This story was originally published in the Chicago Tribune Prime Time senior living section.
In addition to being painful, arthritis can be limiting. Simple everyday tasks become major challenges. Fortunately, many clever, inexpensive devices can save arthritis sufferers time and frustration. And some are just plain handy for any senior looking to make their life a little easier.
Good Grips Button Hook
The Good Grips Button Hook has a large, cushioned handle that is easy to grip. You simply insert the metal loop through the button hole, grab the button with the end of the loop and pull it through the buttonhole. It works for unbuttoning as well, and on any size button. It is available for about $9 at online resellers such as Amazon.com.
Upeasy Seat Assist
For those who need a little boost getting out of a chair, the Upeasy Seat Assist gives just that. It is a manual and portable cushion that slowly lifts up using a hydropneumatic gas spring when you begin to stand up. It is designed to push you up, not forward. It weighs 9 pounds, and works on sofas as well as chairs, and requires no electricity. The product supports those up to 220 pounds. For those up to 340 pounds, try the Upeasy Seat Assist Plus. These are available online from The Home Depot, Walmart, Walgreens, Amazon, and many more sites for about $100.
Great Grips door knob cover
Great Grips is a flexible cover that pops over your doorknob and makes it easier to turn. It is designed to allow you to turn the doorknob with an elbow or even a finger or fist. It comes in a glow-in-the-dark version so you can see the door at night or if the power goes out. Great Grips is made of latex-free material, as well. Read about them at greatgrips.com. They can be found at medical supply stores, or ordered online from shopping sites such as Amazon for about $10 for a set of two.
Copper Hands compression gloves
If you have tried other compression gloves for arthritis pain in your hands and found them uncomfortable or unwieldy, Copper Hands may be worth a try. These are ultralight fingerless gloves designed to stay cool while offering joint support and reducing swelling. They are interlaced with copper on a microscopic level, which some people believe lessens joint pain as well. The no-finger design allows you to do daily tasks while wearing them, and they are machine washable, too. They are made of 90 percent cotton, 5 percent copper and 5 percent spandex. Copper Hands have built-in grips that can give you more leverage opening jars and getting a secure hold on things. Sold for $12.99 at copperhands.com.
Grab Bag shopping bag
The Grab Bag is a strong fabric tote that clips into your shopping cart at the store. It holds seven times the items of one plastic bag. After checkout, simply seal it up and use the easy-lift handle to get it into the car and the house. Due to the Grab Bag’s design and special handles, you can carry much more weight than with other bags. The Grab Bag also holds your items securely in place in your car. And it’s perfect for warehouse clubs that do not supply bags. Order two bags for $14.99 at grabbag.com.