Solution Name: Adaptive Equipment Plan Page 1/2
Solution Plan: Adaptive equipment are devices used to assist with completing activities of daily living. Bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and feeding are self-care activities that are including in the spectrum of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
Consider using some of the following materials and equipment to help promote greater independence when eating:
Adapted plates or dishes
A high-sided plate (regular or partitioned), or a scoop plate.
Such dishes are good for the visually disabled population because they give them a physical barrier to push their food up against.
For those who have physical difficulty holding things in their hands, utensils with built-up handles (foam or manufactured super grip) and hollow-handled or cuffed utensils may help.
Hollow-handled utensils allow a helper to insert a finger into the handle to teach the correct motion of scooping.
Adapted utensils might also work with those who have tactile or sensory deficits, coordination problems, or reduced strength.
Angled spoons may help get the food to their mouth more successfully because they require less wrist movement.
Weighted utensils are good for those who need more feedback to help them grade their force when scooping food onto the utensil or if they have tremors/unsteadiness in their hands.
A rocker knife or T-shaped rocker knife can be helpful for people who have the use of only one hand.
Cooking Skills and Food Preparation
Adaptive equipment can also help develop more independence with cooking skills and food preparation, especially those who have the use of only one hand.
Spread boards can be used to stabilize a slice of bread, so that it does not move when spreading food over on top.
Two pins on an adapted cutting board will hold food in place during cutting tasks.
A one-handed dish scrubber can be suctioned to the bottom or side of the sink to let you wash dishes, bowls, cups, and utensils with one hand.
Suction cups keeps the pan from turning when cooking on the stove.
Individuals with physical or visual impairments can use adaptive equipment to dress themselves more independently. Individuals with limited functional reach to their lower extremities can use a long-handled shoehorn to independently put on and take off their shoes.
For people who cannot tie their shoelaces because of physical or cognitive limitations, elastic shoelaces are an option, as are shoes with Velcro closures. Elastic laces turn regular laced shoes into slip-on shoes by letting the tongue of the shoe stretch to accommodate the foot. They come in two different types
Tongs work well for an individual in a wheelchair who has some vision. The tongs let the individual pick up items that have dropped on the floor.
For some individuals with limited functional reach to their lower extremities, a dressing stick makes putting on and removing socks or pants simpler. Most of the dressing sticks can also be used as a shoehorn, but they may not be as comfortable for this use as the metal shoehorns.
For individuals who cannot bend down to touch their toes, the sock aid can help them get the sock over their foot (some coordination is necessary, and some vision helps).
For the those who lack fine motor coordination or who have the use of only one hand, a button hook or a zipper pull might be useful.
Velcro adaptations can be made on clothing for individuals that have difficulty with fasteners, such as those often found on pants.
Some individuals use a device known as a Dressing Bar. Someone in a wheelchair that has upper body strength and some coordination in his/her hands can use the dressing bar to pull to standing and then pull his/her pants/underwear up or down. Those who have less upper body strength or coordination skills can hold onto the dressing bar while being assisted with their pants/underwear.
Solution Name: Adaptive Equipment Plan 2/2
Spotlight on Clothing and Dressing Hints
Look for items with Velcro closures or snaps rather than buttons, or consider altering your existing clothing with these closures.
• Homemade zipper pulls can be made by tying on a piece of cloth or attaching a circular key ring, piece of fishing line, or other object.
• Rub the lead from a pencil on the teeth of a sticky zipper to make it easier to pull.
• Slip-on shoes are easiest for dressing, and those with Velcro closures avoid laces.
• Spiral, “no-tie” shoelaces just need to be twisted once or twice and allow you to secure a shoe without having to tie a knot.
• Elastic shoelaces look like regular laces except for the elastic “give.” The elasticity will allow you to slip shoes on or off more easily. • Long handled shoehorns are helpful for slipping on shoes without having to bend down as far.
• Sock aids prevent you from having to bend down to slip on socks. One version holds the open sock at the end of a U-shaped device that has long rope handles. Another consists of a wire or plastic frame that holds socks or stockings in place for the foot to be slipped into. Caregivers can place socks on these aids in advance for the next dressing time.
• Whenever possible, sit while dressing so you can safely rest as needed. If one side of the body is weaker, it takes less effort to dress this side first. For example, put the weaker arm into the shirt sleeve first, the stronger arm next.
The foam described above for use with eating utensils can also be used on other things, such as toothbrushes, razors, hairbrushes, and pens.
Toothpaste dispensers can help individuals with limited finger/hand function or visual impairments put the correct amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush. The main drawbacks to these dispensers are the price (they can be rather expensive) and they only work with Aqua-Fresh 4.3- or 4.6-oz pump toothpaste.
Spray-extenders can help people with decreased movement, control, or strength in their fingers.
There are also soap dispensers with single (like the ones you see in the public restrooms) and multiple containers that can be mounted in the shower/bathtub area for easier access for people with limited hand function or use of only one working hand.
Long-handled sponges allow people with limited reach to wash their backs, lower legs, and feet.
Adaptive devices such as button hooks, key holders, utensils with built-up handles, plate guards, tub transfer seats, lifting cushions, and raised toilet seats make it easier for you to perform daily living tasks. Other aids, or orthotic devices, include wrist supports to assist weak muscles and improve hand function, hand splints for positioning, and neck supports to help support and protect your head and neck.
Home and work modifications include ramps (see picture at right), widened doorways, raised seating, walk-in showers and rails. The OT also assesses safety and helps you and your family structure your environment to reduce falls. Ergonomic devices such as computer arm supports, armrests, footrests, and the no-hands or easy-touch mouse can enable those with severe arm weakness to continue working, maintain productivity at home, and enhance their quality of life.
Help with activities of daily living
Many devices have been designed to help you preserve the ability to perform daily tasks by modifying commonly used items. Other assistive devices make use of the stronger or unaffected muscles to increase efficiency and performance of daily tasks. For example, the button hook allows you to button clothing with a gripping motion rather than relying on finger strength and dexterity.
The following is a sample of the many simple assistive devices available. Each is designed to allow you to continue with normal activities for as long as possible. Most can be found through medical or rehabilitation equipment dealers, or by searching the Internet for “daily living aids.” In some cases, you can create these and similar devices yourself.
Button hook- Finger dexterity is required for buttoning clothing. If this is a problem, you may elect to use Velcro in place of buttons, use oversized buttons with large loops, or wear clothing that requires no fasteners. An alternative to these methods is the use of a button hook
Zipper pull- Adequate strength in fingers and arms is necessary to grip and zip a zipper. With increasing weakness individual may need to use a zipper with a loop placed through the pull or clothing that requires no fasteners, or a zipper pull.
Bath mitt -If holding soap and a washcloth is difficult, a bath mitt may solve the problem. Insert your hand and the soap into the terrycloth “pocket” and close it with Velcro.
Description: Samson Preston Partitioned Scoop Dish
Description: T-Grip Rocker Knife with Plastic Blue Handle
Description: Adaptive Utensils (4 Piece Kitchen Set)
Description: Lock-Laces- Elastic No Tie Shoelaces
Description: Unger Professional Nabber Reacher Grabber
Description: Metal Shoehorn, Extra Long
7. Dressing Stick
Description: Dressing stick with zipper puller
8. Long handled sponge
Description: Sammons Preston Bath Sponge