Tips for Living with Arthritis

Versus Arthritis

Everyone’s arthritis is different, and symptoms can vary from day to day. There are many ways to maintain a good quality of life when living with arthritis. Here’s some tips and hacks to help make daily tasks a little easier.

Avoiding bending down

  • Attach a basket to the inside of your letter box.
  • Move electrical sockets higher up the wall with an extension cable or by getting them rewired.
  • Make sure you can easily reach items when you store them.
  • Try using a reaching stick, or pick-up stick.

Making switches, dials and plugs easier to grip

  • Large rocker, pull-cord or touch operated light switches are easier to use.
  • Electric or gas fires are easier to turn on if the control knob is on the top.
  • A contour grip will help if you have difficulty turning dials or knobs.
  • Handiplugs and stick-on plugs can make plugs easier to pull out.
  • Built-up key handles can help with inserting and turning the key in the lock.
  • Wrapping an elastic band around rounded door handles can make them easier to open.

Avoiding trips and falls

  • Remove any loose mats or carpets.
  • Make sure your stairs, hall and landing are well lit.
  • Make sure you have enough space to get between or around your furniture.
  • Fix a second banister on the stairs and a grab rail by the front door.
  • Think about altering your doorstep, especially if mobility is a problem or if you use a walking aid or wheelchair. Social Services can help with this.

Cooking

Most supermarkets sell ready-prepared food such as chopped vegetables, grated cheese and roasted potatoes. Have some pre-prepared ingredients and ready-made meals in the freezer to avoid struggling when your arthritis is particularly troublesome.

The following should help you reduce strain on painful hands and wrists when cooking:

  • Use a lightweight, two-handled saucepan.
  • Use a vegetable steamer – they can be lighter than a saucepan because they don't need as much water.
  • A table-top cooker can be easier to use than a casserole dish that you place in the oven.
  • Cook vegetables in a wire chip basket, placed in a saucepan so it's easier to lift them out when cooked.
  • Make wooden spoons, knives and other handles bigger by adding some foam tubing (pipe lagging).

Reading and writing

If gripping books or pens makes your hands and wrists painful, these tips may be useful:

  • Look for a pen that has a chunky grip which is easy to hold.
  • Try resting your book or newspaper in your lap or on a table to avoid straining your fingers.
  • Rest a book on a beanbag, lap tray or book rest.

For more everyday top tips on living with arthritis, follow the link - www.versusarthritis.org.

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