Technology is changing the landscape for chronic pain sufferers. With new gadgets emerging all the time designed to make life more streamlined and convenient, there are tons of ways to shorten your to-do list. Here are nine products — some simple, some spendy — that can make navigating home life with chronic pain a little bit easier.
1. Smart Home Technology
When you equip your home with smart technology, you can control everyday functions like lights, thermostats, and locks from your smartphone. This saves you frequent short trips across the house to flip a switch, and it’s a lifesaver during severe pain flare-ups. And thanks to emerging tech, you can even control your home with nothing but your voice. Learn more about smart home technology here.
2. A Reacher-Grabber Tool
The cheapest tool on this list is arguably also the most useful. A reacher-grabber tool lets you access things without bending, stooping, or climbing, all of which can be pain-inducing movements for someone living with an illness.
3. An All-in-One Washer/Dryer
No one enjoys switching wet laundry from the washer to the dryer. If you have pain in your back, you definitely don’t look forward to this unwieldy chore. With an all-in-one washer and dryer combination, you can eliminate shuffling laundry. If you get a washer with smart technology, you can even initiate wash and dry cycles remotely.
4. Eco-Friendly Cleaners
There’s evidence that harsh chemical cleaners can aggravate chronic pain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. To prevent this potential hazard, swap out conventional cleaners for eco-friendly options or even homemade cleaning solutions. Consider not only what’s in the product, but also how it’s delivered: You may find aerosols and sprays more irritating than other options. More importantly, open windows and turn on ceiling fans for ventilation while you’re cleaning. Consider looking into ways to make your house more eco-friendly.
5. A Slow Cooker
Some days you just don’t want to stand at the stove, tending to a simmering pot. On those days, the humble slow cooker is your best friend. With a little bit of prep work, you can throw ingredients into the pot, turn it on, and forget about it until it’s time eat. Using a slow cooker is a great way to maintain a healthy diet even when time or energy is running low.
6. Robotic Floor Cleaners
Cleaning the floors is easily one of the most laborious housekeeping tasks, and it can be especially difficult for chronic pain sufferers as it requires long periods on your feet. For a reasonable price, you can outsource this chore to robots. No, not a robot maid á la The Jetsons, but automated vacuums and mops like the Roomba and Scooba manufactured by iRobot. If full automation is out of your budget, give a remote-controlled mop a try.
7. A Bath Lift
Few things in life are more soothing to achy joints and muscles than a hot bath, but getting in and out of the tub can prove challenging for many chronic pain sufferers. A bath lift lets you indulge in a soak safely and comfortably, and you can control the recline so it’s easy to get into a position that feels good for you.
8. A Yoga Mat
Yoga is a wonderful, meditative exercise for increasing flexibility. More than that, yoga is an effective weapon in the battle against chronic pain. Yoga is proven to be protective against stiffness, swelling, and even mental health effects like stress and depression. The best part is, it’s nearly free to practice. All you need is a yoga mat.
9. A Housekeeper
This one may be a service rather than a product, but it’s a total game-changer for people living with chronic pain. Hiring a housekeeper for routine cleaning around the home saves you hours of effort every week. It makes it easier to keep a comfortable home and it frees up your time for more important pursuits.