The Most Useful Arthritis Aids To Have At Home (Updated, 2022)

arthritis aids for the elderly

Arthritis is a degenerative disease affecting our joints. Whilst you can’t get rid of arthritis, there are arthritis aids that can drastically improve quality of life. These nifty innovations help people with sore, stiff joints and restricted movement to live independently.

In this article we’re going to run through our favourite daily living aids for arthritis, based on experience from our clients (and my lovely mum who has osteoarthritis). We’ve split it by activity so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for, and there’s a real range of prices here including some below £10.

We hope you find this useful – and if you want to read more about the most common types of arthritis, then our article on the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is a good place to start.

We’ve written about other adaptive living products in our article on making life easier for your older parents – find it here.

Kitchen Aids For Arthritis

Difficulties preparing food with arthritis are common – you can’t effortlessly chop, twist and stir dishes like you used to. But there are some amazing gadgets to make cooking with arthritis that much easier, helping your loved one keep living independently.

Grip Assist Devices

Inflammed hand joints, stiff fingers – arthritis doesn’t make cooking easy by any stretch. So anything that helps you grip equipment in the kitchen can be a huge help.

These durable EazyHold straps give people with limited hand mobility the chance to take part independently in so many daily living activities.

Straps are used to increase surface area and make it easier for someone with limited hand mobility to grip it and live more independently. The uses of them are endless (and not just in the kitchen) but they’re a really great arthritis aid for your loved one to keep in the kitchen drawer for when they’re needed.

Place them around cutlery – yes you can buy specific arthritis cutlery (more on this below) but if your parent wants to keep using their favourite knives, forks and spoons then these easy to hold straps are the way forward. Slip them round their piece of cutlery and they can easily feed themselves.

The flexible universal cuff is made of soft silicone and comes in a variety of sizes. Slide it onto the hand and you have a quick, comfortable grip.

Chopping With Arthritis

Chopping food when you have arthritis can take the fun out of cooking. Luckily help is at hand with these kitchen aids.

Best Knife For Arthritis

This arthritis hand aid overhauls the standard knife, to make it easier for someone with inflammed hands to chop and cut. The first thing you’ll notice with this knife is of course the handle, instead of being straight on it is at 90 degrees.

You hold this upright, with the blade underneath so that the wrist is kept at a neutral position in level with the body.

Another USP of the handle is also the size and shape. It’s curved so easily fits into the palm of the hand and the green non slip pads are there for extra safety. A much-needed arthritis aid for any budding chefs.

Chopping vegetables for soup, stews and more can be tiring on the hands – pushing down on a knife repeatedly can cause strain or just be too painful to continue. That’s why a mandolin could be a solution.

It’s a kitchen partner that chops, juliennes and slices fruit and veg. So if you want to make a soup, thinly slice produce for good presentation in a salad or more, this could be the choice for you.

This mini Magimix won’t take up much room in the kitchen but don’t be fooled by its size – this brand is the king of chopping, slicing, mincing – even whisking eggs and making cake mix.

A great gadget for arthritic hands, the parts are easy to assemble and detach and there are only three easy to press buttons to control the motor. All the attachments come in a box that opens up like a bread bin so you can easily see and get the necessary part.  

Stick Blender

A stick blender is great for making light work in the kitchen, zhoosing up veg for sauces, soups and dips. Whilst it’s not as versatile as the Magimix, it’s a more cost effective and smaller option.

This handheld blender is curved and wide so fits nicely into the palm without the need to grip it too tightly. I also like the fact that this has a whisk attachment, so you can use that to thicken cream, make meringues or even beat up some scrambled eggs.

Lazy Susan

This is one of those kitchen aids that once you start using you’ll wonder how you lived without! I come from a kitchen with a 1001 spices and can never easily find the one I want, so it’s not just a hack for the arthritis sufferer in your life.

Pop your spices – or canned goods – on this moving Lazy Susan and you can easily see what you’ve got. It means that your loved one doesn’t need to pick up lots of awkwardly shaped small jars or move about heavy cans to find what they’re looking for. Try it and thank me later!

Electric Tin Opener

Talking of tins, it’s not just about finding them but being able to open them – and this can prove hard for people with limited hand strength, whether it’s got a hand pull or needs to be opened fully with an opener.

The tin opener for arthritic hands that we rate is this from Kitchen Mama. Sleek and small, it fits into a kitchen drawer (some of the other options you may come across are large and take up surface space). It works with both types of cans (ring pull and normal), is cordless and really easily clamps to the top of the tin (so there’s no awkward falling off which I often have with my tin opener).

