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Quick Tips: Modifying Your Home and Work Area When You Have Arthritis - Get started

The pain and stiffness from arthritis may make it hard for you to do your daily tasks. For instance, if you have problems with your hands or fingers, you may find it hard to type or to open and close a door. If you have problems with your hips or knees, it may be hard to go up and down stairs or get in and out of a chair.

When these everyday tasks get harder to do, you may feel tired and frustrated. But there are some changes you can make in your home and work area that can help you move more easily and with less pain.

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At home

  • Use doorknob covers to make opening doors easier. Or replace round doorknobs with handles that have a lever so you don't have to use a whole grip to twist the doorknob open. You can just push down on the handle with your hand or even your elbow. This takes the strain off of your wrist and fingers.
  • Use a reacher to pick up things off the floor or grab items that are high up in cabinets or closets.
  • Use padded or large-handled tools to make objects such as keys, silverware, kitchen pots and pans, combs, and toothbrushes easier to hold.
  • Use electric tools, such as can openers, blenders, and power tools, to make it easier to open cans, mix things, or do home repairs.
  • Use higher chairs or seat cushions to avoid sitting in chairs that are very low and hard to get in and out of.
  • Put a raised seat on your toilet to make it easier to sit down and stand up.
  • Put grab bars in your bathroom to help you get in and out of the shower or tub. And put no-slip tape in the bathtub. All of these things can also help prevent falls.
  • Use a tall stool for tasks that you would normally do standing up such as working in the kitchen or wood shop.
  • Use buttonhooks, long-handled shoehorns, and sock pullers to make getting dressed easier. And use Velcro instead of small buttons or snaps on your clothes.

You can find some of these devices and tools online, in medical supply stores and catalogs, and in local retail and home improvement stores.

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