When an arthritis flare-up is particularly aggressive or seems to be lasting for a long time, it can be worth looking into some living aids to reduce the toll on the body that day-to-day life can take. Ranging from simplistic to innovative, there is something for everyone, depending on both your needs and budget.
As far as food preparation goes, even opening cans can put a strain on the wrists and fingers, and some of the upper joints the like the elbows or shoulders. Electric can openers are a simple solution to get your cans open at literally the touch of a button, with most also working on jars and bottles too.
Peeling or chopping vegetables are others culprits, which not only can irritate the joints in the hand, but also can put a strain on your weight-bearing joints, such as hips and knees, from standing in the same position for too long. If you are able to invest in an automatic vegetable chopper or even food processor, this will make the world of difference to both the time and energy taken to cook your meals!
Similar to activities in the kitchen, a lot of cleaning materials can have fiddly screw caps. For washing detergents, opt for something powder-based which you can easily scoop out instead of a lid which you have to twist. For any other liquid-based cleaning products, you can purchase empty bottles with a pump dispenser from most supermarket or hardware stores. By transferring liquids into these, you can again avoid movements in the hands which would otherwise require repetitive twists.
For cleaning floors, it is very common for bending over to exacerbate arthritic pain in the hip, lower back and even neck. Robotic devices are now available in both vacuum and mopping form, with some brands even offering a two-in-one option. Although these have been historically quite expensive, there is now a wide selection on the market, meaning that prices are much more competitive, especially if you are happy to sacrifice some of non-essential features.
For fuss-free personal hygiene, try to get as many automatic, eclectic devices as possible, such as your toothbrush, shaver and even cordless flosser. A sponge or scrub on a stick can also help you bathe without excessive stretching and bending.
Even simple tasks like getting dressed can be strenuous if you suffer from arthritis in the hands or fingers. Multi-faceted dresser tools contain different sized hooks or grips to attach to buttons, zips, or laces to help you fasten these with ease. If possible, look for clothes or shoes with a Velcro fastening to take the pain out of this altogether.
Remember that your specific needs are very personal, and will depend on where in the body you are suffering from arthritis. A good rule of thumb is to start simple (and cheap) to assess your needs, before working your way up to the more technical devices.