For many farm family members and rural residents with a disability, Rural Solutions represents their only hope of returning to farming and their communities. Easter Seals Iowa offers agricultural work site and home modification consultations, peer support, services for the family, information and referrals, and medical equipment loan services. Team members are knowledgeable about resources throughout the state that can address the unique needs of rural family members with disabilities, and actively pursue services that will enhance their lives. Read our client success stories.
A rural rehabilitation specialist travels to the home and performs assessments of the home and farming operation. Changes are recommended for each family to continue the rural way of life. Our team members make suggestions and work with the rural family member to identify possible modifications to assist the rural family member with a disability.
Easter Seals does not pay for housing or farming accommodations, nor do we pay for assistive devices. Our staff works with the family and other agencies that may consider funding the assistive devices. Additionally, we will share ideas and information regarding selecting an assistive device, to assist in making the best decision.
Support is an integral part of helping rural families continue their livelihood after a disability or illness. Volunteers (rural family members) who have a similar disability provide emotional support to others who have recently been disabled. One-on-one support is also provided to help families adapt to their new lifestyle and to use assistive technology. The combination of personal and professional guidance has had a profound and uplifting affect on many rural family members.
We work with the entire family unit, not just the person with the disability, to determine the best way to assist the individual with the disability. Sometimes the solution is an adaptation of an every day tool. Other times it involves suggestions on how to design a home for increasing mobility and convenience. And other times it is simply listening and offering support after the life changing events of acquiring a disability.
Rural Solutions includes a safety education component that teaches farm family members with disabilities how to prevent secondary injuries (which are very common among farm family members who have disabilities, many of whom "make do" rather than seek professional guidance on how to safely continue farming.) This is an extremely important part of the program, which helps farm family members continue to farm safely for the long term.
Rural Solutions staff will assist the rural family to connect with other community resources and agencies that may be of additional service to the rural family to help them reach their goals after acquiring a disability.
Easter Seals Equipment Loan services provides a valuable resource. We loan the equipment at a nominal fee to individuals with disabilities or illness. Equipment includes wheelchairs, walkers, canes, commodes and more.
Any farm family member with a disability or individual with a disability living in a town with a population less than 2,500 is eligible for services through the Rural Solutions program. Easter Seals Iowa Rural Solutions services are provided free of charge to the individual and family receiving the services.