Arthritis of any kind can ruin your fantasy of graceful aging—it can tear you away from your favorite hobbies and even prevent you from performing ordinary tasks that you do every day. Whether you have severe or mild arthritis, it can be challenging just to take care of yourself properly. Make sure to seek assistance if you need help with these common tasks that are harder with arthritis, especially if they put you at risk of a dangerous fall.
It’s easy to underestimate just how much work goes into making food, especially if you cook every single day. From gripping pans and utensils to reaching for ingredients in the fridge, what may seem like a quick and easy task becomes incredibly inconvenient or downright impossible. It may even be difficult to stand over a sizzling pan or a boiling pot for too long.
With arthritis, frozen or microwavable meals can become your best friend—which may not be the most satisfying if you have a lot of high-pain days. If you want to keep cooking, find kitchen gadgets that simplify the action or do the most difficult jobs for you. Store your most-used ingredients and tools in places that won’t require you to bend over or reach high. Make sure you sit down whenever possible to save your legs and feet from joint pain.
While you may not drive every day anymore if you’re retired, you still need to leave the house to socialize and restock the house. Many motions that you need to make while driving require you to act quickly or grip something tightly. If there are actions that your arthritis prevents you from doing, you may need to reteach yourself how to drive with accommodations or modifications in your vehicle.
If you want to stay safe while driving with arthritis, consider your capabilities carefully. Make the long walk from your parking spot easier by registering for a handicapped parking permit. Modify the car if you can’t perform a certain action—such as moving the pedals to hand controls or adding steering wheel knobs. For extra pain relief, consider buying a vehicle with heated seats (or adding your own) to make your car seats feel like a gentle heating pad.
Keeping a clean house becomes especially difficult when cleaning involves some of the most common tasks that are harder with arthritis. To reduce the burden, clean bit by bit instead of all at once, and ask for help when you need it.
Try to avoid bending over whenever possible by investing in cleaning tools that have long handles. You may want to use a reach extender or grabber tool to pick up items around the house. Don’t leave messes alone to build up because they’ll become harder to clean—wipe them up immediately.
Because arthritis is such a common issue, you may be able to find tools for every type of chronic pain. Keep an eye out online for items that help with your specific issues, and don’t be afraid to try them out.