Using Assistive Devices
Assistive devices are tools that help people function independently - despite physical limitations or disabilities. Assistive devices help people perform daily activities, such as eatinig, dressing, talking, walking and driving.
Who Uses Assistive Devices?
Assistive devices are used by people who:
- Have temporary or permanent physical limitations.
- Are elderly.
- Have cognitive problems, such as memory loss.
- Have problems with their hearing or vision.
- Have a physical condition that causes them to tire out easily.
- Are recovering from surgery.
Assistive devices can really make a difference!
Tips for People Working With Assistive Devices
- Don't use towel racks or toilet paper holders to help stand.
- If you like to carry personal items with you, but have trouble holding them, wear an apron or clothing with large pockets.
- Try having a ribbon tied to your clothing zipper for a "homemade" zipper pull.
- A cane should be held on your strong side - unless otherwise directed by a physical therapist. The handle of the cane should be at your hip joint.
- Don't rest your weight on your armpits when using axillary crutches. Instead, your hands should bear your weight.
- If you use a walker, do not pick it up and carry it.
How Caregivers Can Help Clients Adapt
Keep in mind that some people need time to adjust to a new physical limitation. If you try to rush your clients to use a device before they have dealt with the emotional impact of their disability, they may reject the device.
You can impact how well your clients adapt to their need for assistive devices by:
- Being a good listener. Let your clients express their feelings about an assistive device.
- Remembering that your clients may be grieving over the loss of their independence and may need some time to get over the sadness.
- Introducing your clients to other people who are using the same device successfully.
- Focusing on what your clients are still able to do...not on what they can't do.
- Emphasizing the positive aspects of an assistive device.
To Your In-Home Care & Health Success!