Devices for Living Easier with Arthritis
From the kitchen to the bedroom, here is WebMD's room-by-room guide to easier living with arthritis.
Simple things for most of us, like getting dressed in the morning or turning
on the reading lamp, can be difficult for people with arthritis, but certain
assistive devices can help make the process easier.
- Sock aids and zipper pulls. A sock aid can help you pull up your socks
without bending your legs. A zipper pull, which has a large rung that attaches
to a zipper tag, makes zippers easier to grab and zip.
- Shoes with Velcro grips. Try walking shoes with Velcro grips instead of
shoelaces to make everyday dressing easier.
- Big buttons and pockets. Shop for garments with buttons the size of a
nickel and large pockets to carry keys or other hard-to-grab objects. Whether
bras or shirts, look for front-opening closures.
- A reach extender. If your closet has hard to reach storage areas, a reach
extender lets you reach 26 to 30 inches without stretching.
Consider lamps that turn on with a touch, or are activated by voice or
motion. Replace small rotating knobs on existing lamps with larger,
grip-and-turn knobs. Phones with giant buttons are also easier to use. Special
pillows including neck pillows can help avoid stressing your neck or neck
muscles while you recline or sleep and a large body pillow can support your
arms and legs during the night. Some people with arthritis find it helpful to
attach Velcro tabs to the corners of sheets so that they can make the bed
without tucking in the sheets.
Several simple innovations can make a world of difference in the
- Faucet turners. These levered handles make turning on faucets in the
bathroom sink much easier.
- Bathtub bar. Install a bathtub bar to hold on to as you get in and out of
- Shower seat. These simple seats fit in your tub or shower stall. They can
help you conserve energy while bathing and avoid falls.
- Elevated toilet seats. An elevated toilet seat can reduce the strain
created by getting on and off traditional low toilet seats.
Also while you are bathing or showering, a long-handled bath brush or sponge
can help you wash hard-to-reach places.
Your Living Room or Den
Relax with less stress using these helpful aids in your living room.
- One-touch, or voice- and motion-activated lamps. Depending on your
preferences, get lamps that turn on with a simple touch to the base, or when
you walk in the room or talk.
- A cervical pillow. Keep a cervical pillow on the couch with the rest of
your throw pillows so you can keep your neck comfortable while watching
- Grip-and-turn door knobs. Replace small rotating door knobs with door
levers or form-fitting rubber knob covers that are easy to grip and turn.
- Bookholders. If you enjoy reading on the couch, purchase a bookholder for
Remember, don't watch television while lying on your back because this can
cause neck discomfort and back pain. And if changing channels on the remote
control is challenging, consider purchasing a universal remote control with