4 Helpful Home Modifications for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients08/04/2022
People living with rheumatoid arthritis face daily challenges that non-arthritis suffers do not. Once simple tasks can become challenging, making it frustrating and sometime unsafe to perform daily routines. Recently, however, there have been several technological innovations designed to facilitate performance of daily tasks for those with restricted mobility.
Here are a few simple solutions that can make a big impact:
Adjustable beds are a well-known tool for minimizing discomfort when sitting up and lying down in bed. There are a few different options depending on your needs. You could install a mattress inclinator, which is designed to steadily elevate the mattress and works with your existing bed, or you could opt for a variable posture bed that has the lifting mechanism built in and can be adjusted to provide support for both the back and legs.
Powered Toilet Lifts
Powered toilet lifts are also a great option for arthritis sufferers. The LiftSeat Powered Toilet Lift uses an electric lifting mechanism to gently lower and lift individuals onto and off of the toilet, helping to reduce painful strain on the upper and lower body. This particular lift offers the double benefit of being easy to install (it just fits right over your existing toilet) and very sturdy. Unlike many of the cheap plastic risers that can crack or shift in place over time, this power toilet lift won’t slip under your weight.
Seat lifts allow you to modify the furniture you already have to make it easier to use. These types of lifts are portable, so you can move them from chair to couch, or take them with you when visiting friends and family, running errands, etc. They typically just sit right on top of your furniture and use a hydraulic or inflation mechanism to help the user transition between sitting and standing more easily.
You can also purchase a seat lift chair. This is a special piece of furniture that has the lifting mechanism directly incorporated, similar to adjustable beds. These chairs are able to adjust to a variety of different sitting positions depending on the specific features you choose.
Pull-down shelving is another modification worth considering. This unique apparatus is made to install into your existing cabinets (replacing the standard shelves) and allow you to raise and lower the entire shelving unit with very little effort. Installing this type of shelving may be a bit more involved than some of the other options discussed here, but it will greatly improve the accessibility of your kitchen and reduce overall pain and frustration in the long run.
Making the Right Modifications for You
Rheumatoid arthritis affects each person differently, so a solution that works for one person may not be suitable for everyone. Educating yourself about some of the available assistive tools and technology, like those listed above, can go a long way in making sure you get the help that’s right for you. You may also want to consider working with a professional such as an occupational therapist that can help you determine the ideal modifications for your unique disease progression and living situation.
- “Bedding and Sleep Solutions for People with Disabilities.” The Sleep Judge, 17 Dec. 2020, www.thesleepjudge.com/bedding-and-sleep-solutions-for-people-with-disabilities/
- “Your Home.” Versus Arthritis, www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/living-with-arthritis/your-home/
- “Adapting Your House When You Have Arthritis: Arthritis Foundation.” Adapting Your House When You Have Arthritis | Arthritis Foundation, www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/daily-living/life-hacks-tips/adapting-your-house