Tips & Hints

I’m new here so I don’t know if you’ve gotten this suggestion in the past. Most of us can’t bend down or rest our weight on our knees so in order to make my life easier when washing the bath tub I wet the tub I sprinkle Comet or Ajax and then I use a clean mop to scrub away the grime…..No bending is necessary. Submitted by: Nubby

Instead of hauling cleaning supplies up and down stairs, and room to room, I keep a separate plastic basket in each bathroom of what is needed, along with rubber gloves. So, besides using it for regular cleaning, it is always available for emergency clean ups. (like when your bottle of foundation goes flying because you lost your grip while shaking it). I also love the Clorox clean up wipes….very easy to use! Submitted by: Tracy

I found a neat little machine (a bit expensive though) while watching TV one day . . . it’s called a “Steam Buggy”. The end piece kind of reminds me of a pressure washer at those self-serve car washes, only instead of water, it emits steam. It’s a small, light-weight thing, with all sorts of different end attachments to clean just about everything. I find it most useful in the kitchen (especially the oven), floors, and bathroom though. No more using harsh chemicals and having to scrub and scrub at those tough areas. I just turn on my Steam Buggy, run the end piece over the mess, and the steam melts it away – then I just wipe over it with a towel. You can find it at “” – and it really is well-made. I don’t think I could clean my oven or bathroom without it. Submitted by: Amanda

I have been checking into this sight for years now and thank you for all the information (I rarely post). I hate ironing and most of my clothes I dont have to, but if one wants to take a few wrinkles out of some thing ,stick it in the dryer for about 10 minutes.Clothes such as rayon, or permanent press that just needs a freshing upmay not need the iron. ~Submitted by Colleen

wanted to let everybody know about a new product I just tried. It is called the Swiffer mop, with two different types of towels, wet or dry. I hate mopping the floors because of carrying the heavy water pail, squeezing out the water from the mop, etc. This new mop is lightweight and comes with disposable clothes. So, it is easy to carry, there are no water buckets involved, and no painful joints. It also is small enough to fit in the tough to reach bathroom areas, and with two young boys, that is a priority for me.

I have a good one to go along with this. Pine-sol has a new product out called ‘Spray & Mop’ for washing floors…you don’t need a bucket. I tried it out and it works great! No bending, no scrubbing, no rinsing…and I use it with my Swiffer! ~Submitted by Sue

You mentioned the shelf liner that was a “grip” type. I had never seen it at the grocery store but went into a “Dollar Tree” while out of town and found it! It is called “Grip-It” Multi Purpose Liner and came in several different colors. I bought the white so it can’t get lost in my kitchen. I have cut a piece the size of a wash cloth and used a magnet clip to hang on the fridge so it is always handy. Thanks for your tip—otherwise, I would never have thought to buy it. And, things do seem to slip thru my fingers and out of my hands. Think I will try to rig a piece around my kitchen knife and see if it will help keep it from slipping! ~Submtitted by Machere

I bought my Mum a kids hairdryer, it sits on a stand and therefore doen’t need holding in sore + inflexible hands and arms. OK, so it’s a bright yellow duck, but it does make you smile and make the job easier! I don’t know if the same thing can be bought in the USA ~Submitted by Clare in the UK

When really hurting all over I like to wrap up in my electric throw, it really helps the pain, it is like one big heating pad. ~ Submitted by Pam

If you are going on holiday to a strange (and maybe shiny marble) bathroom, take a pack of those square (9″) flat rubbery kitchen wipes. As well as hand-grips for the bath, you can use them as stepping stones across the floor. They’re good for door handles and opening jars as well. ~ Submitted by Yvonne

I don’t know what they are called…but I call ’em “pickup sticks”. They have long handles with a “grabber” thing on the end. I found mine at a hardware store. It is VERY hard to bend…and with 3 kids leaving things on the floor…all I have to do (besides nagging THEM to pick their things up…) is go around with my stick. I love it! ~ Submitted by Luanne aka Winter262

A X-mas tip [should work all year, tho]…..(bet most of you already use this one!!) Don’t spend your time Wrapping presents….instead buy X-mas bags & boxes to put gifts in. Alot easier on the hands too! ~ Submitted by Cee Jay I have a plastic step stool. I not only use it for reaching things that are higher in my kitchen, I also use it to sit on when I am looking for things in my lower cabinets so I don’t have to bend over. ~ Submitted by Darlene

Giving meds to young children: Game Time: drop a jelly bean in the bottom of the measurement cup AFTER you’ve measured the correct amount, and they must get the jelly bean without using their hands:) Jelly bean sticks to the bottom of the cup and all liquid must be taken in order to get to that candy! Also find a pharmacy where they will compound oral medications into better tasting liquids. Difficult to do with Prednisone, but works great with Indocin, for example. Most MD’s are clueless about this trick but a good pharmacist will call them and tell them how to write the order to do this.&nbsP; ~ Submitted by Sandy

