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Meet Natasha, our Occupational Therapist

Natasha's Recommended Living Aids

What are the benefits of a Living Aid?

It can often be the smaller day to day tasks that can cause the most frustration. Not being able to open a tin of beans, struggling to lift the kettle or being unable to prepare your medications can make you dependent on friends and family when you are otherwise independent. Struggling to do the things you've always enjoyed can be equally as frustrating gardening, cooking and even reading a book can pose challenges if you have dexterity problems, visual problems or pains in your joints.

Thankfully, with a few carefully chosen daily living aids you can regain much independence and certainly improve your confidence and safety in the home. Something as simple as a Handy Grabber can be hugely versatile: helping you reach the high shelves, pick up dropped items from the floor and reach into the depths of the laundry basket and washing machine. However, with so many items available to help at home it can get confusing, and making sure you choose the right item for your unique needs can be a challenge. The tips and advice below, as well as my favourite living aids, will hopefully help you find the right equipment.

Look out for:

Long handled aids - Helpful if you struggle to reach down to your lower half or get light headed or off balance when you bend.

Add-on handles - No need to buy new cutlery or gardening tools if your grip is weak, just add a different handle style or size to your existing items.

Non-slip sheets - A highly versatile fabric that can be cut to any size or shape and attached to almost any surface to stop things slipping or sliding. Try on crockery and trays, rugs and laptops.

Grabbers - With a variety of grip and trigger options, and available in different lengths, you can choose the exact item you need.

My Favourite Living Aids

Living aids are the perfect tools for the home. Whether you need a hand getting into cans or tins or you struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder over winter, the daily living aids below will help you go about your day comfortably and independently.

SAD Light Pad
SAD Light Pad
£39.99 SAVE £60
Tornado Tin Opener
Tornado Tin Opener
£11.99 SAVE £8
Arthritis Friendly Cutlery
Arthritis Friendly Cutlery
£6.99
Pedal Exerciser
Pedal Exerciser
£21.95
Clear Display LCD Clock
Clear Display LCD Clock
£29.99 SAVE £70
SAD Light Pad (with Medical Approval)
SAD Light Pad (with Medical Approval)
SAD Light Pad (with Medical Approval)
SAD Light Pad (with Medical Approval)
SAD Light Pad (with Medical Approval)
Product Code: DL08127
5 Star Rating5 / 5
£39.99 with VAT Relief Vat
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£47.99 inc VAT (RRP: £99.99)

Who could benefit?

Anyone could get the benefits of this treatment, not just known SAD sufferers.

What makes it useful?

The impact of daylight on your mood is significantly underestimated. Our bodies rely heavily on exposure to sunlight to produce Vitamin D, which we all know strengthens our bones but it also greatly affects our mood. Anyone with mobility difficulties can find it even harder to get outside into the daylight in the cold winter months. This alone can impact on anyone's mood but for those experiencing SAD, the omission of daylight can also affect their sleep, their energy levels and their mood. The beauty of this device is its simplicity. You just switch it on and carry on your daily routines. It's portable so you can use it anywhere in the house, or at work.

Things to consider

These devices are most effective if the light is close to your face, so on a low table next a high sided armchair may not offer good results. What will be the best time of day for you to sit still for long enough to benefit from it? It may be that having it near your computer when you're sat static for a while might be quite natural. This particular device is not a sunrise alarm clock so it does not allow you to pre-program it to wake you up naturally.

Find out more
Tornado Tin Opener SAD Light Pad (with Medical Approval)
Tornado Tin Opener
Tornado Tin Opener
Tornado Tin Opener
Tornado Tin Opener
Product Code: DL06074
5 Star Rating5 / 5
£11.99 with VAT Relief Vat
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£14.39 inc VAT (RRP: £19.99)

Who could benefit?

The Tornado Tin Opener is great for those with arthritis, anyone who struggles with their grip or anyone who only has the use of one hand.

What makes it useful?

The automatic nature of the opener means you need almost no strength in your hands to use it. It is operated with a single touch button, so there's very little room for confusion when operating it. The colours are bright and contrasting making it easier to use for those with visual problems, and it works on rectangular tins including those with ring pulls. Cutting the outside of the tin reduces the sharp edges and having such a wide grasp means it is easy to grip even if you have poor movement in your hands.

