Morning Routine Arthritis

9 Tips to Make Your Morning Routine With Arthritis Easier

Getting ready in the morning can leave you feeling worn out before the day even starts, especially if morning stiffness creates difficulty with grooming and dressing. Follow these tips to make your mornings less painful.

1. Prep at night. If you’re typically less stiff in the evening, assemble your outfit and grooming needs at night before bed (and set up the coffeemaker, if that’s an important part of your morning). Lay out your supplies and clothes in the order you’ll need them.

2. Sit and shower. To avoid falls in the shower, sit on a waterproof chair. You can buy one at a medical supply store or use a sturdy lawn chair.

3. Wash up. Instead of using a washcloth when bathing, use a shower mitt made of terrycloth or loofah.

4. Tub tip. If you have difficulty getting into and out of the bathtub, place a towel on the edge of the tub. Then sit on it and swivel and in and out of the tub.

5. Easy nail care. To make trimming fingernails and toenails easier, soak hands and feet beforehand to soften nails.

6. Have a seat. Sit down while you dress. If one arm or leg is more stiff or painful, place it into the piece of clothing first. When undressing, remove the stronger arm or leg from the clothing first, then slip out your achy arm or leg. Letting your stronger limb take the lead will provide support when you’re getting undressed.

7. Loosen up. Fuller cut clothing with larger openings will enable you to easily slip garments over your head or step into them. Lined clothes are also easier to slip on.

8. Eliminate buttons. Go for Velcro, elastic waistbands, hook-and-eye or zipper closures on pants, skirts, shirts and undergarments. For an easier grip, choose front zippers or use a zipper pull. If buttons are a must, use a button hook. Specialty shops and online stores offer fashionable clothes designed with Velcro, pull loops and flexible materials that will create less difficulty dressing.

9. Get help with your feet. Use a long-handled shoehorn to help you put on shoes. Buy one, or make one by taping a shoehorn to the end of a yardstick.  You can also find devices to help you put on your socks. Elastic shoelaces eliminate the need for tying.

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