Independence is a wonderful and freeing feeling that people seek throughout the entirety of their lives. Independence permits people to go about their day without needing to wait for assistance or rely on others to complete a task. It is of high importance for many people to be able to maintain their independence, especially as they grow older, become weaker, less coordinated and less able to carry out daily tasks. It is nice to know that although certain tasks may seem to get harder, there are a variety of aids that can assist and help people perform tasks, allowing users to maintain their independence and continue to live life to the fullest.
Living independently means being able to carry out your daily tasks by yourself safely and effectively. Unfortunately, people are injured, weakened or simply do not have the tools to complete certain tasks. Below you will find some aids that can assist daily tasks in different rooms of the house.
IN THE KITCHEN
Kitchen aids are very helpful when it comes to making and preparing food. Clamps and bottle holders aid in opening containers by holding the can/jar/bottle in place permitting the use of only one hand. This can be very helpful for those who have weakness, reduced coordination, sensation and/or proprioception of their hands or wrists. Specialised cutting boards also exist to aid people who can only use one hand. These cutting boards are designed with spikes to grip onto food and raised edges to hold food in place while cutting, dicing, slicing, chopping and peeling food or spreading spreads onto bread. Kettle tippers are also a fantastic device to help overcome weakness problems. The tippers hold the kettle in place while the user moves the base to tip and pour the water.
IN THE DINING ROOM
Sometimes eating and drinking can pose a challenge when living independently if you have decreased use of your hands. Specialised cutlery sets can help where weakness and/or coordination is a problem. Larger hand-grips provide a bigger surface to hold on and utilise when cutting up and eating food assisting with restricted grips and weakened hands. Angled forks, spoons and knives are also a great modification that allow one handed use when eating.
IN THE BEDROOM
There are many daily living aids that can assist with tasks undertaken in the bedroom such as, getting in and out of bed and getting dressed. Getting in and out of bed can be difficult and time consuming if someone is weaker or has difficulty lifting their upper body up and over their legs. There is a simple device called an over bed frame which can help. Over bed frames sit over the top of a bed where they provide a rail or hook for someone to hold onto and pull themselves up allowing them to sit up, reposition themselves and get out of bed. A simple device like this can be highly beneficial for someone in need and will majorly assist in independent living where necessary.
To get dressed you need to have strength, flexibility to bend and reach and good motor control of your hands and fingers. For people lacking any of these, getting dressed can be challenging, specifically when putting on socks and stockings or doing up buttons. There are a large variety of aids that can help you put on and pull up your socks and stockings. These aids work in different ways to grip onto your socks and allows you to pull on the aid which will in turn lift-up your socks.
When you are lacking motor control of your fingers, the kings button hook is a very handy tool that helps you do up your buttons. This button hook has a wired design that slips through the button holes, grips onto the button and pulls it through. A time-saving, well-designed little helper.
Reacher grabbers can also assist in the bedroom (and all over the house) when you need to reach and pick something up that may be too low or too high to reach. This device is designed with a handle and trigger at one end which operates a clamp at the other end to pick up what you need. This is a very handy and useful tool which can be used for many different tasks making them easier and assisting with independent living.
IN THE BATHROOM
There is an extensive range of bathroom and toileting aids to assist with independent living. These aids help to make the bathroom a safer and more well-equipped room in the house.
Rails are an easy to use aid that can transform a bathroom into a much safer and more secure environment. Rails can be installed next to toilets and in showers/baths to provide an extra surface to hold onto increasing stability and safety within a wet environment where slips and falls are more prevalent.
Shower seats and stools are great to use in the shower when someone is more at risk of falling. Shower chairs are made with specialised materials to guarantee they do not rust as well as ensuring stability and safety within the shower. These chairs can be accompanied by rails to increase safety and support if needed.
In addition to rails and shower seats, bathmats are a great and simple idea to add that extra bit of safety to your bathroom. These mats are placed on the floor within a bath or shower and feature a textured surface to stand on to help prevent slipping.
Running a bath, taking a shower or simply turning on a tap can be quite difficult when you lack grip-strength. Tap turners are a wonderful aid that can help. Tap turners attach or clamp onto taps and are designed with a long handle. These handles create an easy-to-grip lever making turning on a tap a much easier process. These are fantastic aids for the bathroom and toilet to ensure independent living can continue in every room of the house.
Reaching and flexibility is something that may be overlooked but is highly necessary in the bathroom and toilet. To wash yourself in the shower you need to be able to manoeuvre your arms and legs, bending forwards, sidewards and backwards if necessary and be able to reach your head, back and toes. When using the toilet wiping can be quite difficult if you lack the ability to reach or use your hands and arms properly. Long-handled aids such as bathing sponges and wipers are highly useful in the bath/shower and toilet. These aids limit the amount of bending and reaching you need to do while washing yourself in the shower or wiping yourself while on the toilet. For individuals in need, these aids are extremely helpful.
Independent living can come with many small (or big) challenges and difficulties. Daily aids help alleviate some of these challenges making daily life easier and more manageable. Daily aids are great tools to help assist individuals with reduced strength, flexibility and coordination.
If you would like to view Safety and Mobility’s full range of daily aid products, please view our product directory here. For further information on any of our products please email or call our friendly staff who are happy to help.