Brain or spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis can be one of the most devastating injuries for victims of car accidents, workplace accidents and slip and falls. It literally will change the victim’s and his family’s lives forever both financially and emotionally. However, even if a person becomes paralyzed from the neck down, he can maintain some independence in his day-to-day life through the use of assistive tools and technology.
Five Assistive Tools That Can Help Paralysis Victims
While there is no cure for paralysis, rehabilitation and assistive tools can help a person perform some of his daily activities and continue to live a more active, fulfilling life. Some assistive tools that a person could find helpful include:
Wheelchairs can be essential to helping a paralysis victim get around. There are many different types of wheelchairs to choose from—such as manual, motorized, lightweight, and lever-driven ones. There are even wheelchairs that can help people stand, that tilt or recline, and that have comfort and positioning mechanisms to help prevent the risk of skin pressure sores—a secondary condition a person could suffer from.
An environmental control unit can help a person operate appliances, light switches, doors, and televisions through the use of switches, voice commands, a computer, sip and puff, or eye movements. These systems can help him maintain independence at home, work, school, and during leisure time.
Hands-free computer technology can allow a person to fully use a computer through the use of his voice, eyes, head, or breath.
Modifications to a person’s home can include installing a ramp, grab bars, or easy-to-use door knobs and widening doors. Other more expensive modifications can include special sinks, vertical lifts, portable showers, elevators, and more.
Many vehicle modifications and adaptive tools can allow a person who is paralyzed to continue to drive—even if he has limited hand and arm mobility. These include hand controls for braking and accelerating, power assist devices for easier steering, and touch ignition pads and gear shifts.
These assistive tools can be expensive, but they are critical in helping a person regain some of his independence. Fortunately, an accident victim may be able to recover these expenses as well as compensation for his medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the person or business that caused his paralysis.
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