As an Occupational Therapist, my primary focus is to help people regain, retain their independence in activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, toileting, etc.
At times, physical limitations such as lack of flexibility or pain can severely affect these basic self-care activities. Adaptive equipment, sometimes called “aids for daily living” are commonly used by Occupational Therapists to retrain our patients. These same products are available to consumers for use in their own homes.
I have come across some very useful items and want to share them with you.
This tool acts as an extension of your arm. It can be useful for high or low item retrieval and to assist with lower body dressing like doffing your shoes or getting your pants started. Reachers also improve personal safety. The reacher helps reach an item high on a shelf or across the room without the need for tricky ladders or stools.
The company that I work with, Juvo Products, www.juvoproducts.com, makes a very good reacher. It is well designed with a very comfortable handle and a patented trigger lock. It is also very contemporary looking. Visit http://juvoproducts.com/products/reacher-grabber-32/
As the name implies, this tool assists in donning socks. It may take a little practice to master, but many patients swear by them. It is a very useful product for patients recovering from hip, knee or back surgery. There are many different brands. Enter “sock aid” in Google search for many retailers and ETailer locations.
This is longer version of the original. Due to its length, it is easier to maneuver for people who have trouble bending down to their feet.
One of the most challenging aspects to a person’s daily routine may be achieving proper hygiene in the bathroom. Many of my clients have difficulty in this regard due to weight problems, limitations in shoulder range of motion or limited flexibility due to an accident or operation. There are a number of good products that facilitate cleaning for many people with physical limitations. Again, do a Google search for Toileting Aid and numerous styles will pop up. The better products like the “Bottom Buddy” have a trigger action to release the tissue.
These are a quick, economical way of adapting almost any shoe. By replacing the standard shoelaces with elastic shoelaces, it turns the shoe into a “slip on”, therefore, no need to bend down to tie the shoes.
In summary – these “aids for daily living” are very useful items for people in need of a little assistance with daily activities. Most of these products can be purchased on-line or at your local medical supply store or pharmacy and can really make a difference in a person’s independence and quality of life.