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Daily living equipment factsheets

What is daily living equipment?

Daily living equipment and technology (also called assistive technology) are items of equipment that can help people with their everyday tasks. They support people to manage their own health and stay independent and safe in their own homes.

The equipment can range from expensive ‘high tech’ items, such as digital hearing aids, stair lifts and smart speakers. To ‘low tech’ items, such as jar openers, long-handled shoe horns and eye drop dispensers. These are much cheaper, ranging from £1 - £15, but they are still very helpful for making everyday tasks easier.

How do I know which products or equipment I will need?

If you (or someone you care for) are struggling with everyday tasks, but you're not sure what equipment could help, then these websites and organisations can help:

Staffordshire County Council

Our Happy at Home pages have lots of information on daily living equipment and technology. This includes an ‘interactive house’, which allows you to search for useful products that are relevant to each room of the house. 

AskSARA

The AskSARA website can guide you through what equipment you might need. Just choose a topic, answer some questions and get some ideas and advice.

Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)

DLF is a national charity providing advice and information on independent living. They have a helpline if you need free, impartial advice about mobility products or other types of daily living equipment. Call them on 0300 999 0004 (Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm). 

Community Help Points

If you need further assistance and don’t have access to the internet, please call Staffordshire Cares on 0300 111 8010, and ask to be put in touch with your nearest Community Help Point. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, except bank holidays. 

Where can I buy daily living equipment?

As people go through life, they may need some extra help to stay independent and safe in their own homes. Buying some simple daily living equipment or technology can really help people to manage their everyday tasks on their own.

Happy at Home

The Happy at Home ‘interactive house’ allows you to search for useful products that are relevant to each room of the house.  It links to the Living Made Easy website, which is a comparison website for daily living equipment, where you can easily compare and buy products from a range of companies. 

Shopping around is also recommended, so you may want to consider the following places:

Local High Street

You can buy lots of equipment from the local high streete.g. Argos, Wilko, pharmacies, pound shops and supermarkets. The equipment does not have to be expensive. Lots of items can be bought for under £15.

Specialist high street stores

There are also specialist high street storesin Staffordshire that sell larger equipment e.g. power riser chairs and electric scooters. They also sell cheaper day to day equipment.

Online catalogues

Some specialist stores have online catalogues e.g. Living Made Easy, NRS Healthcare, Complete Care Shop. Some general stores also sell daily living equipment e.g. Amazon, Boots, Argos.

Staffordshire Connects

Take a look at Staffordshire Connects to find out where you can buy equipment in Staffordshire. This website lists local and national retailers. Go to the ‘Adults and Communities’ section and take a look at the ‘Equipment and Technology’ page.

Please note: Staffordshire County Council are not endorsing any particular products or companies. These factsheets are just to make people aware of the range of items available.


Factsheet topics

  

Dressing

Find products to help you get dressed
  

Personal hygiene

Find products to help you get keep up with personal hygiene
  

Reminders

Find products to help you get memory and remembering
  

Medication

Find products to help you with your medication
  

Food and drink prep

Find products to help you prepare food and drink
  

Digital technology

Find easy to use digital technology products
  

Gardening aids

Find products to help you with your gardening
  

Hobbies and leisure

Find products to help you with hobbies, games and leisure
  

Useful equipment

Find useful day-to-day equipment.

Dressing

Here are some examples of daily living equipment that can help with dressing. 

Elastic shoelaces

These allow shoes to be slipped on or off without tying or untying laces.

Sock and stocking aids

These may help if you have difficulty bending forwards to put on socks, stockings, tights and compression stockings. There are flexible and rigid styles. There are also stocking aids specifically designed for putting on compression stockings, as these can be quite difficult to put on and take off.

Dressing stick and shoehorn

This dressing stick has an ‘S’ shape hook at one end to help put on jackets, shirts, skirts and trousers. Plus it has a useful shoehorn at the other end.

Long handled shoehorn

Helpful when putting on and taking off shoes. Helps people avoid over-reaching and losing their balance. Sometimes used with the sock aid.

Zip puller

The zip puller is ideal for people that struggle with gripping zips on items of clothing.

