Disabled Shoppers Struggle With Inaccessible Self-Checkouts

By Katie Deighton: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Stores’ self-checkout machines can annoy shoppers with error messages about unexpected items in the bagging area and other hiccups. But for some disabled people, they are often unusable. 

Blind people can have trouble navigating the touchscreens. Deaf people might not be able to troubleshoot on kiosks that connect to a customer-service worker located somewhere else. And wheelchair users sometimes can’t reach or see the screens, or fit their chairs comfortably in the space allocated to each checkout. 

A personalised alternative to antidepressants is on the way

By Paul Fitzgerald: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Rachel gets out of bed slowly, very slowly, still troubled by the oppressive weight of depression that she has been carrying for the past six months. This, despite the therapist she sees, and despite the antidepressant pills she has been taking, seemingly forever. However, her treatment today is different. Instead of taking a pill, she puts a cap on her head – a futuristic-looking device containing electrodes that both read her brainwaves and pass a gentle electrical current across her scalp. She boots up her iPad and enjoys the distraction of a game while receiving her treatment: electrical stimulation to her brain that is driven and refined by ongoing recording of her neural activity. At the end, she rates how she is feeling. This and other data from her session, and her previous treatments, is fed into an algorithm that continually refines her ongoing course of treatment.

This might sound far-fetched, but is far from it. Beyond recognising and addressing the importance of social interventions to ameliorate the external conditions that can contribute to mental health problems, the treatment of depression is currently evolving in unexpected ways. This is based on a shift away from thinking about depression as a disorder of ‘chemicals in the brain’ to an understanding that depression is underpinned by changes in electrical activity and communication between brain regions.

Navigating the Family Glitch Fix: Hurdles for Consumers with Employer-sponsored Coverage

By Kaye Pestaina and Karen Pollitz: For Complete Post, Click Here…

With the 2023 Marketplace Open Enrollment now underway in all states, many are focused on the roll out of the so-called “family glitch” fix as one of the new changes to watch in this tenth Marketplace Open Enrollment. Some consumers with access to employer-sponsored family coverage with high premiums will for the first time be able to enroll in Marketplace plans with financial assistance (premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions) that might make this coverage more affordable to them than their employer-sponsor coverage. However, navigating Marketplace eligibility and enrollment requirements is complicated even without the new rules on the family glitch. This Issue Brief looks at some of the challenges consumers can expect to face in deciding whether to take advantage of the family glitch fix.

Suffering in Silence: Disparities in Treating TBI in Domestic Violence Victims

From Neuroscience News: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Summary: Victims of physical domestic violence are 12 times more likely to suffer a TBI than athletes or members of the military, a new study reports. However, many victims’ injuries go undiagnosed or untreated.

Source: University of Montreal

Scenario 1: You’re an athlete. You get a blow to the head and collapse on the field. Medics rush in, examine you, get you to the hospital. It turns out you have a concussion. You are kept off the field until your injuries heal and are followed throughout the rehabilitation process. Your chances of recovery couldn’t be better.

Scenario 2: You’re a woman. Your partner is violent. He punches you in the head and chokes you. Every day. As these acts of violence accumulate, so does the likelihood of traumatic brain injury (TBI). You manage to escape his clutches and take refuge in a women’s shelter. You try to heal your psychological and social wounds. But your TBIs remain undiagnosed and untreated. And you have to live with the consequences.

Same injury, different cause, diametrically opposed treatments.

Women who experience a TBI as a result of domestic violence are left to fend for themselves. According to some studies, women who have been repeatedly choked and struck in the head are 11 to 12 times more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury than either athletes or soldiers, the other two groups most prone to TBI. Yet their injuries generally go undiagnosed and untreated.

We are only just beginning to understand what causes nociplastic pain

By Graham Lawton: For Complete Post, Click Here…

This new kind of pain is poorly understood, as there is often no sign of injury, but as Graham Lawton explains in this personal account, we are finally starting to make inroads.

WE FIRST knew something strange was going on when Clare, my wife, was given intravenous morphine in the emergency room. She had excruciating pain in her ribcage and back, which had started months earlier and was getting worse. At its peak, she described it as feeling like somebody had thrust two swords between her ribs and was prising them apart.

Morphine gave no relief. The doctors were baffled. Clare spent five days undergoing tests. She was eventually discharged with a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome and a bag of powerful antidepressants, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety meds.

