Jul 14, 2017

Live Well: Tips for an Arthritis-Friendly Kitchen

Your home should be the place where you feel the most relaxed. A peaceful retreat for you and your family at the end of a long day. For people who suffer from arthritis, that isn’t always the case. Regular chores can be difficult, and cooking and entertaining are the worst offenders. Our kitchens should make us feel safe and comfortable. If you suffer from arthritis, your kitchen should adapt to your symptoms—not the other way around. Below are some tips to make the time you spend in your kitchen as enjoyable and pain-free as possible.
Create an accessible layout
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 every day on a high shelf where it’s hard to reach. Similarly, don’t store heavy items above shoulder level or below knee level. Use pots and pans with two handles, which will allow you to distribute the weight. Invest in anti-fatigue kitchen mats throughout your kitchen. Put them in the places you stand the most, for maximum comfort while cooking.
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. Not only will your new set be easier to maneuver, it won’t require excess scrubbing after dinner is over. Your arthritic joints will thank you!
Use arthritis friendly kitchen 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.
  • Magnetic measuring cups & spoons: Stop digging around in your cluttered cabinets for your most used kitchen items. Use magnetized nesting spoons and cups. Stick them to any metal surface for quick and easy accessibility.
  • Electric jar and can opener: These are essential tools for anyone, but they are a must-have for people with arthritis. Electric openers are affordable and will keep you free from aches and pains.
  • Standing mixer with grating attachment: Using a hand beater will make your arthritis symptoms worse. Not only will standing mixers help with that, but all the attachments can be life savers as well.
  • One handed cutting board: These cutting boards are perfect as they hold food while cutting so you will only need one hand.
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 the ones on the most-used cabinets until you work your way through the entire kitchen.
Use convenient organizers
Pull-out organizers are an essential kitchen addition for arthritis suffers. Not only will they help you keep your cupboards organized, but they’ll bring your dishes to you with one gentle pull. Lazy Susans and spice rack organizers are also a huge help—with a light spin or tug your ingredients are right at your fingertips.
Make smart decisions
Be sure to give yourself a break while cooking. Believe it or not, cooking can be tough on the body. Do not stand for long periods, take breaks, and use a comfortable chair when possible. Cut down on prep time and gather all the items you need for a meal and organize before you begin cooking. Not only does this save energy while cooking, but once you are organized you can sit in a chair for the bulk of the work.
Making your kitchen arthritis friendly doesn’t require a full remodel or a big bill. While you want your home to be appealing, it’s important that it’s functional, too. While these small changes won’t greatly change your home, they will make a huge difference in your health. Your home and kitchen will now be the comfortable retreat from a stressful world that you deserve. Don’t let arthritis slow you down and keep you from the things you love like cooking and entertaining. For more tips on living well with arthritis, keep following Carolina Arthritis. If you need more ideas on an arthritis friendly kitchen, call us today!