Wide range of products are available to assist people with making everyday tasks and activities easier to carry out. New products are constantly developed and offered to the public. InfoCare has grouped these into the following categories:
Incontinence and reduced bladder control is a very common issue. Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (2009) estimated 316,500 people in Australia as having severe incontinence - affecting all age groups: children, adults and elderly and both genders. Continence products are designed to provide simple and effective solutions in managing incontinence and can range from pads and mattress protectors to catheters and urine bottles. It is very important to seek assistance and address incontinence problems early on. Incontinence can have a great impact on confidence, ability to socialise and be active in community due to constant fear of having an ‘accident’. It can also increase the risk of falls due to constant need to use the bathroom during the night. It is very important to use the appropriate products for your individual needs. Most community centres across Australia run incontinence clinics. Some financial assistance with purchasing continence products is available through the Continence Aids Assistance Scheme (CAAS). Speak to your GP if you have any concerns managing continence.
Support and Mobility Aids
Support and mobility aid equipment products are designed to make mobility and everyday tasks safer and easier to complete. The range of products available in this group is almost endless. The mobility aids can be as simple as a walking stick or a rail to a motorised wheelchair/scooter or a chair lift. It is important to have your mobility assessed by an appropriate professional so suitable mobility products and aids can be recommended. Most community health centres and hospitals have occupational therapists who can complete an assessment and make mobility equipment recommendations. There are also a range of private Occupational Therapists who can provide mobility assessments and recommend suitable mobility products. If you or your loved ones are experiencing difficulties with mobility and/or balance, please speak to your GP about your concerns and a range of mobility aid options available.
Communication aid products are designed and used to assist with communication issues. Some of the common and well known products are hearing aids. Hearing aids are a simple but effective solution for those who are experiencing hearing difficulties. There is also a wide range of communication aids specifically designed for those who have language issues and are not able to verbally express their needs. These communication aids can range from simple visual cards to more complicated technology products and software which can detect eye movement and facial expressions and translate them into verbal instructions. If you have concerns, or are experiencing communication difficulties, please see your GP who can arrange appropriate referral and support.
Medical Care Aids
Medical Care Aids are products aimed at assisting the management of on-going medical issues. These can include bandages, dressings for managing wound care or specialised products to manage conditions such as diabetes. If you need any advice or support with managing your health please speak to your GP.
Visual Equipment is designed to support those experiencing difficulties with vision. This can include canes, guide dogs, magnifiers, alerting indicators, talking products and more sophisticated high tech products. Vision Australia can offer a lot of support and products to people who experience vision difficulties.
We live in a very large country and having access to transport is essential. There are a range of companies providing care modification to suit the needs of people with disabilities and those caring for them. Modifications can range from making a car wheelchair accessible to adapting a car to be suitable for a driver with a disability. To find your local vehicle modification providers search our Equipment and Assistive Technology section.
Once you have had your mobility assessed and appropriate equipment recommended, you might need to find a qualified provider to complete the installation. These works can range from installing rails and ramps to modifying bathrooms/kitchen and other living areas. Most occupational therapists and equipment suppliers will be able to recommend a home modification provider. Search our Equipment and Assistive Technology section for more information.
Specialised Driver Training
Specialised driver training refers to specialised driving instructors and/or schools which offer driving lessons to people with disabilities. They also offer specially modified cars to suit drivers’ needs. To find your local specialised driver training provider search our Equipment and Assistive Technology section.
Beds and Mattresses
For people with mobility restrictions, beds and mattresses can make an enormous difference in their daily lives. These products can also have a significant impact on carers. Mattresses are particularly important to those who spend a lot of time in bed and are at risk of developing pressure sores. The range of products available out there will simply amaze you. Some companies offer free trial periods so you can test their product before purchasing. To find the suppliers of beds and mattresses search our Equipment and Assistive Technology section.
Specialist Assessment, Set Up and Training
Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), people can be allocated funds to have a relevant professional assess their needs, recommend relevant equipment and aids, set them up, and provide training to carers and users on how to best use the equipment. If you self-manage your budget you can choose any provider to provide this service to you. To find your local provider search our Equipment and Assistive Technology and NDIS sections