This research compared older adults' use of medical assistive devices (ADs) with their use of everyday ADs as a means of managing chronic physical disability. The study also examined whether predisposing, need, and enabling factors were associated with device use in three domains of activity: personal care / in-home mobility, household activities, and community mobility. Participants were 248 adults, aged 55 years and older, with a wide range of disability levels as a result of osteoarthritis. All participants were administered an in-depth, structured questionnaire, as part of a larger study examining older adults' independence and adaptation to chronic physical illness. The results revealed that respondents actively adapted to their disabilities and used a wide range of medical and everyday devices, with everyday devices being reported more than twice as often as medical ADs and the fewest devices overall being reported for community mobility. In general, medical devices were used when subjective and objective need for ADs was considerable. Everyday devices were reported earlier in the trajectory of the disease, at mild and moderate disability levels, and were associated with a broader pattern of adaptation that included planning to avoid problems, exercise, and pacing activities.