What is meant by Assistive Equipment?

More and more people, including the increasing number of older adults in our society, are living well despite their disabilities because they are using assistive devices and other equipment that has been designed to help them function as independently as possible. These web pages have been developed to help you identify and obtain assistive equipment that might be helpful to you or your relative, or a client with whom you are working.

Assistive equipment is any kind of tool or device that can make certain tasks easier, and the environment safer for those with disabilities and the frail elderly.

Some examples:

  • bathroom grab bars
  • medications dispensers/reminder systems
  • beds with special features that increase the person's ability to get in and out of bed
  • assistive telephones (for hearing-impaired and sight-impaired persons)
  • assistive stovetop burners (for sight-impaired persons)
  • door alarms (for persons with dementia at risk for wandering)
  • walkers and canes and wheelchairs
  • entry ramps

Assistive equipment may be small and inexpensive…
(like an adjustable bed rail, a reacher, or a easy-to-grip kitchen utensils)

….or cost a little bit more,
(like a pocket talker, or portable ramp or a photo telephone),

….or it may involve more of an expense
(like a wheelchair, walker, or a TV Monitor to enlarge reading material).

Medicare and other health insurance pay only for Durable Medical Equipment.

Durable Medical Equipment is medical equipment that is ordered by a doctor for use in the home. These items must be reuseable, such as walkers, wheelchairs, or hospital beds. DME is paid for under Medicare Part B and Part A for home health services.
Medicare Glossary Site

But this just begins to describe the thousands of devices and other types of equipment that can help people cope well with a condition that might otherwise be disabling. Continue reading to learn how to find equipment for your situation.