When a person has arthritis, even easy, everyday tasks and activities may trigger unbearable pain. It may also result in a loss of independence, as the person starts to rely more heavily on others for aid. Thankfully, there are many helpful assistive devices that can both decrease pain and help people live better with arthritis.
Which Assistive Devices Are Best for Arthritis?
Consider these adaptive tools for someone living with arthritis pain and stiffness.
Help With Household Tasks
- Personal care tools: Putting on clothes may be a challenge for people 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 beside the toilet as well as in the shower for safety, and add a shower chair if standing strains the joints.
- Lever handles: These are easier on arthritic fingers than conventional doorknobs or sink handles, as they can easily be turned with the palms.
- Mobility devices: Walking can be painful with arthritis, but it’s vital to stay as physically active as possible to maintain and build strength. Communicate with a physical therapist who can recommend the correct tools to help, for example, a cane, walker, crutches, braces, splints, or shoe inserts.
- 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, however, if the person would prefer to wash dishes by hand, a bottle brush can help ease the process of washing cups and glasses. Purchase pans and pots with two handles as well, as these are considerably easier to lift and carry.
- Grabbers: With extended handles, these simple tools are great for relieving the need to reach out for an object. Use them to pick things up off of the floor or from low or high shelves, or to dust hard-to-reach places.
Protecting Against Falls
Fall prevention is especially essential for a person with arthritis. The following tips can help:
- Stay away from ladders. A sturdy step stool with handrails and a broad base is a better alternative when needed.
- Use non-slip strips or mats in the bathroom, bathtub or shower, in front of the kitchen sink, and any place that may be prone to water spills or splashes.
- Eliminate throw rugs, clutter, cords or other objects that are in the person’s walking paths.
- Ensure that there is sufficient lighting throughout the home, both inside and out. Add night lights where needed so that the person is able to see to go from the bedroom to bathroom, kitchen, and any other rooms they may visit at nighttime.
- Be sure that the floors are always clean and dry.
Can Home Care Help People With Arthritis?
At Morning Glory Home Care, we are devoted to both providing the support older adults need and promoting independence. Our care professionals are trained and experienced in an array of in-home care needs, but will never come in and “take over.”