Daily living aids: products, information and advice
NRS Healthcare provides an information and advice service called Safe+Well which helps people who need to purchase their own daily living aids.
Many people are unaware of the vast amount of ‘daily living aids’ that are available to them, to help make life easier. Here, we explore what daily living aids are, how they can help if you have a healthcare condition, the options for obtaining daily living aids on loan from your local council, and what to do if you need or prefer to buy your own.
What are daily living aids?
Working with local authorities and the NHS across the country, NRS Healthcare are trusted suppliers of daily living aids. These are products designed to help make lots of everyday tasks easier, especially if you are living with a health condition, and are often also referred to as ‘mobility aids’. Daily living aids can help if you have mobility problems, or find certain everyday tasks difficult, such as going to the toilet, taking a shower or bath, preparing food, eating and drinking, getting dressed, getting in and out of your bed or chair and sitting comfortably.
Daily living aids are used by lots of different people of all ages. They can be really useful if you are living with conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, COPD, dementia, stroke or Parkinson’s disease which may cause pain, mobility problems, memory problems, difficulty eating or drinking, or lots of other symptoms that affect your independence.
How do I find out what daily living aids I need?
If you are living with a health condition or disability and are finding tasks at home challenging, you may be entitled to some daily living aids on loan from your local council. This is usually called ‘community equipment’. Often, you will be prescribed community equipment if you have had a spell in hospital and need to get back on your feet by rehabilitating at home.
If you have mobility problems or find certain tasks difficult, you may be able to have an assessment by a healthcare professional called an ‘occupational therapist’ (OT). An OT is trained to assess your abilities and may be able to recommend different ways for you to go about tasks that are difficult for you. They may also be able to suggest daily living aids that may help make the tasks easier for you. If you are unsure if you need an assessment, or if daily living aids would help, you can contact your local social services team to enquire.
How do I buy my own equipment?
Sometimes, if you are assessed as having a requirement for daily living aids to help you at home, you may be able to get this equipment free of charge through your local authority. However, dependent on the extent of your needs, not all daily living aids are provided for you and you may need to purchase some yourself if you think they will help.
Many local authorities provide a basic range of daily living aids, and they are unable to offer you much choice as to the type and style of equipment you can have free of charge. For example, if your OT recommends you have a rise and recline chair to help you sit down and stand up more easily, you may only have a small selection or no choice as to the colour, style and so on available on loan to you. You may wish to buy such an item yourself, to get exactly what you want. This is called ‘self-funding’ and means you choose to buy equipment yourself.
There are many different retailers selling daily living aids, both online and in your local area.
How can NRS Healthcare help me?
NRS Healthcare also provides options to people who are unsure what daily living aids are available, or what products may best meet their needs.
We have a team of OTs and OT Assistants in our product advice team. They have over 40 years’ experience between them, and know most daily living aids inside and out! They are available during office hours over the telephone or by email, to answer any questions you have about daily living aids. They are really easy to talk to, and know the right questions to ask about your condition and the difficulties you’re experiencing so they can recommend daily living aids that may help you. If you have already been advised about what products you need, but are unsure which to choose from, or you need to understand more about the functionality of the product, how to use it or even how it is assembled, our OTs will be able to advise you. To contact our OT product advisors, telephone 0345 121 8111 or email [email protected]
How can Safe+Well help me?
NRS Healthcare also provides a local information and advice service called Safe+Well, which operates in 13 areas around the country, on behalf of the local authorities and NHS in each area. Safe+Well aims to provide people who need to buy their own daily living aids with the correct independent information and advice about what they need, the choices available to them and where to buy it from.
Our Safe+Well services are run by occupational therapists, and local residents can contact the service to:
- Take a free, online self-assessment questionnaire – this will ask you some simple questions to discover what tasks you are finding difficult, and will suggest a selection of daily living aids that may help you, as well as provide links to the NRS Healthcare website where you can make a purchase
- Have a free telephone OT assessment – our OTs love to chat and are happy to discuss your needs over the phone. If they can’t help, they will point you to another company or organisation that can
- Book a home visit OT assessment (costs £99 and only available in certain areas) – this is ideal if your local authority has a long waiting list for OT assessments, and if you prefer to pay for your own equipment
- Try daily living aids out before you buy them – in some areas, our OTs like to travel around to local places and events with a selection of products for you to see and try
- Visit local shops or online retailers in our network from whom you can buy products face to face – we have checked that our recommended retailers are members of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), just like NRS Healthcare are, and we trust they will provide you with a helpful, service if you wish to buy locally
Where can I find more information?
NRS Healthcare are committed to ensuring people get the right information about their health and equipment that may help them. We provide a wealth of information on our website about living with healthcare conditions such as diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, angina and many more. We explore issues you may face, personal stories, symptoms and treatments. We also provide a range of buying guides to help you choose the right product to suit your individual needs.
Visit the Safe+Well website to find out if the service is available yet in your area. Alternatively, you can contact our product advice team for product information and advice by calling 0345 121 8111 or emailing [email protected]
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