Not too long ago, we had a chance to speak with Elisha Stefanelli, an Occupational Therapist from InHand Occupational Therapy. We wanted to know more about her work and her recommendations to anyone with arthritis in their hands.
We sent Elisha her own Uccello Kettle and Grip Mat to test and try out with her clients. It wasn’t long before we heard back and how much of a fan she was of our bundle. She now recommends the pack to anyone who lives with limited mobility and strength such as arthritis.
Elisha is a firm believer in that having arthritis, doesn’t mean you have to stop doing things, like moving about, or have to struggle with the day-to-day tasks at home. This is why we are happy to share Elisha’s recommendations for tips and tricks in the home to make life that bit easier.
Tips for Around the Home:
Door Knob Change:
It might seem like a silly tip but when you suffer from arthritis and are in the middle of a flare up in your hands, imagine the pain a rotating knob can inflict? Elisha recommends the use of lever handles on doors instead of rotating knobs.
No More Bending & Stretching:
”Use long handled devices to pick things up, to prevent the need to bend over.” The likes of reachers or grabbers can be a god send, especially for those who have arthritis in their back or knees. Such a simple idea and great for picking items up and reaching from above.
No More Loose Rugs:
”Some things we like to recommend in our clinic is to remove loose rugs and mats (such as doormats or rugs that aren’t secured or weighted down) to prevent trips and falls”. Can you imagine a fall where you land on your knees and palms of your hands? It doesn’t bare thinking about.
Tips for Handling Boiling Water
The Uccello Kettle brings more confidence and safety to the kitchen than the average kettle tipper ever has. You can remove the stress of lifting and straining with a hot heavy kettle and regain independence. With the Uccello’s tilt-to-pour action and ergonomic handle, there is no heavy lifting or balancing for a cup of tea or coffee again.
”The Uccello Kettle makes this simple daily ritual effortless for an individual with hand mobility issues. We have one in our office and recommend it to our clients.”
Uccello Grip Mat:
Last but by no means least, the Uccello Grip Mat. It is the perfect cup location guide for the Uccello Kettle. If you are unsure where to place your cup, you can place the grip mat tight to the front feet of the kettle, put your cup in the centre ring and voila. A safe and steady pour every single time.
It’s also great for those who have weakened grip or shaky hands. The Uccello Grip Mat is light, flexible and non-slip. It keeps items secure from moving, like your tea cup or plate of biscuits. A great bonus here too is that it makes opening stubborn jars a doddle.
Keep It Moving:
It’s important to mix it up and get exercise into your daily routine. Believe it or not, it will help you maintain flexibility and muscle strength.
Exercise at Home:
Elisha recommends exercise to keep the joints moving, exercises like tendon gliding. This is where you hold each movement for 2-3 seconds and then return to a natural position. Check out the examples below:
- Flat Fist – Bend as far as you can at your big knuckles, making sure to keeping your end joints as straight as possible.
- Long Fist – Make a fist, trying to touch the base of your palm while keeping the end joints straight.
- Full Fist – Bend all finger joints to curl your fingers to the palm.
- The Hook – Touch the top of the palm with your finger tips, keep your knuckles as straight as possible.
Elisha also recommends gentle strengthening exercises, preferably for the entire body. Good examples would include:
- Joining a senior gym class
Resistance bands are great way to keep active. They are cost effective and extremely helpful. ”People often think they have to stop doing the things they love if they have arthritis due to pain or fear of doing damage. However, this is not the case. Regular movement helps to prevent pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.” – Elisha