Let’s be honest. Everyone wants to look and feel their best. We want to be fashionable, well-groomed and stylish. But, it’s inevitable. At some point, we all struggle with even the simplest tasks that can leave us feeling less than cute. Age, illness and the difficulties they bring can leave us struggling to do even the simplest tasks with ease. It can be harder to hold utensils, to eat without spilling or to manage personal needs like bathing and dressing. It can leave one feeling frustrated and defeated.
When everyday activities become too hard, daily living aids, also known as adaptive devices, can help make it easier to get things done. When it comes to personal daily living aids, not all things are created equally. Adults want to feel like and be treated like adults. For a long time, adults looking for assistive aids such as clothing protectors or utensils had to search far and wide only to end up using things like bibs or cups found in the child’s section. Well, no more!
Manufacturers have heard the demand and today there are many options to choose from.
Today, there are daily living aids designed with adult needs in mind. These products are functional yet dignified and fashionable. Gone are the days of feeling embarrassed to go out or to socialize or feeling like your assistive aids are calling attention to you. With just a little help, adults can live life to the fullest while discreetly managing daily needs.
So, how do you choose the right tool for you or your loved one? Here are some tips:
Choose Adult-sized Items
Look for tools and devices that are adult-sized. It can be tempting to simply buy whatever is easily available and easy. Always ask, is it functional? Take cups for example. Many adults need a covered cup, very much like a child’s sippy cup. And, let’s be real, it might be tempting to simply grab a sippy cup from the nearest store. However, is that functional? Maybe not. Kid size cups are small and may actually be harder for an adult hand to hold.
Choose Designs That Say “Grown Up”
They say when you look good, you feel good. Well, when choosing functional items such as adaptive utensils, bibs for adults or personal care garments, think mature. Think dignified. Think grown-up. When choosing an item, look at the overall design. Look at the patterns, colors and textures. Do they say “mature adult” or “child”? As adults lose functionality in some tasks, they fear being treated like or looking like children. They want to look stylish and well-put-together when they are with others. Look for designs that are sophisticated and flattering. Think about the personality and personal style of the recipient. Choose a design that reflects personal style. Avoid “cartoonish” designs.
When adults start to lose their ability to do things on their own, it can be embarrassing. They may be hesitant to use something in public. The idea of something like a “bib” may turn them off especially if they are unfamiliar with bibs for adults. You can choose the best device in the world but if it calls undo attention to the user, they are not likely to use it. Choose something as discreet but stylish and mature as possible. For example, Classy Pal’s polo bib is perfect for the dignified gentleman. Without a close look, most people will just see a well-dressed man. And he won’t feel out of place. That’s discreet.
Choose BOTH Fashionable AND Functional
Yes! You can have both! Gone are the days when functional meant drab and boring. You don’t have to settle for drab and boring. You do have to make sure the tool performs the job well. Something can be really beautiful and yet be completely useless when it comes to getting the job done. For example, bibs for adults are becoming very much both a functional tool and a fashion accessory for adults who need a little help here. The idea behind clothing protectors is to protect clothes, right? What happens when that fabulous new bib isn’t made of spill-proof materials? First, the person wearing it is embarrassed and frustrated. Second, their clothes are soiled. Classy Pal makes bibs for adults that beautifully merge fashion and function.
Even though most adults will need some type of assistive tool at some point, the key is to maintain the highest level of independence possible. Doing so encourages self-sufficiency and helps to stave off the depression and loss of motivation that can come with the perception of lost independence. People want and need to feel that they can do for themselves.
Maintaining independence has other benefits too. When people are able to do even the simplest things like feeding themselves, it instills a sense of autonomy – a sense that “I can do this for myself.”
Being able to go out in public and socialize with friends lends a sense of purpose. Engaging in social activities has been shown to help stave off loneliness and depression often seen in older adults.
Whether you’re choosing something for yourself or for a loved one, you want to choose something that fits the need and fits the person. You want that accessory to enhance quality of life and allow whoever is using it to be able to live to the fullest and not worry about feeling out of place. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to do what you want to do and feel good doing it. Everyone will want to know the secret!