Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Which We Have A Helpful Home Visit

Today Steve, an awesome occupational therapist from Good Samaritan's Children's Therapy Unit, came to our house for an equipment evaluation.  Basically he took a tour of the house, checked out Connor's current equipment, talked with me about things we're having difficulties with, and then suggested ways we can change things to make things easier for the little guy.  Of course our house is already set up beautifully for Connor, but as he gets older new issues will crop up that we need to problem solve.

The biggest reason we asked Steve to come out was to talk about lift options.  Connor is over forty pounds now, and while I can still pick him up by myself in most situations, he's only going to get heavier and I'd like something in place before I start throwing out my back.  I have the most trouble getting him in and out of his shower chair right now, which is pretty low to the ground.  And while it's pretty easy to get him from his bed to his chair, it's a little bit harder going the other direction. 

A Hoyer lift just won't work for us; they're made to slide underneath a bed, and Connor's bed has a solid base.  Installing a system permanently in the ceiling would probably be pretty expensive.  So Steve recommended a system called the Voyager Easytrack, which is strung between two fairly narrow poles and is close to, but doesn't actually touch the ceiling.  Here's a video for those who are interested in seeing it.  Our insurance should cover it, and it will work with Connor's bed.  And since it's portable, we'd be able to pack it up and take it with us to use while traveling, which is a definite plus.  If any readers have used a Voyager or have other recommendations, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Anyway, we also talked about getting a rolling base for Connor's shower chair and his toilet chair.  Right now his toilet chair attaches directly to the toilet in our hallway bathroom, and every time we have guests I have to detach it.  Once Ellen is home, she'll be sharing the bathroom with Connor and we'll have to move the toilet chair off and onto the toilet a lot more often, so it makes since to have one with wheels that simply rolls over the toilet.  That means we'd also be able to roll it into Connor's room when he's bigger and transfer him to the toilet chair using the lift.  The same thing goes for his shower chair. 

Steve also tweaked Connor's stander a bit to fit him better, and we discussed activity chairs for when Connor outgrows his current model.  It was really fantastic to have him here, and I'm so glad that we've got such wonderful people in Connor's world who help make his life as happy and healthy as possible!


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