Assisting a loved one in their time of need takes some time and learning to get used to. You have to learn how your loved one prefers things done, what their daily routine is and what they need help with. It can be a time for bonding and showing your love, but you’ll also learn things you never knew before.

One skill you’ll acquire as you grow as a caregiver is learning to recognize when your loved one needs help but doesn’t know how to ask for it. A frequent example of this is the need for assistive aids. Read on to find out what those aids are and how they can help your loved one have a better quality of life.

What Are Assistive Aids?

While you provide a steady source of comfort and support for your loved one, you won’t be able to be there for them all the time. That’s when assistive aids come in.

They’ll make sure your loved one can be as mobile and independent as possible, while still maintaining their safety. Some common examples are electric wheelchairs, canes and even hearing aids. They’re so frequently used by people that they’re often thought of as essentials and not just aids.

Besides, everyone enjoys feeling a sense of independence, especially as they get older. Seniors who need extra care may not be bed-bound, which means you have to help them find a middle ground where they can stay safe but still be active on their own.

What Symptoms Look Like

Potential symptoms will differ with each person, but they’ll all show up as things your loved one wants to do that you may not be able to help them with. Examples can include:

  • Listening to the TV at loud volumes
  • Gripping furniture frequently to walk across their home
  • Having trouble chewing their food

One way to comfortably bring up the topic of getting assistive aids is to see what your loved one’s friends are using. Friends their own age may already be using assistive measures, which will make them look and feel more commonplace. It’s not always easy for loved ones to begin using aids, but it will feel more natural if you point out that other people are having a better time using them in their own lives.

How You Can Get Them

You may have driven by shops that sold aids like canes and medical beds, but don’t jump in the car just yet. While these things can be available in stores, you may not have to pay for them entirely out of pocket. First, check what your insurance company will cover. Speak with a representative about your loved one’s specific needs to get the best coverage.

For certain assistive aids, you’ll also need to know how to navigate the waters of getting them. Some could come from trusted doctors, and like any issues at the doctor’s office, you’ll need to know what to ask in order to get the best results. If you need to get a hearing aid, have your physician refer your loved one to an audiologist, which is where you can ask the right questions. Talk about over-the-counter options, as well as future fittings that may be needed.

Some assistive aids are easy to get and don’t present any complications. It won’t be hard to get a walker and have your loved one get used to using it, but other items are more complicated.

Talk with your loved one’s doctor if you have any questions about your specific case or needs. They’ll help guide you to the right aid that will help make life for you and your loved one much easier and more enjoyable.

Written by Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews writes about medical technologies and news developments for publications like The Week, BioMed Central and Kareo's Go Practice Blog. To read more posts by Kayla, visit her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews or check out her website:

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