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Personal care and grooming are important for activities of daily living, and most can be easily adapted to aid their use.
- Toothbrush handles can be built up with a child's bicycle handle grip, or a length of rubber or foam rubber hose from a medical supply store.
- A denture brush can be attached to the sink or counter with a suction cup device.
- Flossing can be made easier by using a commercially available floss holder, and the handle can be built up in a similar way as the toothbrush.
Pump Style Toothpaste
Pump style toothpaste can be easier to use, and a turn key can help push the toothpaste out. There are also many commercially available toothpaste dispensers, some with oversized buttons and others that dispense automatically and can be attached to the wall. Powder toothpaste can also be used, so the toothbrush can just be wetted then dipped in the powder.
- Hairbrush handles can be built up the same as toothbrush handles, with a child's bicycle handle grip, or a length of rubber or foam rubber hose from a medical supply store. There are also D-ring and Velcro® handles that can accommodate different hairbrushes. It is important also to consider the type of hairbrush used. It should be able to be easily pulled through the hair, such as a brush with wide spaced bristles as shown in the picture.
- Hairdryers can be attached to a wall or counter to leave the hands free, and the bracket should be able to swivel to change the angle of the air.
- Hair washing is easiest in the shower, but if it is done sitting in the tub a commercially available removable shower head is useful. These removable shower heads can also be adapted with a D-ring and Velcro® strap. There are also commercially available hair washers, with an extended handle and nodules to reach the scalp.
- Hair washing can also be done sitting in a chair or laying in bed, using commercially available hair washing trays or inflatable basins. The inflatable basins are usually used while laying in the bed, which hair washing trays allow the hair to be washed sitting in a chair, and can be used with any sink.
Brackets and Clamps
- A bracket or clamp can be made to hold an electric razor to the sink or counter while the user moves their face against it, or a velcro strap can be made to attach the razor to the users hand. Electric razors are preferred over razors with blades due to safety factors.
- If razors with blades are preferred, their handles can be built up in a similar fashion to toothbrushes with a foam tube or children’s bicycle handle. They can also be placed in a pouch with a Velcro® strap, similar to the electric razor.
Long Handled Razors Holders
- Long handled blade razor holders are also available to aid women in shaving their legs.
- To help with nail care, a nail brush can be attached to a counter with suction cups.
- Nail clippers can be attached to a board for slippage prevention, and the handle can be lengthened the same as the toothbrush. A larger size of clipper, usually made for toe nails and available at most drug stores, can also be easier to use for fingernails. Emory boards can be taped to a counter or attached to a board to ease one handed use.
Long Handled Nail Clippers
- Long handled nail clippers are also available to aid in toe nail clipping. A magnifying glass can be helpful to aid in accuracy. These devices should be used with caution for diabetics and those with decreased feeling in their feet, as a cut may not be noticed and become an issue.
Showering / Bathing
- To increase safety in the bathtub or shower, rubber mats or adhesive textured stickers can be purchased at retail stores and placed on the bottom of the tub or shower. Medical supply stores also carry bathtub seats that can help with getting in and out of the shower by eliminating the need to lower onesself into the bathtub. Water temperature can be stabilized by commercially available pressure balancers at home improvement or plumbing stores, and set the temperature on the water heater below 120 degrees. To further prevent water temperature fluctuations, inform others in the home to not run any water during bathing. Medical supply stores carry bathtub hand rails and gripping bars for showers and tubs. Tap turners are also available to fit round or cross handled sink and shower taps.
- To aide in washing, there are several long-handled brushes or back scrubbers available in retail stores, or one can be made with a terry cloth washcloth and a strip of fabric or plastic.
- There are also commercially available long-handled lotion applicators to help with applying lotion after bathing. In addition, buying products with pump dispensers and flip-top lids can ease their use.
- Commercially available soap dispensors can be attached to the shower wall and dispense soap, shampoo, or conditioner with the push of a button. Keeping bathroom supplies organized can be helpful, and if a reaching aid is usually used, keep it by the tub when bathing. A shelf near the bathtub can also help keep useful items close, and also provide a surface to steady onesself against. To help prevent slippage of a bar of soap, a soap mitt can be made of a piece of terry cloth or a washcloth sewn into a bag-like shape.