7 Ways to Look Great and Live Better With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Boost your confidence with these helpful high-style aids.

Katie Alberts
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Getting dressed. Getting around the house. Running errands in the neighborhood. These everyday tasks can become challenging when you’re living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). But a terrific trend under way can make your life easier—and more fun! The latest assistive devices—canes, walkers and gadgets—are so cute, you’ll soon start to think of them as your favorite fashion accessories. 

Go cane-crazy
Take a style tip from songstress Katy Perry’s grandmother, Ann Russell, who chose a dazzling bejeweled cane for her trip down the red carpet at the Grammy Awards. If all-out bling is too much for your look, check out canes in animal prints, florals and unexpected colors like bubblegum pink!

Fasten your jewelry the fashionable way
Bracelet Buddies (handy tools that make it easy to clasp and unclasp jewelry) used to be made of black plastic. Now they come in sculpted gold and silver—and look smashing sitting on your vanity! 

Buy a walker you’ll want to use
Also new to the market: walkers so snazzy you’ll want to show ’em off! Look for one with a colorful powder-coat finish—or accessorize one you already own with a special tote designed to hang from the bars. 

Scoot around in style
Several Medicare-approved mobility scooters and power chairs now feature details you’d expect to see on a Ferrari or Vespa, like leather seats and glossy paint jobs. The most popular new color? Racecar Red! 

Upgrade your front-close bra
Most arthritis bras (they open with Velcro in the front instead of hooks in the back) are too bulky to wear under v-neck tees and low-cut tops. Not the new style from Underworks, which has a discreet bralette shape! 

Pick up a colorful grabber
Grabbers are so popular for reaching hard-to-access items, some arthritis sufferers have one for every room in the house! Instead of sticking to black or gray, why not mix things up with a cheery shade like red, purple or turquoise? 

Slip on sleek Velcro shoes
Lace-free shoes—not sneakers—are a growing footwear trend, especially in Europe. So instead of settling for clunky styles at special stores, look for brands like Aquatalia, Fly London and Rieker. Many feature thin Velcro straps, which have a tailored, elegant look. 

April 2013