Living with Chronic Pain
Assistive Devices That Help With Everyday Life
When living with chronic pain, daily tasks often contribute to pain or fatigue. However, assistive devices can reduce joint pressure and minimize discomfort to make the day more manageable. Most assistive devices can be purchased from a medical supply store, pharmacy, or online.
Assistive devices that help with everyday life include the following:
- Grabbers. Mechanical grabbers are beneficial if pain increases when reaching up or down to retrieve objects. These stick-like devices have a grip on one end and a grabbing mechanism on the other, which instantly extends a person’s reach. Grabbers are also useful in places outside the home, such as grocery stores.
- Kitchen tools. When pain makes meal preparation challenging, several kitchen tools are available to provide assistance. Electric can and jar openers, food choppers, electric knives, and utensils with long or soft handles are examples of assistive kitchen tools. Two-handled pots and pans can also help when cooking.
- Raised seats or cushions. Certain types of pain, such as hip, back or knee pain, make it difficult to rise from a seated position. Raising the seat height takes pressure off the joints. A lift chair, raised toilet seat, and additional cushions on existing seats are beneficial.
- Dressing devices. Bending to put on socks and shoes or fastening buttons can cause pain; however, assistive dressing devices help with these daily tasks. For example, sock aid devices and shoehorns help individuals avoid bending down when putting on their socks and shoes. Button hooks or zipper pulls make it easier to fasten a shirt, dress or pants.
- Panoramic or wide-angle car mirrors. When checking blind spots while driving is difficult, consider adding panoramic or wide-angle mirrors to the rear and side-view mirrors. These extended mirrors allow individuals to see further without turning the back or neck.
- Doorknob grips. Individuals with hand or wrist pain often find it difficult to grasp and turn a doorknob. Silicone grips are inexpensive and make opening doors easier.
- Cleaning devices. Many cleaning devices, such as heavy vacuum cleaners, short-handled dusters, and mops with water buckets, make cleaning difficult. Robotic mops and vacuums can be programmed or operated from a cell phone. Lightweight and cordless vacuum cleaners, extendable dusters, or steam mops ensure the house stays clean without additional pain and fatigue.