Limbs just don’t work like they used to, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying regular activities. Mechanical daily living aids have been around for centuries. One of the earliest references of the use of daily living aids dates back to 4000 BC in Indian mythology where a warrior queen used an iron prosthetic in place of one of her legs lost in battle9. Nowadays, daily living aids aren’t just prosthetics or wheelchairs, but a wide array of helpful products that are easily available and make modern day life, where we are staying alive for longer and longer, a little more manageable.
Having difficulty holding things in your hands can be very frustrating when trying to write a letter or use modern technology. These actions require precise finger dexterity. Thankfully, slip on hand aids allow the wearer to forego the use of fingers in exchange for a well-fitting band that goes around your hand. Attached to this band is usually either a long, usually metal, stick with a grippy square stopper at the end for easy pinpointing, pens, or pencils. Difficulty pressing buttons that are close together, such as on a keyboard, can be a thing of the past, along with dropping the pen or veering off the page while writing. With these devices, you can easily guide the end of your pencil or stylus in a more precise fashion.
It’s not uncommon to experience other types of hand deterioration besides loss of dexterity in the later stages of life. Strength, too, can be a problem. Aids such as tippers and jar openers, for example, are great tools to combat this. Jar openers reduce the usual strain on both hands opening a jar requires. There are many different kinds out there, from manual ones to electric ones. Tippers can also be manual or electric. They are platforms, usually triangular in shape, that help you pour things without spilling by keeping things such as kettles steady. Opening a jar and pouring some tea seem like simple tasks, but without the use of tools they may be impossible. Having these tools at your disposal can feel very empowering.
Mobility aids assist in improving the mobility of people, such as assisting in walking or allowing a person to forego walking all together. Depending on the level of assistance needed, there is an assortment of products available. For those with very limited mobility, electric wheelchairs and seated scooters are the best option. Plenty of customizable options with these: speed, comfort, tire quality, packaged tools, etc. Other people, who may still prefer to walk, but have great difficulty doing so, may benefit more from walkers. Those with more mobility should look into adopting a cane. There are even canes that double as grabbers for those that need help reaching things far away.
These are just a few categories of daily living aids available on the market today, and only a few items from those categories. Despite the negative image daily living aids have, using them is not admitting impairment, it’s restoring independence and the ease of life back into daily activities. Performing daily routine tasks shouldn’t be a struggle, and daily living aids allow older adults to enjoy life to the fullest.