Beyond Mobility: Assistive Devices for Peripheral Neuropathy

Is your home safe? Peripheral neuropathy can increase mobility issues in those suffering from the painful condition, leaving them to wonder if their home is safe to live in. 

Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? We can help.

a loving old couple looking at each while sitting on the couch with a cane. Assistive devices concept

Peripheral neuropathy, a debilitating condition marked by weakness, numbness and pain from nerve damage, is a hidden epidemic affecting over 20 million people in the U.S. As we age, the risk of developing this condition significantly increases, leading to safety concerns and diminished quality of life. However, advancements in technology have given rise to a variety of assistive devices designed to increase the autonomy, safety and comfort of those affected. This article explores these innovative solutions, as well as home adjustments, shedding light on how they can help to mitigate the challenges posed by peripheral neuropathy. 

Assistive devices that aid with peripheral neuropathy

Individuals with peripheral neuropathy often experience loss of balance due to numbness and pain in feet. Damaged nerve endings can affect gait and lead to avoidable falls. Here are a few devices that can help you live safely at home:

  • Getting dressed: Shoe and sock aid prevents neuropathy patients from having to bend down and provides ease and comfort. Zipper pulls and velcro patches instead of buttons makes it easier to wear clothes if individuals have reduced sensation in their hands. 
  • Getting around: A rolling kitchen or laundry cart makes it easier to get and unpack groceries and move your laundry. It provides assistance to move around with ease while holding on to items. Additionally, elevated door knobs and raised flooring help individuals get around safely and provide additional grip.

Practical home adjustments for living with peripheral neuropathy

Living with peripheral neuropathy can be a significant challenge, but creating a safe and accessible home environment can improve day-to-day experiences. Here, we explore some practical adjustments to key areas in your home—entryways, stairways, bathrooms and the kitchen—designed to enhance safety and mobility, thus offering a more comfortable and secure living space.

  • Entryways. To create an accessible entryway, ensure there is at least one entrance without stairs and a low or no threshold at the entry. Removable ramps can help you roll in your wheelchairs on days you experience more pain. Lowered doorstep and garden rails also make the outdoors accessible for individuals with neuropathy.
  • Stairways. To create a safe and accessible stairway, it’s important to have handrails on both sides of all staircases and ensure that the stairs have even height steps. Adding a contrasting strip on the edge of each stair enhances visibility and reduces the risk of tripping.
  • Bathrooms. Adding grip rails within the shower area provides extra support and stability. Opting for a hand-held showerhead with a hose allows for more flexibility during use. LED thermometers in the washroom can also help individuals know how hot or cold their bath water is, since individuals with neuropathy have sensitivity to temperature and pain stimulus.
  • Kitchen. Arrange the contents of your kitchen so that commonly used items are conveniently positioned at shoulder or waist level. Enhance nighttime safety by incorporating night lights or motion detector lights, ensuring sufficient illumination for safe navigation when using the restroom or getting a drink of water during the night.

WinSanTor is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of treatments for peripheral neuropathies. We believe in creating a solution that works and brings relief to millions that are struggling with this disease. Learn more about our companyour drug and subscribe to our newsletter.

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FAQs

What are assistive devices for older persons?

A rolling kitchen or laundry cart makes it easier to get and unpack groceries and move your laundry. It provides assistance to move around with ease while holding on to items. Additionally, elevated door knobs and raised flooring help individuals get around safely and provide additional grip.

How can we protect elderly living alone?

To create a safe and accessible stairway, it's important to have handrails on both sides of all staircases and ensure that the stairs have even height steps. Adding a contrasting strip on the edge of each stair enhances visibility and reduces the risk of tripping.

What are the most common safety problems among older adults?

Peripheral neuropathy, a debilitating condition marked by weakness, numbness and pain from nerve damage, is a hidden epidemic affecting over 20 million people in the U.S. As we age, the risk of developing this condition significantly increases, leading to safety concerns and diminished quality of life.

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