Aids for daily living, adaptive equipment, assistive medical devices…three terms used to describe things that help you put your socks on & pick up stuff that you drop. But it goes far beyond that. Products such as adaptive utensils, nosey cups and glossectomy spoons help prevent dehydration and malnutrition. Long-handled bathing sponges and self-wiping aids ward off infections due to improper grooming. Gait belts and transfer boards help caregivers transfer their patients without straining their backs. Finding the right solution to a daily living issue just may help a person stay in their home a little longer.
The first room in the home to become “adaptive” is often the bathroom. Grab bars, raised toilet seats, shower chairs and transfer boards cover the key areas where a person could fall or get hurt. Items that help in the kitchen include Dycem to keep bowls and plates from slipping, jar openers and knob turners. Good Grips® created a complete set of eating utensils with their built up, comfortable grips. In the bedroom, bed rails and rope ladders prevent falls. Necessities can be kept close by attaching a bedrail organizer, bedside beverage holder or a bookstand. These handy items are a good start to maintaining independence, but sometimes they aren’t enough. The Twin Cities is lucky to have construction companies that specifically focus on adaptive remodeling. Widening doorways, lowering countertops and installing durable flooring and roll-in showers are big jobs that companies such as Equal Access Homes can handle. LCSI installs lift and transfer equipment in homes, care facilities and hospitals. Spending time and money on making a home accessible can prevent injuries and protect your home investment.
Many aids for daily living were created by people who were looking for a creative solution. The residents and staff of Inglis House, a long-term care facility in Pennsylvania, were so concerned with people with physical disabilities not getting enough water that they developed a revolutionary water bottle called Drink-Aide. Drink-Aide is assembled, packaged, tested and distributed by Inglis House residents who work in the vocational rehabilitation program. The Maddak Awards Program was started to provide a forum for occupational therapists and students to share their ideas
and innovations with each other. Maddak, Inc. supports products such as the Eye Drop Guide which was developed in collaboration with the British Royal National Institute for the Blind. Body Cooler and Body Warmer products, made in Houston, Texas, help regulate body temperatures using NASA spin-off technology. So trust your instincts—your homemade daily living solution could be tomorrow’s newest invention!
Lisa Schmidtke is the President and Founder of House-calls Network. Their Web site, www.housecalls-network.com, contains a directory of resources that can help the growing population of seniors, disabled people and their caregivers live independently. Housecalls Network also sells aids for daily lving and adaptive clothing. Lisa Schmidtke can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 952-221-0722. Housecalls Network does not endorse any particular provider and assumes no responsibility for transactions between the readers of this article and listed organizations.
Housecalls Network: 952-221-0722;
All Lift Chairs: 800-285-2584; www.all-lift-chairs.com
Body Cooler: 800-209-2665; www.bodycooler.com
Cause I Care Gifts & Gift Baskets; www.causeicare.com
Clever Products: 888-253-8378; www.ez-doesit.net
Colored Plastics Canes; www.coloredplastics.com
Drink Aide: 800-336-7022; www.drink-aide.com
Equal Access Homes: 651-450-6292
Good Grips: www.goodgrips.com
Maddak: 973-628-7600; http://service.maddak.com