Tag Archives: Arthritis

A friendly squeeze …

Squeeze balls

This little guy is about 4 inches tall and he’s made of rubber. He sat on my husbands desk for years and I remember how Dick would squeeze the dickens out of him to exercise his hands.  When Dick passed away in 1990 I put the little guy on my desk and he’s remained there ever since. I’ve loved having him near me because he’s a sweet reminder of many happy times but I’ve rarely put him to use as Dick did.

Well, times have changed.  Not only have I developed painful arthritis in both hands but I find that I have nowhere near the strength that I used to have.  I decided to try the squeezing exercises and I’m happy to say that it  really seems to ease the pain although my little pal does not seem overjoyed to be, once again, the recipient of all that squeezing !

Squeeze balls2

Here‘s what I do 3 times a day. I squeeze him as hard as I can for at least 5 seconds. Then I relax for a second or two. I repeat this process nine more times. I then switch to my other hand and do the same 10 repetitions there.

I can’t say that it helps the looks of my arthritic hands but it does help to keep the pain at bay and for that I am grateful.

I seem to remember that my little guy was a giveaway from a medical firm back in the ‘80s so it would be hard to replicate him but just click here: exercise squeeze balls, and you’ll be on your way to easing that pesky arthritic pain.

My old arthritic hands …

my hands

At age 81 my old hands are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to aches and pains.  However I feature them here to make a point.

Over the past few years I’ve lost most of the strength in my hands and it was  getting harder and harder for me to open jars. I had resorted to some of the old standbys … turning the jars upside down, tapping all edges on a hard surface and twisting as hard as I could … adding a rubber band to the cap, hoping it would provide needed traction … running the jar under hot water, etc., etc.; but, all these practices rarely did the job and it was extremely frustrating.

However, all was not lost, I found a simple but very effective opener that works perfectly for me.

maddagrip

It’s the Maddagrip Opener and I am amazed that this simple device has given me such relief. I can easily open anything from small vials to large jars and my arthritic hands seem almost like a thing of the past as I grip with this device.

Now I can forget about the weakness in my hands and rely on my new “toy”. It sure beats waiting for a strong man to come by and open those pesky jars … I could starve by then!

Yes, she CAN !!

This recommendation comes from my New England friend Cathy.  She is only in her mid 60’s but suffers terribly with hand deformity due to a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis.  This makes it difficult to handle many tasks and among the worst of these was opening cans.  She could manage it but it was a tedious procedure and quite painful.  She was thrilled to tell me about the surprise gift that her nephew gave her last week.

It’s a Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch electric Can Opener.

Hamilton Beach Electric Can Opener

 

Cathy writes that it is as attractive as it is practical and she couldn’t be happier.  She’s tried all can sizes and it works perfectly every time. You just put the can under the holding bar, press the lever and your can is opened. There are no sharp edges because it cuts the can from the side and not from the top and will also cut the lids that have pull ring tabs. This is a big plus for Cathy because those were so hard on her fingers.

And here’s an additional plus that my New England friend likes.  The top of the can you just opened lifts right off  but it also gives you a lid to put back on the can if you have remaining contents that you want to save and refrigerate…or if you want to use the can with a top for storing small items.

So, all in all, I’d say this is a winner and thank you, Cathy, for providing me with the “product of the week”.

It’s the little things …

EZ key turner…like this EZ Key Turner that, although very small and inexpensive, greatly   improve the quality of my life.

I can’t tell you how many times I would put that darn house key in the lock and then have to struggle to open the door.  It was very frustrating.  But now with the key turner I find that I have the additional leverage that I need to open the door with ease.  I don’t know how they designed their product to do this but I don’t really care.  All I know is that it works!

There’s nothing complicated about the turners.  You simply snap them over a standard key and you’re set to go.  The EZ Key Turners come two to a pack and in differing bright colors that make it easy to identify which key to use…in my case,  the house key (red) or the post office box key (yellow) .

The other thing that I love is the fact that my two keys with the turners attached don’t get lost in my purse !  No matter how careful I was to put them in the same little pocket I always seemed to lose them among all the rest of the stuff that accumulated there.  Now that’s a thing of the past.

This may seem like a silly little item but I love it.  I guess that’s one of the perks of aging …it doesn’t take much to make me happy !

Arthritic hands … mixing it up.

MX N TILTAbout 6 months ago I received this email from my friend Ellen. She knew that I was looking for ideas for my Unlimiters blog. It reads: I do have a suggestion …I have arthritis and find that when I cook or bake, holding a bowl in one hand while attempting to get the ingredients into a pan…as in brownies this afternoon, I have such difficulties scraping everything out.

I held on to it until she found an answer and now I can share it with you. She is thrilled with her 3 piece tilt ‘n mix bowls by Wilton. They are a lightweight plastic and the five little rubber feet stop the bowl from sliding around and they also allow the bowl to tip at different angles. This is perfect for Ellen.

