Community carers play an essential role in supporting individuals to live independently and with dignity. One of the challenges that carers face is helping their clients with various activities of daily living, which can include using the toilet, dining, and preventing falls. However, with the help of assistive aids, community carers can improve the quality of life of their clients and make their job easier. In this blog post, we will explore the top assistive aids for community carers.
Hoists and Slings
Hoists and slings are essential aids for carers who need to transfer clients who are unable to move independently from one place to another, such as from bed to a wheelchair or vice versa. These aids reduce the risk of injury to both the carer and the client, and ensure that the transfer is safe and comfortable. Hoists come in a variety of different styles, depending on the needs of the client. There are multiple attachments and options that can make toileting and transfers a great deal easier and safer. Slings too, come with a multitude of options – some are specifically designed for toileting, or amputees and even for pediatric clients. Fabric, mesh and even disposable slings mean that a client’s needs can almost always be accommodated. Ensuring that you are utilizing the correct type of hoist and sling is critical for the comfort and safety of both the client and carer – an occupational therapist, manual handling expert or other clinician associated with the care of the client is the ideal person to consult on these matters.
Dining can be a challenging activity for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, and community carers play a vital role in helping their clients with mealtimes. Dining aids can make the task of eating and drinking more comfortable and enjoyable for clients, and also make it easier for community carers to assist them. Some examples of dining aids include specially designed bowls and plates, adaptive utensils, dysphagia cups, and dining bibs. These aids are designed to help clients with limited hand dexterity or weakened grip, or swallowing issues and can reduce the risk of spills and accidents. With the help of dining aids, community carers can ensure that their clients are receiving proper nutrition and hydration, and help them to maintain their independence and dignity.
Walking aids such as walking frames and crutches are essential for individuals with mobility issues. Community carers can assist their clients in using these aids, which will help them to move around the house and carry out daily activities. Walking aids are also useful in preventing falls and reducing the risk of injury. Rollators – sometime also known as Walkers, are a popular choice for people who are still relatively mobile and can be used both in the home as well as during outings, for example to the shops or a doctor’s appointment. Walking belts are also a useful aid for assisted standing and walking, making a carer’s role safer and easier. These belts come in different sizes and various closure methods to make sure there is a suitable option for most clients.
Wheelchairs are essential aids for individuals who are unable to walk independently. Community carers can assist their clients in using wheelchairs, which can improve their mobility and independence. With the help of wheelchairs, clients can move around the house and go out into the community with ease. Transit wheelchairs are specifically designed to allow a carer to control the wheelchair, with lightweight models easily collapsed for transporting in a car. Some wheelchair models are able to be tilted/reclined by the carer for optimal patient positioning.
Shower Chairs and Bathing Aids
Showering and bathing can be challenging for individuals with mobility issues. Shower chairs and bathing aids such as bath transfer benches and bath boards can help clients to bathe safely and comfortably. Community carers can assist their clients in using these aids, which will help them to maintain their personal hygiene. For clients who require more support for bathing and toileting, a mobile shower commode can assist a carer to move, position and support a client during these times. They are comfortable for the client, but importantly make sure that the carer is able to move the client safely without injury to themselves as well.
In conclusion, assistive aids can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals with mobility issues and their carers. Community carers should be aware of the various assistive aids available to them and their clients, which can help them to carry out their job effectively and safely. The aids discussed in this post are just a few examples of the many assistive aids that can improve the quality of life of both clients and carers. We encourage you to be in touch with us if you would like to discuss which aids may be beneficial to you as a carer, or to your clients.
Photo by Cliff Booth: https://www.pexels.com/photo/women-eating-near-a-white-wall-4058053/