Nov 2, 2020

An Arthritis-Friendly Home Makeover

When you have arthritis, stiffness, pain, and swelling can make everyday tasks much more challenging. In addition, your mobility can be compromised by this chronic condition, so it’s crucial to set up your home for maximum ease and comfort.

Fortunately, you can make life easier and your home more functional. Start with this room-by-room approach to transform your house into a practical and comfortable sanctuary away from life’s everyday stresses. And who doesn’t love a home makeover?

Turn your bedroom into a cozy haven.

End your days comfortably and start your mornings on a good note. Ensure your bedroom is designed for your ultimate comfort and safety with these tips.

  • Invest in a quality mattress and pillows – A superior mattress and good pillows can make a huge difference in your comfort and sleep cycle. Your bed should be supportive but not too firm. Use your pillows strategically to elevate body parts. Research different mattresses and pillows to find a solution that works for you, and remember, you don’t have to break the bank to find comfort.
  • Eliminate technology – Using technological devices before bed confuses your body’s internal clock, suppresses the release of melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Research shows this is due to the artificial blue light that’s emitted by these devices. The more electronic devices a person uses in the evening, the harder it is to fall asleep or stay asleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, using technology increases your alertness when you should be getting sleepy, delay the onset of REM sleep, reduce the total amount of REM sleep, and compromise alertness the next morning. Over time, these effects can add up to a chronic deficiency in rest.
  • Adjust the thermostat – Warmer temperatures may help ease inflammation in the joints. Invest in a programmable thermostat and set it to raise the temperature by a few degrees before your alarm goes off. A warmer bedroom will help you wake up with less stiffness and pain.
  • Keep medications nearby – Having essentials close by is essential when you wake up in pain. Consider keeping a heating pad in your nightstand, as well as a bottle of water, so you can take pills and give yourself some heat therapy before you even get out of bed.

Make your kitchen an arthritis-friendly space. 

If you suffer from arthritis, your kitchen should adapt to your symptoms—not the other way around. Here are some simple tips to make the time you spend in your kitchen as enjoyable and pain-free as possible.

  • Create a layout that makes sense for you – One of the best ways to create an arthritis-friendly kitchen is also the cheapest. Simply keep your most commonly used utensils within easy reach. For example, don’t put a colander you use daily on a high shelf where it’s hard to reach. Similarly, don’t store heavy items above shoulder level or below knee level.
  • Overhaul your cookware collection – Get rid of as much of your heavy cookware as possible and replace it with lightweight pots and pans. Look into nonstick items that are easier for cooking and cleaning.
  • Utilize arthritis-friendly gadgets – New ergonomic kitchen gadgets are everywhere these days. They’re easy to use and can solve many common kitchen dilemmas for those with arthritis. Items like electric can openers, standing mixers, and one-handed cutting board will make your life in the kitchen much more manageable.
  • Modify door and cabinet handles – Small knobs and handles can be hard to grip. Replace them with wider handles that allow room for all fingers when grasping. New handles can be pricey, so begin by replacing those on the most-used cabinets until you work your way through the entire kitchen.

Ensure your bathroom is safe.

It’s essential to make safety a priority in a room that can become a slippery fall hazard. Here’s how to transform your bathroom and make it arthritis-friendly.

  • Update lighting to ensure optimal visibility – Keep your bathroom well-lit to ensure safety, enabling you to see where you’re going around and avoid bumping into things or falling.
  • Install grip bars – Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower can be difficult for anyone, especially people experiencing an RA flare-up. To prevent falls, use anti-slip strips on the tub and shower floors and install a supportive grab bar on adjacent walls.
  • Use nonskid bathmats – Put slip mats in the tub and by the toilet to prevent getting tripped up.
  • Install an adjustable shower head – Preferably one that can be handheld is another bathroom improvement project that will make showering much easier.

Create a comfortable living space.

Keep your living room at the heart of the house with these tips.

  • Utilize assistive devices – Things like doorknob and lamp adapters make life with arthritis much simpler.
  • Purchase furniture that’s the right size – If you can’t purchase new furniture, look into leg extenders for couches or chairs can make getting up or down much more manageable. Be sure to replace extra-soft couch cushions that will make it difficult to get up.
  • Reduce clutter– Make your living space easier to navigate by getting rid of unused furniture, boxes, or decorations that take up space. Be sure to keep electrical cords tucked or taped against the floorboards so they can’t trip you.

Making your home arthritis-friendly and secure doesn’t require a full remodel or a hefty bill. While you want your home to be appealing, it must be functional, too. These small changes won’t completely change your home, but they will make a huge difference in your health. Your home will now be a comfortable retreat from a stressful world you deserve by implementing these ideas.

Don’t let arthritis slow you down and keep you from living a comfortable life. For more tips on living well with arthritis, keep following Carolina Arthritis. If you need more ideas on an arthritis-friendly home, contact us today!