Helpful gadgets if you’re living with arthritis

Simple gadgets and devices can sometimes make it easier to perform daily activities, such as cooking, gardening, or even getting dressed.

For example, people with limited movement might have an easier time using long-handled hooks when putting on socks and long-handled shoehorns for shoes. Also helpful are shoes that slip on or fasten with Velcro, pre-tied neckties, and garments with Velcro fasteners, zippers, or hooks and eyes instead of buttons. For other tasks, long-handled grippers are designed to grasp and retrieve out-of-reach objects. Rubber grips are available to help you get a better hold on faucets, pens, toothbrushes, and silverware. Ergonomic tools with long necks and comfortable grips are also useful. Pharmacies, medical supply stores, and online vendors stock a variety of aids for people with arthritis. The following will give you an idea of the broad array of tools available.

In the kitchen

  • mini chopper
  • electric can opener
  • wall-mounted jar opener
  • small, nonskid gripper mats to increase traction when opening jars and to place under bowls and other items to prevent slippage
  • utensils with built-up, padded handles
  • loop or spring-loaded scissors
  • cheese slicer
  • bottle brush, for washing cups and glasses
  • cookbook stand

In the bathroom

  • electric toothbrush
  • dental floss holder
  • electric razor
  • soap-on-a-rope or mitts to hold soap in the shower
  • brushes or combs with long handles
  • raised toilet seat
  • long-handled brush to clean the bathtub

In the yard and garden

  • kneeler and seat
  • ergonomic tools (with long necks and comfortable grips)
  • motor-driven hose reel
  • angled shovel
  • hose caddy
  • raised garden beds
  • low-maintenance plants
  • carpenter's apron with several pock-ets for carrying frequently used tools

Throughout your home and car

  • key turners
  • doorknob turners
  • light switch adapters
  • lightweight vacuum cleaner
  • scissors with padded handles or swivel blades (loop or spring-loaded)
  • rollerball or gel pens, pencils with padded grips

To learn more about how to live an active life with arthritis, check out Living Well with Osteoarthritis, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Image: simpson33/Getty Images

Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.