For someone with arthritis, even basic, daily activities and tasks may trigger crippling pain. It could lead to a loss in independence, if the person starts to rely more heavily on others for help and support. Fortunately, there is assistive equipment for arthritis that can both reduce pain and enable those with arthritis to do as much as possible on their own.
What Are the Best Assistive Devices for Arthritis?
Consider these adaptive tools for someone dealing with arthritis pain and stiffness.
Help With Household Tasks
- Grabbers: With extended handles, these basic tools are great for relieving the need to reach out for an object. Utilize them to pick things up off of the floor or from low or high shelves, or to dust hard-to-reach places.
- Lever handles: These are easier on arthritic fingers than conventional doorknobs or sink handles, because they can easily be turned with the palms.
- 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. Speak with a physical therapist who can recommend the proper tools to help, for example, a cane, walker, crutches, braces, splints, or shoe inserts.
- Personal care tools: Getting dressed may be a challenge for people with arthritis. Select clothes that use Velcro fasteners over buttons or zippers, or items that can be pulled on without fasteners, for example, shorts with elastic waistbands. Place grab bars beside the toilet and in the shower for safety, and add a shower chair if standing strains the joints.
- 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 somebody with arthritis, however, if the person would rather wash dishes by hand, a bottle brush can help ease the process of washing cups and glasses. Purchase pots and pans with two handles as well, as these are much easier to lift and carry.
Protecting Against Falls
Fall prevention is especially essential for somebody with arthritis. The following tips can help:
- Eliminate throw rugs, clutter, cords or other objects that are in the individual’s walking paths.
- Make sure that there is sufficient lighting throughout the home, both inside and out. Add night lights where needed so the senior can see to go from the bedroom to bathroom, kitchen, and any other rooms they could visit at nighttime.
- 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 splashes or spills.
- Ensure that the floors are dry and clean all the time.
- Stay away from ladders. A sturdy step stool with handrails and a broad base is a much safer alternative when needed.
How Can Home Care Help?
At Grace Home Care, we are committed to both providing the help older adults need and promoting independence. Our care providers are experienced and trained in a variety of senior care needs, but will never come in and “take over.”