Practical Self-Help Tips

  • Work for short periods, with planned rest periods in between. If you cook, keep a chair or stool near the stove, so you can rest whenever you need to.
  • Use a toaster, broiler oven, electric frying pan, crock-pot, or microwave oven for tabletop cooking to eliminate bending over the stove and oven.
  • Arrange your storage facilities so the most frequently used items are within easy reach.
  • To relieve pressure on your finger joints, use pieces of contrasting colored foam tubing over utensil handles. Try using a rocker knife, available in independent living catalogs, to slice foods. As you rock the handle up and down, the sharp, curved blade slices through the food.
  • Use a rubberized or vinyl jar opener for gripping doorknobs and appliance controls.
  • Avoid lifting or carrying heavy household items. To transfer a pot from the counter to the stove, place the pot on a tray or cookie sheet with a raised rim and slide the tray along the counter instead of trying to lift the pot.
  • Use a cart with wheels to move items from room to room and to offer support while walking.
  • When you read, support your book with a folding book stand instead of trying to hold it open.
  • Install drawers on gliding tracks that open and close with a minimum of effort.
  • Try not to start projects early in the morning when pain and stiffness are most pronounced. Sometimes a warm morning shower or bath can relieve joint pain. Be sure to use a bathtub bench or shower chair when bathing.
Reproduced with permission of APH Press, American Printing House for the Blind, from Maureen A. Duffy, “Additional Health Conditions” in Making Life More Livable: Simple Adaptations for Living at Home After Vision Loss, pp. 99-100. Copyright 2002 by American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved.

Additional Resources for Arthritis