Nearly a quarter of Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and among those over 65, the prevalence is double (50%). There are a few different types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time.
Those who have arthritis can experience various symptoms, but the condition is characterized by joint pain and inflammation. As a result, sufferers experience reduced mobility and range of motion, as well as difficulty gripping. These symptoms make it challenging to carry out the activities of daily life such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, getting in and out of the car, and even applying necessary pain-relief lotions and creams.
There are many products, treatments, and medications that help relieve arthritis pain after it’s occurred, but in this article, we’ll be focusing on interesting products you can get to help prevent pain from happening in the first place.
Reacher grabber tools – You may have heard of these tools (a simple tool that works like an extension of your arm) that help you reach things, but did you know there are several different kinds? Some feature suction cups, others use magnets, and some can rotate a full 90 degrees. This is a great tool to prevent overextending and feeling the pain of reaching outside of your comfortable range of motion. Be sure to choose one with a full-hand trigger rather than a two-finger trigger to make it easy to grab and release without as much effort.
Elevated toilet seat – Simply raising the toilet seat a few inches can make it so much easier to get up and down. An elevated toilet seat is great for those who experience knee joint pain. It’s easy to install and clean, too.
Long handled body sponge – Showering and bathing can be a challenge when you can’t reach certain body parts like your back. Using a handled body sponge can help you get to those hard-to-reach places without feeling the pain.
Foam tubing – Having a difficult time gripping a pen or brushing your hair? This foam tubing is designed to offer a wider, more secure grip as well as provide better control. It’s made of a non-slip, washable material and can be customized to fit over a variety of everyday objects like pens, silverware, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, and other surfaces or handles.
Arthritis gloves – Arthritis gloves are designed to reduce many of the symptoms of arthritis, including swelling, stiffness, and pain. They’re portable, flexible, and supportive, and there are different kinds you can choose from to best fit your needs. Some varieties even feature a vibrating feature that soothes pain. Not only can arthritis gloves help alleviate your symptoms, but regular use (especially during arthritis-triggering activities, like typing or gardening) may help prevent symptoms as well.
Key turner – Even getting into your house can be challenging with arthritis, because gripping and turning a key to unlock a door can be difficult. This product creates a ‘thumb turn’ and provides extra leverage so that far less strength is required to hold and turn a key, helping to reduce hand pain. The dimpled domes give fingers a firm but comfortable grip to prevent fumbling and dropping keys, and they also increase the ability to control.
Button hook/zipper puller – It can be difficult for someone without arthritis to button small buttons, so it’s easy to see why the task can be hard for someone experiencing pain and trouble gripping. This tool helps with buttons and zippers, and has a nonslip, cushioned handle that provides a comfortable and secure grip. This allows for greater control when securing buttons or zipping pants and jackets. The button hook can be used on any size button, and the steel zipper hook slides into most zipper pulls.
Jar/can/bottle opener – This multifunctional tool can open different types of bottle caps, bottle tops, jar lids, and cans. Its ergonomic design offers a firm grip and easy handling, and skidproof handles ensure safety even when wet. Since it requires less effort, it’s great for those with weaker hands.
Car door assistance handle – Getting in and out of the car can be painful and difficult. This handle has a nonslip grip that can easily be installed in the door catch or around the window frame without tools to aid entering and exiting the care. It can be used on both the driver and passenger side, and it can stow away in your glove box when not in use.
Handled applicator – Those with arthritis often experience back pain, but their limited range of motion prevents them from treating the affected area with a pain-relief cream. This applicator allows you to dispense creams and lotions through the massager’s rollerball head for mess-free, targeted application. You can apply as much or as little pressure as you’d like, and the applicator is easy to refill.
Who knew there were so many great products designed to help prevent arthritis pain? And while these are incredibly helpful, products like these aren’t the only way to reduce pain. Research shows that lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can also play a part in alleviating the symptoms of arthritis.
If your parent or loved one is suffering from arthritis and needs some help around their home or with physical activity, consider bringing in a caregiver to help. Many of our caregivers are specifically trained to help clients who have arthritis. It’s one of our eight specialty programs designed to address the most common conditions that affect seniors. A caregiver can assist with the activities of daily life that can cause pain, as well as prepare healthy meals, provide medication reminders, and help with range of motion exercises as prescribed by a doctor.
Schedule a time to talk with a client service specialist to learn more about our arthritis program and see if in-home care is a good fit for your family. There’s no obligation, and our assessments and home evaluations are always complimentary.