Sunday, January 1, 2012

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices not only make life easier for the person suffering from autoimmune arthritis but they can also protect the joints from further damage.

Here are some of the devices that I either use or think would be helpful.

I have a bottle opener that I use on a daily basis. On one end it is flat so that it will slide under the pull tab on a drink can and the other end has a sharpish bag opener. (Well mind did have that until I dropped it and broke it.)

The Good Grips peeler is another device I have. Before I got this, my hubby had to do all of the veggie peeling. Now I can do some of it but I still have trouble chopping up a lot of the veggies.

The gas cap turner will probably be the next device I buy. At the gas station the other day, I came very close to asking a man in the bay next to me for help because I had trouble removing the gas cap.

 I also use a medication cap opener similar to the one above. Mine has a magnifier in one end so you can see the name of the medication without too much trouble.

I used to have wax bath for hands but it wouldn't work for feet. The large wax bath system is on my RA wish list since they are large enough for feet, hands and even elbows.

I have used the bird pen in the past when I had many hours of nursing documentation to do by hand. It did help relieve the stress on my fingers.

For those who have trouble getting in and out of bed, a bed cane can be a great benefit.

Carry handles for grocery bags can make bringing the groceries in a little less painful. The bags have such thin handles that they cut into the poor painful hands and this alleviates that problem.

Arthritis gloves keep the joints warm and provide light compression for those inflamed joints. In the winter, I wear mine under my regular gloves to help keep my hands even warmer.

Gripping playing cards can cause pain in arthritic fingers and these will help alleviate that pain.

Door knob turners help prevent undue stress on fingers and hand joints. They also make it a little easier to open doors.

Canes can be beneficial for those times when the feet, ankles, knees or hips are flaring and mobility is limited. I keep a cane in my car even though I don't use it much. I have learned to use it more when we travel to help prevent falls.

I do recommend getting a cane with a gel grip. I have two. One with a wooden handle and one with the gel grip. The gel grip cane was purchased after using the wooden handled cane in Disneyland. The hard wooden handle made my hands ache.

There are many more devices that can make the life of the RA sufferer a little easier. These can be found on the internet and many local drug stores carry quite a few of these devices.

Try out some of them and I think you'll find that they make life much easier.

1 comment:

  1. I think my grabber is one of my most helpful devices. Although if I begin driving again, I want a gas cap turner. Well, my hubby is usually sweet enough that he makes sure I never have to pump gas so it would be a necessity I guess. I also love a paraffin bath, the OXO Good Grips kitchen tools and while I've not tried the bird pen I do love my rubber pen grips. I dunno how the bird pen would work with me being a lefty? I also want to try a rocker knife for cooking. And right now, a simple back pack is so very helpful to me. I use forearm crutches which make it hard for me to carry things in my hands. So I have a small purse size backpack which holds ALL of my med bottles. I also have a small purse I hook from the hand grip of my crutches. A long handled sponge for the shower is another thing I like although I prefer a long handled poof rather than a sponge. The poof doesn't break down like a sponge will. I killed a sponge while at the nursing home. And another thing I prefer is a mouse that has a good sized gel cushion where the palm of the hand rests on the mouse. A shower chair is another must for me. Since I cannot stand without my AFO/braces, there's no way I can stand in the shower. So I have had that a long time. Prior to my fall/stay in the hosp/nursing home stay I needed my shower chair because of a lack of energy. Now, it is because I have bilateral ankle contractures that cause me to either be able to put my toes on the floor, or my heels on the floor, or roll my foot outward and put the outer edge of my foot on the floor. None of those are optimal for standing without assistance. And another item that I could not cook without, a bar-stool. I can't stand at the counter to do food prep any longer. But, a bar-stool is the perfect height for me to comfortably do prep work at the counter, use the stove, and sit to do dishes at the sink. I LOVE it that we found a solution to me being able to cook since it is one thing I love to do and didn't do as often as I would like because it caused me a flare at times to cook a meal.