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Better Living Author March 20, 2019

How Do You Know Which Assistive Device to Choose? A Guide to Home Care Assistance

Do you feel unsteady on your feet or you’re experiencing issues with your balance? Are you frustrated because you are less able to do the things you were able to perform easily? Feeling bad about yourself is probably a normal reaction but don’t ever think that you are alone. Some people of your age probably share the same problem and react the same way. As we age, our physical capabilities decline. Strength, endurance and flexibility decreases. Common daily tasks become increasingly more challenging.

Other factors that lead to balance problems include chronic illnesses, leg muscle weakness, medication side effects, hospitalization, vision problems, and physical injuries. However, instead of losing hope, how about finding a solution to slowly gain your strength back and maintain your independence? Thanks to the smart people who discovered the gadgets known as assistive devices. With the right selection of daily living aids, you can regain your confidence and become safer and comfortable at your own home. If you want to know more about assistive devices or adaptive equipment then continue to scroll down and I will walk you over different kinds of these helpful devices to support you to become as independent as possible even with your physical limitations.

ASSISTIVE DEVICES

  • Canes – comes in a variety of styles, with different support structures, handle, shapes and fashion features. It supports up to 25% of your weight. Single point canes work for mild balance issue such as when your leg feels weak due to pain. Quad canes consist of 4 feet to provide more stability and support. There are also folding canes available that can be packed in a bag in case you need it.
  • Walkers - It can support up to 50% of your body weight. It is ideal for weak knees or ankles, severe balance problems or when bearing weight on one leg is painful. Standard walker, usually the aluminum ones, doesn’t have wheels and must be lifted to move. However, it can easily be converted into a front wheel walker or 2-wheeled walker by purchasing the additional wheels. Another kind is a Rollator or a 4-wheeled walker usually with a seat included that is handy if you need to take breaks in between your walks and allows you to store or carry small items wherever you go.
  • Wheelchairs – Wheelchairs aren’t just for people who can’t walk. It also enablessome people who can walk but tire easily to enjoy long walks to malls, parks, and grocery stores. .
  • Scooters- A battery-operated scooter offers a pricey alternative compare to a wheelchair. It is amobility aid designed to make it much easier to get around. Some people use their mobility scooter in place of walking, taking public transit, or relying on a lift from another person, to get around their local area with minimal trouble. Others use their scooter to get around the house if walking is difficult..

ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENTS

These are devices used to help with performing daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, cooking, and feeding. These devices are used by those with physical limitations or disabilities to improve the level of function to help them be as independent as possible.

  • Reachers – It promotes a sense of independence by allowing a person to pick up small things around the house, reach into a cabinet and pluck items out of arm’s length off shelves. Some kind has a handgrip that allows you to use all your fingers to close the jaw for a better grip. Many folds for easy carrying.
  • Dressing sticks- this is good for reaching behind when you get the shirt over your arm or when you put on your pants while preventing you from straining.
  • Sock Aids- this is used when you are unable to reach over to put your socks on. This is true as they are often out of your reach. This is recommended when you had a hip replacement and you are not allowed to bend over 90 degrees
  • Shoe horn – help to slide your heel into your shoe
  • Button hook – this is used when you have a decreased hand strength or very poor fine motor skills which gives you difficulty to put your button in.
  • Long handled sponges – this can be used when you are taking a bath and you are unable to reach your back completely. It can also be used when reaching the bottom of your feet without bending too much
  • Hand-held shower – It gives you an option to sit safely while showering. It is easily adjustable and removable from the holder for you to directly spray the water where it’s needed.
  • Transfer bench – It provides a safer and easier way to get into and out of the shower. The bench is adjustable to fit in the bathtub and has an option to have an opening just like a commode to make perineal care easier.
  • Non-slip bath mats- This mat has suction cups that help hold the mat in place. Ensure that the tub or shower floor is clean and dry before applying any non-slip material.
  • Grab bar – It provides support when sitting, standing or if you’re bending over to wash your feet
  • Raised toilet seat with frames – it provides guide and support to safely get on and off the toilet
  • Bedside commode- A commode offers more safety for people with reduced mobility to reduce the risk of injury by minimizing travel time, especially at night between the bed and the toilet.

At Better Living Home Care Services, we truly care about your overall wellbeing. If you are finding yourself having trouble managing on your own, we would love to help you explore your options regarding home care assistance. We provide home care services ranging from respite care to end-of-life care. Call our Client Care Coordinator at (604) 765-1827 for more information.

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