Dec 19, 2017

How to Make Your Home Comfortable for a Holiday Guest with Arthritis

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The holidays are a festive time of year that include traveling, shopping and visiting. All these things seem enjoyable, but for someone with arthritis, it can be difficult. For those who suffer from arthritis, family gatherings can be a time to celebrate – or dread. While there isn’t much you can do to ease the pain or fatigue, you can make your home a little more comfortable for guests who have arthritis. These simple ideas won’t require a home overhaul; just a little time and effort to help someone get through the holidays a little easier.

Keep it warm.

It can be tough for those with arthritis to cope with the cold. Keep your home at a relatively high temperature for their comfort. It also may be a good idea to dig out that old heating pad or find an electric blanket and keep those items handy.

Let some light in.

Lack of natural light makes this time of year a struggle for many people, and those suffering from arthritis pain are already at a higher risk of depression. To help brighten the mood, make sure your home is filled with as much light as possible. Keep your window treatments open and that beautiful Christmas tree lit.

Make it cozy.

If you have overnight guests, make their room an inviting retreat. Lightly decorate their room with some holiday cheer, but keep in mind a little goes a long way. Have a basket nearby filled with toiletries, pain relievers, bottles of water and reading material. Ensure they have fresh linens and plenty of extra pillows and blankets.

Avoid the stairs.

If possible, put overnight guests in a room on the first floor with easy access to a bathroom. It may not seem like much, but walking up and down the stairs just a few times a day can be extremely hard on the joints.

Add soft surfaces.

Make sure you have soft surfaces in easy to reach places throughout your home. If your furniture isn’t comfortable, create a cozy padded area with some extra blankets and pillows.

Keep things in easy reach.

If you have any electronic products that can make life easier for a guest with arthritis, make sure they are easily accessible. An electronic can opener, standing mixer, or wine bottle opener can work wonders for the determined guest who doesn’t want help. In addition, make sure to store dishes, towels, toiletries and blankets where guests won’t have to stretch or bend.

Make room.

Remove clutter and excess furniture from the room where they will be staying. Trying to maneuver around large pieces of furniture can be difficult for someone with arthritis. Purge your closets and drawers of old clutter so they have room to unpack with ease and get situated as soon as they arrive.

Talk with your family.

Now is a good time to talk with the people in your home, especially the kids, about your upcoming guests. Explain to them that grandma may need some extra help while she is here, or that it’s okay to hug grandpa gently but not jump on him.

Traveling and holiday celebrations can be challenging for those who suffer from arthritis, but no one wants to miss out on the fun. Make life easier and more comfortable for your guest by implementing these few tips. If all else fails, just ask what you can do to accommodate them and make their visit more enjoyable. If you have any questions on how to make your home more arthritis-friendly for your guest or yourself, call us at Carolina Arthritis today. We are here to help make the holidays a little brighter for you and those you love.