While recovering at home, you may find that your limited mobility makes some typically simple tasks feel impossible. Assistive devices can protect you from straining your body in harmful ways and help restore your sense of independence.

Here are a few examples of some common devices

  • Reacher/grabber: This tool (a pole that can range in height from 20 to up to 50 inches) has a far end that mimics finger and thumb. It can help you grasp out-of-reach objects (anything from your phone to the newspaper to the can in the back of the cupboard) without twisting or bending into a potentially harmful position. Many also have magnetic tips.

  • Sock aid: This tool often has two long handles that enable people who have difficulty bending over to slide on socks with one hand.

  • Longhandled shoe horn: This tool, which can range from 15 to more than 30 inches in length, can help people with back or leg concerns to slide shoes on or off while standing. (It can also help with socks.)

  • Long-handled bath sponge: This bath tool can help people easily reach tough-to-clean spots below the knees or around the back without having to twist or bend.

  • Standing poles: These go-anywhere tools, like their wall-mounted counterparts—which are bathroom essentials—can help get you from seated to standing near a bed, a sofa, or a toilet. Some have rotating grab bars that can lock into different places, depending on the angle you need.

  • Vehicle support handle: This tool, designed to snap into any car, can make getting to and from appointments simpler. It fits into the striker found on most vehicles’ door frames and have non-slip grips that can ease getting into and out of a car—and prevent falls.

Tips for finding the best tools—at the right price

  • If you find that there’s something you need while you’re adjusting to life at home, contact your doctor for specific recommendations.

  • Check with your insurance company about whether some of these assistive devices are covered.

  • Shop around: If insurance does not cover the item and the price seems high, you may find opportunities to rent these items from local medical supply stores; you may also find significant discounts online.