Restoring Confidence and Independence with Adaptive Equipment Options

Three Residents Talking Outdoors

Therapy services at Kendal at Lexington has one driving focus; help residents keep or achieve as much independence as possible.

Physical therapy covers a wide spectrum of care when it comes to recovery from illness, injury, and surgery. While recoveries happen, there are also times when the best outcome is learning how to compensate or adapt to an impairment. Today, there is a wide variety of devices and equipment that help with activities of daily living, while increasing one’s confidence and independence.

Maximize daily function, mobility and independence

 As part of therapy services at Kendal at Lexington, individual treatment plans focus on maximizing daily function, mobility, and independence. These programs often include exercises for the upper extremities, gross and fine-motor muscular re-education, and use of adaptive equipment.

The goal is to match the appropriate adaptive equipment and devices while keeping the resident as safe as possible whether they are recovering from surgery or dealing with an impairment.

While devices such as walkers, canes, and rollators may appear easy enough to use, Dana Mason, Kendal at Lexington’s therapy program manager, points out that there’s more to it.

Mason said that physical therapy means challenging people to make improvements or recover but teaching how to utilize a device so they are safe in their home. Teaching the safety aspect is just as important as helping them make gains in their mobility and function.

Road to recovery

Whether it’s a recovery from surgery or a fall, therapists work with residents on how to safely navigate with the device as well as the compensate for weight bearing precautions, balance issues, or gait changes.

“They may only be allowed to have 25% of their weight on one side, so we teach them the proper way to utilize the device so they can be mobile, while conducting the activities of daily living,” Mason said.

Adaptive equipment is also an important complement to therapy so the resident can function independently and safely. Therapists know the wide range of adaptive equipment available today and make recommendations depending on the resident’s need.

Adaptive options all around the home

There are adaptive options for nearly every situation and every room in the home, a shower chair or grab bars in the bathroom, a dressing stick, or specially designed cutting board in the kitchen.

Adding a tray or basket on a walker isn’t just cosmetic; it ensures that both hands stay on the walker. “Both hands need to stay on the walker,” urges Mason.

“There are all types of long handled equipment, a grab stick, sock aids that are especially helpful for someone who has had surgery, lost upper body strength or can’t bend over,” she added.

One area where compliance is poor are those who need to wear compression socks, which are difficult to put on. Mason says there are specific sock aids that make it easier to get the socks on and off.

Another basic item that helps keep residents safe is a basic pill box. Setting up medicine for the week means less opening and closing of difficult prescription bottles and helps reduce any dosage errors.

“It’s all about making life easier while staying independent.”