Friday, May 28, 2010

Can't Reach That

Thanks to Mom, who was discharged from rehab this week for inspiring this post.

After we left the hospital, we made a stop at an unnamed big box home improvement store so I could get a hand-held shower and to price a bath chair. Got the hand-held shower, but the bath chairs were more expensive than the ones I had seen online. As I was telling Mom this, she said, "You know, you should go to the Senior Centers and do talks about this. I know there are a lot of ladies at the Senior Center who need this kind of stuff, but they don't know about it."

So, since there's so much of this stuff, also known as adaptive equipment, out there, I'll probably break it down into several posts. Today we'll talk about a "hip kit", which pretty cool, although that's not why it's hip.

When folks have had hip replacement or surgery to repair a broken hip, they are often placed on hip precautions: no crossing the legs, bending more than 90 degrees, other things that I can't remember right now. The result is that you can't reach things on the floor, like things you've dropped, or your feet. That's where the hip kit comes in.

The item at the top is a reacher. Pretty self explanatory. One nifty feature, that's hard to see, is a magnetized pin near the tip, in case you drop a safety pin or some other small, metal object.

The next items are the yellow long-handled shoe horn and the long handled bath sponge. Pretty clear what those are for, and how to use them. The sponge makes a pretty good scratcher, too, as Mom has discovered since her incision itches.

The white cylinder looking thing is a sock-aide, and Mom loves hers. This one looks like a rigid one, made out of hard plastic, they also make soft ones out of fabric and probably cardboard or something. What you do is put your sock on the cylinder, then undo the straps (in this picture they're not fully extended) and hold one in each hand. Then you drop the cylinder on the floor, put your foot into it, and then pull the cylinder out with the cords, and oila! Your sock is on! (To my OT friend Denise, hard to describe in words only how this works).

The last item is called a dressing stick. I've never known many people who actually used them, but you can see that there are different types of hooks on each end, so useful for hooking things.

You can buy each item separately, but they are less expensive when you purchase them in the hip kit. They are readily available at multiple places online, and also at most medical equipment companies. Medicare will not pay for any of this, but a kit will cost anywhere from $30-40, depending on the store. My local medical equipment company charges a bit less than most of the ones I found online.

Next stop--the bathroom.

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