Arthritis is a relatively common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. The NHS estimates that over 10 million people are living with arthritis or a similar condition. People of any age can develop arthritis, so if you’re living with the condition please know that you’re not alone.
Arthritis can have a big impact on your day-to-day life but there are products available to help make things that little bit easier.
1: Get a little help getting out of bed
If you’re finding mornings to be a struggle, a bed rail might be just the extra support you need to help you sit up and get up. They come in a variety of different styles, which one will work best for you will depend on what type of bed you have and the level of support you need.
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2: Take the struggle out of showering
Arthritis can make it difficult to get as clean as you’d like. If this is sounding familiar, you might find long-handled bathing aids help to make it easier to clean those hard to reach places as you won’t need to bend or stretch as far.
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3: Dress with ease
Being able to get dressed for the day is something most of us take for granted, but if you’re finding it’s becoming a struggle then it may be time to consider a dressing aid. Whether it’s fiddly buttons, tricky zips, or even just putting your socks on there are dressing aids to help make getting ready a breeze.
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4: Fuss-free food prep
Mealtimes can sometimes feel like a minefield, especially if you have arthritis in your hands. But there are a variety of products that can help make preparing and eating food easier from two-handled mugs through to food preparation boards. If gripping is an issue, try adaptive cutlery that have chunkier handles or kitchen knives that have been specially designed with loop handles to make them easier to hold.
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5: Keep in touch with friends and family
If you’re living with arthritis in your hands, you may find that keeping it touch with people can be difficult. Modern phones tend towards small buttons, making them tricky to use with painful fingers. Big button telephones have buttons with a much larger surface area, making them easier to push so you can stay in contact with loved ones.
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6: Make it easier to get your shoes on
A long-handled shoehorn will help you avoid awkward, painful bending or stretching when trying to get your shoes on. There are a range of shoehorns available in different lengths and materials to help you choose the right one to match your needs. If you find your grip isn’t what it once was, try the Good Grips Shoehorn as it has a chunkier, rubberise grip to help you to hold it with more ease.
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7: Get back into gardening
Gardening is a great way to enjoy the fresh air, get a little exercise, and quite literally (depending on what you plant) reap what you sow. If you’ve got a green thumb but arthritis has kept you from your garden, you may want to look into adapted gardening tools. Some are long handled to help reduce the amount you need to bend, and many have special handles that are angled to help keep your wrists in a more natural position to ease pressure on the joint.
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8: Stay independent in the bathroom
Going to the toilet doesn’t have to feel like a mission. If you’re finding it difficult to sit down on the toilet and get off it again, you may want to consider a toilet frame. A toilet frame can offer you extra support when sitting or standing to help take some of the pressure off your joints. You can get either a frame on its own or some also include a raised toilet seat to reduce the distance you have to lower yourself to sit down.
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9: Make it easier and safer to carry things around
A kitchen trolley is a simple and safe way to help you carry things from one place to another when you have days where you find it tricky to lift something. It’s especially useful if you want to carry hot meals or drinks from the kitchen into the living room so you can relax in your favourite chair.
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10: Sit comfortably in your favourite chair
Sitting down can be an interesting prospect if you’re not sure you can stand up again when you need to. Getting furniture raisers for your favourite seat help to raise the height of it, making it easier for you to sit down and stand up again as you don’t have to push yourself up quite as far. If furniture raisers aren’t quite right for you, you could also look into powered lifting cushions to give you that extra oomph to get you standing up again.
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If you need further support, visit Versus Arthritis. They have a wealth of information and advice for those living with arthritis and related conditions.