Living with psoriatic arthritis can be a daily struggle, especially when you frequently suffer from active flares. Aside from the fact that joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue can leave you feeling incapacitated, psoriatic arthritis results in progressive joint damage that can severely reduce your range of motion. This makes everyday activities at home that most of us take for granted incredibly challenging, whether it’s climbing the stairs, opening drawers, getting on or off the toilet seat, or squeezing out toothpaste from a tube. While all of this may sound disheartening, there is a bright side. You can learn from the experiences of others and use modern innovations to make your house psoriatic arthritis-friendly so that you can retain your independence and live not just an easier life, but one that’s more enjoyable.

  1. Equip Your Kitchen With Assisted Devices: There are plenty of kitchen appliances that can make meal-prepping, cooking, and cleaning up much easier.  Small appliances like food processors, blenders, and slicers can eliminate the burden of having to chop, grate, or assemble ingredients manually. There are also different types of electric knives and electric can or jar openers that will reduce pressure on the wrists and fingers, which is otherwise unavoidable. Research suggests that adaptive utensils with a larger diameter can make cooking easier and protect joint integrity as they don’t require as much grip strength and range of motion. Don’t forget to also use gloves when handling any detergents, soaps, or chemicals as psoriatic arthritis can also damage your nails.
  2. Reorganize Your House: Sometimes all it takes to make life much easier with psoriatic arthritis is moving things around. Rearrange storage to enable access without constant bending. Position frequently used objects in drawers that are higher, while rarely used items can go into ones that are lower down. This will help reduce bending and unnecessary strain. Similarly, consider fitting drawers that slide easily instead of fixed shelves in cupboards. Install a mini-fridge in your bedroom if you normally find yourself having to make frequent trips down to the kitchen, especially at night. Similarly, get your washing machine fitted in a convenient location, rather than down in the basement, so that you don’t have to carry unwieldy laundry bags down there.
  3. Modify Your Furnishings: You don’t need to redecorate your entire house and invest in new furniture; you simply need to modify existing furniture and add to it. The most important step would be to replace small knobs or levers on cabinet drawers and doors with larger handles for easy grip and less stress on the joints. You can also keep step stools handy in any room so you can reach out without having to stretch awkwardly for items that are kept higher up. If you are replacing any furniture, it may be a good idea to invest in electric rise or SIT & STAND chairs, and adjustable beds as they allow you to reposition your body without having to repeatedly put pressure on your joints.
  4. Accident-proof Your Bathroom: There’s nothing more relaxing than a hot soak when your joints are aching. Unfortunately, bathrooms are the most common location for high risk falls, especially in the aged and in those with joint disease. To make this a safe zone, install grab bars and railings that make it easier to get in and out of the tub, or off the toilet seat. Install non-slip mats wherever possible. Get an adjustable shower bench or bathtub stool that you can sit on when you start to feel fatigued. It would also help to get an elevated toilet seat and position toilet paper rolls so that they are more accessible.
  5. Try To Keep Floors Carpeted: If you have psoriatic arthritis that affects your heels, simply walking about can feel like you’re treading hot coals. While soft sole shoes can help cushion the impact of each step, they won’t help as much as soft carpets or thick rugs. Rugs are easier to trip on though, so it’s best to have wall-to-wall carpeting instead. Look for plush carpeting that is not just soft on your feet, but will also act as a barrier against the cold as this will make walking much more comfortable when dealing with foot pain.  

While these tips will help to make your home psoriatic arthritis-friendly, this is not a comprehensive list. For more guidance, talk to your doctor, physical therapist, and most importantly, an accessible home modification expert.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].