Life Hacks

 Hi everyone,

The photo below is of the ordinary telescopic backscratchers which are very satisfying for that out of reach itch and not too expensive to buy either! You may not know its hidden talents though for those of us plagued by arthritis and limited mobility! They are brilliant for reaching things at the back of cupboards to pull them forward and make them ‘get-at-able’ once again! Turned the other way and you can also reach to press hard to get at switches!

The second photo is a piece of drainpipe with my roll-on deodorant pushed in one end! (I have put a little cloth in it to hold it firm.) I can now deodorise and smell sweetly as I can’t press and aim spray-on deodorants!

On the same theme:

☺️For sore hands, cut dish cloths in half because they’re easier to wring out when less bulky.

😊Keep things in a small bag with handles in the car door pocket because they’re easier to get hold of.

😊When carrying things up and downstairs put them in a bag with handles and carry on your forearm, then you have hands free to hold onto the banister.

Just thought I’d share these few things to make life easier.

Has anyone else got any tips?

Love, Legs x
'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
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Comments

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,569

    Love this new thread 'Legs' thank you for starting it.

    I will add @CCM 's

    Use long handle shoe horns to push your shoes off as well as on!

    Best wishes

    Ellen.

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,392

    Great @Ellen I've never thought of doing that! The simple things are usually the most effective and we all need life hacks to make things easier!

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686

    Hey, Legs, you smell great😆 Well done on the deodoranr thingy.

    For years I've used a long shoe horn with backscratcher. I use the backscratcher bit to throw sweaters over my head (occasionally literally!) and ease socks off my feet. Scrunch up the back of the sweater, base layèr etc and balance it, briefly, on the hand.

    More recently, I've bought a long dressing stiçk with a small, curved hook at the other end. The hook is great for pulling up trousers and knickers, pulling shoes nearer and fastening and unfastening their velcro. (The orthotist kindly punched a hole in the end of the strap and Mr SW inserted a ring thing to pull on.)

    Also, the value of cricket! If you google 'cricket bat handle grips' you'll get some very cheap, colourful, rubber grips. I cut them in half as they're long. One on my long handled comb,. One on the rounded handle of my Dad's old wooden, lightweight, walking stick (ever felt rhe weight of NHS ones😰) and several on pan handles and large knife handles.

    I like your bag ideas. I do find I can reach things on shelves that are fractionslly beyond me by putting them in a bag with handles hanging down ready to be grabbed. (But beware kindly visitors who are apt to tidy things for you by shoving the handles back on the shelf!) Not a method suitable foŕ glasses etc😊

    Still thinking. Welcome back.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,392

    Excellent @stickywicket we are seasoned arthritics so these are the tips we need to pass on!

    Love the cricket bat grips I shall be having a look at those! I'm wondering if they could slip onto normal cutlery so I could carry them about with me for eating out. At the moment I take the cutlery with me but the grips are probably lighter.

    I've thought of another thing I do, I put tins/packets/bottles on a tray in my cupboard or use an old washing up bowl and if I need a tin at the back of the cupboard I just pull the bowl or tray out so I can get at them more easily! This way I don't have to move every tin/packet/bottle in front of them!

    I'm glad I smell nice and I'm also glad to be back.

    Good to see you! 😊

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686

    What gave me the bat grips idea was that I bought a packet of sort of tubes to put over handles for better grip. Good up to a point but (3 sizes) only one was wide enough for my uses. I have a dessert spoon that one will go over but it wouldn't go on any cutlery with wider bottom than top so you'd be taking pot luck at restaurants.

    When we moved here the kitchen cupboardds were long and thin with shelves. I couldn't reach anything! A lovely young lad put drawers into each cupboard and they work a treat. Your solution would be cheaper though!

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,236

    Some great ideas here!

    I also love the cricket bat grip idea, of Sticky's, Legs. Googled already and love the colour choices.

