Updated: Feb 27
Occupational therapy gadgets to help with your morning routine
Each day we all wake up with energy in our cups. It is important to consider how we use that energy and getting dressed can take up a lot of that energy. Occupational therapists work with people to find ways to simplify this activity or adapt the activity, so it is easier and takes less of our valuable energy. Check out some of the stand equipment that I use with my clients to make getting dressed a little easier, so we have more energy for the fun stuff.
Tip #1 - Sock aid
The sock aid is an OT staple. In fact, the sock aid is part of what interested me in occupational therapy. I was at a career fair in high school, and I stopped at the table for OT. They had all the students go through an obstacle course where we tried some of the gadgets in this blog. I tried the sock aid and thought it was so simple and cool. I wanted to be able to find simple ways to help people do everyday things. So, here we go!
There are a few things you need to know about the sock aid.
They come in various forms (soft, hard, or wireframe).
They have regular or wide.
Choosing the right style and size will help this tool be effective for you. I typically use the hard sock aid for most people with average size feet. If you have a lot of swelling a wide or soft sock aid might be better for you. The soft sock aid is also good for people who have sensitive skin or limited grip strength (it is a little easier to get the sock on the soft sock aid). Check out this video on how to use a sock aid.
Tip #2 - Shoehorn
If you have any swelling in your legs or difficulty reaching your feet this tool is a must. It helps you slide your heel into your shoes. This tool works really well with the elastic shoelaces below. I prefer a long-handle shoehorn that you can find for approx $10.00. There is also another gadget that is called a shoe funnel. This works similarly to the shoehorn, but with a slightly different design. You can see them both below. The shoehorn is on the left and the shoe funnel on the right.
Tip #3 - Elastic shoelaces
These are one of my favorite tricks. Elastic shoelaces turn your tie shoes into slip-on shoes. They stay tied but will stretch so you can slip on and off your shoes easily. There are a variety of styles. You can see my favorite brand here for 10.00 on amazon.
Tip #4 - Button hook
This cool little gadget makes those tiny buttons a little easier to manage. You slide the hook through the buttonhole, grab the button, and pull it through. Check out this video. You can find a button hook at your local DME company or amazon for close to $10.00.
Adapting gives you more energy.
Don't struggle with your morning routine. Using all of your energy to get dressed in the morning can deplete your energy for the rest of the day. Adapting the task of finding ways to make your morning routine easier can give you more energy for the fun stuff in your day. This blog just touches the surface of all the cool tricks OT's have to help you. Reach out to your OT if you are having trouble with any aspect of your morning/dressing routines.
Jenny - OT