Home Modifications For Those Living With Arthritis
Living independently may be a challenge for seniors with arthritis, but luckily there are many modifications that can make it simpler. These adaptations can be particularly helpful in areas like the the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
If you’re an older adult living with arthritic knees, for example, you may want to consider raising the height of seats in your home. This can include your dining room table chairs, arm chairs, and even the seat of your toilet. Raising the chairs will make it easier to move from seated to standing without straining. The same goes for the height of your bed.
You may also want to look into devices that alleviate pressure on the wrist and finger joints. It might save you time and effort to buy a food processor, for example, that can chop or grate your food for you. If you struggle to open jars and cans, consider purchasing an electric can opener or jar opener. Many retailers also sell “fat grip” pens and toothbrushes, which are easier to grasp.
These are only a few examples of ways to accommodate arthritic joints so that seniors can live comfortably. Make sure you determine which tasks present the biggest struggles and then develop a plan going forward.
Place appliances on the counter so you don’t have to bend, stretch, or reach into drawers or cabinets. Consider lighter pots and pans if stoneware feels too heavy for you. Long-handled dustpans and brooms save you from bending over. Electric can and jar openers allow you to turn a container “hands-free.” Arrange items at counter level and use a grabber tool so you won’t need to stretch for them. Store everything you need within easy reach, even if it means having duplicates in several places.
Automatic toilet bowl cleaners keep you from unnecessary scrubbing. A highboy toilet seat can ease otherwise painful squatting. Plastic grips fit over your faucet handles and make it easier to turn on the water. A bench can help you in and out of the tub. You can transfer to a shower chair, or just use it for support. Electric toothbrush, razors, and pill bottle openers are easier to manage. Consider a walk-in bathtub. In any case, slip mats for the tub and toilet and a touch light for the evening can also help keep you safe.
Living Room & Den
Casters on furniture can make housecleaning easier. Avoid sofas and chairs that are too low to the ground. A door that sticks can pose a problem which can be corrected.
Nightlights and activated switches can keep you safe with ease. Zipper pulls, button fasteners, sock aids, and long-handled shoehorns and can make dressing easier. A mini-fridge could also save you unnecessary trips to the kitchen.
A stool lets you sit comfortably at counter height. But if carrying clothes downstairs is no longer safe, have the washing machine moved upstairs. Another option may be a wheeled grocery cart.
Stairs and Halls
Install slip mats on stairs and guard rails on outdoor steps. Secure your carpets and move throw rugs and clutter away from trafficked areas. For some people, a stair lift or ramp may make it easier remain in their current home.
A garden kneeler can help you tend to your garden without straining your knees or back. Many garden tools have longer or oversized handles, and lightweight garden hoses are easier to carry. A tool pouch or wheeled garden cart can keep anything you need within reach and at the level of your arms. Special staircases with shorter, wider steps than normal help with ascending and descending porches.