For someone with arthritis, even simple, daily tasks and activities can result in crippling pain. It may also result in a loss of self-reliance, if the person starts to depend more heavily on others for support and assistance. Fortunately, there are a variety of helpful devices which can both reduce pain and permit individuals living with arthritis to do as much as possible on their own.
What Are the Best Assistive Devices for Those Living With Arthritis?
Consider these adaptive tools for somebody battling arthritis pain and stiffness.
Help With Household Tasks
- 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 the floor or from high or low shelves, or to dust hard-to-reach places.
- Kitchen gadgets: Switch out any manually-powered gadgets, including a hand-held egg beater or can opener, with electric or battery-operated models. A dishwasher is invaluable for somebody with arthritis, but 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 much easier to lift and carry.
- Mobility devices: Walking can be painful with arthritis, but it’s necessary to stay as physically active as possible in order to maintain and build strength. Communicate with a physical therapist who can recommend the proper tools to help, such as a cane, walker, crutches, braces, splints, or shoe inserts.
- Personal care tools: Getting dressed could be a challenge for those with arthritis. Opt for clothes that use Velcro fasteners over zippers or buttons, or items that can be pulled on without fasteners, for example, 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.
- Lever handles: These are easier on arthritic fingers than conventional doorknobs or sink handles, as they can easily be turned with the palms.
Protecting Against Falls
Fall prevention is especially important for somebody living with arthritis. The following tips can help:
- Use non-slip strips or mats in the bathroom, shower or bathtub, in front of the kitchen sink, and any place which may be more prone to water spills or splashes.
- Ensure that the floors are always dry and clean.
- Eliminate throw rugs, clutter, cords or other objects which are in the person’s walking paths.
- Make sure that there’s adequate lighting throughout the home, both inside and out. Add night lights where needed so that the individual can see to go from the bedroom to bathroom, kitchen, and any other rooms they could visit at nighttime.
- Avoid using ladders. A sturdy step stool with handrails and a broad base is a much better alternative when needed.
Can Home Care Help People With Arthritis?
At Compassionate Nursing Services, we are dedicated to both providing the support older adults need and promoting independence. Our caregivers are experienced and trained in a variety of home care needs, but will never come in and “take over.”