Although we tried to anticipate all of the needs that might arise after my Mom’s double knee replacement, in retrospect we were woefully unprepared for her recovery. While she spent a week in the rehabilitation hospital working on regaining strength, I spent my days running around trying get her home ready for her return. The therapists taught her how to use a variety of tools, but unfortunately they failed to provide us with information about where they could be purchased. (If I had known about UNlimiters I would have been spared a lot of stress, as well been able to save the gas and the time I spent driving around town trying to find everything!)
One of the tools that my Mom relied heavily upon was the grabber. Because she had difficulty moving anything below her waist, this apparatus became her lifeline to independence both at the rehab and at home. She quickly mastered picking up everything from the television remote to lifting up her covers while she was in bed. If it was within grabber reach, she didn’t need to call for assistance to obtain it.
It has been a year since her knee replacements, and while many of her adapted aids are stowed away, the grabber is still in use. She no longer requires the assistance for basic reaching but has found it invaluable for tidying around the house and yard. I had to chuckle the first time I drove up and saw my Mom in her yard picking up sticks with the grabber. What a strikingly different use for this tool compared to her initial introduction in therapy. She now habitually uses it because it allows her to stay upright, keeping her from bending and contorting during yard work. Anything that she can do to save straining her back and knees is worthwhile!
My little boy loved using his Nana’s grabber so much that we bought him one of his own. He loves using his grabber when it is time to clean up his toys, a task which used to result in endless laments and avoidance. It certainly takes him a long time to pick up his Legos block by block using the grabber, but he is happy and busy during what used to be a dreaded chore. I’m now at the juncture where I don’t care if it takes him an hour to pick up his toys as long as he isn’t complaining and my request is being followed.
I suspect that the grabber will be hanging prominently in both of our houses for a long time, although we both have different uses. My Mom uses it to simply her work and save straining her back. My son uses it because it has become a fun way to complete his chores. For me, it is a win-win situation!