Disability Grants For MS Disabled Sharon To Equip Wheelchair Van And Upgrade Home Entry
by Sharon Morgan
(Big Pine Key, Florida, USA)
I'm a 57 years young mother, grandmother and retired military spouse of 32 years. I live in the Florida Keys with my disabled military veteran.
MS Disabled Sharon Morgan Seeking To Equip Wheelchair Van And Upgrade Home Entry
We both lost our mothers in 2016, six weeks apart, making 2016 a very tough year for us.
We have two adult sons. Our youngest still lives in the area and helps out when possible. Our eldest lives in Gainesville, FL pursuing his graduate education in the medical field.
Our grandchildren Evy and Dillon live with their mother, not that close, so we don't get to see them as often as we would like.Disability Issues
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1994, as was my little sister. I had my next exacerbation when we returned to the continental United States and moved to Florida in 2003.
In 2008, I quit smoking and my ability to walk also quit on me.
I moved from using a cane in the summer of 2008 to a full-time wheelchair by winter 2008/2009.
My abilities to meet my own personal care needs took a major nosedive in March 2016. I had a heart attack, which was not diagnosed until the third visit to the emergency room. It resulted in a helicopter evacuation on my 56th birthday.
In following up it was determined I had three major arterial blockages. One was corrected with a stent. The other two were determined to have rerouted capillaries in a form of self-correction.
I had to medically retire from my job. I also have diabetes and high blood pressure both maintained with daily medication.
My spouse is my primary caregiver and breadwinner because he is still working full time.
I believe our immediate financial hardships are of the hard physical nature. We have transportation needs, housing upgrades, day-to-day house/yard upkeep.
Our current financial state meets our day-to-day, month-to-month needs, allowing us to remain in our home, paying the electric, water, cable and food.
We have a van that has a lift too small to handle the weight of my wheelchair (400 lbs) leaving us to travel with a small scooter. We travel with two scooters if going anywhere where we'd be walking for any length of time.Income Efforts
I was awarded SSDI $1506 in September 2016. That is only financial contribution I currently make towards paying our financial obligations. The amount of SSDI is less than half of my previous monthly salary.
My spouse is currently employed. He's a 100% disabled veteran diagnosed with a variety of service-related diseases/disabilities.
His health problems will eventually take away his ability to walk and to care for himself. Continuing to care for me will bring added stress.
There are numerous assistance programs he'll qualify for as a veteran; however, they don't extend to the spouse, even one married longer than on active duty.
Our health insurance pays for the medical appointments and has a prescription benefit that covers immediate supplies.Specific Needs
I would like information on transportation grants for a handicapped van. It would be equipped with weight appropriate lifts for two chairs. It would also have an individual seat lift so that I can be seated in a passenger seat without physical injury risk to my spouse.
I would also like information on grants to cover the cost of housing upgrades:
- A walk-in bathtub would allow me to handle my own hygiene needs myself
- An upgrade to our house entry (stairs with elevator) would allow me to get my wheelchair into our home and up the stairs.
- Some housekeeping assistance and yard maintenance would help relieve that physical burden.
I want to feel like a contributing member of my family and community. My inability to self-care and get around independently is very frustrating and depressing. These are both emotional places that can lead to addictive behaviors like alcohol or drugs, which afflicted both my father and mother.