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Simple gadgets and devices can sometimes make it easier to perform daily activities, such as cooking, gardening, or even getting dressed. Long-handled grippers, for example, are designed to grasp and retrieve out-of-reach objects. People with limited movement might have an easier time getting dressed by using long-handled hooks when putting on socks and long-handled shoehorns for shoes. Also helpful are shoes that slip on or fasten with Velcro, pre-tied neckties, and garments with Velcro fasteners, zippers, or hooks and eyes instead of buttons. Rubber grips are available to help you get a better handle on faucets, pens, toothbrushes, and silverware. Ergonomic tools with long necks and comfortable grips are also useful. Pharmacies, medical supply stores, and online vendors stock a variety of aids for people with arthritis. The following are some tools that can make your day a little easier.

In the kitchen

  • mini chopper

  • electric can opener

  • wall-mounted jar opener

  • small, nonskid gripper mats to increase traction when opening jars and to place under bowls and other items to prevent slippage

  • utensils with built-up, padded handles

  • loop or spring-loaded scissors

  • cheese slicer

  • bottle brush, for washing cups and glasses

  • cookbook stand

In the bathroom

  • electric toothbrush

  • dental floss holder

  • electric razor

  • soap-on-a-rope or mitts to hold soap

  • brushes or combs with long handles

  • raised toilet seat

  • long-handled brush to clean the bathtub

In the garden

  • kneeler and seat

  • ergonomic tools (with long necks and comfortable grips)

  • motor-driven hose reel

  • hose caddy

  • raised garden beds

  • low-maintenance plants

  • carpenter's apron with several pockets for carrying frequently used tools

Throughout your home and car

  • key turners

  • doorknob turners

  • light switch adapters

  • lightweight vacuum cleaner

  • scissors with padded handles or swivel blades (loop or spring-loaded)

  • phone with automatic dialing

  • rollerball or gel pens, pencils with padded grips

  • car door openers

Last Annual Review Date: 2013-03 Copyright: Copyright Harvard Health Publications

Reference: Rheumatoid Arthritis section on Better Medicine

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