Arthritis can be painful, and it can also make it hard to live on your own. If you or a loved one has arthritis, you may need to invest in special tools to help throughout the house. Here’s a look at some key items that can help foster independence in the kitchen, even with arthritis:
1. Extended Grabber
When your joints are stiff, it can be hard to bend down or reach high. This can make it difficult to reach cans of food or other items in your kitchen cabinets. To deal with this situation, you may want to arrange your cabinets so the most-used items are within easy reach.
However, a grabber can be useful for reaching things that must be stored in high or low cabinets. There are a range of grabber options on the market. Most contain an extendable handle and a claw at the end. To operate the claw, you simply squeeze a trigger at the other end of the grabber.
There are also a variety of grabber styles on the market. To ensure you can use the item easily, you may want to test out a few brands.
2. Can and Jar Openers
An electric can opener is infinitely easier on your arthritis than a hand-operated one, and you may also want to invest in an electric jar opener to help with jars of jam or pasta sauce. If these gadgets take up too much room on the countertop, consider smaller options.
There are twist-free jar openers that fit into drawers and make opening jars easier for people with arthritis or other dexterity limitations. Similarly, there are pieces of rubber that you can use to get a better grip on jar lids and make opening them easier.
3. Large-Handled Tools
If you have trouble tightening your fist, it can be nearly impossible to hold onto kitchen tools. Luckily, you can buy utensils with large, ergonomic, easy-to-hold rubber handles. In addition to forks, spoons, and knives for eating, you can get spatulas, serving forks, and ladles with large handles as well.
In a pinch, you can even make your own large easy-to-grip handles. You simply need a tennis ball. These sports items are available at most big box stores, and a pack of several of the balls usually cost about a dollar or less. To convert tennis balls into handles, simply create an opening in the ball with a knife and then stick the handle of the utensil inside. This modification also works with toothbrushes or other small tools around the home.
4. Suction-Cup Cheese Grater
A meal isn’t complete without cheese, so you may want to purchase a suction-cup cheese grater. Holding a normal cheese grater in place can be hard if you don’t have a firm grip. A suction cup forces your cheese grater to hold still so you can focus on grating cheese.
If a cheese grater is too difficult to use, you may want to opt for a grating disc. These discs are not designed specifically for people with arthritis, but they allow you to easily grate cheese, potatoes, or anything else with a food processor.
5. Universal Knob Turner
Having trouble dealing with the knobs on the stove or dishwasher? Then, it may be time to look at universal knob turners. These tools cover almost any knob and essentially convert it into a large handle. That makes the knob easier to grip and also increase your leverage so you don’t have to use as much strength.
These knob extensions can be invaluable around the kitchen. They can also be used with cabinets, door knobs, washing machine controls, and a number of other things.
If you or a loved one is trying to maintain your independence as long as possible, having the right tools can help, but home health care is also necessary. At Queen City Health Care, we’re committed to helping seniors stay in their homes as long as possible. To learn more about our services, contact us directly.