8 assistive technology (AT) tools that support independence and safety for persons with disabilities, older adults, and… often everyone!
One. Valiryo Body Dryer
Dry off without a towel! This stylish body dryer advertises adjustable intensity and temperature of airflow. Installs in the shower and tub, so water stays off the bathroom floor (reducing the risk of slips and falls).
Additional options in this category are the Tornado Body Dryer, which may be superior for circulating air around a seated user.
Also available for standing users is the more affordable (but still $399) Viatek Body Dryer which looks like a scale to step onto (blowing air upwards).
Valiryo is $1,990 on Amazon.
Here’s more than a step stool for getting in and out of bed. The Step2Bed is a single height-adjustable step with steel grab bars that has a motion-activated LED light for nighttime exits. $149 on Amazon and very highly rated.
There is also a Step2Tub that clamps and has a wide non-slip step for $189 at the Step2Health website (rated to 300 lbs!)
Three. Mangar Bathing Cushion/Lift
“The Mangar Bathing Cushion is like having a tub transfer bench that allows the user to be lowered into the tub to soak,” say the reviewers at the Adaptive Equipment and Caregiving Corner (check out their Mangar Cushion review on YouTube). Just 4.5 lbs, the cushion can be easily installed in the tub and removed as needed and is portable for travel. Relies on a rechargeable battery (no cords!) but it will not lower a user without sufficient charge to reinflate as necessary to exit. Rated to 336 lbs! The device sells for $747 on Amazon.
The Vaunn Medical grab bar for tub is unique because it is rated for users up to 300 lbs, yet it does not require a permanent installation. The device clamps to the tub’s side (though it may not adapt to all tub shapes, so read the reviews and consider your tub before ordering). It advertises a one-piece steel frame and a padded locking mechanism.
Note: there are less expensive versions on the market rated to 250 lbs. This one sells on Amazon for $42.99.
Did you know you can turn your existing toilet into a bidet in minutes for as little as $20? Luxe bidet inserts connect to your toilet’s water supply and rely on water pressure for spray power. The Luxe Bidet Neo 320 sells for $56 on Amazon and includes an additional line for connecting to an adjacent sink’s hot water valve for the option of a warm water wash. Luxe bidets include a self-cleaning feature that will run water over the bidet’s nozzles without spraying the user when selected. Choose an option that includes a feminine wash to ensure an inclusive and universal design for all members of the household (and guests!)
Six. Mobility Towel
Mobility towel is designed for individuals with mobility limitations to make the task of drying off independent.
The towel has handles and a weighted edge allowing for dragging the terry cloth across the body using simple techniques for legs and back.
Designed by a caregiver, Mobilty Towel is machine washer and dryer safe. Mobility towel sells for $35.
Seven. Tension-Mounted Floor-to-Ceiling Transfer Pole
More people need to know about this easy-to-install common device designed for older adults and anyone who needs some leverage to get out of bed, a chair, or anywhere you choose around the home. The pole has a wide ceiliing brace, and easily cranks to achieve the tension necessary to support repeated use and repositioning. Rated for up to 300 lbs. It is recommended that users get advice for best positioning from an occupational therapist. Poles of this kind range up to $250 with or without handles (of different shapes). Pictured here is the Able Life Universal Floor to Ceiling Grab Bar, currently selling for $139 on Amazon.
Eight. The Footbar Walker
Stand up and get going with less assistance! The Footbar Walker makes it much easier for caregivers to assist individuals who use rollators to transition from seated to standing. The addition of a foot bar to brace the rollator by the caregiver and the top bar for pulling means a smooth transition without the need to lift under the arms. An example of simple modifications that can make a big difference for couples aging in place. Useful in the bedroom, bathroom, livingroom, everywhere these transitions take place. $249.99
Find Your State or Territory AT Act Program (to see, touch, and try equipment for daily living).