Do you love gadgets that make life easier? We do. Especially assistive technology gadgets that help with
disabilities different abilities. Clever gadgets can help you save time and money, be more independent and make your home safer. Here are some examples to get you started. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments if you have more.
Kitchen gadgets to help you cook up a storm
Talking scales tell you the weight
Do you have trouble reading the weight of your ingredients on the kitchen scales? If you are vision impaired or cook from a seated position, talking scales mean you no longer need to be able to read the weight on the screen of the scales to cook with confidence. Along the same lines, you can also find other cool gadgets to talk to you around the home, such as a watch, clock, calculator, eBook reader and more.
Overcome a weighty problem with a kettle tipper
A heavy kettle of boiling water can be dangerous. If you, or your loved one, find it hard to safely lift a kettle but still want to be able to make yourself a cuppa, think about getting a kettle tipper. This device sits under your kettle making it easy to tip the kettle forward to safely pour hot water into your mug, without the need to lift the kettle.
If you tend to forget to turn the gas off when cooking, you can install a gas detector which has an alarm to alert you to the problem and an automatic gas shut off switch that will turn the gas off automatically after a period of time. Alternatively, you may want to consider installing an induction cooktop. Induction cook tops only work when they are in contact with induction cookware and they remain cool to touch, reducing the risk of both fires and burns.
Liftware is a stabilizing handle and a selection of attachments (that include a soup spoon, everyday spoon, and fork) designed to help people with hand tremor eat more easily. If you do experience hand shakes and spillages, this might be just what you need.
Bathroom gadgets for more independent and safer bathing
It’s easy to get distracted when waiting for a sink or bath to fill up. You can protect your home from flooding, by placing a flood sensor next to your sinks or bath. An alarm will sound if water exceeds a safe level, reminding you to turn off the taps. Flood sensors can also alert you if your dishwasher or washing machine is leaking.
Extend your reach with a long handled toe washer
If you have mobility or balance problems, reaching down to clean your toes and your feet can be difficult. A long handled toe washer allows you to take care of your extremities with ease. There are also long handled driers and dressing sticks to help you pull on your socks.
Deal with a slippery problem using soap on a rope
We all know that wet soap is very slippery. Bending down to pick up soap is a nuisance and can be hazardous if you have balance problems. Soap on a rope is a low tech solution that can be very effective. You can secure the soap around your wrist and be confident that it won’t get away from you again.
Manage containers single handed
If you have a weakness on one side or want to keep one hand free to help you balance, look at getting flip top bottles of shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste tubes instead of screw-on tops. Flip tops can usually be opened easily with one hand. You can also look for flip top food and drink containers for the kitchen, such as cordial and long life milk.
Don’t struggle to get into your home
Key turner and door handles
Keys are small and fiddly making them difficult to manage if you have problems with your grip. Key turners have an enlarged area at the top of the key making them easier to hold firmly and to turn. If you have a door knob and find it hard to turn, you may like to consider changing this to a door lever which allows you to use your arm and body weight to open the door.
Making your home safer
Vibrating smoke alarm
We all know the importance of having a smoke alarm in our homes. If you are deaf or wear a hearing device that you take out when you go to bed, you may not hear the smoke alarm. A vibrating smoke alarm is a pad that sits under your pillow and wakes you up by vibrating if smoke is detected. These alarms also feature flashing lights. Some State Governments will subsidise the cost of these alarms for people with significant hearing impairment.
Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD)
If you can’t find a gadget to meet your needs, maybe try Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD). They are a not-for-profit who help people whose needs are so complex that no available equipment meets their needs. Their staff and volunteers use their design and engineering skills to custom-make equipment for seniors and people with disabilities to meet their needs, help them achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. Another website to look for gadgets on is that of Independent Living Centres Australia.
Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Your Life Your Choice or Consumer Directed Aged Care programs, you may be able to obtain funding for assistive technology gadgets that help you achieve greater levels of independence and safety. To help you understand current pricing, the NDIS provide an assistive technology price guide. Check with your NDIS Assessor, Your Life Your Choice Assessor or Consumer Directed Aged Care Assessor for more details.
Want to see some ingenious assistive technology inventions?
If yes, check out 10 Ingenious Inventions for People With Disabilities, a great collection of assistive technology ideas, put together a few years back by the American tech news site, Mashable.
And remember, feel free to leave your ideas in the comments if you have more assistive technology gadget tips!