Pop the AA batteries in, then attach it, and touch it to start and stop. The main thing to know about electric can openers is that they take the lid clean off so you would probably want to drain the produce in a sieve (and avoid the lid falling in which can be awkward to get out).

Cooking tip: If you’re worried about hot saucepans being too heavy, then encourage your parents to use a lightweight steamer or a microwave to cook their vegetables. And invest in some double handled saucepans to spread the load – they’re so much easier to hold.

Other cooking with arthritis tips include:
1. Tie some thick ribbon to the cupboard door handles – it’s much easier to grip and pull this then getting your fingers through the small handles.

2. Need to boil a saucepan of water for pasta? A full saucepan is heavy to carry (and can be dangerous when filled with boiling water). Instead, use a measuring jug to fill it up. Once cooked, scoop the pasta out with a  slotted ladel and then once the water has cooled, use the jug to put it into the sink (or re-use it for something else and save water!).

Eating With Arthritis

There’s lots of different arthritis gadgets to help with eating. We’ve listed some below, to suit different levels of arthritis.

Good Grips Cutlery

We’ve briefly touched on cutlery for arthritis above, but if you think your loved one needs more support when using a knife, fork or spoon then an adapted cutlery set is the way forward.

Just looking at this padded OXO Good Grips, you can see how it could make mealtimes much easier. The large cushioning provides and a more comfortable and larger surface area.

So if your loved one experiences hand tremors or struggles with gripping small objects, this could be the solution to stay eating independently.

Designed with an occupational therapist, the Good Grips cutlery are sturdy and dishwasher proof. They come highly recommended by one of our clients which is all the praise we need!

A mobility scooter can be a great way to give someone with limited mobility their independence back. We’ve got expert advice to understand everything you need to know before investing in a mobility scooter.

Plate Guard

If your loved one has limited hand dexterity, maybe they have to rely on one handed eating then a plate guard or scoop plate could be the answer. A plate guard can be slotted on their existing crockery.

It goes 270 degrees around the plate creating a barrier between the edge and the table so food doesn’t go overboard.

A scoop plate (also called a scoop bowl) does similar, but is a piece of crockery on its own. Featuring a curved lip that sits higher off the table than the other side, your loved one can scoop up their meal and not worry about it going on the table.

Clothing For Arthritis Sufferers

We can’t talk about arthritis aids without talking about easy on shoes, accessible clothing and clever ways to stay warm.

Shoes For Arthritis

The wrong shoes can exacerbate pain and tenderness in feet. Luckily, we’ve discovered Friendly Shoes which are designed for foot pain relief.

Created by an occupational therapist, these specialist trainers have a wide toe box (E) to accommodate swollen feet easily. Their real USP is that the shoes open way up with zips, which means you can easily slide the foot in – there’s no struggle!

There’s three styles of Friendly Shoes for adults – the Excursion which opens with a zip around the back, the Voyage and the Force both of which open with a wide zip down the side of the shoe so you can see all the way to the toe box and easily slide your foot in.

There’s no tricky laces to deal with. Whilst the Voyage and Excursion styles feature laces, you tie them on the first wear and then rely on the zip to get in and out. The Force is slightly roomier at the opening due to there being no laces.

The shoes are eligible for VAT exemption, just enter the relevant information at check-out to get the tax off. 

Friendly Force adaptive shoes

Introducing The Able Label

We LOVE the adaptive clothing from British brand The Able Label. Their adaptive fashion range is classically stylish, with hidden fastenings to make it easier for people to get dressed on their own (or for carers to help them). From underwear to coats, blouses to belts, they have something for everyone. Find more about The Able Label here.

Help getting dressed with arthritis
Keep warm with this easy to open and close puffa coat
Men's pyjamas arthritis
Men’s adaptive pajama set

Imak Arthritis Gloves

These compression gloves for arthritis come highly recommended by my mum (and other arthritis sufferers). Developed by an orthopaedic surgeon and certified by the Arthritis Foundation, they provide non-invasive arthritis relief, reducing swollen joints and increasing circulation.

They’re longer in the wrist than alternatives and cover fingers past the middle knuckle. They have small rubber grip dots on the palm side, making it easier to hold things. These therapeutic gloves for arthritis can be worn day and night, and can be put in your normal clothes wash.

If you’re wondering ‘how do arthritis gloves work?’, well the pressure applied improves blood circulation, increasing hand warmth and removing extra fluid. Sufferers find they help during flare ups and to protect hands from bumps. If you want more compression, apply some Coban self adhesive tape – especially good if you want to cover individual fingers or toes. 

