Aids To Daily Living

By Barbara Risto

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"Aids to Daily Living" (ADLs) are devices that help people with disabilities to function at their highest possible level and enjoy the highest possible quality of life.  ADLs are also referred to as "assistive devices," or "adaptive technology."

Both government and non-profit organizations provide funding to people with disabilities for ADLs. Whether or not you're eligible for funding can be based on a number of factors, such as the type and cost of the device you need, your household income, the province (and in some cases, city) of residence, and the nature of your disability.

The provincially funded Aids to Independent Living program in British Columbia loans medical equipment, free of charge. Many seniors coping with long-term illness and injury do not have the financial resources required to purchase or rent medical equipment.  Clients must be referred by an occupational therapist, homecare nurse, physiotherapist, or other health unit staff and must also undergo a financial eligibility test. 

For those who do not qualify for funding or need devices not funded by the program, a variety of ADL products can be purchased through medical supply stores. These stores carry hundreds of products such as canes, walkers, scooters, special chairs, grab bars and poles, stairlifts, health monitors, transfer devices, bathing apparatus, grooming and eating utensils, therapeutic beds and pillows, exercise equipment, ramps, stair lifts, and more.


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