Assistive Devices Promote Independence

December 20, 2013


Assistive devicescan add independence to daily routines

Assistive devicescan add independence to daily routines

Personal care aids can help family caregivers provide personal care to their aging parents and other loved ones. As our ability to take care of our personal needs decreases, taking care of personal needs becomes an even more important aspect of caregiving.

For instance,  declining vision makes it more difficult to tend to personal grooming details such as maintaining facial hair growth.  The addition of an wall-mounted illuminated magnifying mirror in the bathroom will encourage keener attention to detail.  Or, if clipping toenails is a challenge for someone with balance or flexibility concerns, then overall foot health declines and this can lead to ingrown toenails and other problems. Larger nail clippers with a broad gripping area may solve the issue.

For more complex areas of grooming difficulties, there are plenty of personal care aids that address the needs of aging parents.  For instance, there are even more nail clipping options:

  • More good news for the toes!  For difficulty in bending, or if holding onto traditional toenail clippers is an issue, there are solutions. Some companies make special toenail clippers that are on the end of a short metal rod.  These can enable a person to reach the toenails without having to bend so far over.  If gripping is a problem, some clippers are made with a special base that can help. The clippers are put on the floor, where they are supported by the base, and the toenail can then be inserted into a more secure piece of equipment for clipping.
  • Wash under the toes, too.  That’s not all that needs to be done with the toes.  Washing under the feet is important, but difficulty in reaching them can again be a problem.  Fortunately, sponges that are attached to the end of plastic poles can make this task easier.  You can use these to reach under the foot (and on top, too).  For safety, this is something that is best performed while seated.
  • Watch the soap.  Slippery soap can be a problem; it may fall out of your hands, forcing you to try to bend over and making the tub floor slippery as well.  Consider using liquid soap on a sponge instead.  For further ease, use a sponge attached to a plastic pole; this can help you get to those hard-to-reach places.  If you continue with bar soap, you may want to investigate purchasing a soap mitt; this will have a handy pocket where you can keep the soap.
  • The eyes have it.  Putting in eye drops can be a pain.  Make things easier by keeping an eye drop guide in your bathroom. Look for one that not only holds the dropper bottle in place but that also helps to position the lower eyelid to help eliminate blinking.

Taking care of basic daily routines can be made easier with the adoption of personal care aids, new techniques and an ability to try new ways to accomplish old chores.  Check out some of the companies that provide personal products and assistive devices.

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