Walk, Don’t Shuffle. Eat, Don’t Shovel
By Heidi bale
Have you been sitting on the bed recently, wondering how you were going to get your socks and shoes on? Are you having trouble hearing your favorite TV programs, or reading the newspaper? Is the floor getting farther away when you drop something? How about getting out of your vehicle during errands in town?
When the activities you used to do every day become a barrier to your independence, a wise person looks for tools to bridge the gap. If you are having challenges due to decreased vision, hearing, mobility, or communication, check out the variety of equipment companies we have available.
This month, I am going to let you all in on a little secret-a hidden gem right here in Willapa Country. Timberland Regional Library has a catalog of support items you can check out. These items can be searched online and reserved, or you can go to the library and review a catalog prior to placing an order. Ask your local librarian for help. There are two brochures available as well: Resources for Low Vision Readers, and Help with hearing, vision, mobility and communication.
Assistive devices available are listed by category, ranging from kitchen and household to dressing and communication. Items include a Tilt Stand Magnifier, Steady Write Pen, Weighted and Foam Handled utensils, Thumbs up Cup, Sock Aid, Dressing Stick, Ameriphone Amplified Photo Phone, In-Line Amplifier, Direct Ear Television Listening System, Talking Rx (reads your prescription bottle), and the Handy Bar Vehicle Supporter Handle. This is a great opportunity to “road test” a piece of equipment to see if it works for you. If you would like to purchase a device, the library has contact information for the company.
Another local resource for assistive devices is our pharmacies. Talk with their staff and the pharmacist about their inventory (canes, walkers, medication reminders). In addition, there are two companies that serve the north Pacific County area with durable medical equipment. AARO Medical and Lincare, Inc. are a phone call away. Both of these companies can help you with renting or purchasing various pieces of equipment (wheelchair, hospital bed, nebulizer), and billing your insurance.
Resources: Timberland Regional Library, www.TRL.org, 800-562-6022
Washington Assistive Technology Act Program, www.watap.org, 800-214-9731; AARO Medical, 800-752-2276 or 360-532-2222; Lincare, Inc., 360-532-5287