Looking for the next “Chuck Frahm”
Thanks for another insightful issue (Feb 10, 2007). Your “Ashey,” “Chuck Frahm,” and “Raymond’s Room” articles seem to reinforce my growing conviction that, with proper technology, many of us could live better lives.
And it’s not that the technology isn’t available; it’s that Medicare/Medicaid refuses to pay for it—and few of us have the funds to pay for it ourselves, even with those STAR loans and other Assistive Tech programs.
For example, I’ve broken both legs (one at a time, thankfully) during bathroom transfers. My bones broke too easily because I have developed osteopenia from lack of weight-bearing standing. How much would Medicare have saved (and future savings on more bone problems) if I’d had a stander? (I did buy one after the second break; took out a loan and found a stander that had had two previous owners.) How many others could be helped by devices to help caregivers like Ms. Johns with roll-overs in bed, with transfers, and the other myriad of tasks needed for daily living?
The second issue is about employment (one aspect of which —wages—was addressed in this issue). AARP wrings its collective hands about baby-boomer retirements and the looming loss of workers. What about looking to the disabled community for labor? Sure, we might have to stretch our rigid concepts about job structure—like more work-from-home opportunities, more flexibility in job scheduling, willingness to accommodate part-timers in what were previously full-time positions. Guess somebody better become a “Chuck Frahm.”
Laura Hill, Roseville