Dressing For Warmth

Arthritis sufferers can get even more joint pain in cold weather. Help them dress for success and stay warm with a thin Merino long sleeved layer. This thermal top comfortably traps in heat. They’re largely impervious to odours so can wear a few days without washing.

Keeping the extremities warm is so important. We love these heated hand warmers for instant heat (they were really popular when featured on our gift guide). They’re rechargeable and your parent can easily pop them in their pocket or gloves – great now we’re all spending more time outdoors too. Or get up to eight hours of heat with these disposable pocket and glove hand warmers from the sweetly named Little Hotties.

These sheepskin insoles are a cosy solution to keeping feet warm. Slip them into shoes for an instant burst of heat to soothe arthritic feet.

Magnetic Jewellery For Arthritis

Doing up your necklace, bracelet or belt can be harder when you have arthritis as your hands aren’t as nimble. These specially designed arthritis accessories look fantastic and feature easy clasps and fastenings for self-dressing. So your parent can still look and feel great.

Arthritis Household Aids

Key Turner Aid

Keys are fiddly aren’t they? They’re small, hard to grip and can be difficult to put into locks and turn. Help is at hand though as Keywing make key turners for arthritic hands.

This is an arthritis aid that although small could make all the difference to your loved one living independently.

You might need to help them fix the key onto the wing but once that’s out of the way, they key has been converted into an easy grip thumb turn. It’s held in place securely so won’t fall out.

The relaxed plastic gives it a comfortable feel in the hand and the bright colours mean you can easily spot your keys – how many hours have been lost looking for your keys?!

The Keywing key turner aid fits common thin flat keys (what’s known as Yale lock or cylinder rim lock keys), but it won’t work with Chubb or mortice lock keys.

Book Holder For The Elderly

An action as habitual as reading a book can become harder with arthritis. Holding the book isn’t as comfortable, thumbing through or turning the thin pages becomes tricky…so this book holder could be the answer!

It takes the pressure off the hands, holding the book for the reader. There are clips to hold the pages in place (as there’s nothing more annoying than losing your page, correct?!) and whilst it looks heavy duty it’s actually lightweight and can be easily transported. Use it for fiction, cooking books, magazines, tablets – it even holds the weight of a laptop.

Writing

As you’ve seen from some of our other arthritis aids, increasing the surface area the user has to hold the gadget helps in distributing pressure. That’s exactly how this arthritis pen grip works. Yes it’s shaped like a fish, but that gives it its curvy, ergonomic shape that molds to the hand. It’s designed to fit a Bic biro so is good for everyday use.

Looking for more info on daily living aids? We can help! Read about getting in and out of the bath, and products for older gardeners.

Best Keyboard For Arthritis Hands

The repetitive motion of typing can be hard on arthritic hands and fingers which is why ergonomic soft touch keyboards for arthritis can help.

Curved so the hands sit more comfortably, they also work well with wrist supports. It may take some getting used to after a straight keyboard but it’s well worth it.

Assistive devices like Amazon Alexa can help people with arthritis. Your parent can use their smart speaker to ask it questions (“Alexa, what’s today’s news?”) instead of searching for it online or opening a newspaper. When it comes to the best smart speaker for the elderly, we rate the Echo Show. Find out why in our article.

Best Vacuum For Arthritis Sufferers

Cleaning the house may not be a hobby as such but it’s an important activity nonetheless! Hoovers are typically heavy and cumbersome, but a robot hoover changes all that.

A fantastic daily living aid, these vacuums work on their own to pick up dirt and lint from floors. All without your parent having to lift a finger, bend down or carry the machine. They have built in sensors to know where walls are, and are suitable for pet owners as will not go through pet excrement on the floor.

This option by iRoomba (the best brand in our opinion) also works with Alexa.

Conclusion

We promised we’d write an in-depth article on adaptive equipment for arthritis in hands and fingers, and I hope we’ve delivered! My mum was the inspiration here, as she suffers from OA, but I know lots of other people who also find these arthritis aids helpful for daily life. Let us know what you think!

FAQs

What are the best products to help with arthritis?

There’s a real range of innovative arthritis aids to improve daily life. From clothing with hidden fastenings to lightweight cookware, read our article to find out more.

Can you keep cooking when you have arthritis?

Yes you can! Arthritis can affect the joints in your hand, making them swollen and painful to use. But innovative kitchen and cooking gadgets like easy open tin openers, two handled saucepans and ergonomic knives can help people with arthritis keep cooking.

How can my elderly parent get dressed independently?

If they struggle to get dressed, adaptive clothing can help. Hidden fastenings, velcro and a lack of buttons can help your elderly parent with self dressing and let them feel more independent.

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