For people with arthritis, even simple, daily tasks and activities can cause debilitating pain. It may lead to a loss of self-sufficiency, as the person begins to rely more heavily on others for support and assistance. Fortunately, there are many helpful assistive devices that can both alleviate pain and allow people who have arthritis to do as much as possible independently.
What Is the Best Assistive Equipment for Those With Arthritis?
Consider these adaptive tools for a loved one dealing with arthritis pain and stiffness.
Help With Household Tasks
- Lever handles: These are easier on arthritic fingers than conventional doorknobs or sink handles, because they can easily be turned with the palms.
- Kitchen gadgets: Switch out any manually-powered gadgets, including a can opener or hand-held egg beater, 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 will 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.
- Grabbers: With extended handles, these practical tools are great 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.
- 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 correct tools to help, such as a cane, walker, braces, crutches, splints, or shoe inserts.
- Personal care tools: Putting on clothes can be a challenge for those with arthritis. Opt for clothes that use Velcro fasteners over buttons or zippers, or items that can be pulled on without fasteners, for example, pants 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.
Protecting Against Falls
Fall prevention is particularly crucial for someone with arthritis. These pointers can help:
- Make sure that the floors are dry and clean at all times.
- Make sure that there’s adequate lighting throughout the home, both inside and out. Add night lights where needed so that the individual is able to see to go from the bedroom to bathroom, kitchen, and any other rooms they may visit at nighttime.
- Avoid using ladders. A sturdy step stool with handrails and a broad base is a much better alternative when needed.
- Use non-slip strips or mats in the bathroom, shower or bathtub, in front of the kitchen sink, and any place that may be prone to water splashes or spills.
- Eliminate clutter, throw rugs, cords or any other objects which are typically in the person’s walking paths.
Can Home Care Help People With Arthritis?
At Home With You Senior Care, we are dedicated to both providing the support older adults need and promoting independence. Our care providers are experienced and trained in a wide range of home care needs, but will never come in and “take over.”