Chef and cookbook author Melinda Winner was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) more than 25 years ago. To help others with arthritis regain independence in the kitchen, she authored A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking With Arthritis. These tips are an excerpt from her book.
Are you hesitant to trade in your gas-guzzler for a fuel-efficient model because you might have to sacrifice comfort – or safety? Don’t be. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for an arthritis-friendly car.
James Riswick, automotive editor for Edmunds.com, a popular car review site, says there are many fuel-efficient cars with arthritis-friendly features. To be considered fuel-efficient, a car must get 29.7 mpg.
Lightweight doors, a small steering wheel that’s easy to turn, push-button ignition and controls (as opposed to knobs) and a big trunk that will easily hold a scooter, are a few of the arthritis-friendly features available in recent models, says Riswick. A low chassis is also key to ease getting in and out, especially for those with arthriti
Cooking poses countless challenges for people with arthritis hands. We found a few arthritis-friendly kitchen tools and gadgets that are easy-to-use to solve common kitchen problems.
Problem: Safely and accurately slicing bagels and English muffins.
Solution: Use a bagel or English muffin slicer. The Larian Bagel Guillotine is a safe way to cut the perfect bagel or English muffin without having to grip a knife or fear nicking your fingers.
Problem: Finely chopping garlic.
Solution: There’s no need to wield a knife or squeeze garlic cloves in a press when you can use a handy kitchen gadget. With the Garlic Zoom, you simply roll it across the counter to chop garlic.
Streamline cleaning tasks to maximize sparkle and minimize joint pain and strain. Here are some household cleaning tips and cleaning shortcuts.
1. House cleaning tips begin with pacing yourself. Instead of a dedicated chore day, clean just one room a day. “If you do everything in one day, you’ll end up overexerting yourself,” says Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean (Pocket Books, 2004).
2. Focus on heavy-traffic areas. “You may need to vacuum only the pathway from the kitchen to the doorway to help spruce up the place,” says Donna Smallin, author of The One-Minute Cleaner (Storey Publishing, LLC, 2007).
How does your garden grow? With ease if you use smart gardening gear for planting, watering, weeding and pruning. These helpful garden tools can help you turn on your green thumb.
Reduce joint stress and increase leverage when gripping garden tools with the Peta Easi-Grip Long Reach Garden Tools ($139.95 for a set of four). Each tool’s handle is more than 31 inches long to help prevent excessive bending and reaching.
Give plants hands-on attention in comfort with the Garden Kneeler/Sitter ($50). The foam platform cushions knees and a sturdy metal frame with handles helps stabilize your movements while kneeling. When tending to raised beds, flip it over for a bench.
If arthritis has forced you to put down your needlework, take heart. Better yet, take notes. Helpful tools and smart tricks can help you meld arthritis, knitting, cross-stitch and crocheting. You’ll not only create sweaters and afghans, you also might increase hand dexterity, says Theresa Leto, an occupational therapist and instructor at the University of Findlay in Ohio.
Leto suggests approaching needlework as an athletic event. “Warm up your hand in some way first.” Soaking hands and wrists in warm water prior to picking up a needle helps some of her patients. Then approach the activity like a sprinter, not a marathoner, and stitch in short sessions. Here are more smart needlework tricks from experts.
Knitting’s Still Doable
Trick 1: Try alternatives to metal needles, such as birch or bamboo needles, which are lightweight and warmer to the touch.