Your home should be a sanctuary of comfort and safety. But if you live with rheumatoid arthritis, then you know that every day is fraught with challenges, even during the most simple household tasks. Luckily there are many things you can do to make your home an easier place to live with rheumatoid arthritis.
For people with rheumatoid arthritis, the bathroom can be a dangerous place. With plenty of opportunities to slip on slick surfaces or drop small, sharp objects, it’s best to make sure that your bathroom is safe and arthritis-friendly. If you struggle with getting in or out of the shower or bath tub, consider having grab bars installed. These simple, sturdy bars give you added support so you can make sure you have a firm footing before stepping in or out.
Also, adding anti-slip strips or mats to the bottom of your tub can go a long way towards improving your balance while bathing. Even better, reduce the need to have to turn or change positions while bathing by installing an adjustable or removable shower head. A removable shower head allows you more freedom while bathing so you don’t have to risk unnecessary movements.
Many people with rheumatoid arthritis struggle with getting on and off the toilet seat. Adding a raised toilet seat can be a simple way to make this process easier on you and your joints. There are many varieties to fit any budget or bathroom setup.
Perhaps the biggest in-home challenge to people with rheumatoid arthritis is stairs. To ensure you have the best balance and security when using steps and stairs, make sure you have hand rails to hold on to – preferably on both sides. Handrails should also be comfortable for you to use. If they are too small, cold, or far away, you’re unlikely to use the handrails, which makes them almost pointless.
If you have stairs indoors or steps outside that tend to be slick, consider installing carpet or grip tape to make the journey more comfortable. Concrete or wooden outdoor steps can be easily equipped with grip strips that give the sole of your shoe a better hold, even in bad weather or wet conditions. Installing carpet or texturizing wooden steps for indoor stairs will also go a long way toward making you feel safer throughout your home.
Another option for making your stairs easier to climb is installing a stair lift. Many insurance companies cover much of the cost of the system and installation. Ask your insurance company or talk to a stair lift installation company about financing options.
Patio & yard
Walking around your home can be just as difficult as functioning inside your home. To make sure your patio and yard are arthritis-friendly, make sure there are no areas of uneven ground where you normally walk. This means checking for cracks in the concrete, uneven bricks, or uneven soil. Also, declutter your yard by making sure hoses are tucked away safely and plants are trimmed back. If this is a job you are unable or unwilling to do, you can hire a gardener, neighbor, or local teen to tend to your yard every so often.