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7 Shopping Tips When You Have Arthritis continued...

6. Be Kind to Your Joints

Most grocery stores are happy to help you put bags in your car. “Don’t be shy about asking,” says Topp. “If you buy food in jars with tight lids or other containers that are hard for you to open, ask the check-out clerk or bagger to open them for you before putting them in the bag. That goes for medications or products you buy at the drug store, as well. Most people are more than happy to help out.”

7. Use OA Assistive Devices

If you walk to the grocery store, consider using a folding cart to wheel your groceries home. For heavier items, investigate grocery delivery options in your community. At home, a wheeled tea cart can be a helpful way to move things around the house, eliminating the need to lift and carry.

6 Tips for Preparing Meals at Home When You Have Arthritis

If you’re an avid home cook, you don’t have to let arthritis get in the way. By equipping your kitchen with a few easy-to-use items, you can make the task of food preparation easier. Using common sense and a few clever techniques will also help make cooking as pain-free as possible.

1. Get Joint-Friendly Kitchen Tools

If you have arthritis in your hands, utensils with large handles may be easier for you to manage. When you shop for new kitchen utensils, try them out first to see how they feel. Experiment with different cups and glasses to find shapes that work best for you. For some activities, experiment with alternatives to conventional utensils. If chopping with a standard chef knife is a problem for you, try using a knife with a curved blade that can be rocked back and forth to chop and dice. 

“Scissors and pizza cutter wheels are other options that make it easier for many people with arthritis,” says arthritis counselor Andrew Lui, PT, DPT, assistant clinical professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation at the University of California, San Francisco. To avoid strain on your hands when opening jar lids, use a rubber pad or jar opener that grips the lid.  

2. Use Light Pots and Pans for Easier Handling

If lifting heavy pots and pans is a problem, replace heavy materials such as cast iron with lighter alternatives, such as aluminum pans. Replace stoneware plates or storage containers with plastic ones. If you’re on a tight budget, yard sales area a great place to find kitchenware at a bargain.

3. Go Automatic and Reduce Joint Aches

Appliances like electric can openers, microwaves, hand-held blenders, and food processors can make food preparation much simpler when you have arthritis. Not all automatic appliances are simple to use, however, so check them out carefully to see how they work before buying something new. If you have room, keep heavier appliances that you frequently use on the countertop to avoid having to lift them.  

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