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Devices to Make Your Daily LIfe Easier With RA

With rheumatoid arthritis, you can still lead an active life, look great, and do the things you enjoy. There are gadgets, which your doctor may call “assistive devices,” that can help you regain your independence and make daily tasks easier.

Some are specially designed for people with conditions like RA, to make it easier to bend, reach, or grip. You might find them at a pharmacy or medical supply store, or you can search online for some devices. You may already have others at home.

Dressing and Grooming

Clothes fastener. A button hook at one end makes it easier to fasten small buttons on blouses and sweaters. A hook on the other end helps open and close zippers.

Long-handled shoe horn. The long handle makes it easier to put on shoes when bending is hard. A small notch on the end helps remove socks.

Long-handled comb. A long handle with a coated grip makes it easier to comb your hair if RA affects your arm and wrist movement.

Wash mitt. Made of terry cloth or mesh, this mitt can be used with body wash or bar soap. You won't have to grip a washcloth anymore.

Tip: Think of a foam hair curler as an assistive device. Insert the handle of a toothbrush through the center to create an easier-to-grip handle, or cut the curler down one side and slip it over a brush handle. Flossers and electric toothbrushes also make it easier to take care of your teeth.

In Your Kitchen

Try these items to make it easier to prep, cook, and serve food.

Two-handled pots and pans. With handles on both sides, these are easier to hold, because they allow you to spread their weight between both hands.

Rocking T knife. Designed so that you need less strength and dexterity to use it, this knife applies pressure directly above the food to be cut. Another plus: You can use the knife with one hand.

Milk carton holder. Used with a half-gallon carton, this holder provides a plastic handle that makes it easier to hold and pour milk.

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