Arthritis Putting Damper on Couple's Social Life


"My husband suffers from arthritis so badly that almost everything he does causes him pain and discomfort. You can imagine what this has done to our social life! We hardly go out anymore. The thing of it is, I think he really does want to go out. It's just the arthritis that's holding him back."

The Expert Says:

This is perfectly normal. When a person's arthritis is getting him or her down, typically that person can't think past the front door. Or in many cases, even past the bed! The first thing a non-arthritic person should do is to avoid blaming the spouse. Arthritis can be very debilitating, and people suffer with it in varying degrees of pain and discomfort.

But you are half of this marriage, and unfortunately this marriage does happen to include arthritis. Why should you be affected, too?

Take the initiative and introduce your husband to the wide variety of supplies available to help arthritics get out and about.

First order of business is to get him out of the bed. Over the years, manufacturers have come up with a remarkable set of devices called standing aids. Let's look at the various types of standing aids:

  • Does he have difficulty getting up from his chair or sofa? There
    are neat risers to help him from his chair or grips and canes to get up from
    the sofa.

  • Once he's up, can he pivot in place while you assist him with dressing?
    Pivot discs, like lazy susans for people, help arthritic persons accomplish
    tight maneuvers.

  • In the car, can he get out by himself? Remember--once in public,
    most men would rather walk through broken glass than have their wife help
    them out of cars. Strong nylon loops called Car
    Caddies--strength-rated well past his weight--help him help himself
    out of the car.

Now that your husband is standing, you've only won half the battle. Now you've got to get him to the mall, store, party, or over to the grandchildren. If his doctor has given him the nod, walkers and canes are perhaps the easiest way to him to move around. On top of that, he'll feel more independent. As for you, walkers and canes are lighter and more portable, because you'll be the one storing them in the car trunk.

But he may need more stability and support. If he's got a wheelchair, he'll probably want some wheelchair add-ons that make going out much more fun. How about a wheelchair backpack to store those library books you'll be picking up? Or a brake lever extension to make him feel safer and more stable? Or if you're going out for coffee, how about a cupholder for that large cup of French Roast?

So, there's no need for arthritis to keep you or your husband homebound--not with all the wonderful arthritic supplies available to keep you on the move!