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MDRC cultivates disability pride and strengthens the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression.

Hank Raby was a resident of a nursing facility for four years. He found ways to occupy his time and talents while living there by volunteering for bingo, attending pizza parties, etc. However, for many nursing home residents, living and having a community in the facility is not the same as living in your own home and community. For Hank, the opportunity to return to his own home and community came by way Angie of the Nursing Facility Transition (NFT) Program at the Capital Area Center for Independent Living.

In talking with Angie, it became clear that remembering to take his medication was difficult for Hank and it was a task that the nursing home was currently helping him with. It is a common challenge for many older adults, one that CACIL is experienced in working with. Angie had found that many people had success managing their medication with the Med Center 31-Day Reminder system, and having a good understanding of his needs, suspected it would work well for him too.

Her hunch was more correct than anyone could have expected. Hank was able to receive the Med Center through the Nursing Facility Transition Program, and for more than four months, he has lived independently back in his own home. So successful was his transition, that Visiting Nurses have reduced his home visits from monthly to every other month, due in part to how well he is now able to manage his medication.Hank posing with his Med Center Monthly Medication Reminder System

Hank, with his medication reminder, ignited what we like to call the “Assistive Technology Spark”. Having first recognized the impact that assistive technology could have on his independence, he took part in demonstrations of other items from CACIL’s neurodiversity kit, which helps people who process information differently with tasks involving remembering, locating, orientation, symptom management and safety. The device demonstrations, provided with funding from the Michigan Assistive Technology Program (MATP), enabled Hank to identify several items that would help him continue to increase his independence at home, including a large button remote, a wall-mounted light switch, and a modified telephone.

Welcome home, Hank! May your home be filled with assistive technology, enabling you to live in your own home on your own terms for as long as you wish!

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