Picking up injuries and disabilities happens to everyone as they go through life and, as you get older, your physical abilities or restrictions might change. Many people want to keep their independence for as long as possible and it makes sense to use specialised equipment to achieve this, but there’s so much choice. How do you know you’re making the best choice? Here are five tips to help you.

Seek Advice

You’ll be in a good position to know what you need but don’t forget to involve the experts. Ask your medical professional or physiotherapist what equipment might help you. Don’t forget the specialist care organisations that can give you the benefit of their experience and knowledge. Talking to someone who already uses the equipment is a good way to identify whether it will work for you.

Go For What Suits You

Whether you’re looking for something big like a specialist bed or small like a telephone, you need to find something that addresses your particular needs. Is it comfortable to use? Does it make your life easier? Will there be any extra issues like maintenance that you need to consider? Most importantly, does it do the job you need it to?

Try It Out

Some specialist equipment can be expensive, so it’s worth seeing if you can have a trial period. If it’s a smaller item, like a phone or a kettle, ask the retailer to get it out of the box so you can give it a go. Check the returns policy if you do decide to buy something; sometimes issues don’t come to light immediately.

Getting Value for Money

Limited budgets are something most people have to deal with, so make sure you shop around to get the best price. Consider getting insurance for larger or more expensive items. If you’re buying second-hand, either privately or through a dealer, make sure you get any relevant details including warranty and maintenance history. You’ll also need to check the item meets any relevant safety standards.

Think Creatively

Go for the simplest solution wherever possible and don’t forget some of the most useful aids may be available from somewhere other than specialist outlets, especially when it comes to kitchen gadgets. Use the internet and consider high street shops.

Buying specialist equipment might feel like an admission of weakness, but having the right equipment can be the best way to maintain the level of independence you want.