Assistive and adaptive devices are essential for stroke carers at least temporarily during the rehabilitation process. There is a subtle difference between the words, assistive, and adaptive.
The word – “assistive”– refers to all devices that facilitate and improve activities the person affected is trying to do. On the other hand, the word – “adaptive” – refers to devices that adapt existing tools so that a person with a difficulty can use them. For example, an eating utensil with a built-up handle is an adaptive device. On the other hand, a wheelchair or a cane is not an adaptive device but it is an assistive device. These aids can either be a low-tech one such as a cane or a very high-tech one such as a robot assistive speaking tool.
Types of assistive and adaptive devices
We can group the assistive and adaptive devices into the following categories.
- Mobility devices: scooters, power chairs, wheelchairs, etc
- Communication devices: The devices that facilitate speech, writing, typing, vision, hearing, listening, reading, etc.
- Computer access devices: hardware and software tools including apps
- Activities of daily living devices: the devices that facilitate dressing, eating, cooking, home chores, toileting, bathing, switching, etc.
- Prosthetics and Orthotics
- Recreation and leisure assisting devices: Sports assisting tools, games, toys, etc.
- Cognitive aids
This page curates posts that describe and discuss assistive and adaptive devices that are in use by stroke survivors.
Devices to improve communication
- Create your own communication tool: This post introduces some simple devices that can be prepared at a very low cost to facilitate communication between the carer and the affected.
- Cboard: A free app for speech impairments: This is again a very useful tool that anyone can download and adapt for use.