We’re often contacted by people asking about the best arthritis aids for sufferers – these items that make daily living a little bit easier when you have sore joints and stiffness that restricts your movement and depletes your independence.
The pain that results from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis can be so debilitating that the use of arthritis care products can make little difference. And as there are now so many arthritis gadgets available it is difficult to pull together an exhaustive list. The choice of the “best” arthritis aids is always going to be highly subjective, but it is possible to highlight a few that are worth considering whatever the stage, type and severity of the condition.
What makes a good arthritis aid?
It is apparent that the arthritis aids have to share some common features such as:
- It should be immediately obvious how to use the aid. It you are reduced to scratching your head as you turn the instruction manual round and round in your (increasingly sore) hands, then it might not be worth the effort;
- The best arthritis aids will allow you to undertake a basic function without the application of pressure to pain points (self-evident of course but surprisingly not always the case);
- The arthritis care aid should have a single function. There is beauty in simplicity and clarity of purpose, and therefore your arthritis aid should perform a clear and necessary task and do it well without the complication of supplementary uses. So, if it is sold with the line “Fourteen functions in one single product” or “It beats as it sweeps as it cleans” then it may be best to avoid.
If you suffer from arthritis then household aids can make a range of tasks easier to perform and gentler on your joints. They improve functionality and help you retain independence at home and outdoors. They may not have a trans-formative effect on your life, but many of the arthritis care aids for the household such as tin openers, long-handled reachers and easy-grip kitchen utensils are of genuine benefit.
Here are our suggestions for arthritis aids around the home:
Arthritis care bedroom aids
It is a challenge to get dressed when you experience arthritis pain. Many arthritis care bedroom aids are helpful and worth considering as they reduce discomfort. They include zipper pulls and buttoning aids to help when fastening clothing, or a long-handled comb or long-handled shoehorn which help you reach without stretching or bending.
A bottle opener takes the strain off sore arthritis fingers and eases the pain in arthritis hands. Safety is improved when you use a kettle that is anti-slip and easy to pour from, and easy grip cutlery, an electric tin opener and built-up door and drawer handles, improve your experience in the kitchen.
Grab bars and grab rails help throughout the house, including stairways and bedrooms. Their big value is in the bathroom where they provide stability and safety when getting in and out of the bath or shower. Tap turners are also very useful if your grip is weak and a raised toilet seat is great if you have difficulty getting up or down.
Many arthritis aids are simple modifications of standard products. For instance, a telephone with large push-buttons will significantly ease the pain of sore joints in arthritis fingers or arthritis hands. And an adapted shower chair or specialist cushion will bring benefits. For gardening use long-reach garden tools and for indoor entertainment chose a playing card holder or soft pencil grips.
There are several arthritis car aids for travelling in a car, and for travel more generally. Among the most useful is a wide key holder which can make it easier to get the purchase needed to turn the key in the car’s ignition. It’s also useful to use a handy bar for getting in and out of the car, and maybe consider a seat belt reacher for better grip and putting less strain across aching joints. Lastly, we think a “transfer seat” is a really useful aid as it is reduces the effort needed to adjust your position when seated. And because it is lightweight and portable it can be used on planes and trains as well as cars.
Managing Arthritis Pain
In the most severe instances managing arthritis pain can be impossible and despite medication and any number of arthritis aids the effects of the disease can be so harsh that you simply cannot function as you wish to.
These aids are not the solution. But many of the arthritis care aids will make life better for the sufferer. You will regain independence and confidence by taking the strain off sore joints and aching muscles.
If this has been useful you should also read 4 Tips for Dressing with Arthritis Pain
Also read Arthritis is a Pain
Other aids are Arthritis & Rheumatism Ointment, the Dura Laundry Bag, the Rainbow Reacher, the Good Grips Caring Knife and the One Pull Can Opener.
We also have a wide range of mobility aids that support people with arthritis care needs as well as other conditions.