Aids & Adaptations To Help Arthritis In The House – Flexiseq

Aids & Adaptations To Help Arthritis In The House

Arthritis can make everyday living more difficult; it can make it harder to clean, cook, get out of bed in the morning and many other things lots of people take for granted. However, there are a number of aids, gadgets and adaptations that can help you cope with arthritis and make your life easier.

Here is our list of aids and adaptations to help you manage arthritis at home.

1. The Whole House

“You can make adaptations to your whole home to make it more accessible,” says Dr. Hana Patel, Senior GP. “Keeping things within easy reach, using a handrail to help you get up and down the stairs, using long-handled tools to pick things up or to clean, fitting levers to taps to make them easier to turn, or using electric kitchen equipment - such as tin openers -when preparing food can all help make your arthritis more manageable.

“Having a consultation with an occupational therapist is recommended as they will be able to see how you get around at home, the layout of your house and carry out a consultation to recommend bespoke tools and aids at home to suit and support you as an individual.”

Here are some tips for making your whole home more arthritis friendly.

  • Electrical sockets: These can be moved up the wall if they are too low (you can use an extension cable or get them rewired) to help you avoid excessive bending.

  • Letterbox basket: Attach a basket to your letterbox so you can collect your mail without bending down.

  • Long handled dustpan and brush: Use a long-handled dustpan and brush for easier cleaning.

  • Key turner: Get a key turner to avoid awkward hand and wrist movements.

  • Grab rail: Having a grab rail by your front door can help you get in and out easier.

  • Step between front or garden door and your home: If you have to step up to get into your home, try getting a portable step to make it easier.

  • Smart speakers: These can help you control your home with just your voice.


2. Kitchen

The kitchen is a place where you may need to use your hands a lot for opening cans, chopping vegetables, stirring pots or pouring drinks. This can be challenging if you have arthritis in your wrists or hands, but there are gadgets and tools that you can use to take some of the strain out of these tasks. Some of these include.

  • Electric can openers: These can open cans for you with the push of a button, without requiring any twisting or gripping.

  • Long-handled tools: These can help you reach items in high or low places, or give you more leverage when using utensils like spoons, forks or knives.

  • Two-handled saucepans: These can help you distribute the weight of the pan more evenly and reduce the strain on your wrists when lifting or carrying it.

  • Kettle tippers: These can help you pour hot water safely and easily, without having to lift a heavy kettle.

  • Adapted cutlery (OT Recommended): The comfortable and ergonomic design of angled cutlery reduces the strain placed on the wrist and allows for easier eating, recommends the occupational therapists at Complete Care Shop.

3. Bedroom

The bedroom is a place where you want to feel comfortable and relaxed. If you have arthritis in your back, hips, knees or ankles, you may struggle to get in and out of bed, and find it difficult to get comfy enough to have a good night's sleep. Being uncomfortable in bed or worrying about how you’re going to get up can be distressing, but there are tools that you can have in your bedroom which can make life easier.

  • Bed raisers: These can increase the height of your bed and make it easier for you to get in and out of it.

  • Bed rails: These can provide support and stability when you are moving in bed or getting up.

  • Pillows: These can help you find a comfortable position and support your neck, back or joints. You may want to try different types of pillows, such as memory foam, orthopaedic or wedge-shaped.

  • Over bed tables: These can be used with a bed or a chair and can be used for eating, reading and using a laptop. These can be really helpful if there are days when you’re not so mobile and need to spend more time sitting or lying down.

  • Bed support ladder: This is a positioning aid that allows users to adjust their position in bed, reducing joint strain and improving overall comfort for a good night’s sleep. Recommended by the occupational therapists at Complete Care Shop.

  • Pressure cushion and pressure mattress: These can help reduce joint pain and discomfort when asleep.

  • Zipper pullers and buttoning aids: Buttons and zips can be challenging when you have arthritis in your hands, so these aids can make it easier to get dressed and take clothes off without unnecessary strain.

4. Bathroom

If you have arthritis in your hands, arms, legs or feet, you may find it difficult to use the toilet, shower or bath. You want to make sure your bathroom is safe and easy to use so that you can feel comfortable and secure. Some aids which can help make your bathroom accessible:

  • Raised toilet seats: These can make it easier for you to sit down and stand up from the toilet by reducing the distance between the seat and the floor.

  • Bath grab rails: Arthritic joints can be painful and susceptible to strain. By having grab rails positioned near the toilet, bathtub, or shower, this can provide leverage and support and so reduce stress on the affected joints.

  • Shower stools: These can help you sit down while showering if you have pain or fatigue in your legs or feet. You can also use them to rest your feet when shaving. You can also use a shower chair or wall-mounted shower seat.

  • Bath step: These can make it easier to climb in and out of your bath or shower.


5. Living Room

You want to be able to live your best life in the living room and it should be a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed and at home. Some aids that can help you:

  • Handisocket: This is a device that plugs into your wall socket and allows you to turn appliances on and off with a remote control. You can use it for lamps, fans, heaters or anything else that has a plug.

  • Easy light switch: This is a device that replaces your standard light switch with a large, easy-to-press button. You can also get a remote control version that lets you turn the lights on and off from anywhere in the room.

  • Book holder: This is a device that holds your book open for you at a comfortable angle. You can use it on a table, lap or bed. It can also hold magazines, tablets or e-readers.

6. Garden

Having a garden is great for mindfulness and getting in touch with nature, while gardening can be really fun and rewarding. However, if you have arthritis in your hands, wrists, elbows or knees, you may find it hard to use gardening tools, kneel down or reach high places. Some aids that can help you:

  • Easi-Grip garden tools: These are tools that have ergonomic handles to keep your hand and wrist in a natural position. They reduce the strain and discomfort when digging, weeding or pruning. They also have arm supports that provide extra leverage and stability.

  • No-bend pet bowl: This is a device that allows you to feed your pet without bending or kneeling. It has a long handle and a detachable bowl that you can fill with food or water. It also has wheels for easy movement.

  • Garden kneeler: This is a device that helps you kneel down and get up from the ground. It has a padded cushion for your knees and sturdy handles for support. You can also flip it over and use it as a seat.

These are just some examples of how aids and adaptations can help you if you have arthritis. There are many more products available that can suit your specific needs and preferences. You can find them online, in supermarkets, hardware stores or specialised shops. You may also be able to get some aids for free from your local council.

If you live in England and are struggling at home to the extent that it’s impacting your quality of life, you can complete a free needs assessment to find out if you are eligible for free equipment. You may also be able to access The Disabled Facilities Grant, which you can apply for here. Your GP can also refer you to an occupational therapist if you need additional support to make your home more accessible.

What aids and adaptations do you swear by? Let us know on Facebook.

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