Activities of daily living can become a challenge as we age. What was once simple can suddenly become a challenge. We need to make accommodations, and for people with arthritic hands, that might mean looking at jar openers to help in the kitchen.
Everyone ages differently. We all know that a positive lifestyle, attitude, and mindset can help us remain vibrant longer. However, we are guaranteed to feel our age in our body, and, more specifically, in our muscles and joints. Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis can creep up on us and limit our mobility.
We will first look at jar openers to help with daily tasks in the kitchen, but then we will look more deeply at how age impacts our bodies, what arthritis does, and ways we can try to address the problem itself. Combined with addressing arthritis (to the extent we can) and jar openers, seniors can hope for better independence.
5 Jar Openers
The jar openers selected here are based on strong reviews and consumer feedback.
1 – Jar Opener for Weak Hands
This jar opener is made for seniors with arthritic hands. It is food grade safe and made of rust-free stainless steel and an anti-skid handle. The opener is easy to use and works on various sized jars – from soda bottles to large pickle jars.
|Food Grade Safety Stainless Steel|
|Abs Plastic and Anti-Skid Handle|
|Easy to Use|
|Suitable for Elderly, Arthritis Patients, Weak Hands, Children and Women|
- It is small and doesn’t take up much room.
- The grip isn’t always tight.
2 – Electric Jar Opener, Restaurant Automatic Jar Opener
- 𝗛𝗜𝗚𝗛 𝗧𝗢𝗥𝗤𝗨𝗘 𝗣𝗢𝗪𝗘𝗥 - Unlike other traditional jar openers, INSTACAN upgraded powerful electric bottle openers that could fast remove jar lids with high efficiency. Easily solve the problem of opening cans. Importantly, our electric jar openers are applicable to new sealed jar lids.
- 𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗬 𝗧𝗢 𝗨𝗦𝗘 - No complicated steps and easy to use. Press the button and wait for 360° automatic rotation to open jars then auto shut off after resetting jaws. INSTACAN, YOUR MUST-HAVE KITCHEN APPLIANCES!
This opener opens jars with just a touch of a button. It is made from strong material and designed to provide a long-lasting lifespan. It is perfect for someone with weak hands or following surgery. The size of jars is adjustable from 1 inch to 3.5 inches.
|One Touch Button to Open|
|No Manual Labor and Hands Free|
|Easy to Use, Light Weight, Tough and Durable|
|Suitable for Hand Pain, Trigger Finger, Thumb Pain, Weak Hands, Weak Grip, Arthritis Hands, Wrist Issues|
- Easy to use for seniors who have virtually no feeling in one hand
- It is lightweight
- Does not work on plastic lids, such as bottles
- The jar must be dry for the opener to work
3 – Electric Jar Opener, Kitchen Gadget – Besmon
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This jar opener is made from stainless steel and opens jars with the press of one button. It works on jars from 1.2 inches to 3.5 inches, and it cleans easily with the wipe of a damp cloth. It works on 2 AA batteries.
|Easy to Operate|
|Button to Turn It On and Off|
|Stainless Steel, Silicone, Plastic|
|Easy to Clean|
|Suitable for Cooks, Seniors, Women, People With Arthritis, Etc|
|Low Power Consumption|
- Runs very quietly
- Stores in small utility drawers
- The opening won’t open thin, plastic jars or plastic bottles
4 – EZ Off Jar Opener
- REMOVES TIGHT LIDS EFFORTLESSLY - A quick and easy solution to an age-old problem! Our EZ Off jar gripper only requires one hand to twist off the tightest lid, whether it is factory locked, vacuum sealed, child proof, or just stuck.
- ALL LID SIZES - It can open a small plastic water bottle or a giant tub of spaghetti sauce. The EZ Off arthritis jar opener can grab any lid size or type in its narrow to wide V-shaped mouth.
EZ Off Jar Opener opens lids with a single twist. It opens containers of all sizes, from nail polish to large pickle jars up to 5 inches. It installs easily under a cabinet. Made for seniors with arthritis, it can also be used safely by children.
|Opens Any Size Jar|
|Easy to Install and Operate|
|Easily Hides Under Cupboard or Cabinet|
|Easy to Clean|
|Suitable for Arthritis, Seniors & Weak Hands|
|Made in the USA|
- Easy mounting instructions
5 – Astofli Jar Opener
- All in one Bottle and Jar Opener: Includes 1xJar opener, 1xBottle opener, 1xWine Corkscrew, 2xJar gripper pad, Open kinds of jars and bottles, beer, wine, wonderful gift for your Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa or friends.