Pace myself. It’s okay to walk more slowly if it means having energy left over when I get where I’m going. Prioritize. I am not going to be able to do everything anymore, so I have to decide what is the most important to me and what can be let go. ~ Submitted by DeeTee

I love my collapsible cane. I bought it a medical supply store. If I am going any place where I might have to walk alot, I carry this cane in a large purse or tote bag. When, and if I need it, it is there ready for me to use. I hate shopping with a cane, and this allows you to have free hands while shopping.&nbsP; ~ Submitted by Donna

Put your clothes in the dryer in the am while your taking your warm bath or shower it will help greatly with the am stiffness :o) ~ Submitted by Shannon

I bought an Oreck sweeper and I love it. The upright weighs only 8 pounds and is very easy to push or carry from one place to another. The other thing I really like about it is that the attachments are not connected to the upright. There is a small sweeper that is about the size of a shoe box that has an extendable hose and attachments to use when you are vacuuming furniture, steps or along walls and corners. It has a strap connected to the box that you can put over your shoulder (or crisscross it which I do) to carry it along. So when you’re cleaning you don’t have to bend over, change attachments and push any buttons to go from vacuuming the floor to smaller areas. You can plug both of them in and go from one to the other with ease. Not only are they easy to maneuver, but both sweepers do a great job! They sweep up even little tiny dog hairs from my 2 dalmatians. I’ve never been able to get all those those little needle-like hairs up with my other sweeper. And I’m not nearly as exhausted after vacuuming so it gets done more often!!! It’s arthritis friendly!!!! Submitted by ~ Carol aka Del

I wanted others in the group to know about a resource that I’ve found invaluable, my state’s assisted technology lending library. I know each state is supposed to have a center for lending but I was unable to find a link for all the states. In Pennsylvania that library is at Temple University.

The URL is I have borrowed everything from a suitcase full of reachers, about 15 different kinds, to a kitchen arthritis kit with all sorts of goodies, to adaptive speaker phones, and no hand mouses. They even lend ramps and wheelchairs. I’ve saved so much money by trying stuff out first, things I thought I would love I hated and vice versa. The borrowing time ranges from 2 weeks for low tech items, to 2 months for expensive or high tech things. I hope this information helps, and if anyone wants more detailed info about the local program I use, please feel free to give them my e-mail address. Also, I don’t know if this is O.K. but I have very dry eyes, and have been through a variety of drops, I’ve got a case of my latest failure, thera-tears, sitting around expiring, if you know of anyone in the group who is short on cash and needs them I’ll be glad to sent them. I didn’t know if was appropriate to post the offer on a message board, since it involves a type of medication. submitted by ~ Mary

I do all my hard cleaning with the scum buster. It is rechargeable and comes with attachments. I also got extra attachments for it at a Black & Decker outlet. It comes with scrub brush (hard) and a soft brush which I even cleaned my boatseats. I could not clean anything before I got it because my hands andwrists hurt so bad. I also found an attachment to clean grout in my ceramic tile. Worksgreat!!!!

I also use a Grasshopper (little plastic cart with wheels for gardening) I even use it to clean the wheels on my car because without it I can not bend that low. It is also good for painting and gardening.

For light vacuuming I use the cordless Boss Light vacuum by Eureka. Itis light and easy to use. Submitted by: BJM

When you are sore and stiff it is hard to bend over. I have found that if I stand with feet about 2 feet apart it is more comfortable and easier to pick something up from the floor, Bend your knees squat down a little and keep back straight, I brace my back by putting my left hand on my left knee, you will be surprised how much this helps. Or you can use your right hand on right knee. Submitted by: Diane May

My mother couldn’t reach up to grasp things when she was alone. Her therapist made her a wonderful simple tool to help her. It was so wonderful that it has been given to me by my mother and I couldn’t do without it.

It is a dowel about 2 1/2 feet long. At one end it has a double clothes hook. At the other end it has a mug hook. It is amazing what you can get out of cabinets that are so high up and you don’t need a stool or anyone to help you. Try it, it is amazing. Submitted by: Carmel

I sit on a barstool loading and unloading dishwasher and while cooking stuff that has to be stirred constantly. I trained my dog to jump on a chair or barstool so I wouldn`t have to bend, he also gets in a lawn chair on the porch when I bring him in the house he did that by himself like he knew I needed him to do it even outside. Hope this helps someone. ~submitted by Diane May

Big fat rubber bands can be very helpful to those of us that have trouble gripping. Wrap them around doorknobs and drinking glasses to provide a better gripping surface. -Tina

Rubbermaid shelfliner also works very well for gripping. Wrap it around utensils, drinking glasses, anything at all and secure with a rubber band. -Tina

Remember those ugly foam hair rollers mom used to wear? Well, go dig them out of the attic or pick up a pack for a couple of bucks at a department store. Slide off the foam tubes, they make great cushy grips. Slide them on pens, pencils, forks, spoons, any small object that is hard to hold. They work wonderfully. -Tina

