By Jamie Arasz Prioli, RESNA ATP
My husband has rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia. These two difficult diseases impair his ability to perform most activities of daily living. When he asked me to help find some assistive devices to help him throughout the day, I was more than happy to help!
Assistive technology, or assistive devices, is tools and products that can make life with RA and other disabilities easier. Use of assistive devices can alleviate pain and stress on joints, conserve energy, and help maintain independence. Devices can make it easier to do the many things that arthritis or other conditions makes difficult: setting an alarm clock, turning on faucets, opening doors, or dressing.
The Sunshine Voice Activated Alarm Clock is a voice-activated alarm clock that responds to voice commands and has voice responses. To activate the clock, the user speaks the trigger words “Alarm Clock”. This causes the clock to listen for commands such as: “What time is it?” “Snooze” “Night light” and more! The clock responds to “What time is it?” by saying the time and day of the week. The alarm can even be programmed to wake to the television. More information on the voice activated alarm clock is found at www.dynamic-living.com
The EZ Faucet Pro Touch-Free Automatic Faucet Adapter is a great tool for people who experience barriers with the faucet knob or lever when turning on the sink. This device is especially beneficial for those with one-handed use. In less than five minutes to install, the infrared sensor on the EZ Faucet Pro turns any existing kitchen or bathroom faucet into a touch-free, accessible sink and allows the user to use the faucet without touching any handles. For more information on the EZ Faucet Pro visit www.ActiveForever.com
The Large Handle Key Turner is a 5" handle that allows users to grasp the holder with their full hand. The Key Turner provides added leverage for turning keys, allowing people with limited hand dexterity or arthritis to manipulate keys with ease. It can hold up to 3 keys. The Key Turner can be found at www.EnableMart.com
The Black and Decker Infrawave Speed Cooking Countertop Ovenis a great alternative to standard oven or microwave cooking. This countertop oven is wonderful for cooking a meal for one or for four! All controls are located at the front of the oven. Front controls are considered safer because you don’t have to reach over hot elements for the back controls on an oven.
For those who cannot bend over to remove items from a standard oven, the countertop oven is a great tool for accessibility purposes just set at counter height! This oven can be found at Sears, Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond.
The Sock Donner is a tool that allows one to independently pull socks on. If you have trouble bending over, this tool can help you slip on socks and stockings easily and without aid from others. The sock is simply slipped over the tool, then the user inserts their foot and pulls the sock on with two ropes. For more information about this device visit www.maxiaids.com
These are just a few examples of assistive technology that can help people with disabilities live more independent. If you would like to find a tool that can help you become more independent, send me an e-mail at