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Comfort in your home

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Tips for every room

Making a few small changes to your home can make living with arthritis easier and safer. Think about what you could do that would help you avoid bending down, make items easier to grip and help you avoid trips or falls.

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Using your kitchen

It can be difficult to use your kitchen and prepare food if you have arthritis, but there are many tips you can try to make cooking easier. Using joint protection techniques will help when you're moving pots and pans, and using different gadgets and suitable equipment can be useful. Think about how you arrange your cupboards and work surfaces to make items easier to reach.

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Comfort in your bedroom

Making a bed can be difficult. Try using fitted sheets and an extra sheet under the duvet so you don’t have to change the duvet cover as often. Try widening the opening at the base and up the sides of the duvet cover, so it’s easier to get the duvet in.

You should also think about your mattress and whether it's right for you. A lightweight mattress or mattress pad might make it easier to change the bedclothes, but you should also think about how comfortable it is and whether it gives you the right support. Choosing a comfortable pillow can help reduce neck pain and shoulder pain.

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Using your bathroom

Think about using the following to make showering and bathing easier:

  • a non-slip mat
  • grab rails
  • a bath board or seat
  • lever taps. 

A thick towelling dressing gown or microfibre towel may help you to dry yourself if your joints are stiff and painful.

Grab rails, a raised seat and bidet can all help you to use the toilet.

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Finding a chair

If you have arthritis, it's important to find a suitable chair. If you find it difficult to get out of your chair, it makes you slouch or you feel uncomfortable after you've been sitting for a while, you may want to think about getting a new chair that's more suited to you.

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Personal care

A variety of gadgets can help you to get dressed, for example long-handled shoehorns. You can also adapt clothes by replacing fastenings with Velcro or placing tags on a zip to hook your finger through.

If your face-care routine makes your arms and shoulders ache, tips like the following could help:

  • Try using a lightweight electric razor or electric toothbrush.
  • Choose toothbrushes/make-ups brushes with chunky grips or fatten the grips by wrapping an elastic band around them.
  • Sit at a table to support your elbow when using a hairdryer or straighteners.
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Tips for DIY and housework

There are many things you can do to make DIY or housework easier and less painful. Think about your position when you're doing activities – you should sit or ‘perch’ to work – and about using different tools that might make the job easier. For example, you could use a long-handled dustpan and brush so you don’t have to bend down.

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Making everyday activities easier

Having arthritis can sometimes make leisure activities more difficult. You can try some of these tips to make using the TV, phone and computer easier:

  • Use models with large buttons, touchscreens or hands-free options.
  • Keep good posture when using a computer.

Making small change can help with reading, writing and shopping:

  • Use large-grip pens.
  • Place books on book rests, or consider using an e-reader.
  • Think about different ways of doing your shopping – could you get help from shop workers to carry bags for you, get home deliveries or order over the internet?
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Where can I find products that will help me?

If you're interested in buying aids and gadgets, many products are available in supermarkets, hardware, household and DIY stores, cook shops and chemists. The Arthritis Research UK online shop also has a number of items. Speak to your local Disabled Living Centre or occupational therapist about trying products before you buy them.

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Photo of Christine Walker

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