Osteoarthritis can cause physical limitations which interfere with usual daily activities. Arthritis aids can compensate for physical limitations, allowing the person with osteoarthritis to remain as independent as possible. Arthritis aids are specially designed adaptive equipment which make up for lost strength and lost mobility.
Imagine what activities are affected if you have difficulty with walking, standing, bending, reaching, grasping, carrying, or climbing stairs. With impaired physical function, you may have problems with personal hygiene, dressing, grooming, cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, writing, traveling, and more.
How to Find Arthritis Aids
Now that you know arthritis aids exist to help with nearly every physical function - what's really available? Arthritis aids range from small gadgets to large, motorized equipment. Here are some tips on finding what you need and what will work for you:
- Search online for "arthritis aids" or "arthritis aids catalogs". Look through the descriptions for items sold online or request that a catalog be mailed to you. This will give you a broad sense of what is available.
- Check out the Arthritis Foundation's section on products which have earned their Ease-of-Use Commendation. The Arthritis Foundation created a program to encourage manufacturers to design user-friendly products and packaging. Manufacturers submit their products for testing by an independent lab. Those receiving favorable reviews carry the Ease-of-Use Commendation logo.
- You should also visit a local medical supply store in your area. Discuss your limitations with the store adviser and you will be shown arthritis aids which may solve your problem completely or at least make it easier to perform a particular task.
- If you feel you need more advice from a professional, consider a consultation with an occupational therapist. It is the job of an occupational therapist to help you maintain your independence. Part of their expertise is in knowing the best arthritis aids available. With a personal meeting, the occupational therapist can help match arthritis aids to your specific needs.
Don't Ignore What's Available to You
While there are several approaches to discovering arthritis aids, it is important to realize that such things exist and are available to you. You will be surprised to learn just how much help is available. Start the search and start to live again!