Winning The Battle Against Arthritis Back »

Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joints. Symptoms include pain, red and swollen joints and muscles. The term arthritis is an umbrella term, referring to nearly 100 different inflammation related syndromes. In 2013, arthritis was reported by approximately 1 out of every 4 people (22.9%) in South Dakota.

Receiving an arthritis diagnosis can be devastating to some. However, hope exists! We live in an amazing time when technological innovation allows people with disabilities cope as they never have before and maintain their independence for a longer period of time.  Below is a list of assistive devices that can help a person with arthritis:

In the home:

  • Eating utensils with larger handles: much easier for a person to hold if their arthritis impacts the joints in their hands.
  • Jar opener: great device for people of all ages who do not have the strength in their hands to open jars.
  • Grabber or reacher: allows a person to reach items on shelves or the ground when their mobility is limited.
  • Lever-style handles on doors and faucets: allows for one handed operation without the need to grip or grasp.
  • Remote control with large buttons: this is much easier to use than remote controls that come with electronic devices at time of purchase.
  • Photo/large button dialing phone: easier to use for people who limitations in their hands.
  • Wifi-enabled devices: allow for control of lights and thermostat from anywhere in the home.
  • Power Lift Recliners: equipped with a lift function, helps us out of our seat without putting strain on the back or knees.
  • Playing card holder: great device for older people who love to play cards as it removes the strain of holding cards.

In the bathroom and personal care:

  • A hand held shower head: makes bathing easier.
  • A foot brush with a long handle: great device for getting those hard to reach spots between the toes.
  • Bath brush or sponge with a long handle: easier for people with arthritis to engage in activities such as bathing or showering.
  • Bath tub chair lift: great device that may reduce the risk of falling by lowering the person into the bathtub for bathing.
  • Button aid and zipper pull: to assist a person to dress themselves.
  • Options for shoe laces: NoBow Shoe Tie and Lock Laces.

In the garden:

  • Garden Seat Caddy: allows for gardening activities with less physical strain.
  • No-Bend Weed Puller: allows the user to pull weeds while standing.
  • Easi GripTM Garden Tools: designed with unique handles that can be secured to the wrist for people with arthritis, stroke, or other physical limitations.
  • Robo Handle: tool for people with one arm or arthritis to grip and control tools (brooms, mops, garden tools, etc.).

On the go:

  • Car seat swivel: this device allows a person to enter and exit a car more easily (Caution: may not be safe for use by motor vehicle operator).
  • HandyBar: 3-in-1 automotive mobility safety tool that help you get in and out of cars safely.
  • Portable Chair Lifts: pneumatic portable lifting seats can be used on most armchairs or sofas.

There are a wide array of vendors who sell the devices described above and many more. It is important for you or your loved one to pick the device most appropriate for your needs. Please visit with your medical provider or an occupational therapist for more information.

Thank You to Connie Melvin and Richard Harrington from Black Hills Works for their contributions to this article.


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