11 Great Arthritis Aid Ideas To Help Increase Independence
19/03/2015 - By Chris Morris
A complex, painful and debilitating disease, arthritis is the umbrella term which houses a whole host of aches and pain affecting millions of people in this country.
Whilst there are many great resources on learning all about living with arthritis in day to day life (such as here from Arthritis Research UK), we have instead put together a list of great arthritis aids which have been designed to help make life easier in various situations.
We should note that these products are simply aids to help with living with the blight of arthritis – you should of course consult a variety of medical professionals from physiotherapists to occupational therapists before trying to self-medicate using arthritis care products.
Whether you suffer from inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis or the wear and tear arthritis such as osteoarthritis, we hope that these mobility aids can help give you a helping hand towards achieving greater independence in and around the home and help you live the life that you want to lead.
1. Compression Gloves
Providing a variety of benefits, these specially designed gloves give relief from pain and stiffness, help to control swelling in the hands and also give you a greater grip owing to their material.
One of the common questions about these items are how often they should be worn, and users of them have told us that whilst they give great relief from pain at the start, overuse can diminish the overall sense of relief. The prevailing advice seems to be to use them sporadically and to manage the swelling when it becomes too much but to take them off and let the muscles do the work as much as possible.
2. Specialist Kitchen Equipment
With the proliferation of TV cookery programmes and cookery books selling thousands by the week, it seems like there is something of a foodie revolution sweeping through the UK at the moment.
However, for those who fancy themselves as something of a Mary Berry or a Nigel Slater in the kitchen the effects of arthritis, cooking and eating food independently can be extremely difficult.
However, through the use of these ergonomically designed kitchen aids and cutlery, there are dozens of ways you can once again show off your culinary skills and dazzle your friends and family again with that famous shepherd’s pie of yours.
3. Grip Sticks
Providing a way to give yourself balance and stability when walking is vital to those who suffer from arthritis as walking unaided can become difficult, if not impossible.
However, many people find the standard grips on most walking sticks can be problematic as they require a strong grip to use effectively which is where something like this Homecraft model come into their own.
As you can see, the top is constructed in such a way that the grip fills the space around the hand which gives you a much wider base on which to lean on. However, if walking sticks don’t suit you at all, we also have a range of crutches which may be more suitable for you (especially the arthritic crutch).
However if none of these are suitable, it will be well worth discussing your particular needs with an occupational therapist who can offer you various solutions to your form of mobility impairment. We have a huge range of walking aids, so it is likely that we stock exactly what you require.
4. Can Ring Pulls
As one of the most common areas of the body to suffer from swelling and joint pain, your hands can often be affected by arthritis which means that performing intricate tasks can become a real challenge. Whilst there may be high-tech electrical can openers available, what happens when the battery needs to be replaced? What about putting them in there in the first place?
Having something low-tech such as this can pull gives you something dependable to use for years to come and it also means that you won’t have to rely on someone else to undo the annoying tiny screws when the battery conks out when you need it - just remember to get a can with a ring-pull!
5. Pill organisers
A superb way of keeping daily routines organised, these small boxes offer a simple way of keeping on top of your medication on a day to day basis - simple that is, if you can get into the compartments in the first place.
Many pill organisers have small plastic flip lids which makes using them for someone with arthritic hands incredibly difficult to use. For this reason, this pill organiser has been specifically designed to aid those with poor hand dexterity as the pills are accessed simply by sliding the lid back and forwards (just remember to do it flat so the pills don’t tumble everywhere!).
6. Seat & Furniture Raisers
So far we have largely focused on arthritis products for hands, but as you are no doubt aware arthritis in whatever guise it takes can affect any joint in the body. For this reason, getting in and out of a seating position can be a real struggle as the motion of the movement coupled with the mobility strength required can couple together to make things very awkward.
However, we have lots and lots of options for cutting out the movement it takes to get into and out of this position; whether it is using a riser recliner armchair, elephant’s feet to raise existing furniture or using toilet seats in the bathroom, we want to raise you up to help you live more independently!
7. The Sholeco Deluxe Trolley
Tying in somewhat with the grip stick, this shopping trolley has been specifically designed with an arthritic user in mind. Owing to the way it is constructed this trolley will not only help you get your shopping home, it also allows you to take a breather and lean on it in safety.
As well as this, some trolleys can be awkward to push because a rear axle gets in the way but this one has been created to be as user friendly as possible as this one doesn’t has omitted the rear axle allowing you to walk on without having to bash your shins with every step!
8. Swivel Seats
When you are modifying your house and home with every bit of kit under the sun to help you sit down in comfort, you may well be forgiven for overlooking another area where getting to and from a standing to a seating position (or visa-versa) is a big issue, and that is a car. Without any assistance, finding a way of easing yourself in and out of a car can be a major struggle for those who suffer from arthritis, but using a swivel seat such as this may be a great help.
9. Grabbers And Reachers
For most people, dropping a magazine or the remote control onto the floor is cause for very minor annoyance, but for those suffering with arthritis, this can be a source of very major frustration. However, using these reachers and grabbers allows you to easily access such objects with ease.
You should take note that if you suffer from arthritis in the hands, you may wish to take a very close look at the type of trigger which operates the grabbing jaws as you will want to avoid those operate by one or two fingers.
Whilst we have full hand triggers, such as the Etac Aktiv or the Homecraft Handi-Reacher, you may find that one’s which can be operated by the palm is more suitable, such as the Homecraft Pick-Up Reacher and the Suction Top Reacher.
10. The Bookchair
Have you been eyeing up War And Peace for a while? Have you been putting it off for some reason? If the answer is yes, but it is the sheer weight of the book itself rather than the word count, complex plot and deep themes that is stopping you from enjoying Tolstoy’s epic, why not consider investing in this simple but innovative product?
One of the great pleasures in life is to get lost in a great book, so if you enjoy the sanctity of the printed word over the new digital ink e-readers and find that it’s painful and uncomfortable to hold a book for extended periods of time, the bookchair might be the ideal aid for you.
11. Hands Free Hairdryer Stand
Sometimes you don’t realise you need something until you see it, and perhaps this is the case with this ingenious hands free hairdryer stand.
Of course, holding something like a hairdryer can be a huge problem if you have a weak grip, so it makes perfect sense to find an easy and safe way of drying your hair using an aid such as this. Ideal if you are confined to a chair or find sitting down easier when performing tasks it may be well worth investing in this great product if you want to make your life easier when it comes to getting washed and dried.
Living with arthritis can be cruel and painful, but with close personal management, planning, dedication and a little bit of help through aids like these we hope that we can help you live life easier and with more independence.
Of course, we understand that for many of you seeing these products in the flesh may be required for purchase and whilst we might not be able to stock all of these products in all of our shops you can always give us a call ahead to see if it’s worth a trip. A list of our shops can be found here.
Of course, if you can’t make it out and about you can always shop online with confidence with us right here in the comfort of your own home. Just click on the links and you will be taken to the relevant areas of our website where you will be able to purchase all of the great products featured above.
For more great tips such as this as well as our latest news and offers, please enter your emails into the simple to use form below where you can receive updates direct to your inbox.
Back To Blogs and Articles