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My Assistive Technology Dream Come True

Whenever I see back to school commercials that talk about laptops, tablets and cell phones, I feel really old. When I was going back to school, only adults had personal computers and only the really important ones had laptops; not a single one of my friends had a cell phone. And now, just 13 years after I graduated high school, most students have one or more of these devices on hand. As a person with a disability, I’m glad I was born at a time when technology was on the rise; I have seen this technology grow and change the lives of people with disabilities. Read here how to spend time effectively.

Thanks to technology, people without the ability to speak can talk, many of the people who want to hear are now able to, and those who cannot walk have more and more options for mobility. Everyday new technology is created that can improve a life, and you have to admit that is pretty cool. I have benefited from many of the new technologies out there, they have allowed me to be more independent and more productive. However, there is a part of me that still waits, hoping that someday technology will come up with something that will allow me to walk hands free.

I have Cerebral Palsy, and like everyone with C.P., my case is unique to me. I am able walk with assistive devices such as a walker or crutches; I can also walk around my house by holding onto the furniture or walls, and I have decent balance. However, despite multiple surgeries, countless hours of physical therapy, and multiple bribes from my parents, I cannot take more than one or two steps unassisted.

This is something that I have come to accept. However, I do wish that there was something out there that would allow me to walk hands free. Having my hands free for reaching items is one benefit I get from using a chair; but when I want, or need, to walk somewhere, my hands are tied up doing other things. They have plenty of handsfree walkers meant for children to help train their muscles for walking and balance; but these walkers are typically bulky and a have ton of straps for support As an adult who just needs that tiny bit of extra support, there seemed to be nothing that could help my cause. At least until I saw this walker.

I can’t help but be a little excited. It does not seem like a perfect solution, and it still seems quite new given the limited information on the site; but the fact that it even exists gives me some hope. Hope that technology is catching up to my needs. Hope that someday, in the nearish future, I might be able to walk down the street carrying a child, holding hands with my husband, pull multiple items out of the fridge in one trip, or grab gallon of milk from the store without needing to put it in a cart first.

Is there anything on your assistive technology wish list?

KEEP THAT BODY MOVING !!

As you know, if you follow the UNlimiters blog segment, I am one of the 5 bloggers. The other four are much younger and they have medical problems that make my “old age” aches and conditions seem very insignificant in comparison. Just plain walking is an example of one thing that we seniors CAN do and often don’t. That must seem criminal to those confined to wheelchairs.

I’ve watched a few of my friends practically give up on walking. These were all people in their 70’s and it wasn’t long before their sedentary lifestyle took its toll. Not only did they lose body strength, but depression also set in and it wasn’t long before “real” medical problems took hold. I was determined that this wouldn’t happen to me…but I needed motivation.

I was in a non-walking rut. I had retired and found myself spending long hours in front of computer or sitting in my favorite chair with a good book. I knew that it was critical to keep moving but knowing and doing something about it seemed to be worlds apart.

Then one day a friend told me that she’s bought a pedometer

one of those little devices that count the number of steps that you take…and she’d set herself a goal of 10,000 steps a day, the equivalent of about five miles.

With a twinkle in her eye, she said, “I’ll bet you can’t do that” and that’s all it took! I bought my pedometer and found that I was already walking about size thousand steps a day. The extra four thousand was my goal and, to be honest, I haven’t reached it yet. But I’ve changed a lot of things… driving when possible, and just plain getting out of the couch potato routine! I even brisk walk through my little house when the weather keeps me from going outside.

The goal that I set was (and is) the challenge that I needed to make this work. So, even if I never reach it, I know that trying is half the battle. Try it for yourself. It’s a lifesaver.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

 

Blog entry by Ginnie, proud member of the UNlimiters team.

www.unlimiters.com

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