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Digging, raking and planting

These tools are designed to assist with a range of garden activities.

Digging the garden or cultivating the soil. The handles might be light-weight so that they are easier to use by people experiencing reduced strength or they may have an adapted handle to support people who have a weak grip.

Removing weeds from gardens and lawns. Some of the products shown are specialist style gardening tools, such as tools with right angled handles or equipment to adapt standard available weeding equipment. There are four main types of weeders designed to avoid bending: hoes; harpoon-style weeders; pick-up style weeders and flame guns. Some of these long-handled weed pullers will only target single small surface weeds (for example small seedlings) on cultivated soil. Compacted ground (like lawns) and/or areas with perennial weeds (which live longer than two years), tend to be deep rooted, and would require excavation by using a fork or hand tool.

Garden and lawn maintenance. Lawn edging and pickup equipment may be useful for people with the use of one hand only, reduced strength or sight loss. Much of this equipment collects lawn clippings which limits the need to bend and pick up the waste.

Handles and arm supports can be attached to a range of objects, and may provide enhanced grip and an ability to hold things with greater firmness and a more comfortable hand position. Some products allow some of the weight of a tool to be taken through the forearm. Add-on handles and gripping aids can be used for other items such as golf, sports and cleaning equipment to assist you to use a long handled tool in an upright or sitting position.

Some of the tools are multi-functional and can be fitted to a range of handles from the same supplier while others can be fitted to standard tools.

Active Hands Looped Exercise Aid
Device to assist the user when gripping a wide range of items for example gym equipment, handlebars and tools. Comprises: an adjustable padded wrist s...
Baronet Firm Grip Weed Puller
Weed extracting device for use on cultivated soil, but not lawns or compacted ground. The blade is pushed into the ground adjacent to the weed and is ...
D-ring Gripping Aids
Wrist attached aids designed to help individuals when using gym equipment. Comprises: fabric aid is attached to the wrist via a Velcro strap; Velcro s...
Easi-Grip Add On Handles
Add-on handles which enable conventional garden tools to be converted into ergonomic tools. Comprises: plastic handles with soft feel grip which attac...
Easi-grip Garden Tools
Garden tools. Designed to keep hands and wrists at a natural angle to help eliminate strains and blisters. Comprises: made from stainless steel; speci...
Easi-Grip Garden Trowel
Range of stainless steel garden tools including fork, cultivator, weeder and trowel with slip-resistant enlarged handles set at right angles to the to...
Ergonomic Garden Hand Tools
Garden hand tools with a slip-resistant, angled handle designed to maintain the wrist in a more neutral position. Range includes two sizes of trowel a...
Ezimate Back Saving Accessory
Plastic handles which can be attached to a range of tools or appliances in order to provide an additional and/or alternative grip position to facilita...
Garden Grabber With Telescopic Handles
Garden pickup grabber. Comprises: poly-fibre jaws with serrated inner ribs and close-fitting teeth; telescopic steel handles.
Garden Weeder
Garden weeder device. Comprises: two stainless steel blades and reaching claws designed to grab the weed; D-grip handle; foldable foot step; release s...
General Purpose Gripping Aid
Device to assist the user in gripping a wide range of objects for example hand tools, gardening implements and sports equipment such as snooker cues a...
Hook Aids
Hook aids. Designed to help the user to grip and release equipment, in particular while in the gym or as part of an exercise activity. Comprises: stai...
Limb Difference Gripping Aid
Gripping aid designed for individuals who have fingers or a part of their hand missing. Comprises: wrist section with Velcro strap that is used to sec...
Multi-change Cultivation Gardening Tools
Range of cultivation tool heads designed to help weed soil and break down hard stony ground. Comprises: designed to be used with manufacturer's lightw...
Multi-change Cultiweeder
Range of weeding tool heads with prongs and blade. Comprises: lance shaped prongs, designed to break up and loosen soil; weeding blade on the back, de...
Multi-change Double Hoe
Double hoe tool head. Comprises: sharp angled blade, designed for weeding or drawing out seed drills; sharp prongs, designed to break up soil; designe...
Multi-change Double Hoe
Double hoe tool head designed to be used with a choice of handle to break up soil or for making seed drills. Comprises: range of handles available fro...
Multi-change Draw Hoe
Draw hoe tool head. Comprises: garden equipment, designed for hoeing, weeding and trenching; curved swan-neck arm; designed to be used with a lightwei...
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Buying equipment

There are several factors to consider when purchasing equipment.

