9 Gifts Ideas For Someone Who Has Arthritis in the Hands

It seems that I have become the unhappy recipient of arthritis of the thumb joint, and possibly carpal tunnel syndrome.

First I’d like to share a few books that look like they have some very good information. I wish I had an unlimited amount of money at my disposal because I would like to order the three of these books immediately!  I have already had very good success with eliminating aches and pains with my GAPS diet, and I am sure I just need to do a bit more fine tuning of my diet, and maybe these books would help me with some ideas. On the other hand, the Introduction part of the GAPS diet eliminates many allergy causing foods, so maybe I just need to do another round of Introduction.

I have also found Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM (this is the brand that I use) to be very helpful in relieving the dull constant ache.  I have been taking this supplement for four months and this is the third brand I’ve tried. The second brand that I tried did not contain the Chondroitin and after a few days the pain was constant. I didn’t realize what was going on until I ordered the Now brand and decided to try taking it.  Within hours I experienced relief.  I read an article on the Internet that said Chondroitin had no value whatsoever, but my mother and I have both found that the Glucosamine with MSM itself does not help as much as the supplement that contains all three supplements.

Here are a few items that would come in handy (some of them I own, some of them I would like to own) for someone who has arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome in their hands.  Unfortunately, most people are unwilling to change their diet for any reason whatsoever (even if they could relieve themselves of pain), and it is unlikely that buying a loved one a book on how to cure their arthritis will do you or them any good.  It is only going to frustrate you because chances are they won’t read the book.

But that’s okay. That seems to be human nature.  And I can’t say I’m any different. I was completely opposed to changing my diet for many years. It’s not easy getting started, I can admit that. I’m just thankful I finally agreed to give GAPS a chance because it has made a huge difference in my life.

The next best thing is buy something for them which will hopefully make their life easier.  Some of these you may need to actually have installed for the person, but they will love you forever if you take the time to do it for them.

Electric Can Opener

Maturing and experiencing joint pain really humbles a person.  I used to wonder why in the world anyone would spend good money on an electric can opener?  It was always an older person with the electric can opener, of course, and obnoxiously I just assumed the person was being lazy. I mean, come on! How hard can it be to use your hands to open a can with a manual can opener?  Well, when you have arthritis in your hands, it can be very difficult, and in some cases, impossible. AJ just bought me this can opener last weekend and it works great.  The manual can opener we had was really hurting my hand to use, and besides it wasn’t cutting the lid all the way around, so I’d have to do some dangerous maneuvering with a knife to remove the lid since it was staying attached in two different places, making it impossible to remove the contents.

Hamilton Beach Electric Can Opener

Electric 3-Hole Punch – I use my 3-hole punch at home and at work frequently. Pressing on the lever to punch the holes is a strain on my hands and it’s hard to know exactly how to apply pressure so that I can get through the paper, and yet not hurt my hands.  It would be awesome to have one of these.
Electric 3 Hole Punch

Jar Opener

Ditto on opening jars.  Wide lids, small lids.  It’s very hard to get the item open, if you even can manage it.  Do you know how helpless it makes a person feel when they come to the realization that they cannot open a jar?  It’s a horrible feeling to have lost your independence in such a simple area. I don’t have one of these, right now I have to rely on Mr. A, AJ or Big A to open jars for me. Big A gets such a kick out of opening jars for his old mom. ;-)

Electric Jar Opener

Faucet Handleskitchen sink, bathroom sink, Shower, etc.

It is very hard to turn off a round handled knob when you have arthritis.  The biggest problem is the grip.  Instead of a round handle, you’ll be looking for levers such as the image show below. I haven’t been able to get Mr. A to change my shower faucets yet, he’s been pretty busy lately, but it would sure help me to have levers instead of round knobs since it hurts to grip it! I have to hold the knob with both hands sometimes, just to get it turned off properly so it doesn’t drip.

Kitchen Sink Faucet with Lever Handles

Mouse Pad with a cushion for the wrist.

Gel Mousepad for Wrist

Ergonomic Gel Pads for the computer mouse.

Gel Pads for Mouse

PaperPro Desktop Stapler -  I bought one of these to use at home, thinking how lazy could I get to be using an automatic spring release stapler.  I got it before I started having pain in my hands and now I’m glad I have it. I keep promising myself I’m going to buy one to use at work. I have a really old stapler at work, which is nearly identical to my boss’s stapler. Except that hers works smoothly and mine has a catch to it that hurts my hands when I use it. This PaperPro stapler has the capacity to staple up to up to 20 pieces of paper and that is much better than my old fashioned one at work can do.

PaperPro Desktop Stapler

Straight Lever Door Handle – levers, rather than the traditional round type. And not just for the front and back door, but the bedroom, closet and bathroom doors should also be changed.

Lever Type Door Handle

Arthritis Gloves – I haven’t tried these yet, but my boss swears that they work wonders to keep the pain at a minimum. One of her son’s has arthritis in his hands and she bought him several pairs.

Arthritis Gloves

There’s no need to tough it out if there are products that can help to make your life easier. Sometimes our elders don’t know these newfangled products are even available. Having experienced this pain myself, I can sympathize with the need for some of these products and I hope these ideas will be of help to someone out there.

UPDATE: I wrote that I was going to try going back to the Introduction Diet on GAPS and so I began tapering down on the vitamins I was taking in preparation for doing Introduction.  It turns out that I had been taking very large amounts of Vitamin C and as I started to take less each day, the pain in my hands began to ease up. It has definitely made me incredibly more sympathetic to someone who has arthritis.  By February 2011 my hands were completely healed and no pains in my wrists, elbows or anywhere else that had been hurting.


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4 comments to 9 Gifts Ideas For Someone Who Has Arthritis in the Hands

  • I love this post! I know I’m not ‘old’ yet, but we are starting our building plans for the house we plan on being in forever. I had thought about extra wide hallways for wheelchair access, but not about the doorknobs in case we develop arthritis. And it is SO much easier just to do it while we build than have to do it later!!

    Thanks for the insight!! (I will probably link to this post when we start talking about more details of the build!)

    [Reply]

  • Sheryl

    I do not have arthritis in my hands, but my mouse hand gets very cold in the winter, no matter how warm we keep the house or where we place the computer. My youngest bought me a heated mouse for Christmas and it has really eliminated the problem. I imagine the heat would help with arthritis pain as well. Unfortunately, I have no idea where he got it.

    [Reply]

  • Aww, I’m sorry to hear about another ache & pain come to visit.

    They say that topical rubs with aspirin or acetominophen in them work on sore joints. I can’t use them because I’m allergic to NSAIDs, but have seen some science that shows these things are effective. Ask your pharmacist!

    These are great gift ideas!!! :-)

    [Reply]

  • [...] Out of Debt Again shares not only some great gift ideas for those with arthritic hands, but also some resources for dealing with arthritis. (Warning, the changes suggested may not be easy, but isn’t it worth it to give it a try to have less pain? ) [...]

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