What Assistive Devices Are Used for PsA?

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: October 2016.

Since there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, people who have the disease must learn how to deal with it on a daily basis.

Using assistive devices for everyday tasks

Swollen, painful joints can make it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks, so there are many assistive devices that can be purchased to make daily activities easier and less painful. Assistive devices can also help protect a painful, inflamed joint.1

Changing clothes and dressing

Zipper pulls and buttoning aids can make it easier to fasten clothing if the joints in the hands and fingers are affected by psoriatic arthritis. Clothing with Velcro can also be used. Long-handled shoe horns can make it easier to put shoes on without bending.1

Cooking with arthritis-friendly tools

There are several appliances available for the kitchen that can make preparing food easier, including electric can openers, food processors, and mandolin slicers. Adapted knives and utensils can help when grasping small tools is difficult, and arthritis-friendly kitchen openers make removing lids from bottles, caps, or jars easier.1,2

Making grasping or reaching easier

Long-handled reachers have a gripping mechanism that makes it easier to retrieve items that are stored high or low. Cabinet handles can be modified to make them easier to open.1

Bathing and showering

Bars or handrails can be added to tubs and showers to make it easier for the person living with psoriatic arthritis to get in and out. Non-skid mats or decals are also good for reducing the risk of slipping. Tub chairs or benches can also be used for sitting in the tub. Raised toilet seats or grab bars near the toilet can make it easier to sit down and get up. Faucet levers or tap turners are available for people who have difficulty gripping.1,2

Participating in hobbies

Assistive arthritis devices are available for leisure activities. For gardeners, kneelers and light-weight hoses can be helpful. For those who enjoy sewing, “no-hands” frames can be used for quilting or embroidery. For those who play card games, there are card holders and card shufflers.1

Working with psoriatic arthritis

There are many assistive devices that can be used in the workplace to accommodate a person with psoriatic arthritis, from chairs and work surfaces that are adjustable to telephones with large push buttons. Hands-free headsets can also be used with telephones.1

Driving easier

A wide key holder makes turning the key easier when driving. For filling up, there are gas cap openers that can assist at the gas station.1

Walking help

Walking canes can provide added stability and relieve pressure on sore knees, hips, ankles, and feet. The proper fit is important in selecting a walking aid, as the height needs to support a proper posture. Shoe inserts or orthotics can help relieve foot pain and make it easier to stand or walk. Orthotics can correct structural issues, redistribute weight, and relieve pressure on sensitive areas of the feet.1

Getting professional help for life with psoriatic arthritis

Occupational therapists often work with people with psoriatic arthritis and other illnesses or disabilities to help them accomplish everyday tasks that are important to them, such as eating, dressing, and work activities. They may suggest changes to the environment, the task, or the person’s skills needed for the task.3

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