Here is her technique. She puts her ingredients in the largest bowl and then tips it slightly, feeling confident that the bowl won’t slip. This makes it easier for her to stir with her arm instead of her wrist and that relieves the arthritis in her hands. She then puts her baking pan on the table in front of the bowl (that is held in place with the rubber feet) and leans in so that her body keeps the pan in place. It’s then an easy thing to simply tip the bowl further and scrape the contents into the pan.

So there you have it. A simple product but one that makes life easier for those with arthritic hands.

Brrrrrrrrr…cold weather is coming !

In 1978 I moved to North Carolina from New York State. It took about two years before I became accustomed to the heat here but I was happy to find that the winters were quite temperate. As I look back on that I find that the weather had remained pretty much the same but my tolerance of it has changed drastically.

Even though we hardly ever get the bone-chilling cold weather that so many of you do, I still dread winter time. The arthritis in my hands, which I hardly feel in summer, acts up with a vengeance the colder it gets. My feet never seem to be warm enough, despite doubling up on socks, and my nose is red and cold to the touch…i.e., I’m miserable!

Luckily I have a blogger friend who had the same complaints but she did something about it and she shared it with me. The miracle cure that she uses is called “Hot Hands

If you are a hunter or an avid outdoors person you probably know all about them but I did not. These little gems are very inexpensive and can be used in many ways.

The hand warmers are just what it says …heat for warming your hands and all you do is shake the packet and insert it in your gloves or pocket. The heat is air activated and will warm you for up to 10 hours. Then you simply dispose of it as you would any garbage, the ingredients will not harm the environment according to the manufacturer.

They recommend that the larger body warmers and foot warmers not be applied directly against your skin but that was no problem for me. I actually used a body warmer as a sort of experiment recently and it worked wonders. I have just gone through a horrendous bout with Shingles and, although it is getting better, I still have one spot on my back that is painful. I had a Lidocaine patch on it but it didn’t seem to be doing much so I stuck one of the body warmers to my blouse exactly where it would cover the patch. The heat felt wonderful and I think it activated the Lidocaine because the pain seemed to dissipate within an hour.

Comfort is my number one goal this winter and since I’m stocking up on “Hot Hands” warmers for every part of my body I’m sure I’ll reach it..

Much More Than a Loyal Friend …

This little guy is about 4 inches tall and he’s made of rubber.  He sat on my husbands desk for years and I remember how Dick would squeeze the dickens out of him to exercise his hands.

When Dick passed away in 1990 I put the little guy on my desk and he’s remained there ever since.  I’ve loved having him near me because he’s a sweet reminder of many happy times but I’ve rarely put him to use as Dick did.

Well, times have changed.  You may remember my entry a few weeks ago when I mentioned how weak my 80 year old hands have become. That has been true for quite a long time but just over the past year I have developed painful arthritis in both hands also.  I’ve decided to try the squeezing exercises and I really seem to be making progress.

My little pal does not seem overjoyed to be, once again, the recipient of all that squeezing but he puts up with me!

I seem to remember that he was a giveaway from a medical firm back in the ‘80s so it would be hard to replicate him exactly but there are many types of exercise squeeze balls available.

Here‘s what I do 3 times a day.  I squeeze him as hard as I can for at least 5 seconds.  Then I relax for a second or two.  I repeat this process nine more times.  I then switch to my other hand and do the same 10 repetitions there.

I can’t say that it helps the looks of my arthritic hands but it does help to keep the pain at bay and for that I am grateful.  I hope it will do the same for you.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

Blog entry by Ginnie, proud member of the UNlimiters team.

www.unlimiters.com

The hands of an octogenarian…

I am honored and pleased to be a new member of the Unlimiters team. My name is Ginnie and this is my first entry.  When Lisa contacted me to see if I would write a blog for them I was a little confused.   I told her that I have no physical handicaps but then I thought, “Wait a minute … I am 80 years old and I run into difficulties daily!”

These old hands of mine are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to aches and pains.  Why not write about the daily challenges that we seniors face and how we overcome them?   It’s what I plan to do with this blog and I hope you will come along for the ride.

I also have many friends who DO have medical disabilities and I find that most of them would fit right in with the Unlimiters philosophy.  They are optimists and dreamers.  Seniors who are aware of the physical and mental changes taking place but who refuse to be limited by them.   I am constantly amazed by them and will be highlighting their experiences too.

Now back to my hands.  I featured them to make a point.  Over the past few years I’ve lost a lot of the strength in my hands and it’s hard for me to open jars. I had resorted to the old system of turning the jars upside down, tapping all edges on a hard surface and twisting as hard as I could …a practice that rarely did the job and frustrated me immensely.

I am so pleased to have found the  Maddagrip Opener.  it’s a simple but very effective opener that works perfectly for me.

Now I can forget about the weakness in my hands and rely on my new “toy”.  It sure beats waiting for a strong man to come by and open those pesky jars …   I could starve by then!

Real Time Web Analytics