Assistive Devices and Strategies

FACT:


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Assistive devices for physical deficits include:

  • (Shoes) Long-handled shoe horns and sock-aids, velcro or elastic shoelaces

  • (Clothing) Velcro or snaps on clothing to replace zippers or buttons
  • (Handling) Dycem (a sheet of sticky material) or a sheet of non-adhesive shelf liner can be used to hold items in place while stirring food or sanding wood
  • (Dining) A rocker knife can be used to cut meat with one hand and a pizza cutter can cut softer items
  • (Cooking) A one-handed can opener can be found in discount stores
  • (Writing) Foam tubing can be used to build up pencils and paint brushes
  • (Speech/Communication) Smart phone and tablet apps that can convert speech to text for people who have difficulty typing or convert text to speech for those with difficulty speaking
  • (Recreation) Equipment from fishing poles to knitting aids can be adapted
  • (Driving) Hand controls and foot pedal adapters for driving
  • (Typing) Enlarged keyboards and landline phones


Suggestions to help memory include:

  • A calendar posted in a visible location to keep track of and prepare for upcoming events

  • A daily schedule to help stay on track and complete daily activities
  • Checklists in key locations, such as in the bathroom with steps for the morning routine or by the back door with a list of items to remember when leaving the house to help ensure activities are completed
  • Laminated checklists with a dry erase marker to check off items
  • Pill organizers for medication management.  Loading them once a week saves time and makes it easy to see if the medication was taken
  • SmartPens can save handwritten notes in a digital format for use later
  • Recording devices to aid recall for key things like doctor’s appointments
  • Emergency response devices that can be pressed for help and report GPS location
  • Apps to send alerts for taking medication
  • A “memory station” to keep wallets, keys, phone, and other important items
  • Keep items in the house and at work in the same places so they are easily located
  • Label cabinets and drawers