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Assistive Devices

For people with TBI, it can be challenging to cope with daily activities such as talking with friends, going to school and work, or participating in recreational activities. Assistive devices can make it easier for a person with a disability to manage these activities.

There will be an evaluation during rehabilitation to determine if assistive devices would enhance independence and capabilities. Assistive devices can be anything from simple to complex. Examples include:

  • A magnifying glass to assist with reading
  • An alarm to remind the person when to take medications (some cell phones have applications that provide this function)
  • A touch-fastener grip attached to a pen or fork for eating or writing
  • A special telephone to help with speech and hearing problems
  • Braces or splints to support weak joints or to limit joint contractures
  • Canes, walkers, crutches, or wheelchairs to aid in mobility
  • Calendar, memory notebook, or other memory aid for tracking appointments, planning, and organizing
  • Medical alert bracelet or emergency call system to obtain immediate medical assistance, if necessary
  • Eye patches or prism glasses to help with vision problems
  • Special beds to help limit skin breakdown and pressure sores, or to help with improving circulation

Keep the phone number for equipment companies available for emergencies, machine malfunctions, and general maintenance.

Does my home need to be modified?
Home modifications may be relatively minor and inexpensive, such as installing grab bars, handrails, and lever handles. They may also be major and very expensive, such as:

  • Installing elevators or lifts
  • Enlarging doorways to allow wheelchair passage
  • Modifying kitchens for easier meal preparation
  • Installing emergency communication systems

Ask the healthcare team to identify what modifications need to be completed before the service member or veteran is discharged to go home, and what modifications may be needed at a later time as rehabilitation continues. Discuss possible resources for assistance in making some of these changes.