10 Tips to Make Daily Life Easier with Arthritis

If you suffer from any of the 100 different types of arthritis then you know that stiff joints can turn an everyday task into a grueling challenge. Here are 10 ideas that could make your daily life a little easier.

1. Stop fiddling with childproof medicine caps

Childproof caps can be a nightmare with arthritic hands. Many over the counter painkillers now come with easy to open caps for precisely this reason. You can also ask your pharmacist to supply prescription medications with easy-open lids.

If there are children around your home then childproof caps may be necessary. In this case it’s a good idea to organise your medications in weekly or monthly containers. That way you have to deal with those pesky caps less often.

2. Change the grip on your kitchen utensils

Slicing, dicing and chopping properly often requires a considerable amount of strength and dexterity. So, if you love to cook, then consider changing up your knives. There are more options than you might think. The Reflex Knife Range has been designed specifically to minimise wrist movement. The Webequ Knives have a clever new grip that offers great control and stability but requires less strength to cut and chop.

3. Stop lifting heavy kettles full of scalding water

Don’t let fear of lifting a heavy kettle get in the way of a nice hot cuppa! The Uccello Tipping Kettle allows you to effortlessly tilt and pour from the kettle to your cup without having to remove the kettle from its cradle.

4. Keep doors moving easily

Pushing open heavy or stiff doors is just one more unnecessary pain. If door hinges are squeaky or stiff get out the WD40. If a door scrapes along the rug, get someone to plane the bottom of the door to make it open and close more easily.

5. Convert to touch sensitive lamps

Stop fighting with fiddly switches on your lamps and change to touch sensitive lamps. It is possible to have most metal lamps converted to a touch lamp by changing the lamp control switch. Talk to your electrician.

6. Get help opening jars, cans and bottles

There is little more frustrating and disempowering than finding you can no longer open jars and cans on your own. The One Touch range makes it easy to open most cans, jars and bottles with just the touch of a button. There’s no need to find help to open your lunchtime soup.

7. Replace round doorknobs with lever handles

Doorknobs can be difficult to grip and twist. Ideally replace any round doorknobs with lever handles that can easily be pushed down with your hand, arm or elbow. Alternatively try wrapping several rubber bans around the largest part of the doorknob to make it easier to grasp.

8. Get support for getting in and out of the car

When ankles and knees are stiff or weak, it can be difficult to get in and out of your car. The Handybar Support Handle inserts into the striker plate on a vehicle’s door frame, creating an instant support arm.

9. Replace toggle light switches with rocker panel switches

The less “fiddly” in your life the better. Rocker panel switches require less fine motor control than toggle switches. They can be turned on and off by pressing with an arm, elbow or palm of the hand. One less thing to fiddle with.

10. Get a grip with arthritis gloves.

Arthritis gloves have non-slip, invisible grip dots to help you get a grip on just about anything. These are particularly useful for painters, musicians, drivers, fishermen, assembly workers, gardeners: anyone who relies on their fingers. As an added plus, the compression gloves may actually reduce pain and alleviate stiffness.

This article was created as part of the Your Health Experts program. We are working with other local health experts to bring you the tips, advice and information you need to lead a healthy life. To make sure you get all this great information subscribe to our monthly mini-mag and follow us on Facebook.