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Making everyday tasks easier


As the pain from your knee arthritis becomes worse, keeping up with everyday activities may become more difficult or painful.

Sometimes making changes around the home will take some stress off your knee and relieve some of the pain.

Using a cane in the hand on the side opposite of your painful knee may make walking much easier and less painful.

Make it easier to get around your home

Make sure you can reach everything you need without standing on your tiptoes or bending down low.

  • Keep clothes that you wear a lot in drawers and shelves that are between waist and shoulder level.
  • Store food in cupboards and drawers that are between waist and shoulder level.

Make it easy to find important items during the day. That way you will not have to search for them. You can wear a small fanny or waist pack in order to have a portable phone, your wallet, and your keys with you.

Get automatic light switches installed.

If going up and down stairs is very hard:

  • Make sure everything you need is on the same floor where you spend most of your day.
  • Have a bathroom or a portable commode on the same floor where you spend most of your day.
  • Set up your bed on the main floor.

Remove all loose wires or rugs.

Other types of help

Find someone to help with housecleaning, taking out the garbage, gardening, and other household activities or tasks.

Ask someone to shop for you or have your food delivered.

Check your local pharmacy or medical supply store for different aids that can help with reaching, getting dressed, using the toilet, and other activities. These include:

  • A raised toilet seat
  • A shower chair
  • A shower sponge with a long handle
  • A shoehorn with a long handle
  • A sock-aid to help you put on your socks
  • A reacher to help you pick up things from the floor

Ask about having bars installed on the walls by the toilet, shower or bath, or elsewhere in your home.

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Review Date: 8/9/2018

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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