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advice on choosing aids for extra mobility, elderly, uk

 


Assistive Devices

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See Also: Care Options / Care at Home / Role of the Independent Care Adviser / Assistive Devices / Convalescence, Rehabilitation and Respite Care

Information on Assistive Devices is detailed below. Please note that every individual's situation is unique. For advice tailored to your specific needs it is suggested you speak to an Independent Care Adviser and an Occupational Therapist.

Assistive Devices is the term used to cover a multitude of aids for individuals to use in and around home and for improved mobility outside. Assistive devices can be provided, sometimes free of charge, following an Occupational Therapy Assessment or purchased independently.

Types of Assistive Device

Assistive Devices can include small items, such as grab rails, special cutlery, walking sticks, walking frames and adapted shoe horns, through to larger items, such as riser/recliner chairs, bath seats, stair lifts, hoists, adjustable beds, ramps, motorised scooters and wheelchairs.

Certain "medical items", such as, hospital beds or commodes are usually arranged via the Community Nursing Services.
Health and Social Care Professionals can source Assistive Devices from a central store on behalf of their clients, subject to an assessment of need.

Assessment

In the majority of cases, an Occupational Therapy Assessment will be required to help identify the tasks an individual will need assistance with. This is most commonly arranged either in hospital, as part of the discharge procedure, or in the community by the local Social Services Department.

This assessment will help to determine which equipment and adaptations are required to promote the individual¡¦s independence and ensure both their own and their carer¡¦s safety. It will also recommend the source of equipment and/or adaptations required. Installation of equipment and training in its use should be overseen by the Occupational Therapist. Occupational Therapy Assessments can also be arranged privately. To find an Occupational Therapist in your area, the Directory of Occupational Therapists in Independent Practice is a useful source of information: www.cotss-ip.org.uk/

Paying for Assistive Devices

Some smaller items of equipment and certain medical items are generally provided free of charge.

Adaptations to the home and some larger pieces of equipment may be paid for with a Disabled Facilities Grant. This grant is means-tested. If an individual does not qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant, he or she will generally have to pay for adaptations or purchase the equipment privately.

There are a number of mainly common-sense issues to address when purchasing an Assistive Device:

  • Use a quality manufacturer and distributor.
  • Ensure the product is demonstrated prior to purchase.
  • Ensure delivery and installation are included in the price.
  • Consider the second-hand market.
  • Check guarantees.
  • Check after-sales service.
  • Consider availability of Government assistance.
If you require further assistance or would like to speak to the Independent Care Adviser this site recommends please call 0800 137 669 or complete the e-mail enquiry form.
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