Self-Help AidsThere are dozens of types of self-help aids, from simple medication organizers to lift chairs. Here are some of the most common aids and why you might want them.
Medication AidsFor people taking multiple medications, simply keeping track of what to take and when to take it can be a chore. Opening pill bottles can be difficult. When taking medication that needs to be split or crushed, it’s even more complicated. Medication aids make it easier.
Medication aids include things such as:
- Pill organizers, which help you keep track of what medication to take and what time of day to take them
- Medication timers, which can be programmed to remind you when it’s time to take your medication
- Pill splitters, which neatly and efficiently divide pills for you.
- Pill Crushers, which effortlessly pulverize pills.
- Easy-open pill bottle caps, which allow people with poor manual dexterity to grip and take off lids
Grabbers and Reaching AidsFor people with limited mobility or poor balance, simply reaching up to a high shelf or bending over to retrieve something from the floor can be impossible. However, a grabber, is a tube with pinchers at one end and a trigger at the other that allows people to reach and grasp items that might otherwise remain out of reach.
Dressing AidsBending to put on socks or shoes can be a struggle, as can buttons and even zippers. However, stocking aids (which assist in donning socks), long-handled shoehorns (which make shoes easy to slip on), button hooks (which pull buttons through buttonholes), and zipper pulls (which grab zipper tabs and make them easy to pull) can help those with mobility issues to dress.
Dining AidsMastering dinnerware may be a challenge for people with impaired hand functionality, such as advanced arthritis. However, adaptive dinnerware such as non-spill bowls and two-handled mugs can reduce accidents. In addition, flatware with oversized and ergonomic handles can be easier for those with limited grip to grasp.
Self-Transfer AidsGetting in and out of bed, sitting down and rising from chairs, and getting into and out of cars can seem like an impossible task. However, many self-transfer aids allow people to make these transitions themselves rather than relying on others, even if they use a wheelchair.
- Transfer boards help those in wheelchairs transfer themselves to other seats.
- Seat lifts are unique cushions that sit atop a chair seat or sofa. They are mechanical devices that, when engaged, raise the back of the cushion and help the user to stand up. Seat lifts can be manual or motorized.
- Couch canes are free-standing, cane-like devices with a base that slips under the sofa's edge and a solid, non-slip hand grip that the user can grasp to help them rise to a standing position.
- Bed canes are similar, but slip between mattress and box springs and help the user sit up.
- Swivel cushions are circular cushions that sit on a standard car seat. The cushion contains a mechanism that allows it to swivel (like an old-fashioned bar stool or lazy Susan), making it easy for the user to maneuver in and out of the car.