Helpful Home Hacks for RA Sufferers
Rolling out of bed in the morning can be a big hassle when your RA is flaring up, and any task that follows can seem near impossible.
But while medication certainly plays a role in your disease management, there are probably several things you could be doing differently to relieve some of the pain – and change your home life for the better.
From memory aids, clothing, jewelry, and rings for arthritis sufferers, robotic assistants and new ways of thinking, these home hacks for RA are guaranteed to save you energy and improve productivity.
Top Tools to Get You Through Your Day
More mobility aids and gripping devices hit the market each year, and while some will work well for your particular lifestyle, you might find that others are a big waste of money.
Instead of finding out the hard way, consider these devices – some high-tech, some low-tech – that promise a big return on your investment:
- Food processor. Chopping vegetables can take a lot of time and energy, which makes food prep (and by extension, healthy eating) difficult during RA flare-ups. Invest in a food processor to get the job done really quickly, or a low-tech food chopper that you operate with the palm of your hand to spare your fingers the pain of holding a knife.
- Whiteboard. RA pain, fatigue, and requisite medication can all hamper your thinking, which means you may become forgetful more often. Since you have a lot of things to keep track of, you should have an easy and clear way to organize them. A whiteboard can keep you and your family on top of your medication schedule and serves as a good reference tool in case of emergencies.
- Robot vacuum cleaner. Hauling a vacuum around the house is one of the biggest hassles for sore joints. There are new lightweight models of the traditional design out there, but if you’re ready to buy a new device, why not take all the work out of it with a robot that moves and cleans all by itself? There are several brands, and some even feature a vacuum and mop combo.
- Paraffin dip. Many people with chronic pain find relief with warm, melted paraffin wax, which molds around your hands and feet to soothe inflamed joints. You can buy sets that include everything you need for your wax therapy. You’ll get the most benefit when you use it right before bed or as soon as you get up in the morning. Paraffin is also really good for softening your skin, which means it can double as a moisturizer!
- Rubber bands. A simple rubber band is pretty versatile, so keep a supply within reach. Wrap a few around your jar lids for better traction, and loop them through zipper pulls to maneuver the small devices much more easily. Include some thick ones and thin ones in your stash, so you have one to suit any gripping task.
- Spice mix. Pre-mixing your spices in the kitchen can save you from fidgeting with little bottles, but it can also improve your RA symptoms. Certain spices are believed to help with pain relief and inflammation, especially turmeric, ginger, cayenne and black pepper. Mix these together in whatever ratio suits your taste, and make a point to incorporate your mixture into more dishes each week.
Whenever you’re looking for new household tools or mobility aids, try to shop when your RA is flaring up. It may be more uncomfortable to drag yourself through stores with joint pain and stiffness, but this way you’ll know for sure what devices will (and won’t) work for you when you need them most.
Next page: Changing your approach for more relief.