Helping hand reachers

Useful for dressing, adjusting clothes, washing and for general use around the house. They allow you to move things and pick things up from the floor easily, without over-reaching.


Washing and personal hygiene

Here are some examples of daily living equipment that can help with washing and personal hygiene. 

Long handled sponges

Useful for people with back, neck and shoulder issues. Helps people to wash without bending or stretching.

Long handled net sponge

Useful for people with back, neck and shoulder issues. Helps people to wash without bending or stretching. The net sponge helps the soap to lather easily.

Universal tap turners

Use on cross head and crystal taps. These allow taps to be turned on and off more easily, as the long handle gives more leverage. Useful for people with a weak or painful grip. They are colour coded, so the hot and cold tap can be easily identified.

Long handled hair brush or comb

Helps people with arm or shoulder issues to brush their hair more easily, as it extends their reach.

Toothpaste tube squeezer

The key shape fits on to the top of the tube. Just twist the key to squeeze out the toothpaste. Useful for people with poor grip. Can be used with many different tubes.

Sensor soap dispenser

Soap is automatically released when you place your hand under the sensor. Offers a simple, touch-free solution to hand washing.

Long handled toe washer

This toe washer has a long, bendable handle that helps people with limited movement to wash between their toes. Can also be used for cream or lotion application.


Reminders and memory aids

Below are some examples of daily living equipment that can help people with memory issues. 

Your minder talking reminder clock

This talking alarm clock can announce the day, date and time at the push of a button. You can record up to six messages for different times of the day e.g. to remind someone to take their medicine, or to eat/drink, etc.

Memo minder

The Memo Minder is helpful for people who may live on their own and have memory problems. It is usually mounted by the front door and when someone walks past it, it triggers a motion sensor.  It then plays a personalised message (recorded by a family member or friend). For example “Remember your keys Mum” or “Dad, remember to lock the front door”.  The message can last up to 20 seconds, and it can be re-recorded when necessary.

MemRabel 2

This is an electric photo frame that can be programmed to give picture, video or recorded audio messages at set times e.g. medication reminders, appointment reminders, or even to have a cup of tea.

Mem-X Memory Aid Pendant

This easy to wear pendant can record and store up to 90 personalised messages. It then plays the messages back at set dates and times.

Key Chain Medication Reminder

This handy reminder is useful if you take a lot of medication throughout the day. It has 5 alarms, which can be set for each time you need to take your medicine.


Medication

Below are some examples of daily living equipment that can help people to take (or remind them to take) their medication:

Please note: Pill dispensers can be useful for some people, but they are not always recommended.  This is because if the medicine is not in its original packaging (with the instructions), then people may not fully understand the medicine they are taking e.g. its name, what it’s for, and when/how to take it.  Medicine reminder charts and tick box systems can be simple alternatives.

PivoTell automatic pill dispenser

This pill dispenser makes the correct medicine dose available at the correct time, whilst keeping the other pills locked out of sight.

Pill popper

Used for removing pills from their blister packs. Useful for people with dexterity issues or weak hands.

Eye drop dispenser

Fits onto standard eye drop bottles. Helps you to accurately and safely dispense one eye drop at a time in a controlled manner.

Pill organiser boxes

‘Dosette' type boxes that you (or your carer) fills with the correct medication. They have separate compartments for each day of the week and some have compartments with the time of day e.g. morning, lunchtime, afternoon and evening.

Medication storage box

Lockable box suitable for storing medication. 

Med-alert pill organiser with alarm

This is a small pill organiser that can easily fit into your bag or pocket. It can help you to take your medication on time and at the right intervals.


Food and drink preparation

Below are some examples of daily living equipment that can help with food and drink preparation. 

Plastazote tubing

Plastazote tubing is a type of foam tubing that can be slipped over the handles of many household items, making them easier to grip and control. They come in a range of sizes to fit different handle diameters. As well as in a range of lengths, to be cut as required.

Anti-slip matting

Slip-resistant place mats. These provide a secure grip to help prevent plates from slipping. Can also be used to grip jars/bottles, when used with the silicone jar opener (see below).

