The True Cost of a Disability
If you have a disability, you already know how difficult it is to acquire the things you need to live your best life. For some, that means an assistive device, like a wheelchair, but for others, it means a job that showcases often neglected talents and abilities. So how do you find (and pay for) these things for yourself or for your loved one? Read on for some tips.
How to Acquire an Assistive Device
Assistive devices are intended to increase or enhance a person’s independence. There are many options available these days, which can make it hard to choose which would be best for your unique situation. Doing a quick Google search will give you a good starting point, but it is best to get recommendations from trusted friends, especially friends who actually use the devices in question. Please note that many of these assistive devices can be pricey. Medicaid, Medicare, a private endowment or donation, or an insurance company may be able to help with payment.
Assistive Device Examples
- Canes and/or walkers
- Grab bars (and shower chairs)
- Personal Function Enhancers – reach extenders, button and zipper helpers, assorted kitchen implements, etc.
- Office Equipment Aids – special keyboards, screen enhancers, voice-to-screen dictation software, special office furniture (desks and chairs), and other devices that make it easier to get a task done.
- Specially outfitted automobiles that allow some people with certain disabilities, for example, someone who does not have the use of their legs, to operate a motor vehicle.
Where to Find a Support Team
Not all aspects of disability assistance are inanimate objects. Many individuals with a disability benefit when there is another person supporting them throughout the day. And this support does not have to always come from a family member. There are professionals, sometimes known as Direct Support Professionals, who can help with a wide variety of tasks like bathing, transferring, or even meeting companionship needs. The easiest way to access a service like this is to contact an agency that works with individuals with disabilities. They can match you up with the service that is best suited for you. Some may even be able to assist individuals with disabilities in finding and keeping a job.
Examples of Services for Individuals with Disabilities
- Day Services
- Employment Services
- Residential Services
- Foster Care & Adoption Services
- Behavioral & Mental Health Services
Emotional Support Options
It’s not easy to quantify the emotional toll a disability can take. There have been surprisingly few studies done on the correlation between disability and suicide. However, it is clear that individuals with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury are at a higher risk than in the general population, as well as individuals with learning disabilities. Because of this, it’s important to look into therapy options for both the individual with the disability and the individual’s family members. Just in case.
Unfortunately, therapy can be expensive, especially if medication is involved. These can usually be paid for by the previously-mentioned Medicaid, Medicare, private charitable sources, or the client’s insurance company. It may be a bit trickier to find a way to pay for the therapy of the family members but that doesn’t mean this step should be ignored. It is important to work through the stress and anxiety caused by having a family member who is especially independent.
When thinking about how to handle all the costs associated with a disability, it always helps to have expert input throughout the entire process. An expert may be able to include expense items a family member or friend may not know about or think of. Consulting with an expert at RISE will make sure everything having to do with all the expenses involved in managing the disability gets done. To begin the process, simply fill out a contact form, located on the website (www.riseservicesinc.org) and someone will reach out.