Does holding a cleaning rag make your hands hurt and cramp? Try slipping your hand into a sock instead of grabbing a rag. I use all the orphan socks that have lost their mates. Dusting and scrubbing is easier when you don’t have to grip the rag – you can leave your hand flat and wipe away! -Kim

Office computer chairs are wonderful to use when doing chores. The height is adjustable and most are on wheels for easy maneuvering. -Tina

I just bought the coolest gadgets to fit over my table lamp switches. They are made of a soft plastic, have a triangle shape and just push over the existing switch. (had hubby put mine on 😉 ) So much easier on tender fingers and wrists. I can’t believe what a difference such a little gadget can make. The ones I bought are under the label of ENABLERS, cost around $6 for a package of 2…made by Magic American Corp.of Cleveland,OH, even included a toll free phone number 1-800-321-6330.
~submitted by Blondie

My tip is probably done already but it was news to me!!! Those medicine bottles and over the counter bottles that have the kid-proof lids are also arthritis-proof! An old fashioned nut cracker, the hand held metal ones, break the kid-proof section and it then can be opened the same as any other without kid proof. Just clamp it on to the middle of the cap and squeeze till you hear a pop, then turn with the nut cracker still attached. After that it will open regular without the nut cracker. Hope this helps someone stuck in the kitchen trying to open a bottle of pain medicine to relieve the pain. Submitted by: Lorri

With all the drugs we take we need to be on extra watch out for germs, I keep a bottle of water free hand cleanser in both of our vans. Use paper towels in rest rooms to dry hands & turn off water & open doors. Change your tooth brush often at least once a month. ~submitted by Belinda

I love using a bath scrubbie with a long handle to reach back, legs & feet. ~submitted by Belinda

Carpool those kids to save time & energy. ~submitted by Belinda

For “picking up” around the house I use a long pair of barbecue tongs. No more bending/kneeling/stooping!!! 🙂 ~submitted by Doyle




Got an ugly wrist splint? I do and I hate it! But I found the perfect cover-up. Take a sock and cut off the foot. Cut a small hole near the end for your thumb and slide it over the splint. Viola! No more ugly splint. The fashion possibilities are endless. Socks come in every color and style imaginable. Try holiday socks, character socks or basic black to go with that little black dress. -Tina

Not only do I have ugly wrist splints, but I am also lucky enough to own a hard plastic ankle splint. Ugh! I found the cure for that with a little help from my kids. Stickers! Stick them on and when you need a change of style, peel them off and wipe away the residue with rubbing alcohol. Then put on new stickers. – Tina




I have “inflammatory arthritis” and cats that love can cat food. No not the ones you can open with the electric can opener the pop top ones. So I use a spoon and put the end thru the tap and use it as a lever to open the can. Works wonders on bad mornings at 5:00am when they want to eat and you want to sleep!
Submitted by: Denise

To Denise, who wrote in this week about using a spoon handle to open the pop-top cat food cans… On some pop-top cans, if you flip the cans over, there’s a smooth top like on a regular can that can be used with an electric can opener. However, some of those little kittie cans have rounded edges on the bottoms that prevent this… wake up, cat food producers! Pop-tops are not easy for everyone!!! Submitted by: Joan

I have very large dogs so bathing them is a major undertaking. I used to kill my back, not to mention other parts, trying to bathe them in the tub (can’t use a cold hose! brrrrrrr!). Now I hook up a hose to the hot/cold tap in the garage and have the dog jump up on the picnic table outside for a bath. (If you can’t stand the thought of a dog on your table you can buy grooming tables.) I can sit when I need to and the whole dog is within reach. I also use the table for brushing the dogs. IF you have the money – a dog groomer is a great way to go, even for dogs you wouldn’t normally think of taking to a groomer. Gift certificates for a groomer are great gimp gift, btw. Submitted by: Zoi

If you wish you could walk your dog but feel that your hands and wrists aren’t strong enough, get a sturdy leather leash (at least 9 feet long) and
loop it around your waist, passing the clip end through the wrist loop to
make a belt. You now have more control by using your body, and you have both hands free! This made walking my 70 lb. dog possible for me, and it is a lot more fun. (Warning, do not try this unless your dog is trained to heel!) ~submitted by KM2

My house is a zoo! A dog, a cat, a parrot, two parakeets, one rabbit, a few frogs and many fish make up my pet parade. No matter how many times the kids promise to take care of the animals, feeding time always seems to be my chore. Lifting and pouring those bags of pet food is difficult for me. So now I pour them into large plastic containers and scoop out what I need for each serving. Much easier on the hands and arms. -Tina

Watering all those animals is no easy chore. I’ve tried carrying a pitcher of water around the house, too heavy. Doing each individual bowl takes forever. So now I grab the ice-cube container and head off through the house. I toss a bunch in every bowl. In a few minutes everyone has fresh cool water to drink. -Tina

Found an easy way of doing an everyday task? Well come on! Don’t be greedy, let us all in on the secret! Click here to send us your tip.