Silicone jar opener

These dome shaped openers grip jar and bottle lids. They are made from a flexible slip-resistant material which, when placed over the lid of a jar or bottle, can enhance the grip on the lid. These products are lightweight when compared to openers with handles.

Keep warm plate

Keep warm plates are ideal for people that may take longer to eat their food. They have an internal compartment that can be filled with warm water, helping to keep the food on the plate warmer for longer.

Ring pull opener

The handle is slipped underneath the ring pull of a can. As the handle is tilted backwards, the ring pull is released, and lid can be removed.

Plate guard

This can be easily fitted on to plates.  It helps people to eat one handed, as it provides a ‘wall’ to push food up against, reducing spillages.

Multi-Purpose Knob turner

This helps you to turn dials on a range of household appliances such as cookers, washing machines and gas taps. Useful for those with a weak or limited grip.

Easy tip mug

This mug is easy to hold due to its extra-large handle.  It also has an internal cone which helps to tip the contents into your mouth easier, reducing the angle you need to tilt your head back when drinking.  It is ideal for people with restricted upper limb or hand movement.

Talking tins

These help people with a visual impairment to identify the contents of their tinned food.  Record a message of what is in the tin, then play it back at the touch of a button.

Multi Opener

This item helps people to easily and safely open a range of different containers, including bottles, jars and ring pull cans. Useful for those with limited grip strength.

One touch electric can opener

This electric can opener automatically opens tins with one touch of a button. It has a magnet that safely lifts the lid for disposal. Useful for those with poor or limited grip.

Long handled milk bottle holder and carrier

Designed for lifting up to two milk bottles from the doorstep, without having to bend.


Digital technology

Below are some examples of digital technology that can help people to stay independent. 

Alexa devices

Alexa devices are controlled using just your voice. They can be used to set reminders e.g. for medication. They can also be used to control lighting, TVs and to get information, news and weather.

Google home devices

Google home devices are controlled using just your voice. They can be used to set reminders e.g. for medication. They can also be used to control lighting, TVs and to get information, news and weather.

WiFi plug

Control electronics from anywhere using your tablet or smartphone. You can turn devices on/off, check status, create schedules and set timers using the relevant app. This gives peace of mind by allowing you (or someone who cares for you) a way to check on your devices remotely. You can add voice control to any electronic device by pairing with an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Pen friend voice labeller

Useful for people with sight issues.Allows you to record your voice on to self-adhesive labels. The pen is used to play back recordings.

Handi SOS

This is a safety button/distress alarm. It pairs to your smartphone via Bluetooth. When pressed, it sends an alert SOS text message, plus your location (using Google Maps), to selected contacts. There are no subscriptions and no monthly fees.

Canary Care systems

This system monitors a person’s movement around a property by using movement sensors. There are also sensors built in to monitor temperature and light. Useful for carers.

GPS Devices

There are many GPS devices out there that can be tailored to meet an individual’s needs. They monitor people’s whereabouts without being too intrusive and can help to keep people safe.

Big buttoned mobile phones with an SOS button

These mobiles are really easy to use due to their large buttons and large font screens. They have an additional SOS button that can be used in case of emergencies.

Doro SecurePlus telephone

Corded telephone with large clear buttons.  Has a direct dial facility, which calls pre-programmed numbers in an emergency (by pressing a pendant). It is hearing aid compatible and has a speaker phone. It has four large quick-dial buttons (photographs can be added to these). Includes a neck pendant and waterproof wrist pendant.

Item locators

Small tags are attached to items you want to protect or locate e.g. keys. Pressing the hand-held locator causes the tags to beep, so they are easy to find.

Portal mini from Facebook

This device is used for video calling. Its smart camera automatically adjusts to keep you within the picture and is designed to make video calling easier.

2 in 1 Digital Day Clock

Simple digital day of the week clock with date, time and day orientation reminders. Alternatively, it can display simple phrases such as ‘Now it’s Monday morning’. Automatically adjusts the brightness of the display when in day and night mode.


