Aids to Daily Living
Dressing Assist Devices
There are devices available that assist individuals to dress. They are stocking aids, elastic shoelaces, shoe removers, leg lifters, dressing sticks, long shoehorns, and button hooks.
Sock or stocking aids are designed to assist with pulling on your socks or stockings. They are made of a flexible plastic material and have nylon webbing straps. The sock or stocking is pulled over the plastic up to the toe, then the aid is put on the floor and the foot is inserted. Using the straps the device is pulled up foot until the sock is on the foot completely.
Elastic shoelaces allow shoes to be pre-tied and then slipped on or off easily. They allow tired feet to swell without restriction. The laces are available in 18”, 24”, 30”, 37” lengths and in black, white and brown. Latex free.
Shoe remover is a plastic device that facilitates easy shoe removal without bending over. It is helpful in keeping hands free particularly when removing soiled footwear.
Leg lifters are a simple and practical way to lift a leg onto a bed or a wheelchair footrest. It is a long strap with a loop at each end. One loop is placed over the wrist and the other end is placed over the foot or cast. The centre section has a rigid aluminum slat inside. Made of 2” wide webbing for comfort with loops approximately 6”. Latex free.
Dressing stick has a push/pull hook on one end that is helpful in applying and removing clothing. The other end of the stick has a zipper pull. The stick length is approximately 24”.
Long shoehorn are available in plastic or metal and in lengths of 24” to 30”. Anyone would benefit from a long shoehorn. It allows you to put your shoes on without needing to bend.
Button Hooks enable a person with poor dexterity or only one hand to do up buttons. They are available in acrylic, wood or comfort grip handles and small or large hooks. Lightweight and easy to handle.
Eating Assistive Devices
Devices that assist a person to eat independently can be cutlery, food bumpers for plates, scoop plates and bowls, and special cups. There are catalogues full of eating assistive devices, to stock everything that is available would be unrealistic. We are happy to assist you in choosing an appropriate product for your needs.
Cutlery is available as forks, knives, soup spoons, and teaspoons. They are available as straight, right handed and left handed and with comfort grip handles, weighted, straps to attach to hand, clip on , and with swivels. The cutlery is designed for maximum user control with minimum effort. Some utensils are designed for specific conditions such as the weighted cutlery. It is designed for people with Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses that cause tremors. Cutlery that is designed as left or right, minimize the amount of wrist movement needed by the user.
Food bumpers and scoop dishes assist the user to actually get food on to the cutlery. A food bumper snaps on a standard plate, the walls provide an area to push food onto your utensil for scooping and to aid in keeping the food on the plate. Also available in a scoop type plate where the walls of the plate are built up. All designed to provide independence at meal time.
Specialty cups are available with a no spill lid, anti-tip base, special handles for easy gripping, and cups that are cut out to accommodate a nose. The cups are designed for people with limited neck movement, restricted to the bed, or are in a wheelchair with a headrest.
Hobbies and Leisure Assistive Devices
A person with certain dexterity problems should still be able to continue their hobbies or leisure activities. With the help of some of the assistive devices on the market there are such things as domino and card holders, needle threaders, and embroidery hoop that comes equipped with four suction cups. Magnifiers with hands free features, typing and writing devices and book stands allow the individual to be more independent.
Homemaking Assistive Devices
There are many assistive devices designed to allow for independence in performing tasks around the home. These products are
long handled scrub brush and dusters, perching stools, special cutting board with knife attached, jar openers, knob and tap turners, large chef knives with special handles, shopping baskets and key holders.
Long handled toilet brush allows the individual to stay standing while cleaning the toilet. The long handled product is particularly good for someone who can not bend or kneel to do this task. The acrylic handle adds greater stiffness and is easier to clean. The 3” diameter bristle head easily fits into every curve of the toilet bowl. The overall length is 26” and it comes with a cup to store the brush when not using.
Also available are telescopic handle handy scrub and duster allow the user to reduce bending and straining. The handy scrub is constructed from a nylon net head and will not scratch acrylic, fiberglass or plastic surfaces. The duster head is a fine, hair like, electrostatic dust collecting head. Perfect for dusting under the bed or over ceiling fans, and windows sills.
Perching stools have seats that are sloped forward reducing the effort required to sit down and stand up. They are available with back and armrests and without back and armrests. Easily adjusted for height ranging from 20-26”. Weight capacity is approximately 330lbs.
Personal Care and Safety
There are products available to assist with personal care such as long handled bath sponges, wash mitts, extension arms for razors, nail clippers with suction cups, denture brushes with suction cups, and gooseneck magnifier mirrors. Depending on a person’s limitation a product like these can make everyday tasks more comfortable.
Safety products are available that will warn the caregiver if the person being cared for has gotten up from their chair or bed. These devices will alarm when the person’s weight is no longer sensed on the mat. There are also alarms that use infrared beams of light, when crossed will alarm the caregiver of movement.
Also available is a personal emergency response system, this allows an individual the freedom of independent living with constant emergency protection. It works just like a cordless phone on any standard phone line with 911 service and tone dialing. Talk directly through the pendant to a 911 operator at the push of a button. The pendant can be worn around the neck, clipped on a belt or carried in a pocket at all times.
A reacher is a handy tool for people with disabilities, back or leg disorders, or others with difficulty reaching or grabbing things from high and low places.
The length of different models varies from 26” to 48”. There are advantages and disadvantages to having a longer or shorter reacher. The longer reacher is harder to aim and therefore may be more difficult to use. A short one will tend to be lighter, easy to aim but might not allow you to reach far enough. The usual length is about 32”.
A transfer belt is used to assist a caregiver in moving a client from one place to another. It provides the caregiver something to hold on to when assisting the client thus making the transfer smoother. A transfer belt will make a tranfer more comfortable for the client. With the belt the caregiver will not be lifting by pulling under the arms.
The belt is placed around the individuals’ waist. Tighten the belt until you have two fingers between the waist and the belt for a proper fit. If the belt is too loose it could slip upwards injuring the individual or increase your risk of dropping them once the full weight is put on the belt A belt with a padded handle is easier to grip and increases the security and control when transferring the individual.