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Osteoarthritis Health Center

Assistive Devices: Living Better With Arthritis

Living with arthritis can be difficult. Assistive devices may make life a little easier.
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In the Kitchen

You can keep the kitchen the heart of the house with assistive devices that make cooking, serving, and eating easier.

  • Power appliances like mixers, food processors, slow cookers, can openers, microwave ovens and dishwashers make short work of kitchen chores, use less of your valuable energy, and pamper joints.  
  • A wheeled cart or island in the kitchen helps you move food from cooktop to tabletop. Make things even easier by replacing heavy pots, pans, and dishes with lighter table- and cookware.
  • Lever-style faucets or tap turners. Convert difficult-to-manage faucet heads to lever-style faucets, or invest in inexpensive tap turners, lever-shaped pieces of plastic that fit over faucet heads and make turning taps easier.
  • Reach extenders, rods with a lever on one end and a gripper on the other, help you retrieve cans from high shelves, or pick up items dropped on the floor. As a matter of fact this handy tool, which can also come with a magnetic tip, is useful all over the house.
  • Jar openers can be as simple as a small rubber disk that fits over a twist-top lid, giving you better traction, or you can opt for specialty hooks, levers, and pliers-like grippers.

In the Bathroom

From small pill bottles and tiny nail clippers to hard porcelain surfaces, the bathroom can be tough to navigate with arthritis. A few self-help tools that can make life easier:

  • Medicine bottle openers. You don't need limited mobility to find medicine bottles hard to open. Fortunately, many inexpensive tools can help, some as simple as rubberized disks that aid your grip, others are specialty tools made for managing child-proof caps. You can also ask your pharmacist to fit your medications with easier-to-open lids.  
  • Tub/shower rails. Falls can happen to anyone around slick surfaces and water. Rails are simple to install and an easy way to provide extra stability in the bath or shower; add a non-skid mat to the bottom of the stall to make things even safer.  
  • Elevated toilet seats can make getting on and off the toilet easier, as can grab rails mounted nearby.
  • Long-handled brushes or bath mitts can help make washing up in the tub or shower less difficult. Buy two sets and you can use the second to clean the tub/shower itself.  
  • Easy-grip nail cutters have larger blades and handles than conventional clippers, and they need less pressure to use, saving wear and tear on joints.  

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