|More with Less: Aids for Disabled Persons in Daily Life (Tool, 1993, 93 p.)|
Small rope ladder
If a person has trouble getting up in the morning from a lying position and does not have strong hands, he or she can pull him- or herself up by using a small rope ladder. The ladder should be attached firmly to the wall or to the foot of the bed.
Bathing sponge on a stick
A bathing sponge on a plastic or bamboo stick can be used to wash one's back when one is unable to reach it because of restricted mobility. Use an electricity pipe or bamboo stick that has been bent by careful heating and glue the sponge onto it. It is even more convenient to use a bent stick with a small hole in it, so that a rope can be used to attach the sponge. In that case the sponge can be replaced easily when spoilt.
Towel with elastic bands
This towel is meant for people who can only use one hand to rub themselves dry. Fasten a cord' band, or preferably an elastic band, onto each end of the towel. One end can be held by the hand and the other end can be fixed to a doorknob or a hook. A wooden handle around the rope is even more convenient.
A person who cannot stand and use his or her hands at the same time, can sit comfortably on this chair while taking a shower. Take an old plastic chair and punch holes in it to let the water through. Or use the frame of an old chair and wind it with plastic clothesline or inner tyre tube.
Raised toilet seat
A raised toilet seat can be used by people who have trouble sitting down or getting up due to painful or stiff joints. This raised toilet seat is constructed from an ordinary toilet seat. Place three wooden blocks underneath the seat, one at the back near the hinge and two at the front. Between the two front blocks, a curved metal or plastic plate is placed to prevent splashing.
A person who cannot squat on a latrine can use various types of seats that are easy to take away by other users. A child with uncontrolled movements can sit in a small-size car tyre. Other possibilities are different types of low or high stools with a circle sawn out from the seat. In large families, a foldable stool is practical.
If a person has insufficient mobility in the shoulders or elbow joints, combing one's hair may pose a problem. This is made easier by using a comb on a stick. Fix the comb firmly with glue or with a small screw.
If a person has insufficient mobility in his or her joints it may be hard to undress. An undressing stick to give the clothes an extra push can help a lot. Attach a flat piece of wood or bamboo with a groove in it onto a stick. At the other end of the stick a hook can be fixed to pick up clothes from the floor.
Nail clipper with clamp
This type of nail clipper can be used by people with trembling hands, one-handed people or people with diminished strength. The clipper is glued and screwed onto a table clamp. The table clamp is made of a piece of wood into which three wooden pins are stuck. The entire aid can be firmly fixed onto the table by means of a wedge, a slanting piece of wood, underneath the table.
Elastic shoe laces
Shoe laces do not have to be tied anymore if rubber bands are used instead of ordinary shoes laces.
Heel strap for slipper
If someone has difficulty walking properly on slippers due to uncontrolled leg movements, this heel strap is very useful. Take a piece of inner tube tyre or any other soft but strong material, and tie it to the sides of the slipper. You can also sew it on.
A shoehorn on a stick is a handy tool for someone who cannot reach his or her shoes by bending or by lifting the foot. Attach the shoehorn to a stick with a screw. The backside of the stick should be sawn off at a slant, so that it will not interfere with the shoe.
People in wheelchairs, or people who have trouble bending down can pick up things from the floor with a 'helping hand'. It is made of a piece of bamboo. Carve a groove at both ends of the bamboo. Put a piece of wood in one groove to serve as a wedge and fix it with rope or rubber bands. When you press the bamboo lightly at the sides, it works like a pair of pincers.
If turning a key is necessary but difficult for a person, due to diminished strength, coordination difficulties or painful joints, the key can be enlarged to ease the turning. Use wood, bamboo or an electricity pipe.
It is hard to hang out laundry with one hand. This activity can be made easier by fixing two clothes-pegs onto each other. Put the laundry on the first peg, then peg the second one to the clothesline. It is also possible to make a double, loosely twisted clothesline. The clothes can be put up between both lines without having to use clothes pegs at all.