Those who live with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, and other life limiting diseases know that daily life can be challenging. When the joints are painful or don’t work, modifications to a daily routine may be necessary.
These are some of the great tips I’ve collected from different people who struggle with these diseases. At the end of each suggestion I will post a link to the items on Amazon.
- Use pump bottles in the kitchen and bathroom. Oils, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, body wash, etc are all much easier to use when in a pump dispenser. If your items don’t come in pumps, you can transfer them to a variety of bottles. LINK
- An alternative to the pumps, place several rubber bands around the bottles to make them easier to grip. I don’t have a link to these, but when I use the rubber bands, I will wrap probably ten or so around each bottle.
- Ask for non-childproof containers at the pharmacy if you don’t have small children at home. If you must use the childproof caps, they make openers that make it easier to take the caps off. There are several different styles. LINK
- Use mobility devices like a scooter, walker, cane (I use a gel handled cane that makes it easier to use without causing pain to the hand LINK), or wheelchair as needed. Even if you don’t need a mobility device all of the time, use one when you need it. I started using one in Disney World several years ago. Now, my disease has progressed to the point that I use a scooter any time I will be walking long distances. This is a photo of one I rented many years ago. More recently I’ve bought my own. In the long run, it ended up costing less. If you decide to purchase one, shop around. There are many different styles and models. LINK
- Grab bars for the shower and toilet will help prevent falls. LINK
- An elevated toilet seat with bars will make rising for the toilet easier. LINK
- Compression gloves. I use the IMak ones when I’m using my hands quite a bit. They do help a lot. In the winter, I will wear them under my other gloves as liners to help keep my hands warm and decrease the chances of a bad Raynaud’s attack. LINK
- A long-handled dust pan helps prevent having to bend over to when sweeping. LINK
- When having to reach for things, you can use a reacher-grabber. LINK
- If you have limited range of motion, bending can pose a problem. A device to help pull up socks can be a great help. There are several different styles and models to choose from. LINK
- Long-handled lotion sponges help spread lotion to the legs, feet, and back. LINK
- A foot-washer. LINK. Alternatively you could use a long-handled brush for your back and feet. LINK
- A shower chair in order to sit while bathing. This helps conserve energy and at times is a necessity due to pain. LINK.
- A shower nozzle on hose helps control water flow when using a shower chair. LINK
- A Swiffer sweeper and wep mop are an alternative to sweeping and mopping. LINK
- Bed Caddy to hold the things you need next to the bed. LINK.
- A stool in the bathroom so you can sit while getting ready.
- Extension cords for hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons, etc so the cords will be long enough to use the devices when sitting.
- Shower cleaning is made easier using a mop. A sponge mop has a lever that allows you to squeeze out the excess water without using using your hands. LINK.
- A steam mop or a combination steam mop/vacuum. LINK.
- One of those robot sweepers. They make several types and price ranges. LINK
- A long pillow placed between the legs helps keep the hips in the correct position and will cushion the knees. LINK
- Rocker knives and soft-handled utensils in the kitchen help when hands don’t work well. LINK Also the OXO Good Grips makes several different types of utensils, mops, etc with soft grips. LINK
- A kitchen stool helps when preparing food when standing is a problem. LINK
- Rubber grippers for door knobs. LINK Or lever-type knobs. LINK
- Plastic cups, plates, glasses and cups or mugs with handles to help prevent breakage when dropped. You can also get the Tervis tumblers. If you drop them and they break, they will replace them free of charge. LINK
- Seat cushions for when your hips ache. LINK and Swivel seat cushions for cars and chairs that require twisting to rise. LINK
- Gas cap openers to make it easier to fill your car with gas. LINK
- Bottle openers for water, soda, etc. LINK
- Non-tie shoes or shoe laces LINK
Do you have any favorite tips or tricks that I haven’t covered? Please share them if you do!
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trial
- Disney World with Mobility Disabilities