    My favourite is a chip basket like this one

    but in your boiled water for veggies saves carrying the whole heavy thing full of boiling water. Best option is always to get OH to do the cooking but not always possible of course😃

    Elastic shoe laces if they are not velcro ones.

    Will think on I'm sure I can think of more....🤔

    Toni x

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 153

    Arthritis in my finger/thumb joints so it's jars and bottles I find increasingly difficult these days. I've got a jar lid opener but that doesn't work sometimes, banging the lid on a hard surface, once broke a jar doing that 🙄 putting the top in hot water, door hinge etc! Bottles eg for mouth wash, seem to come with a layer of heavy duty plastic these days and that involves trying to jam a knife under the plastic, with possible unpleasant results.....😥

    Morning moan over now!

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,392

    Hi @swimmer60,

    I understand your frustration! the battery operated jar openers would solve the jar problem. Picture below, though I'm sure you've seen them. I have one and it does work very well, though it's not cheap, you can get one for just under £20.


    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,392

    Ask your pharmacy to put all your tablets into bottles, then you don't have to struggle with popping your pills out of the blister packs! Mine even put them in bottles without childproof tops on because they know me!

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Catfriend
    Catfriend Member Posts: 4

    I'm really loving this thread. I'm 80 and have quite advanced OA in my right hip which makes walking slow and stiff. I use two sticks where possible, which helps quite a bit and have recently purchased a rollator (found it so easy to use I overdid it on my first try and made matters worse for a few days). I find grabbers extremely handy and have one upstairs, and one downstairs. I use them for more than simply picking stuff up off the floor - for instance I find them useful for odd small cleaning jobs in awkward places, using kitchen roll and cleaning spray. I gave one to a friend with severe sciatica and she uses it to draw her curtains! I also find they are handy for pulling clothes on and off, but will now try using my long handled shoe horn/back scratcher for that as suggested in this thread. I also have a small foldable step to help me reach up to higher shelves, one upstairs and one down. I have a variety of gadgets to help with jar opening, but usually stand the jar upside down in hot water for a few minutes, which I usually find makes it easier. I will look out for a battery operated one - I love gadgets. Air fryer helps, saves bending down to get to stuff in the oven, also much cheaper to run.

    Can't wait to hear more of your helpful tips.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686

    For years I used a Baby Boa Strap Wrench for opening jars but now I've graduated to @lindalegs 's jar opener. Never fails. Plus a similar can opener. I used to have a plug-in one which still works well but, alas, I don't😉 The value of the battery operated ones are that they will open ring pulls too and they leave no sharp edge.

    @Catfriend , I, too, use a grabber to draw the curtains when Mr SW isn't available.Very usefull.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 153

    @lindalegs

    Thanks for that, will check it out, had never heard of it.

    Pill bottles aren't a problem, they seem to come in pop up packs (blister packs?) these days. Heavy duty plastic which seems to wrap everything, is a nuisance I have to use a scissors to cut it, and that's not all that easy.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686

    Nimble One Finger Sagety Cutter.

    @swimmer60 , try the above. I intend to get one. I only found it last week in a catalogue sent by an organisation which gives helpful advice to disabled people. To me it looks promising.

    But I hate blister packs!

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686


    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • This is a great thread - am loving the ideas here. Thank you.


    i would also add, bearing in mind the TKR (both knees), newly diagnosed hip OA (both hips), right should OA and left frozen shoulder, at age 53, I have to hang my grabber from the ledge on top of my kitchen wall cabinets by its handle (grabbers are then at eye level and easier to retrieve) - whenever I prop it up on the floor and it falls over, I need another grabber to pick the bleedin’ thing up or wait for somebody else to pick it up for me 🤦🏻

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,392

    '.....whenever I prop it up on the floor and it falls over, I need another grabber to pick the bleedin’ thing up or wait for somebody else to pick it up for me 🤦🏻'

    @waddington70

    Been there!

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,236

    That one finger cutter @stickywicket !!!!

    Never heard of it but love it so much.

