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6 Independent Living Aids to Make Life Easier

by Jessica Hegg November 17, 2016

silhouette of man

Have you ever feared of losing your ability to perform, simple, everyday tasks you normally wouldn't think twice about?

Buttoning your shirt, slipping on your shoes, or even retrieving an item out of your cabinet can become daunting tasks and the fear of losing your independence becomes a reality.

So, how to we battle this hindering notion?

#1 Do NOT get discouraged!

Morale is important here. It's easy to give up, but that's not going to make the situation any better.

#2 Utilize independent living aids

The goal is to decrease dependency for people of all ages. When deciding on which tools are right for you, be sure to take into consideration what tasks are the most challenging and what you need the most assistance with.

We compiled a quick list of what we think are some of the best independent living aids to have on hand!

1) Reacher Grabber:

These handy reacher grabber tools are designed to help those who have limited reaching or grasping capabilities or mobility restrictions.

The Perks:
-Ability to  pick up items  of all shapes and sizes
-Reach for objects from a distance, and minimize the risk of injury associated with overreaching
-Great for mobility problems and for those who have difficulty over-reaching or moving.
-Easy to use; hold by the handle, and squeeze the trigger.
-Head of reacher can be rotated 90-degrees to be used either vertically or horizontally
-Fits behind furniture or appliances
** Learn more about the different variations that are also available.

2) Weighted Utensils:

A weighted utensil set makes a big impact on those who are struggling with dexterity related issues, such as Parkinsons or spasticity.

The Perks:
-Weighted handles allows for utensils to stabilize while eating.
-Makes it easier to eat and minimizes tremors 
-Provides an increase in hand control
-Large, ribbed, rubber handles make the utensils easy to grip and fit comfortably in hand.
-Promotes confidence while eating and allows you to feed yourself without assistance.

3) Shower Seat:

A shower seat is considered one of the most beneficial independent living aids available and help those who need assistance bathing maintain their privacy.

The Perks:
-Minimizes risk of falls and injuries in the shower/bath
-Portable [lightweight] design allows you to take in and out of your shower as needed and conveniently store away when not in use. 
-Height can be adjusted for comfortability 
-Textured seat eliminates the chance of seat becoming slippery
-Promotes safety and independence while bathing
-Rubber feet give maximum grip on surface of shower or tub 
**Research other styles to find which is best fit for you and your bathroom

4) Button Hook:

The button hook is great for those who struggle with fine motor skills due to existing or developing conditions 

The Perks:
-Makes buttoning and zippering clothing easy
-Decreases pain associated with the attempt to use fine motor skills
-Rubber grip fits comfortably in hand and increase control
-Increases independent health by eliminating the need for assistance while dressing.

5) Bed Rail:

A bed safety rail works wonders for those who are struggling with mobility to safely get in and out of bed.

The Perks:
-Ensures safety and security while getting in and out of bed
-Decreases the risk of falls
-Can easily be removed and stored away when not in use
-Adjustable height allows the rail to secure to the side of most bed sizes
-Foam handle grips allow for firm and secure grip

6) Dressing Stick:

The dressing stick is another independent living aid that provides assistance while dressing for anyone who may have a limited range of motion.

The Perks:
-Reduces the risk of injuries due to overreaching 
-Easily put on or remove clothing and outerwear
-Good for hard to reach straps
-Durable wood frame allows for use with heavier winter clothes
-Provides extended reach
-Equipped with "S" hook and zipper pull to tackle different types of clothing 

How Independent Living Aids Can Improve Your Life:

As we grow older, everyday tasks become more difficult with every passing day and dependency on others will start to affect us both physically and mentally because becoming dependent on others (even for the smallest of tasks) is a huge adjustment.

old man smiling

Physical Benefits:

  • Maintaining strength and balance
  • Daily tasks become easier
  • Improves mobility and functionality
  • Maintain existing independence
  • Higher quality of life
  • Reduced risk of injuries

A person’s endurance dramatically improves their strength and mobility. Maintaining that endurance allows you to feel better and complete tasks without getting out of breath. Regular exercise is vital for everyone, including those without disabilities, for the prevention of illnesses or medical conditions. The more you follow a regular exercise regime, the better you will feel. The better you feel, the more likely you’ll be able to maintain your independence with little to no assistance.

Psychological Benefits:

  • Boosted mood (increased motivation)
  • Less anxiety
  • Improved functioning of daily activities
  • Higher levels of cognition
  • Decreased levels of depression
  • Decrease in risk of developing incontinence
  • Improvement of physical ability.
  • Extended life

We can really suffer mentally when our mobility or daily activities become limited. It is easy to get discouraged and even fall into some level of depression.  Independent living aids can boost your confidence and allow you to continue performing your daily tasks.

Take back your independent health!

The desire to control your life is normal and independence is something most of us never want to lose.  With the accessibility to independent living aids, we are able to decrease dependency and improve our quality of life.

As we grow older, we are constantly faced with challenges, but the real test is...

How are you going to adapt?

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

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