Living with inflammatory arthritis can be challenging, as it can cause you pain, stiffness and can reduce your mobility. By making some modifications to your home, you can significantly improve your quality of life. In this article, we will explore a range of practical home modifications that you can try out should you need to.
1. Declutter and simplify
A good first step is to make sure your home is free from clutter. When there are a lot of objects in your way that may obstruct pathways, you are more likely to hurt yourself or trip over things. By making sure there are clear routes through your home, you are avoiding any unnecessary falls.
2. Consider your flooring
Although changing your flooring may be difficult (and costly) if you are living in a space that has slippery surfaces, it may be worth it to invest in more cushioned, non-slip materials for your flooring. For example it may be better to have a low-pile carpet than a wood floor, as you’re less likely to slip and the carpet may feel better on your ankles/feet. If you currently have wood, tile or other slippery flooring, consider purchasing some surface area rugs to cover the majority of the floor to create a safer environment for you.
3. Make your bathroom safer
If you are looking to purchase or rent a new home, you may want to consider priotiziging a walk-in bathtub/shower. This would take away the need to step over the side of the tub, which in turn would reduce your risk of falling. If you already have a residence that you are staying in, installing things like grab bars and handrails in the bathroom near essential things like your toilet, shower and bathtub is a good thing to consider. These tools will provide you with some stability and balance. You might also want to consider a raised toilet seat as this will reduce the effort required to sit down and stand up, which can sometimes be difficult for those with arthritis (but may not be an issue for others of course).
4. Changes to your bed
Firstly, having a good mattress and good pillows that provide you with proper support is important for everyone, with or without arthritis. However, when you have arthritis, having a good mattress and proper pillows is even more important. You may even want to consider memory foam to relieve pressure on your joints. If you are looking to purchase a new bed, you could consider an adjustable bed that allows you to change the position to one that’s most comfortable to you – which may mean elevating your legs or raising your upper body.
5. Utilise technology
There is so much technology now that can help you do everyday things more easily. For example, smart home technology can help you control your lights, thermostat and appliances with your phone. This can make every day tasks more manageable without any need for physical exertion or effort.
Inflammatory arthritis does not have to limit your quality of life at home. With careful planning, and some simple home modifications, you can enjoy a more accessible and comfortable living space. The changes you make can really improve your at-home experience and reduce the risks of accidents, unnecessary pain and promote your independence.