Your home should be a place where you feel safe and comfortable. But when you have arthritis, it may seem like your home is filled with obstacles, such as doors that are hard to open and lamps that are difficult to turn on.
Assistive devices for arthritis can help make these everyday tasks easier. From opening small jars and bottles to getting out of the tub, these devices can ease the strain on your joints. These tools are available at your local pharmacy, hardware store, or medical supply store, or you can purchase them online. Here's a list of assistive devices to help you in the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, and in your yard.
Assistive Devices for the Kitchen
For many people, the kitchen is the center of the home. Take advantage of the wide array of kitchen tools that can help you complete cooking tasks with ease.
- Jar openers: A simple rubber jar opener can help you get a better grip on tight lids. For more difficult jobs, a wall mounted-jar opener can help you open and close jars with just a simple twist. Look for a model that opens jars of different sizes.
- Electric can openers: Trade in your hand-cranked manual can opener for an electric version that opens cans with ease.
- Food processors or food choppers: With the press of a button these devices can chop up food in a cinch.
- A long-handled dustpan and broom: Sweep up crumbs and other debris without having to bend over.
- Bottle brushes: Easily clean the inside of cups and glasses.
- Kitchen stool: If standing for long periods is painful, a stool lets you to sit comfortably at counter height while preparing food.
- Utensils with thick grips: Look for utensils that have thick, padded grips for easier handling. Or make your own large grips by wrapping tape, foam, or cloth around the handles of any kitchen tool, such as pots, pans, and knives.
- Faucet grips: These plastic grips fit over your faucet handles and make it easier to turn on the water.
Assistive Devices for the Bedroom
Getting dressed can be difficult if your hands and fingers are affected by arthritis. But there are many assistive devices that can make the process much easier.
- Button fasteners and zipper pulls: Buttons and zippers can be difficult to grip with stiff or painful joints. Zipper pulls and button fasteners can make dressing easier.
- A long-handled shoehorn: Put on shoes without bending. It can also be helpful to wear shoes with Velcro or shoes that slip on instead of shoes with laces.
- Sock aids: These nifty aids can help you put on socks without having to bend over.
Assistive Devices for the Bathroom
A few helpful devices in the bathroom can help give you peace of mind.
- Electric toothbrush: An electric toothbrush can be easier to grip and use if you have arthritis in your hands.
- Electric razor: An electric razor is another tool that can be helpful for painful or swollen hand or finger joints.
- Pill bottle opener: Plastic grips made especially for tricky pill bottles can make this frustrating task much easier.
- Raised toilet seat: This device makes it easier to getting on and off the toilet. There are many different models that offer different features and different heights. Some also come with handles to make getting on and off even easier.
- Bars and handrails: These devices can help you get in and out of the tub or shower safely.
Assistive Devices for Any Room
These helpful devices can assist you in any room in your house.
- Reachers: These long-handled devices with a gripping tool at the end can help you reach and grab items that are out of reach. Some come with a magnet at the tip for help picking up small metal objects.
- Key turners: A large plastic key turner will give you more leverage when turning keys. Some models hold more than one key.
- Doorknob grips: Place these plastic grips over your doorknobs to make opening doors easier.
- Lamp switch adapters: These plastic adapters give you a larger grip to turn small lamp switches.
- Lightweight vacuum cleaner: Choosing a lightweight vacuum cleaner will make it easier to move it around the house.
- Grocery carts: These carts with wheels can help you avoid straining joints. Use them to carry heavy or bulky objects, such as groceries, laundry, or garbage. Also look for suitcases with wheels and long handles.
- Pencils and pens: Look for pencils with padded grips and pens padded with gel.
- Spring-loaded scissors: These scissors are spring-loaded to make it easier to cut through almost any type of material. You just need to squeeze gently to make a cut.
Assistive Devices for Your Yard
There’s no need to give up gardening or yard work because of arthritis. These simple tools can help.
Garden kneeler: These tools let you work in your garden without straining your back or knees. There are many styles available, from kneeling pads, to short stools that you can use for kneeling or sitting.
Garden tools: Look for garden tools with larger or longer handles and lightweight garden hoses. A tool pouch or wheeled garden cart can be an easy way to keep garden tools within arm’s reach.
Whatever household task you need assistance with, chances are there’s a device that can help. Ask your doctor, occupational therapist, or physical therapist what devices might be most helpful for you.