- 4-in-1 Jar Opener: Featuring 4 different jar grips. Multiple jaw size fits most plastic or glass jars, mason jar lids and bottles. Non-slip grip and rubber inside grip which helps open even the most stubborn jar and bottle lids, also ensure safety even if your hands are wet.
The Astofli Jar Opener seems to be the best all-purpose jar opener – it does the job and is very reasonably priced. This opener is a convenient 4-in-1 tool with 4 different-sized grips to open a variety of jars and bottles. The handle is non-slip, and the rubber grip opens the most stubborn containers. It doesn’t just open bottles and jars, but it screws the lids back on.
|4-in-1 Jar Opener, 5-in-1 Bottle Opener|
|Handy and Portable|
|Non Slip Grip|
|Suitable for Elderly, Arthritis and Weak-Hands|
|Value for Money|
- Is very affordable
- Has two separate pieces – one jar opener and one bottle opener
- Can be used to eject soda can tabs
- The user needs to have a firm grip
Now that we have covered some of the best jar openers for people with arthritic hands, lets look more closely at what’s causing the challenge in the first place.
Muscles shrink as we age. They won’t respond as quickly as they did when we were twenty or thirty, and this happens naturally. The tissues that connect the muscles to the bones weaken and can tolerate less stress. We can notice this, especially in our hands. Our grip isn’t as tight as it used to be, and opening a jar can become a challenge.
Age also causes the heart to pump blood through our body more slowly. So, when we attempt to get a grip on a jar and open it, we can feel the effects as it takes us a while to recover from the effort.
Bones age age with the rest of our body. We are born with 300 bones that grow strong as we become adults. They need to withstand plenty of strength every day as they support and carry anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds. The stress is heightened when we jog. According to Dr. Deal of the Cleveland Clinic, “Your skeleton is completely new every five to 10 years.” As the years pass, we end up with only 206 bones. Some of our bones simply fuse together.
A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, vitamins, and calcium helps keep bones strong; however, we will invariably begin to experience greater bone density, especially around the age of 50. Even if we live well, by the time we reach the age of 65, most everyone has experienced a decline in bone mass and is at greater risk for breaks and fractures.
When the bones become too thin, seniors develop osteopenia or osteoporosis, which means the bones have seriously weakened. Dr. Deal points out: “It’s important to know that two-thirds of all spine fractures are asymptomatic. And most fractures occur in patients with osteopenia, not osteoporosis, so early identification, prevention, and treatment are important.”
Joints and Arthritis
Osteoarthritis occurs mostly in seniors and involves stiff and painful joints. It is a very common type of arthritis and the primary reason that older people can develop difficulty with their hands. Osteoarthritis usually begins by the age of 45 and intensifies thereafter. The cause is the breaking down of the tissue that cushions the bones inside of the various joints and said tissues simply wear away. In severe cases, all the tissue may be gone, leaving the bones to scrape against each other.
Seniors suffering from Osteoarthritis can experience stiffness and a range of pain, from mild to severe. Osteoarthritis specifically affects certain body parts:
Osteoarthritis of the hand causes the finger joints to swell, especially the index and middle fingers, as well as the thumb. It can cause pain and make the hand feel weak. Since we use our hands almost all the time throughout the day, osteoarthritis will affect our ability to open cans and jars, hold cutlery, and manage buttons and zippers. Seniors with hand osteoarthritis run a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knees, as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that results from an affected immune system that damages healthy body cells. It is the body literally attacking itself. This causes inflammation, swelling, and pain. It can strike the joints in the hands and wrists. The risk of rheumatoid arthritis increases with age and strikes more women than men.
The signs of rheumatoid arthritis are stiff, painful joints, and swelling. This can be accompanied by weight loss, general weakness, and fatigue. Smoking and obesity can increase the risk, and the chances of developing heart problems and diabetes are also heightened.
How Can We Keep Our Bones Safer Longer?
Osteoporosis is a problem for 50 percent of older women and 25 percent of older men. Still, according to Dr. Andrea Singer of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, there are plenty of measures seniors can take to protect their bones. “As you age, you begin to lose more bone than you form, which raises the risk of osteoporosis,” she says. “But you can slow down that rate of bone loss if you take certain preventative steps.”
