Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis or other joint or mobility problems can be a real challenge. Seemingly simple tasks are suddenly painful, frustrating or downright impossible. Luckily, there are plenty of great products on the market that can make living with Rheumatoid Arthritis more tolerable. And with the holidays just around the corner, I thought I would post a guide to gifts for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients or those with other joint or mobility problems.
These are things I have purchased or received in the past or thought would help ease my arthritis symptoms in my hands, back or feet. Give them a try and tell me what your most helpful tools are to help you, your friends or your loved ones cope with the daily stress of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
I hope you find this gift guide for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients helpful. If you’re a patient, let me know what helps you cope with RA and what I need to add to this list. You might also like my post on 5 essential steps to understanding chronic illness which has more tools I used to figure out my body and reduce my daily pain and autoimmune related symptoms by 90%.
Note: This post contains affiliate links as indicated. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.
1. For Stress Relief:
I got some of this Bath & Body Works Stress Relief bath and lotion* as a gift when my teenager was a toddler. It’s still my favorite lotion and I use it especially on hard days. As soon as I smell it, it really does relieve some of the tension that life can bring.
Since I was a kid, I have always loved to color. As someone with not an artistic bone in her body, I have always loved coloring since I can’t draw the pictures myself. These are some of my favorite coloring books to take the stress off and get my mind off my troubles and I use a good ole pack of Crayola colored pencils*. We even make coloring a family activity and the boys and I work on a page together.
2. For traveling or long days on your feet:
This cane chair* has been a lifesaver when we travel, go to amusement parks, malls or when there is a lot of walking and I need a place to sit. When it’s folded, I can use it as a cane to help me not limp and when open, it’s an instant chair for whenever and wherever I need it. I even take it with me to soccer practice and games as it’s easier to carry than a regular folding chair and is as light as an umbrella. This chair is definitely worth it.
3. For a warm and toasty bed & a better night’s sleep:
A dual-control plush electric blanket* is a great gift idea and an essential for people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The mild, soothing heat can comfort cold, painful joints and help you get a better night’s sleep. Dual controls are essential if two of you share a bed. I am always colder than my Superhubby and my blanket is always on in the winter. I preheat my bed while I change my clothes and it’s nice and warm when I am ready to get into bed.
4. For aches and pains in your back:
A microwaveable heating pad* to be able to put the warmth right where you need it.
Or a warming backrest massager*. I love that the first review on this said it must have been made by a spoonie so I bet this would be a perfect gift too!
5. For aching feet:
6. For warm hands:
My hands are the most impacted by my RA. I cannot get my fingers into regular gloves very well so usually wear mittens in the winter. It keeps my hands warmer but it I have to take them off to drive since many mittens do not grip the wheel well enough.
I saw these convertible mittens* the other day which would be perfect to be able to just fold the top down to be able to grip the steering wheel and convert them back when going outside. Amazon has some extra long convertible mittens also that provide extra warmth on the forearm.
7. For Comfort & Coziness:
On tough days when my pain is bad, I normally want to get as comfortable and cozy as possible. I usually wear pajamas, Superhubby’s sweatshirts, a robe we got at a spa, fuzzy socks or cozy up under one of my favorite red plush blankets which helps me get cozy and warm.
8. For the Book Lover:
I am a book lover myself and received an early Christmas present from my Superhubby back in 2012. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite* is amazingly light to hold even when it is in its cover, lighter and easier to hold than a paper book. It has a low light function which makes it perfect for reading at night and is easy to read during the day as well. I lie on my side when I read so I can prop the Kindle up on a pillow or the cover makes a tent for hands-free reading. I love the Kindle so much, I’d much rather give up my smartphone than my Kindle!
Here are 7 Reasons Why I Love My Kindle.
9. For the Jewelry Lover:
I love to wear jewelry but it is often difficult for me to grip the clasp to be able to put it on by myself. If you’re like me, here are a couple of suggestions. First, try the bracelet helper* or change the clasps on necklaces or bracelets to magnetic clasps* to make them a cinch to get on and bring a little bling to life with RA.
10. For the Cook:
An electric can* or jar opener*. I like that this can opener cuts with a smooth edge and will save my hands the pain of twisting the handle. I like the Good Grips brand of kitchen gadgets because their wider handles are easier for me to hold but even their manual can opener is hard for me.
Need more ideas for the kitchen? Check out my 8 Must Have Tools in the Kitchen.
A Kitchenaid stand mixer* to help mix pizza dough, cookie or pancake batter, beat eggs, shred cooked chicken or even mix the meat for meatballs! With hands that have been deformed by RA, mixing meatballs with my hands is frustrating and futile. With the mixer, a few whirls of the paddle attachment and it’s all evenly mixed. It seems like every day I find an excuse to use my mixer.
An anti-fatigue mat* to put on the floor near the sink or oven for when you will be standing for long periods of time. It’s like having insoles on the floor. If I could line my kitchen and bathroom floors with this material, I would!
Also if you have to hand wash bottles, glasses or stainless steel travel mugs, a baby bottle brush works great for getting to the hard-to-reach narrow bottom of a glass. It’s amazing how well these brushes work and they go in the dishwasher every time I run it to clean them off for next time.
11. For the commuter:
We always put a massaging steering wheel cover* on our cars but I did not realize how much it helped me grip the wheel until we took it off. Don’t have one, get one! It helps to add thickness to the wheel which makes it easier to grip.
12. For the Coffee or Tea Lover:
Travel mugs for warm drinks must have a handle otherwise I need two hands to be able to use it. Before you buy, try out how hard it is to unscrew the top and make sure it is dishwasher safe. Lessons I have learned the hard way.
13. For Those who Want to Keep Moving:
One of the challenges of Rheumatoid Arthritis is figuring out what works for you and your body when it comes to exercise. There is a very fine line between moving to keep your joints mobile and overdoing it which can trigger a flare. Surprisingly, one of the best tools to help me figure out my body was a FitBit. I wore it not to get 10,000 steps a day like an average person or compete with my active Superhubby or friends. But I used the FitBit to figure out how many steps I could take before my feet were in too much pain so I can better plan my day between tasks that require being on and off my feet.
14. For the Planner Addict or Those With Brain Fog
It’s no secret that age, kids and hectic schedules can cause us to forget things. But it’s also true that Rheumatoid Arthritis and the medicines we take for it can cause brain fog, the fuzzy headed, difficulty concentrating feelings we can get.
I am always worried that I’m forgetting something so I rely on my Day Designer planner*and bullet journals to help keep me organized and remember things. I’m a total planner addict these days but it’s a complete necessity and a functional planner for me. You can check out my review of the Day Designer, just click on the picture.
Well those are my favorite gadgets and gizmos to make life coping with RA just a little easier. I hope you found some useful ideas in my gift guide for Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic illness patients.
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What are your favorite must-have essentials to help you deal with pain and stiffness associated with RA? Happy Holidays and may you and your families have a warm, safe and healthy New Year!