Technology To Increase Independence At Home
It can be very distressing and frustrating for children with SMA if, due to their increasing muscle weakness, they can no longer do the things they once could, especially if it increases their dependence on other people. This is where, when you're thinking about adaptations to your home, it's worth asking what technology there is that may help your child be as independent as possible. An Environmental Control System (ECS) may be a possible way of increasing your child’s ability to control their world.
An ECS can include control of:
- electric profiling beds
- door openers
Often an ECS can be controlled by only the smallest movement. It can also be set up for your child to call for help.
Your child’s local healthcare team / community OT can help work out the best equipment to meet your child’s needs to control their home environment. As technology is constantly changing and developing, they may involve an Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT) Service provider with in-depth knowledge of latest developments to assess your child’s needs and advise on what 's currently on the market. Between them they'll advise you what funding might be available to help and how to apply.
Muscular Dystrophys UK's Adaptations Manual is a comprehensive guide for any family affected by a neuromuscular condition and planning adaptations to their home. Chapter 10 looks at Environmental Controls in more depth: www.musculardystrophyuk.org/about-muscle-wasting-conditions/information-factsheets/equipment-and-adaptations/adaptations-manual/