From adapted utensils to grab rails, Ability Assist offers a wide range of aids to assist people with mobility impairments. Lindsey Hall from Ability Assist takes us through the offering.
Personal hygiene is important to all of us, with an emphasis on “personal”. It can be quite discouraging when a person is unable to carry out the most personal duties independently and has to rely on a caregiver to assist with getting in and out of the shower or cleaning up after using the bathroom.
A wheelchair user is not able to bath or shower in their wheelchair; thus they either need a stable shower chair, a self-propelling shower chair or a bath lift, if they prefer to bath. Grab rails on the walls are also essential for transferring safely from the wheelchair into the bath. A non-slip mat in the bath can assist with the transfer and avoid injury.
For people with limited hand dexterity, Ability Assist suggests the use of a foot brush, bath sponge, curved bath brush and wash mitten, which comes with or without a pocket for the soap. The latter has an adjustable cuff, which makes it fairly easy for the user to get their hand into the mitten.
The bottom wiper is a device that can be very useful for those who are unable to clean themselves after using the toilet.
There are various models to choose from. To view all the available personal hygiene products, visit the Ability Assist website here.
As difficult as personal hygiene can be, eating also poses a challenge for people with limited hand dexterity, especially when they are working with traditional eating utensils. Some injuries and diseases cause spasticity and jerking, which could result in food flying off a plate. The Ability Assist range of scoop plates or bowls are ideal, as they all feature a suction cup underneath. Alternatively, the individual can rely on a non-slip placemat.
The Amefa angled rocker knife is ideal for anyone with limited hand control or who has the use of only one hand, as it has an upright grip and cuts with a rocking motion so there is no need to steady the food with the other hand.
The built-up grips of the bendable utensils make grasping them much easier for someone who has a weak grip. There is also an optional utensil strap that fits around the hand to encourage independent eating. The fork and spoon can be bent, making it easier to bring the food up to the mouth.
The plate guard is a wonderful device that can be transported in a bag, but it will only fit a fairly large plate. This makes even eating out a fun activity!
Food preparation is often difficult for people with limited dexterity. Luckily there are many devices to assist with preparation and maintaining independence in the kitchen, such as the food workstation, kettle pourer, pot and pan holder and automatic can opener. For more information on the range of eating and cooking aids, visit the Ability Assist website here.