    I used to just tap the side of the lid with a wooden spoon which released the vacuum, but now I have an elderly triangular jar opener I inherited from my mum as my hands don't comfortably open wide enough to grip. Other than that I use Mr Frogmorton when available.

    I may need to upgrade seeing some of these gadgets @lindalegs is suggesting.

    Interesting to read how we all use our pick up sticks for so many things! All of us the same not just picking up things☺️

    This thread needs to be made a STICKY mods or put somewhere useful where we can direct people in future.

    Toni x

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,392
    edited 18. Jan 2024, 16:22

    Just thought of another!

    Pulling zips up and down is a pain whether bags, purses, suitcases, trousers, jumpers or coats (I don't wear skirts any more as Mr Legs can't cope with putting tights on me!).

    I used to tie a bit of ribbon on the tongue of the zip, but I have found zip buddies and zip pulls, photo below. The zip buddy are oblong, as below, or round in design and cost around £2.50 each (I feel are quite classy) Alternatively and a lot cheaper are a packet of zip pulls about £5 a packet!

    Zip Buddy do have lots of designs to choose from and the packet of zip pulls come in lots of lovely colours! Put either into the internet and you'll be surprised at the choice.

    With these, you'll find pulling a zip up and down is no longer a problem!

    PS You can also attach key rings to zip tongues which look nice too!


    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 461

    Hi all,

    Brilliant posts here.

    Years ago when we used to BBQ I purchased a long pair of BBQ tongs. Now at under 5' and shrinking these are my 'go to' tools for reaching stuff out of cupboards.

    I've included the egg box so you can see how big they are. They're strong too and once you get the knack of using them as a reacher you can use them for heavy stuff like bags of rice/sugar/flour etc.

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 254
  • sam496
    sam496 Member Posts: 14

    Being quite new here I am finding quite a lot of things difficult to undo - do up -lift etc etc.

    A table spoon can be used as temporary shoe horn,

    Long nosed pliers can help with rolling the tops of pre packed cooked meats and dog food or anything else that has a glued on foil or plastic lid.

    still trying to work out how I can get some good use out of my bamboo back scratcher, top half not bad but cannot get pressure or movement for bottom half from either end.

    woven belt material attached to a short piece of wood makes a good pot opener.

    currently using blunt end of backscratcher for light switches and closing shutters (blinds)

    fork handle for ring pulls

    if having a problem with standing from a low settee or chair having some blocks of wood fitted toeless can prolong the use of same until ready to buy new (could also apply to new furniture).

    a couple of clothes pegs on on an inverted Y of material can help to pull a blanket over shoulders.

    I need a gripper thing with an angled end so as to be able to get mugs / glasses from kitchen wall cupboards.

    struggling with pulling electrical plugs out st moment anyone has any ideas?

    @sam496 its nearly 5.30 am is that still Time to get up ?? even if been awake most of night ??

    have fun people

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,236

    @sam496

    you can get thingies to go over your plugs @Rina was talking to me about them a while back

    They are called plug pullers just google it you should get lots of hits.

    I'm up too

    Toni x

  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 872
    edited 19. Jan 2024, 14:57

    There is a jewellers in Ashbourne Derbyshire who makes hinged wedding and engagement rings to make the easier to put on if you have problems with fingers and swollen joints in the hands.

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686

    Zip pulls - how on earth did we manage before them? Trousers, fleeces, toilet bags, purses, anything virtually with a zip. Once someone else has inserted it😁

    For leg exercises - put anything weighty in either side of an old pair of oven gloves to throw round your ankle. I started with a tin of tuna and progressed, via a tin of soup, to my big kitchen scales weight in one side and all the rest in the other.

    I have a rheumatic nodule that's perfect for switching on/off the utility room light. (Probably not to be recommended😉)

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • RosieW
    RosieW Member Posts: 1

    These days I'm convinced that even people without arthritis have difficulty opening bottles of bleach, milk, pills etc! Best thing I've discovered is to use a pair of nutcrackers which fit snugly around the top and work instantly with a gentle twist.