A diet rich in protein, calcium, and vitamins consisting of fresh produce, seafood, nuts, and whole grains can slow down bone loss. Calcium is especially critical for healthy bones. Women should consume 1,200 milligrams daily, while men should aim for 1,000 milligrams. Milk, yogurt, and salmon are excellent sources of calcium.
Exercise keeps bones stronger. Seniors should walk or lift weights for at least 30 minutes each day, according to Dr. Robert Adler, Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. Walking regularly can reduce hip fractures in older women. Seniors who are in good shape can even do some high-intensity resistance exercises to improve bone density.
Always consult your physician before starting an exercise routine, particularly as you grow older. Start slow and easy and progress as your abilities to improve. One of the most simple, low-impact exercises to improve flexibility is chair yoga poses. Tai chi for seniors has also been known to show very positive results.
Helping Aching Aging Joints
According to Dominic King, sports medicine physician, “Prevention really is the best medicine when it comes to joint pain.” The following are a few of the things that can be done to prevent joint problems before they even occur.
- Smoking can increase the risk of heart disease and affect joints when it exacerbates inflammation. Smoke cessation is not easy, but it will help your blood increase its oxygen levels and improve overall health.
- We all need hydration. The cartilages that serve as connective tissues to the joints are comprised of 80 percent water. Drinking plenty of water makes a huge difference, but keep in mind that sodas and energy drinks do not provide hydration and should be avoided. Increase the water intake during hot days and while exercising.
- Our joints support our weight with every step we take. Any extra weight turns into an extra burden for our joints. As Dr. Dominic King points out, “If you’re overweight, each additional 10 pounds of weight you carry adds 20 to 39 pounds of force to each knee. If you’re underweight, you lack the muscle bulk to keep your joints strong and stable.” Dr. King highly recommends walking, swimming, biking, and yoga. If you are unused to exercise, start slowly. A stroll to two houses from your own and back is a nice start, and you can increase the walk every day or every week as you build stamina.
6 Ways to Improve Arthritis
Arthritis can interfere with the day-to-day pleasures of seniors. However, it is important to realize that they can take control of their lives and health and alleviate some of the burden.
1 – Lose Weight
Added weight adds pressure to relevant joints such as feet and knees. By losing weight, seniors can lessen the pain, improve mobility, and keep joints from deteriorating faster than they should.
2 – Exercise
Exercise can obviously help with weight loss. In addition, it strengthens muscles that are needed to support the joints; therefore, a regular exercise program is highly recommended. It’s okay to start easy and do more work each day. Start walking and/or swimming. Tai chi also offers excellent low-impact benefits for the entire body.
3 – Hot and Cold Therapy
Many doctors recommend the use of hot and cold therapy for arthritis sufferers. A hot pack can stimulate blood circulation and lessen the severity of sore muscles. Heat therapy can include heat patches, a heated swimming pool, a relaxing warm bath or shower, and a warm hot tub.
A cold pack, on the other hand, will reduce swelling and dull chronic pain. Ice packs can be very helpful – even something like a frozen package of vegetables placed on the affected area for a short period will help. According to the American College of Rheumatology, a ten-minute application ice of can dull pain for 48 hours.
4 – Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a painless ancient Chinese healing tradition that uses fine stainless steel needles to stimulate the body’s energy. More research is required, but the medical community is recognizing and is continuing to study the potential benefits of stimulating the soft tissue surrounding the joints. While the results are still inconclusive, seniors can discuss the potential benefits of acupuncture with their doctor.
5 – Turmeric
Turmeric is not one of the best-known spices, but it is one of the most healing. It contains curcumin, which contains important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to the Mayo Clinic and other research, it is believed turmeric might reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis pain and inflammation. It also has the additional benefit of helping prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Antioxidant support herbal supplement: contains one 120 count bottle of Nature Made Turmeric Curcumin 500 mg Capsules for a 120-day supply
- These Turmeric capsules provide antioxidant benefits to help neutralize free radicals in the body
6 – Massage
Massage, which is usually considered indulgent self-care, is becoming a popular physical therapy to help sore joints and muscles. Forty-two percent of people seeking a massage do so for pain management and to alleviate stiffness. Much recent research has demonstrated that massage is an effective treatment for arthritis. A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that massages have benefits for knee osteoarthritis.
Research at the University of Miami determined that a daily 15-minute hand massage can help adults improve their grip and reduce pain by over 50 percent. Many seniors suffer from arthritis and require help with some daily chores, such as opening jars. This problem should be discussed with a doctor, but it is good to know that there are potential natural healing actions everyone can take to decrease the pain and inconvenience of arthritis.