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List of Assistive Devices for Elderly

This is a list of assistive devices for the elderly. This article will list mobility aids like walkers or aids for dressing. There are devices for hearing Impaired and low vision. If you are modifying your home you will find assistive devices for the bathroom like safety and grooming devices. Also, if you have a garden you need to check gardening tools designed for seniors. You will find many more aids below!

Let’s start with walking canes, crutches and walkers…

Assistive aids for Balance and Mobility

Most seniors need help with mobility and balance, and the most obvious one here is the simple walking cane. These are more geared towards helping with balance, than about helping with mobility. Crutches are the obvious assist device if you have problems with your legs after an injury.

However, probably the best support device is the walker. These take all your weight yet allow you to walk along behind. Some have a seat fitted to the frame for the occasional rest period or have a shopping basket attached to help with carrying goods.

Aids for wheelchair Users

Wheelchairs are invaluable if the user has total mobility problems or is just unable to stand and walk for long periods. There are many different types of wheelchairs designed for a variety of different uses, far too many to be discussed here.

We’ll leave it up to the senior or their caregiver to discuss the requirements with a medical practitioner or mobility equipment retailer. However, one of the main problems with using wheelchairs is the lack of smooth shallow gradient ramps out here in the real world.

Although there are more and more ramps available in public buildings and department stores, the private home still lags behind. The obvious assistance device for wheelchairs has got to be a portable ramp that can help users manage front doorsteps as well as accessing disabled vehicles.

Another useful device always used in sports chairs, but rarely in general use chairs is the seatbelt. Many people who use wheelchairs lack the physical strength to sit upright. In this case, it’s best to use chairs with fitted, comfortable padded straps.

Aids for dressing

The problem with most dressing fasteners is that the buttons or zippers are usually too small to grip properly. There are various types of button hooks and zipper pulls available if you have problems holding small objects. Extended shoehorns help those who cannot bend. While, sock and stocking aids help to pull socks over the feet. Check more about dressing aids.

Assistive aids for Eating and Drinking

Seniors with gripping problems and those with uncontrollable tremors in hands and arms will find these very useful. Typical assistive devices include feeding beakers to prevent liquid spills, cutlery, and pens with large handle diameters. Others include non-slip placemats, cutlery with angled handles for those with limited wrist movement, and double-handled drinking mugs.

Devices for Reaching

If you are confined to a bed or cannot stretch, an extended arm reacher device will work wonders. Have a look around first as there are many different types to choose from. However, they all operate on essentially the same principle. They have a long stick with a handgrip and trigger at one end while on the other end there is a set of jaws or fingers.

Assistive aids for hearing Impaired

There are many devices available to help hearing-impaired seniors. One of the better ones is a vibrating alarm clock. It comes with a vibrating pad that slips beneath your pillow and vibrates when it’s time to wake up.

It’s always a problem knowing if someone is at the door if you can’t hear the doorbell or door knocker. It’s relatively simple to connect louder bells or use wireless Bluetooth to connect the bell push to a table lamp that flashes when someone is at the door.

Smoke alarms always seem to rely on being able to hear the alarm. However, you can buy smoke alarms that not only sound a loud alarm, they also flash a strobe light and use vibrations to warn the user.

Personal television earphones are really useful. These have their own volume control and use wireless Bluetooth to connect to the TV. This allows other viewers in the same room to set the volume to a more reasonable level. There are also phones specially designed for hearing impaired.

Aids for low Vision

Many seniors suffer from low vision brought about by a variety of diseases and injuries. Typical age-related disorders include macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Assistive devices fall into three categories:

  • Optical devices. Such as magnifiers, strong reading glasses, loupes, and illuminated magnifiers.
  • Non-optical devices. This category contains items such as reading stands, additional lighting, absorptive sunglasses and tactile dots such as the Braille language. You normally use these in conjunction with the optical devices.
  • Electronic devices. These are electronic viewers that scan and display text and other items. A hand control or a touchscreen interface usually operate these. This device is similar to those used in a digital camera or phone camera.

RELATED: Reading aids for the elderly

Devices for bathroom

It’s amazing how simple devices save so much effort for the elderly and disabled. Handgrip bars fitted by the toilet, shower, and bathtub allows users to support themselves if they have balance issues. If gripping small objects is a problem then push-on soft rubber sleeves over faucet handles will help.

Another useful yet simple device is a shower seat installed within the shower cubicle. This allows seniors to sit while washing and helps if balance issues are a problem.

Assistive aids for Grooming

Grooming usually involves holding and manipulating scissors or razors or holding objects such as hair driers and scrubbing brushes. All these are difficult to use if you have problems with hand tremors or limited reach.

You can use nail scissors with long handles, and safety razors with large diameter handles. If your limbs are wrapped in bandages or plaster casts, you’ll have problems trying to keep them dry in the shower. Cast protectors, made from latex-free plastic with a tight-sealing ring, will keep surgical dressings dry.

For those with limited reach, long bent handled scrubbing brushes allow you to scrub your own back in the shower. If you have limited hand function or arthritis, it isn’t always possible to hold a hairdryer for long periods. The hairdryer stand is a simple and innovative device that grips a standard dryer and allows you to point it in the direction you want.

Assistive Devices for Gardening

Gardening is one of the outdoor hobbies that a senior can take pride in. Not only is it a valuable exercise in its own right, but it is also mentally stimulating and relaxing, and gets the senior out in the fresh air and sunshine.

Common gardening aids include large diameter handles for hand tools such as trowels, and kneelers with support handles to allow the user to partially kneel when working in the soil. You might find wheelbarrows heavy to lift and awkward to maneuver, so choose those made from lightweight plastic, with a ball wheel or better yet, use a three-wheeled trolley.

What’s next?

You need to stay active, exercise every day even if you use an assistive device, check some tips on how to exercise with a walker. Maybe you will find that exercises with resistance bands are fun.

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