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Daily Living Aids for the Handicapped or Disabled

Updated on August 9, 2013

Daily living aids for the handicapped or disabled person - what are they and where do you get them?!

The inspiration for this Squidoo article daily living aids for the handicapped or disabled person is asleep in her nursing home rehabilitation room - and she's snoring. That's because she finished a grueling 1.5 hours of physical therapy today on her quest to recover from a broken hip and come home again. She is 95, she is my mother, and she is one of the most amazing women I have ever met.

But, as I sit beside her and start to consider the changes to my household in order to bring her home, I started thinking about things that would make her (and my life as her caregiver) easier and, even more important, safer.

This lens is dedicated to all of those in rehab and their caregivers - it is at once the most difficult of jobs and the most rewarding. I'm hoping that the items I've found to help with daily tasks for the handicapped or disabled person will help those who may follow in my path one day. I hope that day is a L-O-N-G way off for you!

NOTE: This is my 100th Squidoo article! I made it - slowly but surely. To read more of my elder care articles, visit my Caregiver and elder care directory. And, for more living aids or gifts for senior citizens, you might want to visit Great gifts for senior citizens where I spotlight some items you might now have thought about.

photo phone
photo phone

Daily living aids for the handicapped or disabled person

Problem #1: It may be difficult to use a standard telephone

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Depending on the disability, it might be difficult to dial a phone or, if one can dial, to hear the other person. My Mom, at 95, can't remember much so dialing a phone number is out. In fact, remembering who she just dialed (if she managed) is difficult too. There are, though, some good phone aids to make the daily task of answering or calling easier. See the photo phones I've listed below.

Large Button Photo Phones for the Elderly
Come see a whole lot more large button photo phones for the elderly in this other accompanying article written by me.

Senior Citizen Caregiving 101: Things I wish I had known - My new eBook

Senior citizen caregiving 101: Things I wish I'd known
Senior citizen caregiving 101: Things I wish I'd known

I published my new eBook 17FEB13 after much detailing the last 5 years of caring for Mom. I floundered a bit on my way to becoming a good caregiver and have written 15 chapters documenting how you don't have to!

 

Daily living aids for the handicapped or disabled person

Problem #2: Feeding oneself may be difficult

As my mom ages, the dexterity in her arthritic hands decreases, seemingly by the day. I'm always on the lookout for items that will help her feed herself for as long as possible. She can no longer cook her own meals but, by golly, she can eat them! For more about the nutritional needs of the elderly, come visit my Squidoo article: Healthy eating for senior citizens.

Note to caregivers: Although it may be much easier to take over feeding your handicapped or disabled patient, don't do it! Allowing the handicapped or disabled to do the things they can still do is very important in their satisfaction with daily life. It's for this reason that I sometimes do laundry twice a day, changing Mom's gown and robe to rid it of tasty food morsels. It's also the reason I have a dog trained to the command "Clean Gert." Killian (my Australian Shepherd) will put his two front legs on the side of Mom's chair and reach over to eat any food remaining off of her lap.

Note: that picture is Mom holding a delicious dessert shooter I made - a very small dessert usually served in glasses from 2-5 ounces. Read more about dessert shooters in my Squidoo article: Dessert Shooters - the newest craze in mini desserts.

To see more about Killian and his training, please come read my Squidoo article How to calm down an energetic dog.

Dressing aids are a great gift for a senior loved one

Allowing your favorite senior citizen to care for themselves as much as possible should be your focus. These dressing aids will help them do just that:

Premium Molded Stocking Aid CHECK PRICE

Mabis Dmi Healthcare Dressing Aid Kits, Blue, One CHECK PRICE

Sock aid with foam gripCHECK PRICE

Daily living aids for the handicapped or disabled person - Problem #3: Dressing oneself isn't a picnic either....

Forget buttons or zippers when it comes to Mom dressing herself - in fact, I blew this one 4 years ago when I started to dress her myself (should have known better but live and learn). Regardless, there are some good products on the market to aid the handicapped or disabled in getting dressed or undressed as the case may be.

Have trouble putting on socks? Here's some dressing aids on Amazon.com

Even pulling up socks can be a tortuous task for those among us with limited mobility. But, never fear - I've found some wonderful daily dressing aids to help the handicapped or disabled put on their own socks.

