Living independently comes with a slew of benefits, like more alone time, full privacy and freedom to be yourself. However, without an extra pair of hands, you may find it takes longer to do some everyday tasks, like prepping the vegies for dinner or opening a new jar of jam. Well, the good news is, there are many daily living aids out there that can help!
Whether you need extra support or are just looking at ways to cut your kitchen time in half, there are many different kitchen aids that can help.
Food preparation system
This plastic chopping board helps simplify food preparation and is ideal for those who have limited grip or only have the use of one hand. Each board typically comes with a clamp to hold food and mixing bowls in place, as well as stainless steel spikes to hold vegetables in place when cutting. Other features include grater detachable graters and a scrubbing brush.
A quick search of the internet reveals most varieties are similar, but differ in price and features. For example, this food preparation system from Independent Living Specialists comes with an added grater, brush and bread board feature. All up, it will set you back $225.99.
Food Preparation System, $225.99.
Disability Shop sells an almost identical model for $240 (picture on the left), while Care Quip’s more simple version comes in at $354 (picture on the right).
Food Prep Workstation, $240.
Food Preparation System, $354.
Non-slip anchor mat
Another great product to have in the kitchen is a non-slip anchor mat. The mat grips on both sides, making it the perfect working or eating station.
The only difference between varieties is size and price. For example, a standard 18 x 25cm size from DoAbility Australia will set you back $50. The next size up (25 x 35cm) will cost you an extra $25. Meanwhile, the non-slip mats by Dycem come in three sizes, starting at $43.99 for an 18 x 25cm (see pic below).
Dycem Anchor Mats, start from $43.99.
Tin, jar and bottle openers
Opening cans and bottles can be tricky at the best of times, but there are many kitchen aids that can help.
If you are looking for an excellent can opener, try Care Quip’s Electric Tin Opener. It retails for $83.60 (pictured on the left).
As for jar and bottle openers, there are several different types. The clamp press jar and bottle opener variety is ideal for anyone working with one hand. In order for the opener to work, simply push the plastic arm with your stomach or hip to hold the jar in place while you twist the lid off — voila! Care Quip’s version retails for $198 (pictured in the middle).
Another favoured jar and bottle opener is this one from Care Quip (pictured on the right). Instead of a clamp, this model uses three different sized sunken cones with non-slip lining.
Electric Tin Opener, $83.60.
Clamp Press Jar & Bottle Opener, $198.
Jar & Bottle Opener Non Spill, $197.
A kettle tipper is a wire cradle that makes the act of pouring a little easier. Simply place your kettle into the tipper and pour away. There are two main types — cordless or corded. For example, this tipper (picture on the left) by Independent Living Specialist is a good option for those with a cordless kettle. There is a metal plate that secures the base of the kettle and a frame with a Velcro strap to keep the upper part of the kettle in place. The frame design also allows cups to be positioned close. This current model will set you back $65.99.
If you have a kettle with a cord, try something like the Jug Kettle Tipper from Linds Rehabilitation Equipment (picture on the right).
Kettle Tipper – Cordless, $65.99.
Jug Kettle Tipper, $72.60.
If you have trouble gripping onto things, investing in some easy-grip utensils may be a good idea too. You can pick up a variety of cutlery sets, draining tongs and kitchen knives online, like this Easy Grip Bendable Cutlery Set (see picture below) from the Disability Shop for $85.
Easy Grip Bendable Cutlery Set, $85.
Daily living aids
Button Hook and Zipper Pull
Make doing up buttons and zippers easy with a button hook and zipper pull aid. This useful dressing tool is designed to help with the fastening of hard-to-grasp buttons or zippers. The majority of designs consist of a minimum of two parts: a looped hook and a C-shaped hook. The looped hook pulls the buttons easily through the buttonhole, while the C-shaped hook at the other end easily pulls zippers. Prices vary from $11 to $24.
Button Hook and Zipper Pull Handle, $11.
For people with limited mobility, putting on shoes can be a challenging task. A simple shoe horn will help ease your foot into your shoe without the need to bend down. We recommend choosing one with an extra long handle. You can pick up an extra long plastic shoe horn from Chemist Warehouse for just $3.99 (see picture below), or a metal shoe horn from online mobility equipment supplier GMS Rehabilitation for $15.
Comfy Feet Shoe Horn Long, $3.99.
The dressing stick is a great dressing aid for those with limited mobility. With a dressing stick, you can put on and take off a variety of garments without assistance. The majority of dressing sticks feature an angled hook at one end and a rubber tip at the opposite end, like this one from Care Quip. Check out this great video for how to use a dressing stick.
Dressing Assist Stick, $35.
Gardening is more fun with the right tools!
Whether you need assistance getting up and down, or you need a seat to take a break on, a garden kneeler and seat, like this one from CutAbove Tools, is handy to have. Use it as a garden kneeler or turn it over and it becomes a garden seat.
Garden Kneeler and Seat, $62.90.
There’s a wide variety of easy-grip gardening tools available online. For example, you can pick up an easy-grip cultivator, fork and long reach fork from Averee. All products are lightweight and come with a pistol grip handle for optimal comfort. For even more support, an add-on tool like the Arm Support Gardening Cuff may be of interest.
Easi-Grip Cultivator, $49.95.
Long Reach Easi-Grip Fork, $49.95.
Ergonomic Grip Long Reach Fork Garden Metal, $55.
Easi-Grip Arm Support Gardening Cuff, $47.05.