantasy football. Last year he did very well in his league. 

A lot of people would say they wouldn’t want to live in Jason’s condition. I would say that he is a very unique man who has the right to live. He has a few nephews and a niece who crawl on his lap and make him laugh. They didn’t know him before his accident so this is the only way they know him. They love being around him and don’t considered him different because he is not different. Yes, he needs help but he is a human being. 

Effects on the Family

I asked his mom how Jason’s accident affected her marriage and the family. It affected her marriage greatly and her husband went into depression and after some years they got a divorce. A few years ago, Jason’s dad died. I am noticing that moms have a lot more strength to overcome tragedy like this. I am not saying that moms don’t suffer pain and loss, but they just deal with it. 

Jason’s brothers and sister are really involved in his life. All of them are married and their spouses help out with Jason. I know that God has a plan for this family and they met it head on and accept it. My mom always told me when I have a struggle, just turn to the Lord for help. It always helps me.

Some Thoughts

If you are having a bad day, just think about Jason Swann. I am sure he gets frustrated with how his life turned out to be, but he accepts the cards that he has been given. Maybe we all should do the same.