If you suffer from arthritis, you’ll know how frustrating even the simplest of tasks is.
Stiff joints, sore hands and a limited range of motion can soon take their toll on you – and that includes getting yourself ready in the morning.
But there are some tricks you can use on a daily basis to make things like getting dressed and styling your hair not just less painful but a whole lot easier.
We've got some top tips:
It can take a lot longer to get dressed when you’re dealing with aching joints, but there are a few things available that should make it a bit easier:
- A buttonhook, for fastening buttons - £8.99, Amazon
- Long-handled shoehorns so you don’t have to bend down to put on your shoes or slippers - £4.99, Amazon
- A dressing stick. Look for one with one or more hooks to help pull or push clothing - £9.41, Amazon.
- A sock aid that helps you put on socks or stockings easier.
You can also try tying a piece of string or ribbon on a zip to hook your finger through.
Even the sort of clothes you choose can make getting yourself ready a lot less frustrating. Arthritis Care UK asked fellow sufferers for tips:
Change your buttons: “Consider taking the buttons off jackets and coats. Sew them on the front for show, but replace them with poppers or Velcro underneath.”
Buy a bat-winged top: “I have a bat-winged top which I save for when my hands are painful and I don’t want to slip anything tight over them. It’s super trendy and no-one needs to know that it’s my ‘joint-friendly’ top.”
Bras which fasten at the front: “Front-fastening bras look really good.” Fiftyplus have a wide range to choose from, from £14.
Swap your trousers for stretchy ones: “I have discovered trousers with elasticated waistbands which look traditional, but stretch somewhat. There is enough ‘give’ to relieve pressure on the spine – and they allow me to look less scruffy and incur far less pain.”
Hair and make-up tips
Hair: Arthritis Research UK suggests using a hairdryer or straighteners at a table and supporting your elbow on a pillow or cushion. Or you could also try 'hands-free' hairdryer stands (like this Patterson Medical Hairdryer Stand), or a portable hairdryer hood attachment, so you don't have to hold the dryer as you style.
Make-up: Choose eyeliner pencils and mascaras with chunky grips or fatten up the grip by wrapping an elastic band around the handle. You can also try this with toothbrushes and make-up brushes. Try the high street for rubber handled brushes which are easy to grip.
Skincare: If you find it difficult to apply your face cream with your fingertips, use a small make-up sponge mounted on a long handle.