What length would you go to make independent living a reality? Most people say they will do “whatever it takes,” but there are always a few who refuse because they think using an assistive device will make them look old. It is time to get over the notion that using an “assistive device” will make you a freak, and hone in on what is really important.
Explore the world of “assistive devices” and let technology work for you. Consider using a hearing aid, a cane or any other device that will help you live normally. An “assistive device” is any item, piece of equipment, or system that can be used to increase or maintain your ability to functional normally.
Simply put an “assistive device” is anything that helps you do for yourself, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. For example: a $5 zipper pull, a long handled shoehorn, or a $20 reacher-stick might be all it takes to help you dress yourself. A few home modifications and a basket full of tools can make a difference.
The term assistive technology can mean anything from the simplest gadget to the most sophisticated home monitoring systems. The most common are the supportive technologies or the simple tools that make everyday tasks easier (specialized utensils, grab bars, bath benches, zipper rings and button hooks). The most widely advertised are the detection devices that help manage risks and raise alarms (smoke detectors and panic buttons). Less common, but already available, are the monitors with prevention in mind (sophisticated monitors and alarms that can assess and track unusual occurrences in your home).
Assistive devices can be used by older people to maintain quality of life despite chronic disabilities. An Occupational Therapist can do a customized assessment of your needs and point you in the right direction.