Arthritis can affect anyone, but it especially affects adults 65 year old, as well as seniors older than 65. Some forms of arthritis can make performing even the everyday insignificant tasks impossible. Simple tasks as turning on a light switch can become difficult and cause seniors pain. Some seniors are independent and do not always like to admit they require help. However, there are items that will help your loved ones feel thankful for the help. Most seniors do not like to be a burdon on others. However, boosting their self-esteem, and helping them feel like they can freely engage with others is a good start. The last thing our seniors should be is a burden. With age comes wisdom, a sense of accomplishment, and the importance of passing on their knowledge to a younger generation. Older people should not be embarrassed of getting old, while developing arthritis, or to lose their dignity to a disease attacking their body.
There are several daily living activities that can help make life easier and less painful for seniors. Here are10 useful, inexpensive arthritis products for seniors can try when dealing with arthritis. Some of these arthritis self-help devices, such as jar openers, easy-grip utensils, or reachers, can be purchased online websites, such as Amazon. You may also find some at many hardware or medical supply stores.
Let’s start with the Bedroom
While dressing, some seniors can find zipper pulls or buttoning aids useful when trying to aid in fastening clothing. Seniors may also use velcro fasteners, if available. If you need help getting your shoes on, you can try a long-handled shoehorn for easier bending.
Need help in the kitchen
Depending on how advanced a senior’s arthritis may be, will dictate how much help they need and which type of appliances may be required to make their lives easier. Appliances that could make seniors’ lives easier are things like electric can openers, food processors, extending reaching tools, or mandolins for easy slicing. These can help can make life and work in the kitchen easier for older adults. Having bigger handles can also make utensils easier to grasp, especially during the earlier stages of arthritis.
However, for those with advanced stages, may need help to cope with the affects of arthritis. For example, when the person cannot open their hands at all. Those suffering with advanced stages may need to reach out to assisted living or home care for the extra help.
Items that could help in the bathroom
Bathrooms can be very precarious for elderly adults with arthritis. They require special equipment and access, for safety reasons. Items, such as tub bars and handrails can provide extra stability when getting in and out of the shower, including possibly walk in tubs. Other helps include easy to turn on faucets on the sink and tubs. Since many toilets are quite low to the ground, having a raised toilet would help seniors that need a little more assistance. This can reduce the distance for seniors from the floor. Also, specialty toilets with a possible bidet attached to them can help seniors with arthritis.
At the office
For seniors that still work, there are many modifications that can make their work environment easier to manage. These devices and modifications can be learned about and procured at occupational therapy or vocational rehab facilities. Just ask the therapist at the next visit and they will provide a list and possibly order what you require.
However, here are some examples to consider:
- chairs and work surfaces with adjustable-height modifications
- phones with large push buttons
- hands-free headsets
Free time items
Seniors with arthritis can still enjoy leisure time using assistive arthritis devices. Of course, this will depend what activities they choose to take part in. Items such as Kneelers for gardening, card holders and shufflers when playing cards with friends and family, or “no-hands” frames for quilting or embroidery can also help seniors with arthritis.
In the car
One last area to consider is the car. Although many seniors still drive as they get older, it could be harder to manage once they have been diagnosed with arthritis. If you do drive, try using a wider key holder, for easier gripping and to turn on the ignition better. Also, having a gas cap opener will make it more convenient to fill the tank when getting gas.
5 Tools for Seniors with Arthritis
There are a few more tools that can easily benefit seniors living with arthritis. Here are some that can make a huge difference in their everyday lives, while giving back their independence.
1. Rolling Walkers, Walkers, and Canes
These types of devices will give seniors extra support and stability while walking around the house. Many people, not just seniors, use canes for help with balance. They are usually very lightweight, and some come with a food-footed tip. There are also walkers and rolling walkers, which are often made of aluminum and sometimes comes with a basket to help seniors carry small items.
2. Knob Turners and Extenders
When older adults have arthritis many everyday tasks become difficult to perform. One of those tasks is opening doors that are closed. If the person cannot grip the door knob and turn the knob, it will not open. This is when having knob turners and extenders can save the day for people affected with arthritis. Both fit over the knob, making it way easier for seniors to keep their privacy yet still freely move around their home. Plus, they are easy to install and they do not require replacing any of the hardware already installed.
3. Standing Tools
If your loved one is bedridden, but still likes to get up and move around occasionally, then a standing tool could help them get in and out of bed more easily with minimal supervision. Most standing tools include a handle for easy access and stability. These will also help provide leverage to help get them in and out of bed without the risk of falls. They make all different kinds, even ones that fold out of the way, and easily accessible.
4. Seat Swivels
Does your loved one have a hard time getting out of chairs once they sit down? If so, a seat swivel could be the right device for them. Seat swivels allow a person to effortlessly swivel away from the table so they can get to their feet safely. They can also be used in cars if the senior with arthritis still drives.
5. Zipper pullers and Button hooks
For older adults like seniors with arthritis getting dressed can be a daunting task. Small buttons and zippers can stop a person with severe arthritis in their tracks. Devices such as button hooks and zipper pullers can help loved ones get dressed easier with minimal help from others. With these devices handy, your loved ones will be able to wear their favorite outfits without sacrificing their style.
6. Foam tubing
Arthritis can make gripping small items like forks, spoons and even toothbrushes difficult to use without help. This is where foam tubing can help seniors with arthritis able to feed themselves without much help. Foam tubing is non-slip, and will not absorb odors; it can also be either hand washed or put in the dishwasher.
7. Writing Grips
Does anyone still use pen and paper anymore, other than note pads or sticky notes? If so, this next device could help many seniors get the urge to pen their memoirs. Writing grips can help individuals with arthritis finish that novel they have been wishing they could if only they could grip a pen. Writing grips help seniors fill out paperwork. Seniors will be able to write in style with minimal discomfort or pain. The devices just slip over a pen or pencil to help grip it better.
8. Medical Alert Alarms
Who remembers when medical alert devices first came on the market? They were all over television. Nowadays, these devices are kind of a meme. However, for older adults with arthritis they can be a life saver. Seniors can just push a button and help is on the way. The best part, it’s 24 hour care. Many use it and it has helped many seniors over the year. Medical alert devices are a must for any older adult who lives alone, or who just needs a little assistance every now and then. Most of these devices are connected to emergency services, and at a push of a button help will be on the way.
Arthritis can be a debilitating illness; however, as we can see, there are many types of devices on the market that can make living with arthritis easier and less painful. While helping individuals keep their independence. Each one of these devices described in this article can help seniors manage arthritis easier. They could probably be bought online; however, some might need to be special ordered. Check with your Primary care worker. They will be able to help you find the devices that could help your loved one have a easier time managing with their illness.