Performing some of the most common everyday tasks such as grooming, bathing, and eating, can be a struggle for those with arthritis. The inflammation and pain associated with this condition can make these seemingly simple tasks difficult to perform. Caregivers can aid in these areas, but it is also important to help the patient to maintain a sense of independence as well. This helps them to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem and well-being.
There are many assistive aids that can be used to help the arthritis sufferer perform tasks that are difficult for him or her, without the caregiver's assistance or with minimal caregiver assistance. (It is up to the caregiver to determine when it is appropriate to use these aids and when it is necessary to provide actual assistance.) We are going to discuss some of these assistive aids and when they can be used below.
For someone whose hands, elbows, and/or shoulders are affected by arthritis, styling their hair can be a painful process. Caregivers can allow them to do so independently, with little to no pain, with a long handle angled hair brush with hand cuff and a hands-free hair dryer stand. The brush's hand cuff allows the user to more easily grip it and the angled handle provides increased reach without straining the arm or shoulder. Holding a heavy hair dryer for even a short period, can cause a lot of pain for arthritis patients. A hands-free hair dryer stand enables them to dry their hair without having to hold the dryer.
We all like our privacy in the bathroom, but having an arthritic condition sometimes makes it hard to be independent in this area. Some bathroom tools that can be utilized to allow more independence in bathing include:
- long bathing scrub sponges
- soap grippers
- no rinse bathing wipes.
The long bathing scrub sponge is lightweight, making it easy to hold and enables the user to wash without having to reach or bend. Arthritis often makes it difficult to grasp items, a soap gripper eliminates the need to hold the soap in one's hand, making bathing less painful and there are no worries about dropping the soap. When a quick wash up will do, no rinse bathing wipes can be used by the patient to clean, moisturize, and deodorize his or her body all in one step without the use of water. A bonus is that the wipes can be heated in the microwave to provide more comfort.
Maintaining independence at the dinner table can be challenge for those with arthritis, as they may have trouble holding utensils and cups. Kitchen aids that can make eating more comfortable include bendable utensils with easy-to-grip handles and two-handled nosey cups, which are perfect for those who find it difficult to bend their neck or tilt their head.
Try out one or more of the products we discussed to help your loved ones maintain their independence while also easing your caregiving load.
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