When will I finally get technology to start working for me, instead of against me?  That's a question I've been asking myself for years. Sometimes the learning curve isn't worth it.  Other times the things that work for other people just don't work for me.   Sound familiar?   If so, read on.  The Michigan Assistive Technology Program is here to help you sort it out.

Carolyn Boyle, of CareWell Services, Region 3B Area Agency on Aging, was a guest on the "Miles for Memory Moment" on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with me.  She said they have collaborated with Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) to try and help people find and maintain more independent living. 

CareWell Services has been chosen by MDRC to spread the education and awareness throughout Southwest Michigan covering 8 counties- Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties.

The possibilities are endless.  Technology could just mean a better and easier can opener.  It might just be the pill container that you already use.  Carolyn gave several examples, including:

  • Special clocks for people who have a hearing loss.
  • Talking watches, clocks, books, calculators, tire pressure gauges and lots more for people who have low vision.
  • A way to see if the water is hot or cold for a person who may have lost feeling in their hands to prevent them from getting burned.
  • Reminders to people to take their medication.
  • A device that will shut off your stove if you leave it unattended.
  • Computer programs that will type for you if you have mobility issues with your hands and are unable to type.
  • Devices to assist with mobility, to assist you put your socks or compression stockings on and even to assist with reaching to wipe your bottom.
  • New and better walkers.

She says finding the right tool for you is the key.   A specialist from CareWell Services can come into your home and meet with you to see what types of gadgets or gizmos might be able to help.  They can actually bring some for you to try and see if it might be a good fit for you.  Sometimes a thing looks good on TV, but isn't practical for everybody.

Specialists are also making “presentations” in senior centers and nursing facilities to work with people who have a disability, and with medical professionals.   They go in and share a power point slide show of a subjects like cooking, general home safety or personal care and hand out specific devices that fit the topic.  

Some equipment can be loaned out in the short-term. Carewell Services doesn't actually sell these tools, but they can help you buy find vendors who do, once you decide if its right for you. 

Here's an ad for a device to help you put on socks. 

Carolyn says the ideas and devices are limitless and there are always new things being invented in order to help even one person to be independent.

  • Call Carewell Services: 269-966-2450  or  800-626-6719
  • Visit Carewell Services: 200 West Michigan, Suite 102, Battle Creek  MI 49017
  • E-mail Carewell Services: info@carewellservices.org
  • Or click here for information.