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    Devices to Make Your Daily LIfe Easier With RA

    In Your Kitchen continued...

    Wash mitt. Use the same type of terry cloth or mesh mitt you use in the shower to make washing dishes and kitchen clean-up easier.

    Reacher. This is basically a long stick (it may scope or fold) with a gripper or suction cups on one end, and it can extend your reach by 2 or 3 feet. Use it to retrieve lightweight items from high cupboard shelves or to pick up items from the floor without bending over.

    Tip: Many items you already have around the house can spare painful fingers - and save your energy - in the kitchen. For example, you can use a nutcracker to loosen bottle tops, and put a thick rubber band around a jar lid to improve your grip.

    Other items that can make cooking easier include electric blenders, knives, can openers, and potato peelers. For serving a meal, nothing beats paper plates. Not only are they lighter than regular plates, but you don’t need to clean them.

    When You Shop

    Reachers. Take yours with you to help retrieve items from high shelves at the store. For heavy or breakable items, though, ask a store employee or another shopper for help.

    Motorized shopping carts. Many stores have them. You can sit while you cruise the aisles. If the store doesn't have them, use a shopping cart, even if you only need a few things, to spare your hands and energy. You’ll have something to lean on, too.

    Shopping bags. Reusable ones can be easier on your hands and wrists than plastic grocery bags. Have the bagger fill them halfway. To carry the bags, slide them over your forearms so your hands are free. Cross your arms and hold them close to your body to lighten the load on your shoulder and elbows.

    Tip: When you buy things online, you don't need to park your car, make your way through crowded stores, or carry heavy packages. Another plus: If you shop for gifts on the Web, you can have them sent directly to the recipient, which gets rid of the hassle of wrapping and shipping.

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