Tips From an Occupational Therapist

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Handwriting can be difficult because as changes happen in the rheumatoid hand, the fingers tend to move away from the thumb. It is just painful for the fingers and the thumb to meet as in a pencil grip. So an adaptation for that would be holding how wider grip pen.

Dressing can be really challenging, especially when it comes to fastening. Adaptations start with encouraging the patient to sit down and make sure they are stable and they feel comfortable. Sitting up and planning for the task. And if they're having trouble with buttoning and fastening but they can still do it, a good strategy is to button as much of the shirt as you need to, then put the shirt on like a T-shirt.

Holding a mug or a glass-- it's better to hold with both hands. That way, you distribute the stress that you may get from the weight of the cup or the mug that you're holding. With brushing your teeth, the great thing is there are many types of grips you can find. So it's worthwhile getting something that's wider. And if you prefer, even something that's electric.

Some things you can do for driving is building up the steering wheel handle, even just using a wash cloth or something that's nice and soft. It'll make the grip wider. So there are options for strategies for managing and living easier despite the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.