For someone with arthritis, even basic, everyday tasks and activities can cause debilitating pain. It may result in a loss of independence, if the person begins to depend more heavily on others for help and support. Thankfully, there are many helpful tools to assist with arthritis that can both relieve pain and allow those with arthritis to do as much as possible by themselves.
What Are the Best Tools to Assist With Arthritis?
Consider these adaptive tools for somebody battling arthritis pain and stiffness.
Help With Household Tasks
- Kitchen gadgets: Replace any manually-powered gadgets, including a hand-held egg beater or can opener, with electric or battery-operated models. A dishwasher is invaluable for someone with arthritis, but if the person would prefer to wash dishes by hand, a bottle brush can help ease the process of washing glasses and cups. Purchase pans and pots with two handles as well, since these are a lot easier to lift and carry.
- Lever handles: These are easier on arthritic fingers than conventional doorknobs or sink handles, as they can easily be turned with the palms.
- Grabbers: With extended handles, these practical tools are good for alleviating the need to reach out for an object. Utilize them to pick things up from the floor or from low or high shelves, or to dust hard-to-reach places.
- Personal care tools: Putting on clothes can be a challenge for those with arthritis. Select clothes that use Velcro fasteners over zippers or buttons, or items that can be pulled on without fasteners, such as shorts with elastic waistbands. Place grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower for safety, and add a shower chair if standing strains the joints.
- Mobility devices: Walking can be painful with arthritis, however it’s necessary to stay as physically active as possible in order to maintain and build strength. Speak with a physical therapist who can recommend the correct tools to help, such as a cane, walker, braces, crutches, splints, or shoe inserts.
Protecting Against Falls
Fall prevention is especially essential for anyone with arthritis. These pointers can help:
- Avoid using ladders. A sturdy step stool with handrails and a broad base is a much safer alternative when needed.
- Make sure that there is sufficient lighting throughout the home, both inside and out. Add night lights where needed so that the person can see to go from the bedroom to bathroom, kitchen, and any other rooms they might visit at nighttime.
- Get rid of clutter, throw rugs, cords or any other objects which are in the person’s walking paths.
- Use non-slip strips or mats in the bathroom, bathtub or shower, in front of the kitchen sink, and any place which may be prone to water spills or splashes.
- Ensure that the floors are clean and dry all the time.
Can Home Care Help People With Arthritis?
Hearts at Home In-Home Care is devoted to providing the support older loved ones need and promoting independence. Our care providers are experienced and trained in a variety of home care needs, but will never come in and “take over.”