Making an Apartment RA-Friendly!

Something people don't talk about enough is how important the space that surrounds you impacts your mental and physical health.

Having a comfortable, livable, and, most importantly, pain-free household is central to feeling your best when you have a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Making my apartment RA-Friendly

In addition to this, I also want to talk about how I changed things in my apartment to make life easier and better for me. I've divided my tips into a few categories/headings.

The office

I spend most of my time in my office since I work from home, so making my apartment and office RA-friendly was the first place I started. I had to make a few upgrades to both my furniture and my technology.

First up was a desk that sat a little bit higher so I wouldn't slouch as much as my previous desk. This helps avoid some strain in my back, where I experience RA pain. With this higher desk came a better desk chair that helped alleviate pressure on my tailbone.

But the fun didn't stop there: I also upgraded to a new keyboard that is more ergonomic and specifically designed to lift wrists so that my wrists don't droop over the keyboard, which helps alleviate the RA-pain and pressure when typing. So in combination, my desk setup has become more RA-friendly!

The kitchen

Cooking is definitely one of the tasks/activities/chores that has changed the most since being diagnosed with RA. Chopping ingredients has become more difficult, particularly during an RA flare. So I've gotten a few devices that have helped with this.

The first was one of those choppers where you push the top down to chop whatever you put under there, which helps because you don't have to hold a knife.

I've also made things more accessible in the kitchen by having utensils, plates, bowls, cookware, and bakeware (and more) closer to my height so that I don't have to stretch any further to avoid stressing my joints.

Compounding this, I also invested in plates that are not heavy (I believe the ones I have are a non-chip pyrex/light-weight ceramic) so that I don't have to strain my joints just holding my plate of food.

These tips have made navigating the kitchen not only a pain-free experience but also a more enjoyable one.

The bathroom

Most of this conversation about accessibility in the bathroom is going to talk about medicine bottles.

Before I was on Humira, opening medicine bottles was incredibly difficult. I think most people with RA have a similar experience. It's very difficult to clamp down and twist a lid when you have RA impacting your wrists, especially considering that sometimes our wrists lock up, disallowing us to type, write, or even open doors.

To help with this problem, I actually asked my pharmacist to have open-top medicine bottles where all I have to do is flip the lid with my thumb. Yes, this is still painful, but it's not as painful as having the twist lids.

I'm incredibly thankful to have this level of accessibility in my bathroom to better improve my life and to take the medicines that alleviate the pain I experience from having RA.

I hope this was helpful

There are other tips and tricks that I have for making your space more RA-friendly, but I think this is enough for now. I hope this helps, and please let me know what you do to make your home more RA-accessible and friendly. I'm always looking for new accessible gadgets!

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