Help devices make life easier
Initially, Piyushi Dhir, who lives in Ontario, Canada with his parents and grandparents, noticed that his grandfather needed more time to get off the couch. In time, he would need a hand. Dhir was worried about falling. He bought her a portable standing aid, an autonomous rail that she could use for stability as she lifted to her feet.
The ongoing support not only improved his grandfather’s quality of life, but also “helped him regain some of his independence,” Dhir says. He didn’t have to trust others so much.
As you get older, it can become more difficult to do certain things, such as read the fine print, put it in a dress, or slip into a slippery container. Support devices allow you to perform these tasks with less mine. They protect your joints and prevent injuries.
“Support devices help make everyday activities easier and safer,” says Elin Schold Davis, an occupational therapist in Minneapolis and coordinator of former leaders of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
“Support devices are a multitude of tools, devices and technologies designed to help people perform a specific function,” says Lynda Shrager, an occupational therapist in Albany (NY) and CEO of At Home for Life. They start with a simple opener and renovate high-tech homes. They are useful for older adults. For example, a grab bar can prevent a bone from falling and breaking, Shrager says.
What support devices do you need?
“It can be hard to accept that you need a support device,” says Dr. Scott Trudeau, head of productive aging practices at the American Occupational Therapy Association. But it’s important to invest early. “Get them to do something as soon as it’s a little harder or as soon as you notice that your foot is unstable,” he says. “You don’t want to fall and wait until something breaks.”
Talk to your doctor, who may make suggestions or contact an occupational therapist. They can examine your home and recommend the best support devices for you. You can also consider a list of tested support devices for each section of your home.