Assessment & Prescriptions | Novita

Assessment & Prescriptions

Novitatech provides many services such as Assessment, prescription, advice and information regarding different types of Assistive Technology (AT) and are recognised prescribers with various equipment funding schemes. We can also supply Assistive Technology directly to you.

What is Assistive Technology?

There is an almost endless list of items that can be considered Assistive Technology and new brands and technologies are emerging constantly. Assistive Technology can range from a large button remote control that you would find at any electronics store, to fully customised, powered wheelchairs that are built to an individual order. Novitatech’s Therapy Team can help you to consider your individual needs and work with you to identify the best possible Assistive Technology solutions for you and your situation.

 

Assistive Technology Types

Environmental Control/Smart Home Technology

Technology has made amazing things possible for all of us, as we can use remote controls and software programs to control almost any aspect of our home environment. This has been life changing for many people living with physical disability. This area of Assistive Technology is also known as Environmental Control, Home Automation or Smart Home Technology and can help in a range of ways including:

  • Enabling a person to independently open their door without having the physical ability to turn a door handle, or push on the door.
  • Enabling a person to control their lights from anywhere in the house, including in bed.
  • Enabling a person to control their blinds, a fan or air conditioning system
  • Enabling a person to control their television, music player and streaming services
  • Enabling a person to use video monitoring to observe visitors to their home before opening the door

Assistive Technology that can help includes:

  • Tablet based home automation software that can be accessed by touch, eyegaze or a switch
  • Alternate controls that can be operated by switch or eyegaze for home electronics including lights, television, sound systems, air conditioning, fans, electric blinds, power points and more
  • Electronics to give the user independent control over opening and closing doors, including the front door to your home

Novitatech has Occupational Therapists who have dedicated skills and knowledge in Environmental control and home automation, and who can help you to match your skills and needs to the options available.

 

Computer Access Technology

From email and banking to social media and holiday planning, using computers and tablets is a part of how we organise our lives and stay connected in the 21st Century. Standard keyboards, tablets and screens cannot be used by some people living with disability. An ever increasing range of Assistive Technologies can give people ways to independently access a computer or tablet. These technologies include:

  • Large or small size keyboards, keyguards and computer mouses for people whose hand control and/or vision is not suited to a standard mouse
  • Joysticks that have larger buttons or can be used with a switch (accessible button) for people whose hand control and/or vision is not suited to a standard mouse
  • Eyegaze technology, and head tracker and gyroscopic computer mouses for people who are not able to use their hands to control a mouse or keyboard
  • Switches (buttons) of different shapes, styles and sensitivities that can control a computer or tablet with a single press, There is a wide range available that can accommodate the full range of movements, including very small or weak movement, such as may be experienced by someone with Motor Neurone Disease, or with large and forceful movements that may be experienced by someone with certain types of Cerebral Palsy.
  • Software programs that make other applications easier to access for someone who is using a switch or eye gaze for computer access, for example that mean that you can control Facebook with a single switch.
  • Software that can help people with learning difficulties to read and write with greater ease and success

Novitatech has Occupational Therapists who have dedicated skills and knowledge in Environmental control and home automation, and who can help you to match your skills and needs to the options available.

 

Wheelchairs, pushers and scooters

Having the right set of wheels can be the key to independence, comfort and safety for a user. Depending on the individual situation, the right chair can range from basic off-the shelf models, to individually designed and custom manufactured models. There may be a combination of features that are used for the ideal chair for an individual and the range available includes:

  • Manual wheelchairs designed for a person to push themselves (“self-propel”), or for a person whose chair will be pushed by others
  • Powered wheelchairs designed for a person to drive themselves with a joystick, switches or other controller, or for another person to control with a rear mounted joystick
  • Folding wheelchairs for easy transport in the boot of a car
  • Wheelchairs and pushers that are safety tested for a passenger to sit in when travelling in an accessible vehicle (e.g. a van or access taxi)
  • Wheelchairs with a basic seat and back, for occasional or short term use
  • Wheelchairs that are custom made to the users body size and shape, including supportive seating to protect the user’s spine and skin
  • Wheelchairs with trays and other accessories to increase independence and functionality
  • Wheelchairs that can be adjusted and tilted, to provide a position change to suit different activities, as well as comfort and pressure relief
  • Power Assist technology where a motor is added to the wheels of a manual wheelchair so that a person can push for longer and with less effort
  • Pushers with additional support to enable a safe and functional position for toddlers and young children with physical disabilities
  • Larger sized pushers for children who are taller or heavier than can fit into typical pushers

 

