Arthritis affects around ten million people in Britain today and is particularly prevalent in the elderly. As well as causing pain and discomfort, it can have a detrimental impact on the ability to live independently. Luckily, there are a number of gadgets on the market designed to help overcome the difficulties experienced by those living with the condition.
In a recent article for the Daily Mail, Dr Tom Margham, a GP and spokesman for Arthritis Research UK, looked at some of the products available. They can be used by those with osteoarthritis, the most common form of the condition, caused by wear and tear or injury. The less common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, a result of the body’s own immune system attacking the joints. Many of these items are also useful for those with this form too.
The first of the items is called Sock-Aid and helps those with arthritis get their socks on and off. As well as the tube-like device, it comes with a stick for manoeuvring the equipment into the right position on the floor. The Sock-Aid could overcome the issues of flexibility, strength and range of movement that can be associated with arthritis, making getting dressed alone more achievable.
Simple actions, such as turning on the taps, can also be difficult to carry out for arthritis sufferers, but there’s a gadget to help. Tap turners can be placed over standard fixtures and provide a larger handle and turning circle, making the process so much easier and less painful. A pack of two comes in blue and red to make the different temperature taps distinguishable from each other.
Fancy a cup of tea? Then a two-handled teapot could be a good investment for a relative with arthritis. Developed in collaboration with the University of Stirling, a group of healthcare professionals and people with the condition, it is easier to grip, pour and keep steady. The wide handles help to prevent scalded knuckles and the weight is distributed between both hands.
Nobody should be forced to give up a beloved pastime due to arthritis and an easi-grip trowel could enable keen gardeners to enjoy the activity for longer. The handle is positioned at a right angle to the conventional trowel, which is much more comfortable for the hand and wrist. As light exercise, such as gardening, helps to promote strong muscles that can support joints, it’s a great activity to minimise the impact of the arthritis.
The ability to carry out simple tasks with the aid of a few gadgets, instead of a relative or carer, should not be underestimated. As well as the physical benefits of keeping joints moving, there are the mental implications too. Being able to dress themselves, prepare their own beverages and do other small household activities makes sufferers feel less reliant on other people and can therefore boost their self-esteem.