For an elderly person suffering from arthritis, not much hurts more that trying to open a can of food. The squeezing and twisting required can be excruciating to inflamed, painful joints. Holding down a narrow button while waiting for the opener to complete its circle can seem like forever. And removing the sharp can lid is also a recipe for injuries in the kitchen. But there are ways to open up your favorite canned foods without hurting! Here are the best can openers for arthritic hands for 2017.
Last update on 2017-10-23 at 18:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
It is very important for a senior's nutrition and eating habits, that they have a can opener they can easily use. Many nutritious and easy to cook foods come from cans. Being able to pop open a can of food and throw it in an easy to use microwave oven will improve their independence in the kitchen. Quickly heating up a bowl of oatmeal while making their morning coffee will encourage better eating habits.
Can openers come in a variety of types. Some have to be cranked manually while others run on electricity or batteries. It is important to understand how they work before choosing a can opener for the elderly or those with arthritis.
These look somewhat like a pair of scissors with a turning handle on the end. To use this type of can opener, the handles must be squeezed tightly together to break the seal on the can. While still squeezing with one hand, the other hand must turn the crank wheel. This moves the can opener around the edge of the can until it makes a full circle. Then, the lid can be removed.
For people suffering from arthritis, manual can openers are nearly impossible to use. Every step in using one is going to hurt. Gripping the handles tightly and squeezing will cause the hand and knuckles sharp pain. Turning the crank will make the wrist ache. There isn't a good way to avoid it.
This is the type of can opener that most people are familiar with. These plug into a wall outlet and generally sit on the counter top. Some mount under the cabinet for space saving. To use one, a lever arm with a blade is pressed onto the can lid to break the seal. Then, the arm is held down and a motor advances the can around until it makes a full circle. Many shut off once the lid has come off.
The difficulty for arthritic hands is holding the lever down long enough. Especially if the lever is small and only fingertips fit on it. It is painful to hold the fingers straight that long. Some elderly and seniors will not have the strength to make the initial puncture of the lid too.
This style of can opener is usually powered by batteries although some use rechargeable batteries with a built-in charger. These are smaller in size than other can openers. They lock onto the edge of a can. Then a button is pushed to move them around the edge. Many of these are automatic and hands-free.
In theory, this style is a good choice because most are fairly hands-free in their use. However, there are many cheap versions on the market that aren't worth what people are charging for them. Read reviews for automatic handheld can openers carefully.
These are designed to help open cans will pull top lids like are found on tuna cans and pet food cans. They work by giving extra leverage to lift the pull tab.
Usually these are helpful because it is difficult to get an arthritic finger through the pull hole without pain. Make sure the handle is robust enough not to require a tight grip.
Obviously, you want a can opener that causes no or minimal pain. It should be highly functional and maybe even a little stylish. Cost is always an important consideration. Here are my nominees for overall best can openers for arthritic hands:
Arthritis pain interferes too much with the quality of life for many seniors and elderly. Painful swollen joints make every day items like can openers difficult to use. There are home remedies that help with arthritis but tools like these are also very helpful. Look through the options above for can openers that are easier - and less painful - to use. There are also automatic and manual jar openers to help seniors with arthritis or weak hands. Lightweight pots and pans are also very helpful at relieving arthritis pain in the kitchen.
My top pick of the best can opener for seniors with arthritis is the Hamilton Beach model. It is easy to use, looks great in the kitchen, doesn't take up a lot of room, and doesn't break the bank either.
Hopefully this list of the best can openers for arthritic hands is helpful. Let me know in the comments if you have a product you recommend or any other can opening tips for my readers!
I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.
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