Technology can play a big role in your stroke recovery — helping you relearn basic skills such as talking, eating, dressing and walking. You can also improve your strength, flexibility and endurance.
The better you understand your rehabilitation journey and the role technology plays, the more independence you can gain. Keep in mind: Physical, occupational and speech-language therapists recommend tools based on your personalized goals. So the next time you make the rounds to your health care providers, prepare lots of questions. Here are a few examples:
For your primary care physician:
- Do you have advanced training in providing care for stroke survivors?
- What experience do you have with technology in stroke recovery?
- Can you recommend specific technology for certain impairments?
- How can I use technology at home to help me after my stroke?
- What technologies are available for my caregiver to help me with recovery?
For your neurologist:
- How often do you introduce your patients to technologies that assist with stroke recovery?
- Do you have stroke technology information that I can take home to review?
- What’s the most important information you can share with me about stroke recovery and technology?
For your rehabilitation professional:
- Do you have advanced education or expertise in stroke rehabilitation?
- Can technology support my recovery goals?
- Do you use technology to support stroke recovery?
- What technologies do you have access to in your clinic or otherwise that can help with my challenges?
- What are some technical and non-technical approaches we could use during my rehabilitation therapy?
- Are there technologies that I can easily access at home
Technology that supports stroke recovery can vary greatly when it comes to cost. Some technologies are very inexpensive and easy to use while others are extremely expensive. These options are starting points to help you in your search to finance your technology:
Ask your therapist:
- Rehabilitation therapists are very educated about what technology and devices are eligible for reimbursement and which payers to contact.
- Then, access technology through your rehab facility:
- Many inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities have technology available for their patients on-site. Ask what technologies are available at the facility where you or your loved one will receive rehab services.
- Each state has different Medicaid policies. Some states will reimburse assistive devices for some conditions. Check your state’s rules for more information.
- Some insurance policies will cover part of the cost of rehab technologies. If you are looking for coverage for a specific technology, contact the manufacturer of that technology and ask for assistance with the insurance and appeals process.
Search for funding partners:
Some community-based agencies offer financial assistance for assistive devices and technology. Search for agencies near you, by county for help.
Seek out statewide Assistive Technology Programs:
- There are 56 agencies that exist to help people access assistive technology. They operate on grants from the government.
- Some states have programs that offer a trial period for a piece of technology before purchase. Request assistance from the manufacturer:
- Some technology manufacturers offer assistance for people who want to purchase technologies and pay for them out of pocket. Contact the manufacturer directly to request financial assistance. Make sure to ask about grant programs for people who need help paying for expensive technologies.
Look for agencies that may be able to issue you a used assistive device:
- The Pass It On Center can help you locate agencies that accept used assistive technology for re- use by others who may need it.
- Search for centers in your state. Programs like INDATA may be helpful for getting assistive technology for a trial period.
- Search for programs that offer support for people working in specific industries: For example, AgrAbility is an agency that supports people with disabilities in the agricultural business.
- Most Important: Be Persistent! You must be your biggest advocate for help.