Daily tips from the German Rheumatism League for rheumatism in your hands
With a few simple tricks, rheumatism patients can make their everyday life significantly easier. Here, the brochure "Joint protection in everyday life" of the German Rheumatism League provides instructions, "how independence can be maintained with the demands of everyday life." Rheumatism patients not only learn how they can help relieve and mobilize their joints, but also get tips for the typical problems of everyday life with rheumatism in the hands.
According to the German Rheumatism League, around "20 million Germans suffer from chronic rheumatic diseases such as arthrosis, inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis, spinal disorders, fibromyalgia or osteoporosis." Those affected are often severely affected by the diseases in their everyday lives. With rheumatism in the hands, “crooked fingers, severe deformation of the hands, limited fine motor skills and little grip” are typical consequences, reports the Rheumatism League. Due to the impaired movement, even simple "operations such as pulling the EC card out of the ATM slot or getting a coin out of the shopping cart can become a major problem," the self-help organization said. In the brochure "Joint protection in everyday life", which is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, numerous possibilities are presented which can help rheumatism patients with everyday illness-related obstacles.
Aids protect the joints and make it easier to grip When rheumatism in the hands, patients often have considerable difficulties in grasping small objects. For example, they can hardly operate their zippers. According to the German Rheumatism League, "attaching key rings, small chains or a crochet hook" to the zipper helps. The self-help organization reports that they can be easily attached to the existing ripper and considerably simplify operation for rheumatism patients. Difficulties often arise for rheumatism patients when gripping pens, toothbrushes and cutlery, but these can be remedied by thickening the handle. Too thin handles, for example, "pull a piece of garden hose, insulating hose, bicycle handle from the hardware store or a protective handle from an electrician's supply", which enables rheumatism patients to grip the objects much better, reports the German Rheumatism League. When opening mason jars, those affected can use a vacuum remover and a converted nutcracker is well suited for bottles with screw caps. All in all, there are a variety of simple aids that can bring about a significant improvement in patients' everyday lives, explained Susanne Bitzer, occupational therapist and author of the brochure "Joint protection in everyday life". (fp)
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