Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation or swelling in the joints which results in pain. People with arthritis find it difficult to grip objects, lift heavy items and have problems with mobility and movement. This makes performing basic household chores much more difficult to achieve.
Below are 8 tools and innovations that can make the task of cleaning your home easier if you have arthritis:
1. Grip It
Buy cleaning tools like brooms and mops that have thicker handles or grips. This makes it easier for the hand to hold onto the tool while you are cleaning and reduces the pressure on the joints and therefore the pain.
If you can’t find cleaning tools with better grips, use duct tape to build up the handle and other places that you would normally hold the tool. You can also simply wrap a cloth around the handle to give you a softer, slip-free grip.
Another possibility is using compression gloves with grippy palms. These allow you to hold onto your tools while providing gentle compression to keep blood flowing and reduce pain. I’ve personally used the ones from CopperJoint – you can check those out by clicking here.
2. Lighten The Load
Heavier objects are much more difficult to handle than light objects when you have arthritis. A lightweight vacuum is the ideal option to suck up dust, dirt and debris on both hard surface floors and carpets. An upright vac is also better suited to reducing the pain because you won’t have to bend over and grip a pipe. You can use your body weight to push the vacuum around instead of your arms.
An upright vacuum with a hose attachment lightens the house work load eve further and can take care of all your dusting as well as clean upholstery and drapes.
3. Wear Rubber Gloves
Wearing rubber gloves while you are cleaning has dual benefits for arthritis sufferers. They help with holding onto tools and other cleaning items to give you a better grip. This helps reduce the pain and prevents dropping items. It also helps keep your hands warm. There is nothing like cold to increased the severity of pain in the joints.
Plus they give you the same benefits as everyone else which is to protect your hands from the toxic and drying nature of chemical detergents and keep your hands safe from injury and harm.
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4. Scoot It
When arthritis primarily affects the hips, knees and back, it becomes more difficult to bend, stretch and stand for extended periods of time. Perform as many of your household chores sitting down as possible.
A good idea is to get a senior-friendly stool on wheels that allows you to scoot around while vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, packing away dishes or simply getting from one room to another. If you can’t scoot around, then alternate between cleaning tasks where you can sit and those that require you to stand. If you choose to scoot, you may want to shorten your broom and mop handles to make them easier to manage.
5. Cart It
A cleaning caddy or cart is a good solution to avoid having to carry detergents, cleaning materials and tools from one room to another. Simply place everything you need to clean in the cart and push or pull it from room to room. A cart is a also a great solution for packing away dishes and laundry faster and with less pain. It decreases the risk of dropping items which becomes a problem when your grip is handicapped by arthritis.
If you don’t have room to store a cart, choose a collapsible option that can be stored out of the way when not in use. Make sure that the cart is sturdy and that it won’t fall over or collapse when you place weight on it.
6. Extend It
Just about every household cleaning tool has options with extended or extendable handles. This allows you to reach high or low places without having to bend or stretch. Brooms, mops, scoops, sponges, window cleaners, brushes and so on can all be bought with longer handles.
Alternatively, you can invest in an extendable handle that can be attached to your cleaning equipment. The less you have to move and the more you allow the tool to do the job, the easier your household chores will become.
7. Hand Holds
Installing hand holds and grab bars around your home may not seem like the most attractive household accessory but can help you greatly in achieving your household cleaning chores. You can opt for hand rails or holds to be permanently installed where you need them most or suction grips that can be moved from one place to another as you move through the house, cleaning. Permanently installed bars do tend to be less expensive but cannot be moved once they have been installed.
Some grab bar manufacturers, producers or retailers may even install the bars for you and ensure that they are tailored to your specific requirements. In other words that they are placed at the right height and the best angles to offer the greatest benefit. These bars are especially important in the bathroom where there are plenty of slippery surfaces that can make navigating the area more challenging.
8. A Helper
Perhaps the best tool to make house cleaning easier for arthritis is another person. If you simply cannot perform some tasks, it may be time to get some help. You can ask friends or family to help you with the more difficult tasks. If someone can visit just once a week to assist you, it can make a huge difference. Alternatively, you can hire a maid or a professional cleaning service to come in as often as you need.
The best option is a home care assistant. Your carer will not only help you clean your house but can provide assistance with other tasks and chores that you may be struggling with because of your arthritis. They can take you shopping, run errands for you, cook meals, ensure that you are taking the right medication in the right doses and personal hygiene and grooming. Your home care assistant is not just a helping hand where you need it most but also a companion.
Do you know of other pain-busting cleaning tools for people with arthritis? Please share your favorite tips and tools in the comments below!