Five Useful Kitchen Tips for Arthritis Sufferers

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Recently Queensland University Technology (QUT) student Ching-Hao (Howard) Hsu, 24, designed a new assistive gadget which provides a safe way for arthritis sufferers to lift cookware, relying on the strength of their forearms.

The special handle which makes it easy for people with arthritis to lift and hold cookware has earned him a spot on the first-round shortlist of the Australian Design Award/James Dyson Award.

kitchen tool for arthritis sufferers

Hsu said he came up with the design after watching several people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) trying to cook in their own kitchens.

RA is a chronic disease affecting 1.3 million Americans. It is a form of inflammatory arthritis and an autoimmune disease affecting the joints, which can lead to stiffness, swelling and sometimes disablement in the hands.

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As Hsu noted after several observations and lots of interviews, lifting pots and pans can be a major problem for sufferers of RA during cooking preparation. It can be difficult for sufferers of RA to lift things with their hands, due to having limited strength and flexibility.

"If a saucepan only had one handle, most people put a towel over their other forearm to grasp the opposite side of the pot, but this was a slippery and dangerous way of lifting, exposing the person to the risk of burns,” said Hsu.

His arthritis handle allows sufferers of RA to use any kind of cookware.

Here are 5 tips for improving life in the kitchen if you have RA:

  1. It is important to look for ergonomic, lightweight cooking tools with easy grips and non-slip handles.
  2. Using a pot or pain with two handles will help you avoid a major kitchen accident or the risk of injury. The two-handled pan distributes the weight more evenly between both of your hands and wrists.
  3. Food processors can reduce the need for chopping, cutting, and slicing which may be difficult for RA sufferers. It is important to make sure you are able to change the blades easily and remove the plastic bowl and plastic lid from the food processor. A mini food processors may suit your needs.
  4. Rocker knives have a two-handled design which can add strength and control to cutting and chopping.
  5. Electric can and electric jar openers can be indispensable to someone with RA.

Image Credit

Sources
Queensland University of Technology (2011, March 6). Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers armed with kitchen safety tool. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2011

Arthritis Foundation

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