When a person has arthritis, even simple, daily tasks and activities can result in unbearable pain. It could result in a loss of self-sufficiency, as the person begins to rely more heavily on others for aid. Thankfully, there are a variety of assistive devices that may both alleviate pain and allow people that have arthritis to do as much as possible by themselves.
What Are the Top Assistive Devices for Arthritis?
Consider these adaptive devices for a loved one living 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 be easily turned with the palms.
- Kitchen gadgets: Replace 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 prefer to wash dishes by hand, a bottle brush can help ease the process of washing glasses and cups. Purchase pots and pans with two handles as well, as these are much easier to lift and carry.
- Personal care tools: Putting on clothes can be a challenge for people with arthritis. Choose clothes that use Velcro fasteners over buttons or zippers, or items that can be pulled on without fasteners, such as shorts with elastic waistbands. Place grab bars next to the toilet as well as in the shower for safety, and add a shower chair if standing strains the joints.
- Mobility devices: Walking can be painful with arthritis, but it’s essential 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.
- Grabbers: With extended handles, these practical tools are good 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.
Fall prevention is particularly important for anyone with arthritis. These guidelines can help:
- Use non-slip strips or mats in the bathroom, shower or bathtub, in front of the kitchen sink, and any place that may be more prone to water splashes or spills.
- Avoid using ladders. A sturdy step stool with handrails and a broad base is a better alternative when needed.
- Ensure that there’s enough lighting throughout the home, both inside and outside. 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 might visit at nighttime.
- Clear away throw rugs, clutter, cords or any other objects which can be in the person’s walking paths.
- Ensure that the floors are clean and dry all the time.
Can Home Care Help People With Arthritis?
At Live Free Home Health Care, we are dedicated to both providing the support seniors need and promoting independence. Our senior care professionals are trained and experienced in a wide range of home care needs, but will never come in and “take over.”