Beds and Sleep Positioning Equipment

Sleep is essential to health and quality of life and is something that we all spend a large part of our lives doing. For some people living with a disability, a standard bed or cot may not be the best option. Assistive Technology can help in a range of ways including:

  • Reducing the risk of falling from bed
  • Reducing the risk of becoming entrapped in the bed or bed clothing
  • Providing pressure and positioning support to reduce the issues that can be caused by being unable to independently move your body to re-position during the night. This can reduce waking in the night by increasing comfort, and also reduce the risk of pressure injuries
  • Providing an independent or safer way of getting in and out of bed
  • Providing a safe and comfortable place for dressing
  • Provide a safe environment in the bedroom overnight

 

The Assistive Technology that can help includes:

  • Height adjustable beds – beds with an electronic mechanism to bring them low to the ground to help a person to get into bed, and raise them high to reduce the amount a carer needs to bend to assist with dressing.
  • Pressure relieving mattresses – mattresses made of special materials, or with inbuilt technology to increase comfort overnight and reduce the risk of a pressure injury.
  • Bed with rails – beds that prevent a person from falling out of bed if they move in the night.
  • Safe Surround Beds – Beds that provide an enclosed safe  sleeping environment for people who need a safe area overnight without direct supervision
  • Mattresses with raised edges – mattresses that are lower in the middle to reduce the risk of a person falling out of bed if they move in the night.
  • Specialised Sheets – sheets that can protect a mattress in case of incontinence.
  • Specialised overlays – overlays to keep body temperature low to reduce the risk of seizures
  • Sleep positioning systems – specialised pieces of foam and other materials that can provide support to parts of the body e.g. if your legs are fixed in a bent position, a wedge may provide a more comfortable sleeping position.

 

Showering, bathing and toileting equipment

Showering, bathing and toileting are essential parts of everyday life, but one that can be very difficult and stressful if you are not able to sit or stand safely in the bath, shower, or toilet. Assistive Technology can help in a range of ways including:

  • Providing a safe, stable environment to reduce the risk of falls so that a person can focus on getting clean without the stress and difficulty of trying to stay upright. It can also help a person assisting another person to bathe by providing a safe supports for the person with a disability so their carer can be in a good position to wash them without the need to support them as well
  • Providing a safe, stable way to get into and out of the bath or shower

 

Assistive Technology that can help includes:

  • Hand rails – so that a person can move or stand safely with the support of a rail to hold onto
  • Shower chairs – ranging from a simple shower stool to a height adjustable chair with a tilt mechanism and full supports, shower chairs give a person who is not able to stand on their own in the shower, a way to safely move into the shower and to be safely supported during their shower.
  • Toilet chairs – also known as commodes, toilet chairs can give a person the supports they need to be safely positioned while they go to the toilet. Sometimes, the same piece of equipment can be used as a shower chair and a toilet chair.
  • Bath seats – so that a person, particularly a small child can be supported to sit safely in the bath, if they are not able to sit up on their own.
  • Hoists and lifters – so that a person can be safely lifted into and out of the bath and does not need to rely on a carer or support worker to lift the.
  • Modifications to the bathroom – Simple modifications can be made to some bathrooms to make them easier to use for a person living with disability. This can include replacing the taps and adding a shower hose. If a shower chair is needed, there may also be a need for the bathroom to be renovated as many bathrooms do not easily fit or have smooth access into the shower for the shower chair that a person may need. (See home and building modifications for further details)

Occupational Therapists at Novitatech focus on assisting people to determine the most appropriate supports and Assistive Technologies to help them be as independent and safe as possible with activities of daily living, including showering and toileting.

 

Car seats and vehicle modifications

We assess and prescribe quality car seats, harnesses and vehicle modifications for you.

 

Chairs for function, safety and comfort

 

Standing Frames and walkers

 

Hoists and transfer aids

Moving between a wheelchair and bed, shower chair, toilet, floor or vehicle with ease and safety is an important task that happens many times a day for people with physical disabilities. Depending on how much a person can stand and move, the only safe way to do this may mean using a hoist (lift) or other transfer aid. Without the appropriate Assistive Technology, a person and their carer, or support worker, can be at risk of injury, including serious back injury. Some of the options to support safe and easy transfers include:

  • Mobile hoist – a portable system on wheels that can lift a person in a sling to move them from a wheelchair to another piece of equipment
  • Ceiling hoist – a system where tracking and a motor are attached to the ceiling of a bedroom or other room, so that a person can be lifted and moved between pieces of equipment or the floor.
  • Slide boards or sheets – simple equipment that can help a person to be assisted to move short distances safely