She didn’t have complex regional pain syndrome. I looked it up and the pain was in the wrong place. But it took another six weeks to find out what she did have, during which time her physical and mental health declined alarmingly. I eventually secured a consultation with the complex pain team at University College Hospital in London, who told us she had nociplastic pain. It was a non-deteriorating condition, we learned, and it was manageable.

OIG Report Shows Failures to Stop Illegal Drugging

From National Consumer Voice: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-Duh! of the Week…

On November 17, 2022, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) released a report documenting the failure of an over ten-year effort by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reduce the inappropriate use of psychotropic medications in nursing homes. CMS defines a psychotropic drug as any drug that affects brain activities associated with mental processes and behavior. The OIG report found that despite reducing the use of some inappropriate medications, nursing homes began to use other drugs to improperly sedate and restrain residents.

Disability Justice Weekly: From the Front Lines of Autonomy and Self-Determination

From Change Strategy: For Complete Post, Click Here…

11-24-22

Man No Longer Considering Medically-Assisted Suicide Over Poverty Issues After Outpour Of Support

A man who had applied to receive assisted suicide from the Canadian government is no longer considering the option after the public offered money and support, City News reported Wednesday.

The outlet reported last month that 54-year-old Amir Farsoud was applying for medical assistance in dying (MAID), a process in Canada where an individual who meets certain criteria can receive a substance from a medical professional that will kill them. The Ontario resident was in danger of losing his house, and said he would rather die than be homeless.

“I don’t want to die but I don’t want to be homeless more than I don’t want to die,” Farsoud, who suffers from a debilitating back injury, said in the original October news story.

Michigan Help with Tax Foreclosure

From Ingham County Treasurer’s office: For Complete Post, Click Here (link is to the state program)…

Dear Community Organizations,

We are asking for your assistance to reach individuals in Ingham County who are at risk of losing their property for non-payment of property taxes. The Ingham County Treasurer’s goal is to assist taxpayers throughout the year to achieve their real property tax obligation, and to avoid foreclosure on parcels by taxpayers who demonstrate that financial hardship contributed to their inability to pay. 

This year the State is offering a grant program called the Michigan Homeowner’s Assistance Fund (MIHAF) for homeowners who have experienced a Covid-19 related hardship. This hardship could include time off of work, increased utility costs, increased cost of food and necessities, Covid-19 illness, etc. The MIHAF program offers up to $25,000 in funds for delinquent property taxes, mortgage payments, utilities, land contract payments, homeowner’s insurance, and condo association fees.

Together with Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP), we are promoting this program and are holding an application assistance event on December 5th in Lansing at the Neighborhood Empowerment Center. Further information about this event is provided in the attached flyer. We are trying to reach as many community members as possible, so everyone who qualifies for this program knows about it. If you could share this flyer and information with your members and clients, we would greatly appreciate it. If you have any questions please give me a call or send me an email. Thank you for your assistance. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

Francesca Gucciardo

Francesca Gucciardo

Tax Forfeiture/Foreclosure Coordinator

Foreclosure Prevention

Ingham County Treasurer’s Office

517-676-7304

fgucciardo@ingham.org

With Training, People in Mind-Controlled Wheelchairs Can Navigate Normal, Cluttered Spaces

From Neuroscience News: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Summary: New brain-machine interface technology allows those who are immobile to control their wheelchairs through mind control. The BMI allows users to traverse natural and cluttered environments after training.

Here’s how Michigan is working to ensure court-appointed guardians don’t take advantage of elders

By ESTELLE SLOOTMAKER: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Very few court-appointed guardianship cases reflect the plot of the popular Netflix movie “I Care a Lot,” in which Rosamund Pike plays a predatory guardian who makes a living swindling the elders she’s supposed to protect. However, similar situations are still unfortunately common enough that many Michigan providers and activists are working hard to ensure the guardianship system effectively serves Michigan’s older adults.

Alison Hirschel is director and managing attorney of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative (MEJI), elder law attorney at the Michigan Poverty Law Program, and serves on Michigan’s Elder Abuse Task Force. The task force is comprised of more than 100 individuals representing 55 organizations who are dedicated to addressing abuse, neglect, and exploitation of Michigan’s vulnerable older adults. One focus of the task force is making sure that court-appointed guardianships and conservatorships truly serve the people they are supposed to protect and support.