“When you have to do the same thing every day or a lot of the time, small changes or tools that enable independence become important,” says Carol Dodge, MD, an occupational therapist at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
You can find hundreds of helpful gadgets at hardware or home supply stores and online. Which device may be right for you will depend on where your arthritis is and how bad it is. If you need help narrowing down your options, talk to an occupational therapist (OT) who has experience working with people with arthritis.
“One of the things I do when I work with someone is that I specifically look for tasks that they find challenging – maybe tasks that they put off because they’re painful or tasks that they absolutely can’t do and they need to ask someone for help.” [help]says Dodge, who’s been an OT for 40 years. “Then we get a tool that allows them to do that work themselves.”
Some of his top recommendations for home gadgets and tips include:
Tool with extended handle. They can help you pick things up off the floor, reach items on high shelves, and vacuum or clean.
lightweight equipment. A vacuum cleaner or mop that is easy to move and carry may put less stress on your joints.
Touch the Active light switch. These can be gentler on your hands and fingers than regular buttons and switches. Almost any electrical appliance can be adapted to touch, touch with an adapter that you buy in the electrical section of a lighting store.
Lever. This allows you to reposition door and sink knobs so that you use your palms instead of your fingers to hold them. (If you can’t turn door handles, you can buy a turning tool with a handle that makes them easier to grip—some even help you grip keys.)
foam pipe insulation. Wrap it around the handle of any tool – such as utensils, pens, brushes and kitchen or garden tools – to hold with less effort and pain. (You can also wrap the handle of the tool with tape or cloth.) You can also buy tools with larger, wider handles.
Spring-loaded shears. It may be easier to cut through these.
Some other tools and tricks that can help you with different rooms in your home include:
In your kitchen:
- Pots and pans with two handles may be easier for you to carry. Some rocker knives also have double handles, which can make cutting easier.
- Power tools – such as a can or jar opener, food processor, blender, or dishwasher – can help you save energy and prevent strain on your hands when doing tasks such as lidding, scrubbing, mixing, and chopping.
- A non-slip mat will make items less likely to slip out of your hands if you open jars or mix food by hand.
- A bottle brush can help with washing cups and glasses.
- A wheeled cart allows you to transport heavy items like utensils and shopping bags without the hassle of lifting and carrying them.
in your bedroom:
- Zipper pullers and button hooks are gadgets that help you fasten clothes.
- You can also find clothes with Velcro closures.
- Shoe and sock accessories, such as shoehorns with long handles, help avoid reaching and bending to get dressed. Feet,
In your bathroom:
- If standing takes too much energy or puts pressure on the joints, a shower stool for your shower or bath allows you to sit down.
- Bathing gloves can help you grip the slippery soap.
- A electric toothbrush And the dental floss holder can make it easier to clean your teeth teeth,
- The handles help keep you steady.
Discard the rugs. This is especially important if you use a walker or cane, as they can get caught on the edges of the rug.
Improve lighting. Make sure your rooms and all stairways are well lit, especially at night. You can buy small stair lights at any home improvement store that sells lighting.
Place railings according to stairs. If your home has a second floor, you probably have one inside. It’s also a good idea to install a handrail next to any outdoor stairs leading up to your home.
Think twice about stairs. If you must climb, use a stable step stool with a wide base. Ideally it should have a handle to help you balance.
Clean up spilled material immediately. Do not walk on slippery surfaces.
Some other security measures to consider are:
- For assistance with getting in and out, use an adjustable transfer bench.
- Install grab bars around bathtubs and toilets.
- If you have difficulty sitting or standing, use an elevated toilet seat.
- Place rubber squeegee mats or non-slip strips in the shower or bathroom.
- raise a accumulation on the floor.
If your arthritis makes it painful to walk, see a physical therapist (PT). They can find out if you would benefit from an aid or device that would make it easier for you to get around, but that’s not all.
“The physiotherapist does a very comprehensive assessment of the patient. They talk about what the patient’s goals are, as well as what they see from the physical evaluation. They can then create a care plan for that patient,” Jan K. Richardson, PhD, PT, professor emeritus at Duke University School of Medicine and chief medical officer of Medical Outcome Indicators in Washington, PA.
Richardson says a physical therapist can help you:
- Decrease pain.
- Keep your affected joints working as best you can.
- start a practice training program For strength, mobility and overall function.
- Anticipate what your needs may be in the future.
If your physical therapist thinks a mobility aid or assistive device might help, they may talk to you about one or more of the following:
Reed. This can be very effective for someone who wants to relieve pressure on an affected hip. Knee, or leg on one side of the body, says Richardson. use the stick on the opposite side of you arthritis Joint,
Tell your physical therapist if you have systemic arthritis like RA and your hands are affected. Taking your weight off a stick can lead to resentment HandRichardson says.
Stool. It’s the next step after the cane, says Richardson. Some people only need one crutch, while others use two.
“When people think of crutches, they often think of the wooden crutches that hospitals provide for broken bones,” she says. “But there are also crutches that are fondly called beach crutches, which are actually forearm crutches, so they don’t go under your arms. You have a cuff on your arm. Your hand then sits on the handle like a cane, but has a lot more stability.
passenger Richardson says this two-handed device will be the next step after crutches. A walker can help someone who has joint problems on both sides of the lower body and has difficulty balancing. A physical therapist can modify a walker to put less stress and strain on your shoulders, elbows, hands and wrists.
Knee Press. There are different types of knee arthritis. Your physical therapist may recommend the following:
- align your knees
- take away the pain
- Help you recover from knee surgery
- provide a sense of support that makes you feel more comfortable
air strip. This compression tool can Lonely of bending or rolling. “People who Sprain Their heels often wear these down, but they’re also very effective if you have them. [an arthritis] You hurt your ankle,” says Richardson.
Inserts for shoes. These devices that you put in your shoes can facilitate foot ache if you have rheumatoid arthritis or lower body articulation, They may also slow the damage caused by osteoarthritis of the knee.
orthopedic shoes. If arthritis has caused a lot of deformity in your feet or toes, these custom-made shoes may be a more supportive option, says Richardson.
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