Standing Aids for Arthritis Patients

Published by Steve Hedberg on October 2, 2009 Under home medical

Arthritis is a term used to describe more than 100 different types of disorders, which typically affect the joints, resulting in swelling and inflammation. While there are quite a few different types of arthritis, which can affect people of any age, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the most common and usually affect seniors.

One of the consequences of these two types of arthritis is that most will experience some degree of reduced mobility. It is not uncommon for the small joints, in the hands and feet, to be affected, but hip arthritis and knee arthritis is also very common, making many tasks that must be completed daily a great deal more complicated.

Often, one of the primary effects of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is that the senior is no longer able to stand up safely or without assistance. This results in a number of difficulties throughout many areas of the home, including the living room and bathroom.

Arthritis Safety in the Living Room

liftchairIn the living room, it often becomes very difficult for the senior to get out of a sitting chair. This is for several reasons, with sometimes inactivity causing joint pain and discomfort. Since the senior knows that they will face some discomfort and difficulty when it comes time to stand, they remain seated for a longer period of time, which only serves to make the pain worse. In some instances, the arthritis pain lasts all day and is not a direct result of inactivity, but is instead simply symptomatic of the diseases.

In both cases, though, a lift chair can provide one way to increase mobility and reduce the risk of a fall or injury. Lift chairs, or lift recliners, provide all of the services of a regular recliner and often do it much better, what with an electronically controlled backrest and footrest. However, they also allow the senior to stand safely and sit without assistance, as the entire chair can be raised slowly by a simple hand control.

The lift chair provides the service of making standing and sitting safer, by raising the seated senior to a safe position and allowing them to sit down in a controlled manner.

Arthritis Safety in the Bathroom

bathliftThe bathroom poses problems that are similar to the living room, but it is usually not so much to do with how long the senior remains seated, but rather how low the bath tub and toilet are, as well as the fact that it can become slippery with water. Many seniors with arthritis have a great deal of difficulty bending their knees and hips enough to safely get into and out of the bathroom, as well as having difficulty getting onto or off of the toilet.

To help increase bathroom safety, a bath lift is one of the most popular bathroom aids, which installs into the bathtub, raising and lowering the senior into the tub. These typically rise to a level that is parallel with the top of the bathtub and then lower to the floor of the tub. Secured by suction cups, it is seldom required to preform any permanent modification to the bathtub to install a bath lift.

Toilet Seat Lifts are another popular tool, which helps make it possible to get onto and off of the toilet much easier. Toilet seat lifts are installed over the toilet, providing hand rails on either side and offering a seat that can pivot to provide a boost when standing after having used the toilet. In most cases, the toilet seat lift can also be installed without modifying the toilet.

Of course, it is essential to also have non-slip bathmats in place, as well as sturdy well secured bathroom rails installed, to provide support and prevent falls.

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