Rheumatoid Arthritis Tips Book Review

(UPDATED) Book review: 250 Tips for Making Life With Arthritis Easier

Rheumatoid Arthritis Tips Book reviewSounds like an amazing book. Every person with RA needs a good Rheumatoid Arthritis tips book. But actually, if you are an efficient homemaker, you may have heard some of them before – like cooking extra food and freezing the leftovers; and getting family members to participate in meal planning. Hey, I actually get them to help cook. Or better yet, to take their own turn cooking!

A few practical notes from this Rheumatoid Arthritis tips book

Tips #77 and #65 suggest having someone put your various detergents into smaller, more manageable containers for you. If you have not done this, do it as soon as you are able. It is a good idea. I had to do that a few years ago.

Changing doorknobs or other hardware is another good idea. But, it does require help to do. I like #161 and I had done it right away: replace dishes and cookware that is too heavy.

Another one that I have already adopted is using a jelly-roll type pan underneath of baking dishes which are difficult to handle, like pie pans. Personally, I have taken to avoiding the big oven entirely so that I will not have to bend down and try to lift heavy pans. I bought a large toaster oven and that can do most of my everyday baking. And I have 5 kids!

Other good tips are related to making use of certain tools like utility carts, grabbers, and Lazy Susan turntables. There are a few good suggestions for adapting to life in a wheelchair. Similarly, I like the ones which address being confined to bed.

The most creative tip is #214: avoid any pressure on your feet from bedding. Build up a footboard and lay the covers across it so they will not even touch your feet. Now that would have helped me when my feet were doubled in size from RA swelling. Hope I never need to use it!

My very favorite tip in this book is to get a lightweight vacuum (#71). This is very important unless you have a maid. I searched for a couple of years and finally got the best lightweight vacuum in the world. It is a Simplicity Freedom. I have been through 7 vacuums and now I am have died and gone to vacuum heaven. It is the lightest and the strongest – and it may be my last vacuum. For the first time in over 3 years, I can actually vacuum. But only if I really want to!

For the most part, the book is common sense; we all need that. However, I did find many of the tips had to do with getting organized or cleaning. Maybe this would be good for someone who has issues with feeling organizationally-challenged. My problem centers more on a sudden and extreme inability to do as much as I did.

I hate to sound negative about a Rheumatoid Arthritis tips book published by the Arthritis Foundation, I did not feel that the editors understood what living with Rheumatoid Arthritis is like (the book is for both RA and OA). Tip #70 says, “Use permanent marker to mark quart, half-gallon, and gallon lines on your cleaning bucket. The markings will make it easy to mix the right amount of cleaning solutions.” There is no way I am using a cleaning bucket! But that’s me.

There were several other examples of this though, like cleaning out the lint trap of the dryer with a dryer sheet. Ouch.
I was so excited when I saw this book at the library. Finally, I would find out how to make life with Rheumatoid Arthritis come easier. But, I don’t know if any book or tip can actually do that. It did not seem like the editors could relate to my actual difficulties in living with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Verdict on this Rheumatoid Arthritis Tips Book?

Most of the tips are not specifically appropriate for Rheumatoid Arthritis. And some others are just plain not feasible if you have RA. I recommend that you save money and get the book from the library. You can read it casually while watching a baseball game this summer. Find a few good ideas, and laugh off the rest.

I also have a tip for the Arthritis Foundation: perhaps one day you can update the book using contributions sent in by actual RA patients. And then, have someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis edit the new book, too.

Recommended reading

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

11 thoughts on “Rheumatoid Arthritis Tips Book Review

  • June 12, 2009 at 9:58 am
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    We changed our doorknobs and have done many little things to make life easier. The grabber thingy..I don't have enough hand strength to use one. Hubby likes it though.

    I am still surprised how many books have been written on the subject on arthritis and RA. You are right, some of the ideas in are just filler and some plumb silly. I get the Arthritis magazine, some good articles, but again too much filler and a way too many ads.

    I think one of my problems is at my age I have read all this before.

    Reply
  • June 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm
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    Yep, no grabber for me.

    And no cane either.

    What will I do when all of my sons are grown too tall and I have no one (just the right height) to lean on when I can't walk?

    Reply
  • September 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm
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    I like the tip regarding lighter cook- and table-ware. I have a beautiful, blue-enameled, cast-iron pot I love for making soups in, but since my hands have been flaring so badly over the last year or so, handling that pot has become painful and a little dangerous. Fortunately I have a lighter-weight pot, as well. Still, it’s hard sometimes to stop using favorites. I’ll miss my blue pot!

    Reply
  • September 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm
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    Yes, Wren.
    I miss my big red Le Creuset pot. But I could not lift it even if it were empty. I sold most of that set on craig’s list.

    This is a really important issue that people without RA may not realize we have. For me, it was not my hands that made the pots impossible – it was shoulders and elbows 1st…

    Your blue pot sounds pretty; my best friend has the blue.

    Reply
  • August 22, 2010 at 11:25 am
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    Thank goodness someone else has the same opinion. Most of the time the books and pamphlets make me want to tear them up, if I could. And the info packs the drug companies send out. They just make me POed. Just a bunch of BS. I’m just saying…

    Reply
  • June 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm
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    I was eager to get this book, so I appreciate an honest review so I don’t waste my money. I keep finding books about RA that are inconsequential and not worth much. Thanks.

    Reply
  • July 10, 2012 at 9:32 am
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    Thank you for the review. I was looking for more information having just been diagnosed iwth RA. I will get it from the library instead.

    Reply
  • November 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm
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    I was excited to learn about –and then acquire– a heated mattress pad. There is no need to explain this to anyone who has RD.

    Reply
  • February 13, 2016 at 5:43 pm
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    When shall we write our own RD Tips book??
    1) I have a central vacuum. The long hose is a bit heavy, but I can get it out and use it – if I want to – and get some help putting it away.
    2) A recliner is essential! My daughter worked for Laz-E-Boy for a while, and I got an electric one on her discount! Wonderful!
    3) A small table with wheels in or near the kitchen will be good for moving things from the kitchen to the dining area – or even for sitting at in the kitchen!
    4) Pens and pencils with large, soft grips
    5) Computer keyboard with very soft touch.
    6) You can get foam with sticky backing. Cut it out key-size for your computer keyboard – makes the keys much more comfortable to use.
    7) Under the ADA, you can ask your employer to provide a comfortable keyboard for work. Not to mention a comfortable chair.
    8) Under the ADA, you can ask for access to an elevator – or even a stair lift.
    9) A comfortable bed and appropriate pillow(s) are essential. I found wonderful, soft sheets that don’t irritate my skin even during a flare.
    10) A bed cradle over your feet will keep the covers off your feet and legs. Putting an electric throw blanket over the cradle will keep the area warm without burning your feet or legs.
    I have most of these, and will take some pictures of them and post these suggestions to my handicapaccomodations blog on WordPress. I’ll let you know when I do.
    Cheerio!
    Elizabeth

    Reply
  • March 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm
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    Maybe some of us RA Warriors could collaborate on a book of tips of our own; a written for by kind of book. It could include more than just tips….something to think about.

    Reply

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