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Tips for Bathing, Brushing, and More When You Have Arthritis


Use the following tips to make grooming easier.

Bathing Ease

  • Have a handyperson or family member install bars on the shower or tub walls to make getting in and out of the bath easier.
  • Use a bath mat or place nonskid tape on the bottom of the tub or shower stall to prevent you from slipping or falling. Either could lead to a joint injury.
  • If you can't stand for long periods of time, install a bath bench that has suction cups on the bottom of the legs to keep it in place. Also buy a showerhead that moves up and down on a rod.
  • Use a soap on a rope so that you can keep the soap handy at all times and avoid having to bend over to find soap that's slipped from your hands.
  • Use a back scrubber brush or a sponge on a long handle to make reaching easier.
  • Buy a shower caddy so that shampoo and conditioner are within easy reach.

Shaving Ease

  • Use an electric razor or a cream depilatory to make shaving easier. Women may also want to use the bath bench for shaving.

Brushing Ease

  • Buy combs and hairbrushes with large handles to make combing hair easier.
  • Use an electric toothbrush rather than a manual one so you don't have to move painful wrists.
  • Use the heel of your hand to squeeze toothpaste from a tube or to press on a toothpaste pump or when you use hair spray or deodorant.

At Ease

Also try these miscellaneous tips:

  • Install a raised toilet seat. These are 3 to 5 inches higher than standard ones. You can also install an armrest unit next to the toilet, which will make sitting and getting up easier.
  • Purchase a lotion applicator towel at your local bed and bath shop. These towels work much like back scrubber brushes and make it easier to apply moisturizing lotion to hard-to-reach places.
  • Wear a terry cloth robe after bathing. It will help you dry off without the twisting and turning of towel drying.

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