Homemade Adaptive Equipment for the Disabled

People with disabilities have unique needs that often require adaptive equipment. These are necessary tools to complete the basic daily tasks that are part of an individual's life, such as cooking, eating, hygiene and mobility. Most often the adaptive equipment available to meet these needs is too expensive. Therefore, caregivers and people with disabilities often look for homemade solutions for the most necessary tools.

Man using wheelchair in kitchen
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Adapting Equipment

Oftentimes a physical disability can prevent a person from cooking or eating independently. Homemade adaptive equipment in conjunction with proper positioning can allow an increased level of independence and quality of life. In order to make utensils easier to grasp, wrap foam or other padding around the handles to make them larger. Using a piece of cloth, scarf or other flexible material in conjunction with Velcro or snaps, make a wristband or glove-type device to help keep utensils in the hands of the person with disabilities. Simple adjustments to dishes, such as putting food in bowls so it can be pushed against the side to get it on the fork or spoon, can make the difference between independence and needing help. Adapt the buttons on appliances such microwaves, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers so that a person with physical disabilities can use them more easily. Attach common materials such as thimbles, foam, pieces of clay or small blocks on the buttons to make them easier to reach. For an individual with visual disabilities, outline the buttons, especially flat ones, with glue or puffy paint so he knows where one starts and the other stops.

Adaptating Furniture and Positioning

Placing items in certain positions or allowing the person with disabilities to sit or stand in the correct location can help her complete a task. Using materials to make a toilet seat higher allows a person with mobility issues to transfer onto it without help. Place foam under the existing toilet seat to allow for some additional height. Velcro straps can be used to assist with stability for a person having difficulty sitting upright without help. Tables, chairs and beds can be raised by placing sturdy items such as books underneath, thus allowing more independence moving throughout the home. Place appliances near sturdy furniture so that someone in a wheelchair can to lean or pull up on it in order to complete tasks. Make sure the appliances are securely fastened so they will not topple over.