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Living with arthritis: Assistive devices

Living with arthritis: Assistive devices

If you have arthritis, assistive devices may allow you to be more independent with daily tasks. Consider these options:

  Hand aids

Look for aids that provide a wide-diameter grip. Many pens, for example, have thin shafts that force you to grasp them with a tightly closed fist. A foam or plastic sleeve that slides over the pen can correct this problem.

  Grooming and personal hygiene

If you have limited range of motion, use long-handled brushes and combs. Consider bathing aids such as long-handled sponges and brushes, bath benches and grab bars. Use an electric tooth-brush, a Radius toothbrush or one with a foam handle. Use mirrors with foam rubber handles for an easier grasp.

  Getting dressed

Buy a shoehorn with an extension handle and use a stocking aid to help pull on hosiery. Look for tools that grip buttons and zippers. Sew elasticized Velcro tabs onto shirt cuffs. Select wraparound skirts or stretch trousers if limited range of motion makes dressing a challenge. Try clip-on neckties.

  In the kitchen

Put everything that you use often within easy reach. Store frequently used cookware and utensils in cabinets at hip-to-shoulder height. Consider a single-lever faucet so it's less taxing on your finger joints. Use an electric can opener and electric knife.

  Cleaning your home

Use a long-handled mop, dustpan and broom. Keep cleaning supplies on each floor and store supplies within easy reach. Avoid unnecessary bending or stooping.


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