Arthritis in the shoulder, difficulties opening UPVc windows

EmmaB Member Posts: 3
edited 22. Sep 2017, 16:32 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi, My Mum has recently been diagnosed with arthritis in her shoulder after over 3 years of misdiagnosis as frozen shoulder, which has resulted in severe muscle degeneration on the right side. She has mild cerebral palsy too, which can make balancing difficult at times (reaching/steps are out of the question). She had a fall a couple of months back and broke her collar bone. One of the real issues is opening high up/far back UPVc windows with locks as it is almost impossible now. Does anyone have any hints or tips or advice on aides that can be used to both unlock and open windows?




  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good afternoon EmmaB,

    Lovely to meet you, welcome to the forum. Well done coming to look for help for your Mum, she is a lucky lady.

    Opening high up windows, like reaching into the back of high kitchen cupboards are very tricky with arthritis of the upper body. The start might be to move things that are in front of the window to avoid extra stretching. Are there any windows lower down that can be used instead? In one of our rooms we have portrait style opening windows- the handle etc is so much lower I can operate them and they open just a little and you close the window catch so no-one can climb in from outside. I think this is standard now, I knew it worked on top windows before. This is now what I'm doing all through. It's nice to be independent whenever possible. There are also aids you can get to go onto keys to make them easier to handle and turn though I'm not sure they would fit some of the tiny keys that are around.

    Here's a link to some exercises that could help your Mum regain some strength in her muscles, a referral to a physio would be something to ask for, they can be so helpful at making individual routines to help.

    Take care,
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,553
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is really difficult as so much will depend on your Mum's personal difficulties and also on the exact type of window, its position and type of handle and lock. I found this but have no idea if it's any good.

    There are windows in our hoise which I can't open as there were in our previous home. There comes a time , I have discovered, when all we can do is change the windows / locks / taps / door handles or whatever. I hope it doesn't come to that.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This struck a chord with me! I'm not a fan of plastic windows anyway but the lack of alternatives for catches, locks and stays is really beginning to cause me problems now. Quite apart from the fact that it causes pain to my already tender fingers, the necessary manoeuvres to depress the centre part of a window catch while at the same time turning and pushing it to open are increasingly difficult - I've taken to using both hands now most of the time - depressing with the 'good' thumb and pushing the lever up with the palm of the 'bad' hand. The keys are fiddly and so don't get used unless I'm going away. The lack of a window stay to pull the window back in if the handle is out of reach makes for stretching moves that I would rather avoid.
    The extension devices will probably help with getting back a window that's blown out of reach, or push out one that's already had the catch undone, but I can't see any devices which are able to depress the centre part to enable the window catch to be to be opened.
    There are window catches which don't have an integral lock - they flip open and the lock is a separate bit - but how available they are and whether they can be retro-fitted I don't know.
    A lot of regulatory attention seems to be given to things like easy-use toilet locks, and making windows low enough for wheelchair users to see out of, but none to how window catches can be used by someone with physical limitations, whether of reach or manual dexterity. Most tiresome!
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My sister's got one of these - very useful.

    I've just had new double glazing fitted and to my horror I realised the fanlight windows only had one catch - smack bang in the middle of the window! My fault - I should have asked when I ordered it. So, I used the link provided in this thread and placed an order. Brilliant gadget - makes my life a whole lot easier - and I suspect everyone on here would agree that's what's important for us!

    Whilst posting I must just mention that my walking stick gave up the ghost at the weekend. The moulded grip felt to bits. One minute it was okay; the next there was a bang and it was in three bits. :o I'd only had the stick since 1998! :roll: They just don't make things to last these days do they? :lol::lol:

    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • EmmaB
    EmmaB Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Thanks for all the help everyone,

    @site admin,
    Thanks for your help and the welome. The rooms with the lower down windows are ok as she can use two hands but not all the rooms have them and some of the windows are recessed which adds to the issue. I don't know why they make the bottons so hard to push. The physio has given exercises which are helping with general movement. We never really used the keys anyway as they only stop the button being depressed don't lock the internal mechanism and so it seems like more things to fiddle with and more keys to lose :?.

    thanks, she has some reachers and grabbers that do a similar thing and are great for push to and pulling open, it is just still difficult doing that and pressing the button. I've ordered one and will see if it can be adapted in someway. Otherwise as you say it might be time to change the most difficult ones. Thanks for your advice.

    yeah it does seem to be an issue for a fair few people from what I can gather by looking around. I'll have to take a better look the separate catch and lock options and how easy to retrofit they are.
    Thanks for the help.

    @Grace B,
    good to know about the positive feedback. Oh no, it wasn't too far off of its 20th birthday, I hope the next stick you buy lasts for that long.