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Equipment and home adaptation

If your loved one has physical disabilities, regardless of the cause, the use of equipment or technical aids might be a good solution to help them maintain their independence and make your task easier. However, installing equipment or adapting the home may be complicated and add stress to your already full daily routine. Where do you start, how do you make the right choice, and who do you talk to? Here is an overview to help make things a little clearer for you.


A FULL RANGE OF OPTIONS

A great deal of equipment exists to make movement and transfers easier at home. Here are a few examples.

  • In the bathroom: support bar (fixed or removable), seat or transfer board for the bath, raised toilet seat (with or without armrest), bath lift
  • In the bedroom: removable bedside rails
  • Elsewhere in the house: lift chair, stair lift, access ramp

 

If driving long distances becomes more difficult, the use of a walker or transport chair may prove useful.

If your loved one spends most of the time in bed or has very limited mobility, it might be a good idea to use a hospital bed or geriatric chair. In addition, the use of cushions or therapeutic mattresses could hep prevent the development of pressure sores.

 

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

With the multitude of products available, it may seem difficult to make the right choice. Each piece of equipment has features that may or may not be suitable for your loved one's condition. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. An occupational therapist, for example, will be able to help you by assessing your loved ones needs, their environment and the equipment suitable for the situation.

 

WHERE DO YOU GET THIS EQUIPMENT?

Your CLSC

 Before buying or renting equipment, check with your CLSC first. They generally have equipment you can borrow. Of course, the availability and timelines can vary from one place to another.

General or specialized stores

Pharmacies and big box stores have some equipment in stock. Pharmacies also offer rental services for mobility aids (e.g., wheelchair, walker, transport chair).

If you can't find what you’re looking for, you may need to turn to specialized medical and orthopedic equipment stores.

Always take the time to compare prices and find out about trial and rental options and return and refund policies.

Residential Adaptation Assistance Program

If your loved one has a permanent physical disability that limits them in the performance of their daily activities, they may be eligible for the Residential Adaptation Assistance Program from the Société d’habitation du Québec. Under certain conditions, the financial assistance may be up to $16,000.

 

For information and support in these steps, don't hesitate to call Caregiver Support at 1-855-852-7784. Our counsellors will point you toward the right resources.