Sunday, February 27, 2011

How 'Bout Some Extra Support

I'm quickly learning that this item is already wildly popular. It’s the Easy Install Bath Safety Bar. Unlike standard bath grab bars, this one uses strong suction to hold itself to the wall, bathtub, or whatever surface you put it on. 

This ease of installation makes it seemingly ideal for use when installation of standard grab bars seems difficult or impossible. However, the manufacturer does say that these are for use in place of regular grab bars, but as a supplement to them. What does this mean? Well, if you have a grab bar, this can be used to give you an additional hand-hold while getting into and out of the tub. 

Now, in my non-scientific testing, I have learned that you can only get the bar to stick if the suction cups on both end can be completely on a non-porous smooth surface. So if you have the bar set up between two tiles in a tiled wall, It won’t stick. If you can get it on its own tile, it sticks pretty well.  If you have a smooth surface you can attach the bar to, then this may be something for you. 

Some of the bars have indicators that tell you when it’s got a good hold on the wall.  The bars vary in size and also in price. I’ve seen them for as little as $14 to as much as $40. They are also available from a number of manufacturers and a number of stores.  If you’re not sure if one of these quick attach bars is for you, borrow ours and try it out. As with anything, if you don’t feel comfortable trying the bars out, by all means don’t!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Get up!

This bargain is a handy little one that can help you get out of bed. It’s the Standers 5000 Advantage Travel Bed Rail Advantage, and it’s a great low-cost way you can get help getting up and out of your bed.  It’s made of heavy-duty steel so it can take some use. It is only 23-inches high by 16.5-inches wide, so it’s a pretty low-profile device that won’t keep someone from rolling out of bed, but it is big enough to give you a handhold to get in and out of bed. It even has a two-pocket covering that can hold magazines and/or a TV remote.  It normally retails for about $70, but you can order it from for $46.10 with free shipping.  If you do need a full-sized bed rail, I would recommend consulting a therapist as this may be covered by your funding source, if applicable. You never know unless you ask!

Friday, February 11, 2011

What's this "Listen Now" button and where's the podcast?

You might have noticed the little "Listen Now" buttons at the top of each post. If you click that button, you can listen to an audio version of that post. Pretty cool huh? That audio version of the post is created by a service called Odiogo.

Now, I'd like to thank Dan Fendler, my fellow AT Technophile and web guru for introducing me to Odiogo. What Odiogo does is allow me to have audio versions of my blog so you can listen to it if you wish. It also allows me to have an audio podcast of this blog without having to actually record the thing. How cool is that? 

The service is free, and you can get to the site by clicking on this link Feel free to take it for a test drive by listening to the audio versions of The Basement. You can't use it to get audio versions of every blog you may read unless the blogger uses it. If they don't, why not recommend that they do? It can only enhance the accessibility of their blog to more readers/listeners. I highly recommend it!

Understanding "The Process" (Part 2)

I was thinking about the information I gave you in "Understanding the Process--Part 1", and I owe you all a big apology. I was a Bad Bunny

What I should have told you was that when you're waiting for your appointment to see your doctor to talk about possibly getting some equipment, you should be contacting your insurance company to see what their policy is regarding getting assistive technology or durable medical equipment.

Let's take a quick time-out to talk about durable medical equipment (DME) and assistive technology (AT). DME is a subset of AT, meaning NOT ALL assistive technology is durable medical equipment, but all durable medical equipment IS assistive technology. When we look at what DME is, we see that it's essentially medical assistive technology (ventilators, wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, standers, etc.). That's different from say non-medical assistive technology (Don Johnson SOLO or Kurzweil 3000). Now, there are a lot of things that aren't considered DME that many people think should be considered DME, but we're not here to talk about that. We're here to talk about how to get the stuff we need. Time-out over.