Argyll & Bute: Aids & equipment > Services and Suppliers services
Disability equipment services are services that enable elderly disabled people to access products for their personal use. These are products designed solely for chronically sick or disabled people. Professional staff, mainly qualified Occupational Therapists who are also known as OTs, assess peoples needs for disability equipment and aids. An assessment of your individual needs for disability equipment and disability aids, either by Social or Health Care Professionals, is important to obtaining the right aids and equipment for your own needs. Disability aids and equipment facilitate independence at home, and Occupational Therapists enable people with disabilities to carry out daily living activities, with the aim of maintaining or improving independence. Daily living activities mean any way in which people spend their time, from personal care (washing, dressing, toileting) to productivity (paid or unpaid work, housework, education) to leisure (games, sports, hobbies, social activities). Organisations can provide a range of products to help and support older people who have a physical disability and have difficulty managing everyday activities and have difficulty getting in and out and around your home. A specialist needs assessment can help you to access a range of equipment to meet your needs, enabling you to maintain your independence and safety in your own home. There is a large range of mobility aids and equipment, and an assessment for mobility aids and mobility equipment can help to recommend what is best for you – mobility aids and mobility equipment include stair lifts, wheelchairs, mobility scooters or buggies, and walking aids such as Zimmer frames, walkers, walking frames, mobility chairs, and walking sticks. There also is a wide range of daily living aids which can assist you to bathe, dress, prepare food and drinks, and enjoy leisure activities. Bathroom equipment can include bath seats, raised toilet seats, bath rails and commodes. Daily living equipment includes eating aids like adapted cutlery and plates, dressing aids such as gadgets to help with zippers or stockings, back cushions, as well as household aids such as trolleys and gadgets to help pick up things from the floor. There are hoists to help move someone, and bed blocks can make it easier to get in and out of bed by raising its height. Reading aids and writing aids also help older people to maintain their independence, and there is a range of equipment for people with a sensory disability such as flashing door bells and telephone aids for sight impaired people. Occupational Therapists can help with making a home safer for getting around by, for example, the installation of hand rails and ramps, or raising the height of the bed/chair so that standing up is much easier for a person with stiff, painful hips and knees, and reducing anxiety and helping people raise their confidence about getting around or managing their disability. At the same time they can assist carers to keep their caring role, by arranging the right aids and equipment for the cared for person. Disabled Living Centres may be able to arrange demonstrations of various equipment and aids, to help people who wish to purchase aids and equipment direct from suppliers. You can also visit the Disabled Living Foundation website for advice on choosing equipment.
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