When a person has arthritis, even easy, daily activities and tasks can lead to debilitating pain. It may also result in a loss of self-sufficiency, if the person starts to rely more heavily on others for aid. Thankfully, there are numerous assistive devices for managing arthritis that can both relieve pain and enable individuals to do as much as possible independently.
Which Assistive Devices Are Best for Managing Arthritis?
Consider these adaptive tools for a loved one struggling with challenges related to arthritis pain and stiffness.
Help With Household Tasks
- 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 glasses and cups. Purchase pans and pots with two handles as well, since these are much easier to lift and carry.
- Personal care tools: Putting on clothes could be a challenge for people with arthritis. Select 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 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 important to stay as physically active as possible to maintain and build strength. Communicate with a physical therapist who can recommend the proper tools to help, such as a cane, walker, braces, crutches, splints, or shoe inserts.
- 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 the floor or from high or low shelves, or to dust hard-to-reach places.
- Lever handles: These are easier on arthritic fingers than conventional doorknobs or sink handles, as they can easily be turned with the palms.
Fall prevention is especially vital for a person with arthritis. These pointers can help:
- Ensure that there’s enough lighting throughout the home, both inside and outside. Add night lights where needed so that the person can easily see to go from the bedroom to bathroom, kitchen, and any other rooms they may visit at nighttime.
- Eliminate clutter, throw rugs, cords or any other objects which are typically in the person’s walking paths.
- 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 splashes or spills.
- Make sure that the floors are dry and clean all the time.
- Avoid using ladders. A sturdy step stool with handrails and a broad base is a better alternative when needed.
How Can Home Care Help?
At Absolute Companion Care, we are invested in both providing the assistance older adults need and promoting independence. Our care professionals are experienced and trained in an array of in-home care needs, but will never come in and “take over.”