Equipment to help
There is lots of equipment that can help you carry out daily living tasks: everything from helping to get out of bed to getting into the bath. We call this: "assistive technology".
At some time in our lives, perhaps because of disability or just getting older, many of us find it more difficult to carry out everyday tasks. This might be getting out of your chair or feeling a bit wobbly when you have, or struggling to climb into the bath. Sometimes, just getting the lid off a jar or lifting a heavy kettle can be difficult. Not being able to clearly see buttons on controls or read instructions brings its own difficulties. Many people don't ask for help because they feel this is giving up independence. In fact, "assistive technology" can mean that you don't have to rely on others and can stay independent for longer.
There are literally hundreds of aids that can help you carry on living independently. Everything from eating, dressing and bathing to simply getting around your home. For example:
- Getting in and out of the bath safely can be a real problem. Equipment to help includes grab rails and seats to lower you into the bath. Once in the bath, non-slip mats and stools keep you safe and comfortable.
- There are many different designs of "walkers" to help you get around with confidence. There are three and four wheeled versions that can be used indoors or out. Some of these have a seat to let you rest, or a bag for your shopping.
- Getting in and out of bed can be made easier with a simple rail that clamps to the bed. Sometimes, raising the bed a few inches is all that is needed and there are adjustable blocks to do this. Adjustable backrests and tables can make it easier and more comfortable to eat or read in bed.
- There is also a wide range of simple electronic aids that can help with all aspects of daily living, from reminding you to take medication, finding your keys or bag, remotely controlling electrical appliances, or just using the phone.
This is only a summary of what is available. Whatever your problem, there is almost certainly a solution for you.
There are a number of organisations who provide equipment and advice. Some of these are listed in our service provider directory.
If you're not sure whether there is equipment that can help, you could visit one of our Independent Living Centres. This is a great way to see and try out equipment without any pressure. Some items of equipment can even be borrowed to try at home. In addition, Occupational Therapy and other staff at the centres can offer free and impartial assessment and advice. Alternatively, one of our Occupational Therapists can visit you at home to talk about what you might need.
If you have a sight or hearing impairment, we also have Sight and Hearing Centres. Like Independent Living Centres, these offer an opportunity to see and try out specialist equipment and get advice. Alternatively, a member of one of our Sight and Hearing Teams can visit you at home.
Occupational Therapists, and the equipment we offer, helps people with carrying out tasks rather than getting about. If you are having problems with moving around the house or outdoors, you should ask your GP to get a physiotherapist to see you.
Mobility aids such as walkers and wheelchairs are available from the NHS, you can talk to your GP for more details.
Mobility scooters are only available for private purchase and providers may be found on our service user directory
In many cases, quite simple and inexpensive pieces of equipment may be all you need. Our centres, or one of the mobility shops across Dorset can advise.
There is no charge to visit one of our Independent Living Centres or Sight and Hearing Centres and advice and equipment loan is free. There is also no charge for an assessment by an Occupational Therapist or member of the Sight and Hearing Team.
If you are eligible for our help, we may be able to provide you with some basic equipment free of charge.
We can also provide larger and more complex items of equipment. For example: electric beds and hoists, pressure relief equipment and nursing equipment. If you are eligible for our help, we may provide this equipment free of charge and pay the rental charge.
To see if you are eligible, please get in touch with us.
Some people who use equipment round the home also find home adaptations helpful.
One form of assistive technology is "Telecare". This is a remote alarm system that takes a lot of the worry out of living at home. It lets others know when you need help.
You can find information about equipment that can help with daily living from one of the many equipment suppliers in Dorset. However, you can get impartial information about daily living aids from the Disability Living Foundation (opens in a new window) (DLF). This is a national charity that provides impartial advice, information and training on daily living aids. The DLF offers two ways to get advice: