News

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act

Family Caregivers across the country are helping parents, spouses, children, and adults with disabilities to live more comfortably and independently. They do so much for their loved ones to be able to live at home with families. They help with things such as preparing meals, handling finances, managing medications, dressing, bathing, and other activities of daily living.

This is an enormous job for anyone, but some basic support could make their job easier.

Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine and a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Representatives Greg Harper (R-Miss.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) spearheaded the legislation recently passed by both House and Senate and is being sent to the President to be signed.

What the RAISE Family Caregivers Act Will Do

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, maintain and update an integrated national strategy to support family caregivers. And that support is sorely needed.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system in America. We need to make it easier for them to coordinate care for their loved ones, get information and...

Dare to dream with ABLE United

Did you know there’s a new way for people with disabilities to save money without losing their federal
benefits? It’s called an ABLE United account, and it has already changed the futures of more than 1,000
Floridians by offering them newfound financial stability and independence.


With an ABLE United account, Florida residents with disabilities can save up to $14,000 per year tax-free
without risk of losing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. The money they save can then be
used toward a wide range of qualifying expenses, such as housing, healthcare, education, transportation,
employment training and other basic living expenses.


The program exists because of recent legislation called the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life
Experience (ABLE) Act. To be eligible for an account, individuals must be a Florida resident and have a
qualifying disability, with onset of that disability occurring prior to age 26.


Similar to a Roth IRA or a 529 college savings plan, an ABLE United account allows individuals to increase
their savings through tax-free growth after choosing from a variety of funds. The individual owns the...

Assistive Technology for Seniors

 

There are many types of Assistive Technology that are used daily that many didn't realize were assistive technology. Seniors are one of the largest populations who use Assistive Technology. Listed below are eight examples of assistive tchnology and their use. 

 

 

  • Install Hand Rails on both sides of stairs
  • Install Grab Bars in Bathrooms
  • Have good lighting in all entryways
  • Use Grabbers to help reach items out of reach
  • Properly store and Organize all Medications
  • Use Non-skid Mats and rugs to prevent slips
  • Create a Smart Home to control lights and check the Front door
  • Use Devices Such as Lift Ware for daily independance

Infographic stating the 8 Points listed above

Universal Home Design Tips for All Ages and Abilities

Building a home that is easily navigated by a person in a wheelchair to most comes from a basic design of accessibility. There are many things that can make a home accessible. These are just a few of the most basic design elements that should be considered. 

 

  • 36" is minimum width that external doorways should be to accommodate wheelchairs
  • 60"x60" is the ideal turnaround space for wheelchairs. Allow this much room around tables and furniture. 
  • 32" is the ideal counter top height for those in chairs and of short stature
  • 15" is the lowest that plugs and controls should be installed on the walls
  • 48" is the highest that plugs and controls should be installed on the wall. 

Please use these guidelines and more when planning your home. Be welcoming to all guests with all abilities!

Tips for Buying Toys

Toy Buying Tips for Parents and Caregivers of Children with Special Needs

Prepared by the National Lekotek Center

Selecting a toy for a child with special needs can be overwhelming. That is why Toys“R”Us has worked for more than two decades with the National Lekotek Center to develop the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, an inclusive resource for families with children of all abilities.

To help parents and caregivers through their toy purchasing journey, inclusive play experts at the National Lekotek Center compiled the following questions to ask yourself when choosing developmentally appropriate toys for kids with special needs.

Multi-Sensory Appeal
Does the toy respond with lights, sounds or movement to engage the child? Are there contrasting colors? Does it have a scent? Is there texture?
 
Method of Activation
Will the toy provide a challenge without frustration? What is the force required to activate? What are the number and complexity of steps required to activate?
 
Places the Toy Will Be Used
Will the toy be easy to store? Is there space in the home? Can the toy be used in a...