Things to consider

The magnet is not always strong enough to remove the lid so you may still have to use your grip to lift this off. You may find you need a few attempts to connect the opener to the tin on first use as it mounts over the top of the lid to the far side of the tin, rather than traditional openers that attach to the near side outer edge, but the instructions do include pictures which is helpful. Adding 4 AA batteries creates a total weight of 300g, making it just less than the weight of a tin of beans. If this is too heavy for you to comfortably lift then a smaller, lighter automatic tin opener may be more useful.

Find out more
CareCo Arthritis Friendly Cutlery Set Tornado Tin Opener
CareCo Arthritis Friendly Cutlery Set
CareCo Arthritis Friendly Cutlery Set
CareCo Arthritis Friendly Cutlery Set
CareCo Arthritis Friendly Cutlery Set
Product Code: DL04908
5 Star Rating5 / 5
£6.99 with VAT Relief Vat
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£8.39 inc VAT

Who could benefit?

This is perfect for people who struggle to hold standard cutlery, either through weak grip or reduced finger movement.

What makes it useful?

The grips are ergonomic and shaped with three sides to help support a standard grasp position even if you can't bend your fingers as much as you used to. The handles are made from lightweight foam, so they are warm to touch great if you have sensory sensitivities and can be rotated, so you can adapt them to a position that's comfortable for you, whether left or right handed.

Things to consider

There are a huge amount of different handle styles and cutlery shapes available these days. It is not always the handle that is the issue consider the weight of the cutlery and the strength of your grip, think about the movement in your whole arm and not just your fingers. Sometimes it's the cutting movement of the knife that's the problem rather than not being able to hold the knife. In this case it would be useful to consider other knife styles, like a rocker blade or an L-shaped knife.

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Pedal Exerciser with Digital Display CareCo Arthritis Friendly Cutlery Set
Pedal Exerciser with Digital Display
Pedal Exerciser with Digital Display
Pedal Exerciser with Digital Display
Pedal Exerciser with Digital Display
Product Code: RR07002
4.5 Star Rating4.5 / 5
£21.95 inc VAT Vat
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Who could benefit?

People with joint stiffness, inactive individuals and those with poor mobility after a fall will find this product useful.

What makes it useful?

If your balance is not good, or you get tired just by standing up and walking, you may have decided exercise is too hazardous for you, but this little device can really help. It will allow you to do a seated exercise regime in the comfort of your own home. You can do it while watching TV, checking your emails or even when you have company, so you won't need to find extra time in your day to do it. You will feel safe, steady and a bit fitter! The option to increase the resistance means you can use it for gentle exercise to loosen up your joints, particularly useful if you have any conditions that make you stiff at the knees, or you can increase the resistance for a more cardio based workout with a strength building focus, which is great if you have muscle weakness, are recovering from some surgeries and injuries or if you need to lose weight. The digital display gives you useful feedback to help you set yourself a goal and improve on it every time!

Things to consider

The digital screen size is a little small so if you have visual problems or you are unable to safely bend down to read the screen you may not find the feedback that easy to use. The button for the display is also small but is operated with a very light touch. To change the resistance once you've put the exerciser on the floor you will have to bend forwards to operate it, so be careful if you have balance problems, back issues or suffer with vertigo or low blood pressure symptoms which may make you dizzy. Make sure you are able to move it away from the front of the chair to stop it becoming a tripping hazard when you stand or wander around the room. If you are going to store it away, are you able to get down on to the floor to lift and fold it up?

Find out more
Clear Display LCD Clock Pedal Exerciser with Digital Display
Clear Display LCD Clock
Clear Display LCD Clock
Clear Display LCD Clock
Clear Display LCD Clock
Product Code: DL12029
4.5 Star Rating4.5 / 5
£29.99 with VAT Relief Vat
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This product does not qualify for VAT relief.

£35.99 inc VAT (RRP: £99.99)

Who could benefit?

This product is useful for anyone with memory difficulties or visual problem, or those who suffer with confusion or disorientation.

What makes it useful?

The large display makes it easy to read and understand even from a distance. The simplicity of the information on display reduces the risk of confusion and distraction for those users who find it hard to concentrate and remember things. Devices like this are great to help people with memory issues stay orientated in the home, particularly if they live alone. The benefit of this design is that it not only displays the time but the day of the week and the date, without being an overly busy screen because of the size of the face. It can be wall mounted or stood up. It's a perpetual clock, so you'll never have to worry about changing the date or day to accommodate leap years and shorter months.

Things to consider

Who will change the batteries, or check that it is still working?

Find out more
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