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How To Maintain Independence With The Use Of Daily Living Aids

Posted by Mike Phipps on December 10, 2018

Daily living aids to maintain independence and make everyday life easier

A woman sitting in a chair

This article was updated on 23/04/2024.

Daily living aids are beneficial to everyday life, as they can help make difficult tasks simpler without the need to make alterations to your home. From getting dressed and opening windows, to enjoying a book or taking medication, there’s a daily living aid for every need to make life around the home easier.

What are the benefits of daily living aids?

For individuals who are disabled, older, or living with conditions like a backache, a daily living aid can make the world of a difference. Tasks like reaching up or down, remembering to take medication or writing can be a struggle but daily living aids can help with making these tasks easier and much more comfortable to do. Additionally, daily living aids are much cheaper than re-designing and re-building rooms for convenience, and most can be carried around with you when out and about.

How do daily living aids help to make your home accessible?

Different living aids have different purposes and they help to make your home accessible in a variety of ways. For example: 

Daily living aids to help with dressing

Dressing and personal grooming aids can aid getting ready, making the daily task much easier and quicker. A product like a dressing stick or a button hook can enable you to get dressed one-handed, which is ideal for people who have had a stroke, with limited mobility on one side of their body or for amputees. If bending down or reaching up is a struggle, a product like a sock aid or a long-handled brush is great for reaching without having to stretch, making tasks like putting on socks or brushing your hair much easier and more comfortable.

Daily living aids to help with medication

Medication organisers and pill splitters can help keep pills and tablets safe and make swallowing them easier, especially if you have multiple types to take. It’s important to take the right tablets at the right time but it can be easy to get muddled and mix them up or even forget to take them. Keep your medication organised and tidy by storing it in a pill dispenser, which is labelled according to the days of the week and different times during the day, such as morning and evening. If you have problems swallowing large pills, a pill splitter can cut them up to make swallowing them easier. To remind yourself of when to take your medication, products like pill boxes with reminders can help notify you of when it’s time to take your tablets.


Daily living aids to help with reading and writing

There are many daily living aids which can help to make reading and writing easier if you have limited dexterity or low vision. If you have limited vision, a full page magnifier makes it easier and more comfortable to enjoy a book or a newspaper without putting a strain on your eyes. A clip-on book light aids your vision while reading by illuminating the page. A book rest is ideal if you have limited use of your arms or hands, they even act as a great way to keep you on the same page when following a recipe. When writing, a pen or pencil grip is a good way to make holding your writing utensil more comfortable and gives you a better grip.

Daily living aids to help with exercising and physical therapy

Gentle exercisers and therapy aids are among the daily living products which can help to build up and maintain strength. If you find exercise difficult or you’re going through physiotherapy, a simple exerciser like a gel ball can help to strengthen your hand muscles and improve dexterity. Therapy putty helps to exercise hands and wrists and is also a great stress buster.  A game of boccia is a fun team game and easy to play indoors or outdoors, but if you fancy a simple exercise to do, a pedal exerciser can be used whilst sitting, whether at home or in the office.

Daily living aids to help around the home

Household aids like grabbers and reachers are ideal to use in any room to make you more independent in your home. Reachers are especially useful if you struggle to bend down to retrieve things, as they require no stretching and have comfortable ergonomic handles for easy gripping. Similarly, an extendable duster or a window pull work in the same way. Their elongated handles are ideal for reaching high-up windows or hard-to-dust shelves. If you struggle with tasks like turning keys or pulling plugs out of sockets, simple yet effective products like key turners and plug mates are perfect for comfortably carrying out these actions. Grab bars and rails are always useful to place around the home to provide stability and support in any room.


Kate Makin, OT

Kate Makin, Ability Superstore's Occupational Therapist

Kate Makin qualified as an occupational therapist (OT) in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).

As a registered occupational therapist (OT), Kate is a science degree-based, health and social care professional, taking a “whole person” approach to both physical and mental health and wellbeing. This enables individuals, of all ages, to achieve their full potential and lead as independent life as possible.

Click here for Kate’s registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Throughout her career, Kate has worked in many different clinical settings, in both the public and private sector. Kate has been running her own independent occupational therapist business since 2009. She is passionate about disability aids and adaptations, with a specialist interest in postural management and seating.

As Ability Superstore’s resident OT, Kate is on hand to offer professional advice and answer any queries.