Assistive Gadgets Alleviate Symptoms of Arthritis
As many as one in five adults in the United States have a diagnosed form of arthritis, a type of inflammation that causes joint pain. Arthritis can make everyday tasks challenging because it causes pain and stiffness in the joints. However, there are many tools designed to help people with arthritis to do everyday things more easily and with less pain.
Cooking and eating can be hard when your hands hurt. Replacing some common kitchen tools with a more arthritis-friendly alternative can help. Knives with big, soft handles are easier to grip. Larger handles on can openers and jar openers require less strength to use. Wall-mounted electric can openers are also a good option for people with arthritis. Specialized cutting boards with spikes hold food in place and prevent things from sliding around.
Getting dressed is another activity that can be tricky for people with arthritis. Tools called button hooks help a person button their shirts without needing to grasp and pinch the buttons. Zipper pulls are little handles that attach to the zippers on one’s clothes, making them easier to grab and pull. And for putting on socks, long, curved tools called sock aids make it so that a person can put on socks without bending over. Step-in shoes reduce the need to bend over.
When it comes to writing, pens can be hard to hold with arthritis pain. Pens with big, cushioned grips are much easier to hold onto, and can reduce hand pain.
In the bathroom, long-handled brushes and combs make it easier to brush hair without needing to move the fingers or arms so much. Toothbrushes with bigger handles are easier to grip. Then there’s the bath. Getting in and out of the bathtub can increase the risk of falling. Grab bars in the tub and bathroom help people with arthritis get in and out of the shower safely. Automatic toilet bowl cleaners can help cut down the need for scrubbing and cleaning.
Sometimes, even walking can be hard for people with arthritis. Walking canes or walkers can be very helpful, making walking safer and less painful. Wheelchairs are another option to allow people with arthritis to get rest while still being mobile.
Reachers or grabbing tools help in nearly every room in the house. These are long sticks with a handle at one end and a grabbing claw at the other. They help people reach down to the floor or up to a shelf without having to bend down or reach up. Touch-activated light switches could replace harder-to-grasp flip switches. Lever handles are much easier to grasp for people with arthritis pain in their hands than round doorknobs.
All these tools are designed to make life with arthritis a bit easier, which can make a big difference in the independence and mobility of people with arthritis.