Making complaints and reporting unsafe products

In most instances a complaint should initially be made to the supplier who provided you with the item. CAB has a range of guidelines on their website on making a complaint about poor service or faulty goods. These include complaining by phone, complaining in writing and template letters. CAB advice about making a complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the supplier's response then you may choose to complain to:

  • an ombudsman scheme
  • a regulator
  • an independent mediator
  • a trade association (if the supplier is a member of one)

 

Safety incidents involving medical devices can be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on the GOV UK website www.mhra.gov.uk or their Adverse incident centre hotline 020 3080 7080. The MHRA is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medical devices and medicines work and are acceptably safe. Their definition of 'Medical devices' includes devices used for assisting patients and users, thus many daily living aids such as bath lifts, commodes and walking sticks are medical devices. Any incident involving the safety of a medical device (including safety issues with its instructions for use) should be reported to the MHRA, especially if the incident contributed to, or could have caused injury, life-threatening illness or death.

Buying from a private person

Buying from a private person gives you fewer rights. You will only be able to claim against the seller if the product doesn't match its description or if the seller did not own it. Consequently, some firms occasionally pretend to be private sellers to avoid their legal responsibilities towards customers. If you suspect this has happened to you find out about your rights and what action to take on the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/ or call 0345 404 0506 to speak to the Citizen Advice consumer helpline.

Guarantee

The length of the manufacturer's guarantee does not limit any claim you may make to the seller as if a product develops a fault outside the guarantee period you can still claim against the seller if you can show that the fault was unreasonable at that period in the products life.

 

You may be asked whether you would like to purchase an extended warranty. Remember that your statutory rights exist, under the Sale of Goods Act, whether or not you choose to buy their warranty and whether or not the goods came with any guarantee. Manufacturers' guarantees are separate from the automatic rights you have against the seller, and may be more limited. For more information read the Citizens Advice Bureau guide to guarantees and warranties.

Maintenance and insurance

For large complex items, such as a stairlift, check what kind of maintenance contract the supplier offers.

Membership of trade associations

Some suppliers are members of a trade association. Many of these trade associations have a code of practice that governs their members' customer service, and thus may help to project you from unscrupulous selling practices. For example, some trade associations prohibit their members from contacting people uninvited to try and sell their products. They may also prohibit their members from using high pressure selling tactics such as offering a discount if you order that day, or phoning their manager while demonstrating the equipment to you to agree a 'special discount/deal'. Thus if you have a choice of suppliers for the product you wish to purchase we recommend you consider the suppliers who are members of trade association.

We record suppliers' membership of several trade associations (see a list of these trade associations) and our ratings give greater weighting to trade associations with codes of practice which are approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) (e.g. the British Healthcare Trade Association) or governed by an audit scheme which meets the requirements of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

We also record whether suppliers meet the ISO 9000 series of standards. These standards define a Quality System which certifies that formalised business processes are being applied, and thus may be another indicator to look for if you have a choice of suppliers.

VAT

You may be able to purchase equipment designed for use by disabled people without paying the VAT if you are 'chronically sick or disabled', and you are buying the item/s for your own personal or domestic use. For VAT purposes, a person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities.
  • Have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness (e.g. diabetes).
  • Are terminally ill.

 

So, you won't qualify if you're only temporarily disabled or incapacitated (e.g. if you have a broken leg).

Examples of products which are likely to qualify for VAT relief (if intended for the personal or domestic use of a chronically sick or disabled person) include:

 

  • wheelchairs
  • stairlifts
  • computer software or hardware designed specifically for disabled individuals
  • kettle tippers, tap turners, button hooks and similar gadgets or devices that are designed solely to make everyday tasks easier for disabled individuals
  • artificial limbs
  • vehicles that have been adapted for use by a wheelchair or stretcher user

Price

Price is important but, if we list more than one supplier, it is important to look for more than just the cheapest price. Check when the prices were last updated (this should be stated under each price). Consider whether:

  • Postage/delivery is included (if shopping by mail order or online)
  • Is the supplier a member of a trade association? (see below)
  • Is one supplier listing the price with VAT and another without VAT?
  • Check the suppliers' returns policies and any guarantees / warranties (see below).
  • For complex equipment that requires maintenance and/or servicing check what's included in the price and what the ongoing costs will be.

Get advice and an assessment

Experienced therapists or trusted assessors know a lot about products and will help you make sure the product is right for you now and will continue to be suitable in the future. 

 

You may be able to get an assessment and advice from social services. GOV.UK website
Alternatively you may choose to pay for a private occupational therapist. If you wish to request a private appointment with an occupational therapist then you can obtain details of local private occupational therapists from the 'College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section - Independent Practice' (COTSS-IP) website. www.cotss-ip.org.uk or phone their enquiry Line: 0845 129 7699.
You can check whether a therapist is state registered with the Health Care professions Council (HCPC) at www.hcpc-uk.org/audiences/

Try before you buy

You can find out about products and try them out, with independent advice at an Independent Living Centre (ILC). There are about 30 ILCs in the UK. Most do not sell products but they will be able to tell you where to buy them. We recommend you make an appointment before you visit

You could view equipment at an exhibition. They are a good opportunity to see what's available and meet the competing suppliers. The main exhibition of equipment is NAIDEX, held annually at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, and Glasgow. www.naidex.co.uk


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