Gardening

Garden kneeler

Garden kneelers allow you to kneel comfortably whilst gardening. They can help you get up from kneeling more easily. And can also be used as a seat (by turning upside down).

Easy grip gardening tools

These gardening tools are designed to reduce the strain on joints, when completing gardening tasks.

Easy grip long handled gardening tools

These are designed to reduce strain on joints. The extra-long reach reduces bending.  Suitable for wheelchair users.

Garden grabber

Helps you to grab and lift items without bending or straining. Ideal for collecting leaves in the Autumn.

Pruners

These make plants and flowers easier to cut, with less effort. Some are designed to be easier to grip.

Helping hand reachers

Useful for picking up litter or other items in the garden, without needing to bend.


Hobbies and leisure

Below are some examples of daily living equipment that can help people continue to take part in hobbies and leisure activities. 

Memory card games

These card games are designed to stimulate memory. They contain images that may help people with memory loss to engage and reminisce.

Jigsaw puzzles

Jigsaws are available with large puzzle pieces.  Helpful for people with poor dexterity. The number of puzzle pieces can vary to suit different abilities.

Easy to see dominoes

Easy to see and tactile dominoes sets are available with indented or raised dots. Great for people with sight issues, or those who play by touch. They also come in large sets, foam sets and wooden sets.

Handy bar car support handle

For people who still enjoy driving, but struggle to get in and out of the car. It fits into the u-shaped striker plate on the car door frame and creates a solid support handle.

Car door pull straps

This pull strap helps people to shut their car door whilst seated, without having to stretch or lean.

Plasterzote tubing

Plastazote tubing is a type of foam tubing that can be slipped over the handles of many household items, such as cutlery or paint brushes, making them easier to grip and control. They come in a range of sizes to fit different handle diameters. As well as in a range of lengths, to be cut as required.

Floor basketball

A fun ball game that can be played sitting or standing. Encourages interaction and the development of gross motor skills.

Incontinence swimwear

Swimwear designed for men and women with incontinence. Gives freedom and peace of mind when swimming.

Pedal exerciser

Helps people to exercise at home. Designed to help restore muscle strength and circulation. It can be used while seated to exercise the legs, or it can be placed on a table to exercise the arms.

Rollators

Rollators are ideal for people who enjoy walking, but need a little support. Includes a cushioned seat for rests during longer walks. Easily folds for storage and transportation.

Book holder

Designed for people that enjoy reading, but struggle to hold books open. Folds flat for storage. 

Pen and pencil grips

These slide over the end of a pen, pencil or paint brush. Helps to make holding and controlling these items easier.

Easy grip scissors

Designed for people with a weak grip. These scissors have an enhanced grip and are self-opening, making cutting easier.

Big buttoned telephones with photo buttons

Designed with large buttons and slots to put in photos of friends and relatives. Just press the pre-programmed photo button to call that person. Easy to use for people with memory, sight and dexterity issues.

Playing card holder

Designed for people who still love playing cards, but struggle to hold them. Can be held or placed on the table. Makes it easy to see all the cards you’ve been dealt.


Other useful equipment

Below are some examples of other useful daily living equipment that can help people to stay independent. 

Wireless doorbell

Wireless doorbells can be used with people who are being cared for. The carer can carry the box with them, while they carry on with their everyday chores around the house. When the person they are caring for needs them, they just need to press the button.

Pocket magnifier

Useful in the house or when out and about. Helps to magnify information e.g. menus.  Larger magnifiers tend to have lower magnification, but high-powered magnifiers generally have a small lens.

Remote controlled bulb holders

These fit into existing light sockets. They allow you to switch on, turn off or dim lights from the comfort of your bed or chair.

Pen gripper

These slide over the end of a pen or pencil. Helps to make holding and controlling pens and pencils easier.

Easy remote

Easy to use remote control with large buttons. You can also use this single remote control to operate two devices. Useful for people with reduced vision, memory loss or poor dexterity.

Large day and night flip calendar clock

Easy to use remote control with large buttons. You can also use this single remote control to operate two devices. Useful for people with reduced vision, memory loss or poor dexterity.

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