As a family caregiver, one of your goals for your aging family member may be to help them remain as independent as possible. However, for seniors with arthritis, some tasks can be pretty hard to do because of painful joints. Fortunately, there are many adaptive devices available that can make it possible to do all sorts of tasks. Below are some adaptive tools for people with arthritis that might make your family member’s life a little easier.
Buttoning clothing or pulling zippers may be impossible for people with arthritic hands that don’t work well. There is a zipper puller/buttoner tool available with a thick handle that is easy to grip. The tool has a hook for pulling up zippers and a loop that assists with manipulating buttons.
Mechanical Jar Opener
The gripping and twisting motion necessary for opening a jar can be very painful. An electric jar opener can grip and open even the toughest jar lids. The only motion necessary from the senior is placing the jar in the device and pushing the button.
Bars and Handrails
If arthritis makes your family member unsteady on their feet, bars and handrails aren’t just an assistive device, they’re a necessary safety measure. Install bars and handrails in the bathroom near the toilet and bathtub. Also, make sure there are handrails on both sides of all stairwells.
Gripping the slender handles of eating utensils and toothbrushes can be made easier by slipping fat rubber grips over them. The wider grip reduces the stress on painful knuckles.
An elevated toilet that stands taller than a standard toilet will be easier for someone with arthritic hips or knees to get up and down from. For added assistance, install a handrail near the toilet.
Long-Handled Shoe Horn
Arthritis can make bending over to put on shoes difficult. A long-handled shoe horn eliminates the need to bend and helps shoes to slide on more easily.
Large-Buttoned Universal Remote
For immobile fingers, pushing the tiny buttons on a television remote can be frustrating. There are universal remotes available that are designed especially for people with manual dexterity problems. They are specially shaped to make them easier to hold and feature large buttons that are easy to push.
Seat Belt Handle
Attach a seat belt handle to the older adult’s seat belt to make it easier to grab and pull over. The handle makes the seat belt easier to grab because the handle brings the seat belt about six inches closer. This reduces the amount of reaching and twisting necessary to get a hold on the seat belt.
There are many other devices available to assist seniors with difficult tasks, thereby reducing the things they need a family caregiver’s help for. Try searching the Internet or talking to your senior family member’s doctor or occupational therapist about where to find them.