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The top 5 most useful aids for people with Arthritis

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Two of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Although the two conditions are significantly different in nature, both result in similar symptoms of pain, swelling, tenderness and reduced range of motion in joints. The most commonly affected joints by both conditions are the small joints in the fingers, the hip joints and the knee joints. There is a large range of equipment to aid those with osteo or rheumatoid arthritis in the completion of every day tasks. The top 5 most useful equipment for everyday tasks for people with arthritis in the hands and fingers is catalogued below.

1.Thick Handled Cutlery

Reduced range of motion and pain often makes holding and using cutlery quite difficult and hence interferes with every meal time. A range of brands produce cutlery that has a lightweight handle with a much greater width than average cutlery. The lightweight feature allows users to hold up the cutlery when hand, wrist and/or arm strength is reduced. The thick handle allows for poor grip strength and limited finger movement.

Some options of thick-handled cutlery:

Homecraft Caring Cutlery – Thickened, contoured plastic handles with a thumb indent for directional support on the knife

Homecraft Caring Cutlery

Homecraft Supergrip Bendable Cutlery – Thickened, ribbed rubber handles for extra grip with a twistable head of each utensil to further allow for limited range of motion.

Supergrip Bendable Cutlery

Patterson Medical Lightweight Foam Cutlery – Light, widened foam handles with contouring to guide fingers into grip position

Patterson Medical Lightweight Foam Cutlery

2.Tap Turners

Turning taps requires strength and complex movement of the wrist and fingers, which can be very difficult for people with arthritis. Tap turners improve the leverage so less strength and movement is required to turn taps on and off. They also provide a larger, easier handle to grip so people with limited range of motion in their fingers can hold them.

Some tap turner options:

Patterson Medical Contoured Tap/Knob Turner – lightweight plastic handle with a bed of stainless steel rods that conform to the shape of the tap or knob.

Patterson Medical Contoured Tap/ Knob Turner

Homecraft Crosshead Tap Turners – Red and blue plastic turners moulded to fit over regular taps with four prongs with elongated, thickened handles

Homecraft Crosshead Tap Turner

Homecraft Crystal Tap Turners – White turners with elongated, thickened handles and rubber lined jaws that clamp onto rounded or crystal tap tops.

Homecraft Crystal Tap Turner

3.Key Turners

Turning keys also requires strength in the wrist and fingers as well as complex movement of these joints, which can be difficult and painful for people with arthritis. Key turners create greater leverage on the key so that they can be turned with reduced strength and movement. They are very lightweight and have a thickened, long handle to create a larger area to grip and require much less grip strength. Keys can be installed into key turners by unscrewing the screw using the attached turner, lining up the key hole with the key turner holes and replacing the screw. Keys also fold away into the handle for convenience. Key turners come in two options for one or two keys.

Click here to view the key turner

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4.Button Hooks

Buttoning up clothing is an every day task that requires very fine motor skills in the hands and fingers. Guiding buttons through button holes can be very challenging for people with painful and stiffened joints in the wrist and fingers. Button hooks have very large handles with a wire to hold the button to drastically reduce the amount of small movements and difficult pinched grip needed to button up clothing. The wire end of the hook is pushed through the button hole and over the button. The handle is then pulled back through the hole with a twisting motion.

Click here to view the Homecraft Kings Button Hook

Image 1

5.Bottle and Jar Openers

Opening various bottles and jars around the kitchen involves strong twisting actions in the wrist and fingers. This can be painful for people with arthritis and may stop them from being able to open anything that is tightly sealed. There is a large range of bottle and jar openers that are placed on top of a jar or bottle and, by either a manual or electric mechanism, tightened around the lid. The opener then works by either creating a larger, easier area to grip when manually twisting or electronically twisting the lid off.

Some bottle and jar opener options:

Patterson Medical Bottle Opener – A moulded, rubber cup that fits over the lid of a bottle (lid diameter of 3.5cm) with ridges on the inside to grip the lid. The top is square for easier grip to manually twist the lid.

Peak Care Bottle Opener

Undo-It Jar Opener – A V shaped, metal wedge that is screwed underneath a cupboard or shelf. Bottle or jar lids are then slid into the wedge until tightly gripped by the non-slip lining and can be manually twisted off by turning the base of the bottle or jar.

Click here to view the Undo-It Jar Opener

Undo-It Jar Opener

One Touch Bottle Opener or Jar opener – Electric openers that are sat on top of the lid of the jar or bottle, one button is pressed and the machine tightens around the lid and twists it off.

Click here to view the one touch bottle opener

One Touch Bottle Opener

Click here to view the one touch jar opener

One Touch Jar Opener

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