Tips and Aids for Living with Arthritis
Arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ‘other type and unknown’ — affects an estimated 3.6 million (15%) Australians, based on self-reported data from the ABS National Health Survey 2017–18 (ABS 2018). 1
This is an alarming rate of people who live with chronic pain and stiffness. Research has linked joint pain to an increased risk for falls. The more joints arthritis affects, the greater the odds you'll take a tumble. In a 2015 Arthritis Care & Research study, people with pain in one lower joint – their knee or hip – were 53 per cent more likely to fall.2
Besides seeking medical help and consultation with an Occupational Therapist, there are ways you can live with Arthritis.
- In the toilet/bathroom, cut down on the need for bending and reaching by installing a toilet raiser and arm support. Avoid positions or movements that put extra stress on joints. Putting a bathing stool in the tub or shower is a good idea for people who have arthritis in the legs.
- Using labour-saving equipment and adaptive aids for reaching can help to reduce the risk of falls and strain to the joints.
- In the kitchen, use electric can openers and mixers. Even some tasks like turning knobs can cause wrist pain. Using a turner from Etac can reduce the risk of a wrist injury.
- A grab bar mounted over the tub is a necessity for many people.
- A soft swivel Autoturn cushion to help you get in and out of the car without strain can keep you mobile with greater ease.
Arthritis can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and wellbeing due to acute and chronic pain, physical limitations, management of the condition and mental health issues. This can often result in withdrawal from social, community and occupational activities (Briggs et al. 2016).3
There are lots of affordable and easy-to-use Arthritis aids you can start using today to improve your safety, enabling independence.