If the disability and pain of arthritis is making life difficult, you are not alone. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability among adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This joint disease makes many jobs difficult, particularly grasping small objects, grabbing items above your head, and even simple tasks like putting on your socks or tying your shoes.
You cannot control some aspects of your arthritis, such as the type of arthritis affecting your joints and the rate at which it progresses. You can take advantage of all the advances in medicine technology and equipment that makes living with arthritis easier.
Assistive Devices that Make Living with Arthritis Easier and More Comfortable
Putting on socks and shoes can be difficult and painful. This is especially true if arthritis in your hands makes it difficult to maneuver the sock past your toes, around your heel and up your calf. Using a sock aid to pull up socks or stockings makes living with arthritis a little easier. Simply place the sock aid into the sock, slide your foot in and pull the sock up your leg.
Bending down or reaching up is a real problem when you are stiff and sore. Bending over or climbing a chair to reach something can also be dangerous. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that people with arthritis are more likely to fall and have a fall-related injury than are those without the joint disease. Make life easier – and safer – with a reacher or grabber. These lightweight, portable tools help you retrieve out-of-reach items safely and comfortably. Some reachers fold for easy transport and other reachers feature a head that turns 90 degrees to help you pull and twist. Select reachers allow for a full, 4-finger handgrip for greater grip strength.
Modern shoehorns make living with arthritis easier than ever before. These lightweight and durable dressing aids are longer than a standard shoehorn, so you do not have to bend over to put your shoe on. The most convenient have a curved handle that helps your foot glide into your shoe. Some models feature a shoehorn mounted on a flexible spring so that you can slip your foot into your shoe easily, no matter how you hold the shoehorn.
Elastic shoelaces make it easy to put on or take off your shoes without having to untie or tie them. The elastic laces expand just enough to for you to get your foot in before shrinking back for a snug, comfortable fit. The elastic laces also expand to comfort tired, swollen feet without restricting your circulation.
Warm baths and showers can soothe stiff and sore joints of arthritis, and good hygiene is an everyday necessity, but arthritis can make it tough to reach some areas of your body with a washcloth. Using a long-handled sponge at bath or shower time makes this activity of daily living easy.
If you have arthritis, look into the many handy tools now available. These devices make living with arthritis easier and more comfortable. Talk to your doctor, nurse, physical therapist or occupational therapist about which devices might be right for you.