Sock and Shoe Kit! - Perfect gift for the handicapped or disabled patient

I am a sucker for anything that says "kit" as I always think I get more and, well, isn't that a good thing? In this case it is as this sock and shoe extender kit so you have everything you need to get your feet dressed.

Daily living aids for the handicapped or disabled person

Problem #4: I can't get that from here!

Ever tried to reach to the top shelf of a cabinet and you just stretch and stretch but you just can't reach it? My Mom's left shoulder has bursitis and, when it acts up, she's basically left with no use in that arm - she can't reach anything. But, with the use of a reacher, she's mostly back in business (well, Killian also will pick up anything she needs as long as it's not food - he just eats that....).

In the picture, she's working in a physical therapy session to loosen her shoulders by batting a balloon around. She's a trooper!

Reacher tools on Amazon.com

Reacher tools have come a long way from the simple prongs of old.

Wheelchair pouches add carrying power

I know how difficult it can be juggling a purse, keys, and assorted sundries when I take Mom out in her wheelchair. We have a small pouch on the back which is ok but one of the larger ones is a great addition to any wheelchair.

Mom has lived with me 5 years now, since my adorable father died. They had a 65.5 year love affair and now she's all mine. I've learned a lot as I've become a caregiver to her and have written a lot of articles about senior citizen care. I still love to hear from my readers though. Please leave me comments - note: anyone may comment (you don't have to be a Squidoo subscriber to leave me a little something!).

Do you have a senior citizen in your life who needs help with daily activities?

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    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 

      5 years ago

      Being a paraplegic myself I have or have had all of these items and used them. They work real well for not only handicapped folks but a lot of the reacher's are great tools for shopping for anyone who wants items on the top shelves at the store. Wonderful lens from one handicapped person that knows.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading your lens, informative with a personal touch. Anyone who comes across this lens will find inspiration in one way or another.

      Thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      An excellent presentation of assistive technology to enable independence and you ladies have once again teamed up to help others through their challenges so beautifully, blessed!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      So many things can make life easier, but it is hard to find out about them. Thanks for gathering them here.

    • gottaloveit2 profile imageAUTHOR

      gottaloveit2 

      6 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Thanks you so much for your angel blessings. I really appreciate you reading my stuff.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Your articles on disability and handicap aides is very right on with the needs of the disabled and the elderly. Being disabled I know this first hand. The very best of seasons blessings to you and yours.

    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 

      6 years ago

      This is a very important topic. We can go much deeper on this topic in future for "healthier community" discussions with healthcare reform 2012. Congrad on your 100 lense award. I just go mines yesterday. Thanks.

    • gottaloveit2 profile imageAUTHOR

      gottaloveit2 

      6 years ago

      @Frischy: Thanks. Mom is doing fairly well. I, however, am about to lose my mind. I'm so thankful that I have Squidoo to keep me writing!

    • gottaloveit2 profile imageAUTHOR

      gottaloveit2 

      6 years ago

      @Frischy: Thanks. Mom is doing fairly well. I, however, am about to lose my mind. I'm so thankful that I have Squidoo to keep me writing!

    • gottaloveit2 profile imageAUTHOR

      gottaloveit2 

      6 years ago

      @burntchestnut: Excellent idea! I use a really large spoon for my Mom which works ok but a straw is a great suggestion for broths.

    • profile image

      burntchestnut 

      6 years ago

      Great lens. I didn't know some of those aids existed. I have a tip. One of my older neighbors was having a hard time eating soup in a restaurant because she has shaky hands. I suggested she use a straw and it worked perfectly. Of course, this is only for clear soups.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 

      6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I am sorry to learn that your mother broke her hip. My grandmother broke hers at the age of 83, about 11 years ago. We were all amazed how quickly she was able to bounce back. I hope your mother enjoys a similar speedy recovery. Congratulations on #100! Great job!

    • profile image

      Baby_Love 

      6 years ago

      My Dad uses one of those reacher tools. It's real handy!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Oh, Lori, you've done it again! These are amazing aids for seniors! My dad used a sock horn and had a large number phone (that photo phone is great!). I like the food aids too. And if you could train dogs from afar to "Clean (insert elder/child's name)" you'd be rich!

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