7 Ways to Live Better With RA

Just one or two of these tips can reduce the pain from daily tasks and make a huge difference in your day to day with rheumatoid arthritis!

Meg Phelan

1. Effortless slimming secret!
Trying to lose some weight? Try a phone app! Calorie Count is a good place to start; it’s a free app for the iPhone or BlackBerry that can help you find nutrition info, track what you eat and how much you exercise, and monitor your progress. Find other slim-down apps by searching words like “exercise tracker” or “food scanner.

2. Don’t just stand there—sit!
To lessen fatigue, sit whenever possible while you’re working. Some examples: Pull a stool up to the sink when you need to rinse dishes or wash fruits and veggies. Sit at a table or center island while chopping or doing other food prep. Sit on an old seat cushion or pad while you garden or pull weeds. Sitting whenever possible will also help save your energy for times when you must stand or walk.


3. Secure preferred parking.
Your arthritis may make you eligible for a handicapped-parking permit. Talk to your healthcare provider, since she or he will need to sign the paperwork for a permit application. Also, every state has different requirements; a visit to your state government’s website can help you start the process.

4. A better bottle-cap opener.
If your regular bottle opener isn’t working well on smaller bottle caps and lids, don’t despair. There are openers specifically designed for small medicine and vitamin bottles and smaller jar lids. Try searching for twist-cap openers on retail websites.

5. Let there be light...
the easy way! If you’re having difficulty grasping lamp switches, try a lamp-switch enlarger. An enlarger fits over the existing lamp switch and makes it easier to turn on lamps or turn up the light.

6. Having trouble opening doorknobs?
Doorknob aids, made of foam and rubber, can help you get a secure grip on the knob—and make this common task easier.
Tip: The grips can also be used to turn on outdoor water faucets!

7. Take the pain out of road trips!
If lack of mobility makes it hard for you to get in or out of your car, try a swiveling seat cushion, available at many retailers. These aids also allow you to move comfortably while seated in a car and they fit all types of car seats.

8. Elastic laces to the rescue.
If your lace-up shoes have been collecting dust in the closet because they’re literally a pain to tie and untie, try elastic laces! Tie ’em just once—and never tie ’em again. Reason: They stretch, allowing you to put on and take off shoes with ease.   

April 2013