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Showing posts from May, 2012

Ease of Use: IMAK SmartGlove

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The Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation recognizes products proven to make life easier for people who have arthritis and other physical limitations. These products are independently tested by experts and evaluated by people with arthritis. I have been asked to review a number of Ease-of-Use products during May, Arthritis Awareness Month in the US. My mother, who has osteoarthritis in her hands, is helping by testing some of these products, as well.
The SmartGlove by IMAK is designed to offer "carpal tunnel support," as well as easing hand fatigue, tendinitis and arthritis. According to the box, it is designed by an orthopedic surgeon. The glove comes oriented to fit your right hand, but can be turned inside out to be used for the left hand. There is a built-in flexible support splint running along the top of the glove from knuckles to wrist and something called "massaging ErgoBeads" located where your carpal tunnel area is. ErgoBeads are “exceptionally …

Ease of Use: Clarity D714 Cordless Phone

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The Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation recognizes products proven to make life easier for people who have arthritis and other physical limitations. These products are independently tested by experts and evaluated by people with arthritis. I have been asked to review a number of Ease-of-Use products during May, Arthritis Awareness Month in the US. My mother, who has osteoarthritis in her hands, is helping by testing some of these products, as well.
The Clarity D714 Amplified Cordless Phone seems to have a nickname. On the box, it says in large, clear letters Loud & Simple. And it certainly seems to live up its billing.
The D714 is an amplified cordless phone with large buttons and is designed specifically for people with hearing loss, low vision and mobility issues. It amplifies incoming sounds 20 times louder than standard home phones. The base includes an answering machine.
We were not able to fully test this phone. It needed to be plugged into an outlet close to the…

Ease of Use: Fiskars Titanium Easy Action Scissors

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As you may have noticed, this week is a little heavy on Ease of Use review. I made a commitment to post these before the end of the month and miscellaneous life events got in the way of a more even distribution. Hang in there. We return to your regularly scheduled program on Friday.
The Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation recognizes products proven to make life easier for people who have arthritis and other physical limitations. These products are independently tested by experts and evaluated by people with arthritis. I have been asked to review a number of Ease-of-Use products during May, Arthritis Awareness Month in the US. My mother, who has osteoarthritis in her hands, is helping by testing some of these products, as well.
When I first started the background research for the scissors, I found this on the Fiskars website:
"The Original Orange-Handled Scissors. Introduced to the world first as a quality fabric scissors, the scissors caused quite a stir. Not only was…

Ease of Use: DuoGlide Sweep Chefs Knife

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The Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation recognizes products proven to make life easier for people who have arthritis and other physical limitations. These products are independently tested by experts and evaluated by people with arthritis. I have been asked to review a number of Ease-of-Use products during May, Arthritis Awareness Month in the US. My mother, who has osteoarthritis in her hands, is helping by testing some of these products, as well.
When I first saw the DuoGlide Chef’s Knife, I was reminded of the great quote from Crocodile Dundee: "that's not a knife … that’s a knife.” Big knives make me nervous and I am very grateful that I have attendants who take care of the cutting and chopping for me. Since my mother cooks, she was the natural candidate to test the knife.

The product description tells us that this knife has a unique design for more control and minimized effort. The handle is soft and textured, giving an easy, secure grip. The blade itself is …

Ease of Use: Tramontina Saute Pan

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The Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation recognizes products proven to make life easier for people who have arthritis and other physical limitations. These products are independently tested by experts and evaluated by people with arthritis. I have been asked to review a number of Ease-of-Use products during May, Arthritis Awareness Month in the US. My mother, who has osteoarthritis in her hands, is helping by testing some of these products, as well.
The full name of this product is called the Tramontina All Generations10”Covered Sauté Pan - Porcelain Enamel Nonstick. Which is a bit of a mouthful, but it is a very high quality product which entitles it to toot its own horn.
The details of this product according to the packaging are as follows: it has larger handles for a comfortable grip, which along with the lid fixtures have a soft-grip black silicone grip, making it easier to… erm, grip. The handle is also larger, allowing for more comfortable (again) grip. And while we a…

My Brush with Royalty

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This past weekend wasn't just exciting for me, it was exciting for anyone who likes a bit of royal watching. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall did a lightning visit to Canada and spent about 24 hours in Toronto. As part of the itinerary, they were going to visit the Distillery District, just a hop, skip and a jump from where I live. I had the option of going back to work or taking the day off to go gawk at royalty and try to increase my personal collection of royalty snapshots.
Shall we have a brief pause in which you try to decide what I chose?
On a beautiful summer day - because spring lasted about two weeks here in Toronto - I grabbed my camera, a bottle of water and headed for the lovely historical district. I'd done a significant bit of research prior to leaving and I finally identified the art gallery where the government of Ontario reception was being held. The official address is on the side of the Distillery District, by the parking lot. I …

A Call to Action: Increasing Physical Activity in Arthritis

The Arthritis Foundation is doing something very interesting. They've just released a report with recommendations for environmental and policy changes that can make it easier for people with arthritis to increase their physical activity. Great report, interesting interview with Dr. Patience White, VP of Public Health at the Foundation:
"'Arthritis is a major player in the health tsunami that is coming to America.'                       - Dr. Patience White, VP of Public Health, The Arthritis Foundation
22.2 percent of Americans over the age of 18 live with one of the over 100 kinds of arthritis. This number represents 50 million people whose lives are affected by these types of diseases. In 2030, 62 million Americans will have arthritis. That's a lot of pain, mobility issues and lost ability to work and participate in the community. The cost of arthritis is greater than what happens in each individual's life. According to the CDC, in 2003 arthritis cost…

Bliss

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How do you describe perfection? Well, there's the smile of my face that's been around since Saturday. It was the start of my and The Boy's anniversary weekend and we started at Cavalia.
What's Cavalia? It's heaven on earth, especially if you're fond of horses. Which I am. I saw the original show (twice) several years ago and remember it as breathtaking, transporting, mesmerizing and in general the best show I've ever seen. Naturally, I've been checking their website regularly to see when they'd next be coming to Toronto. Last week was the premiere of their new show Odysseo (review with video here). And when we saw that now was the time, we immediately got tickets.

The show was amazing! Mindblowing,mesmerizing, transporting, took you into another world. We were as close to the "stage" as you could get and the only way I could've been happier was if I'd been part of the show. Afterwards, we stood around for a while and with others i…

Ease-of-Use: Rexam 1-Clic Prescription Vial

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The Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation recognizes products proven to make life easier for people who have arthritis and other physical limitations. These products are independently tested by experts and evaluated by people with arthritis. I have been asked to review a number of Ease-of-Use products during May, Arthritis Awareness Month in the US. My mother, who has moderate osteoarthritis in her hands, is helping by testing some of these products, as well.
Have you ever get bested by a bottle of prescription medication? Y’know the childproof ones that require you to hold the cap down and turn at the same time. I've never been able to open those. And there you are, pain shooting into the stratosphere, the meds that can help you so near, yet so far away. Wouldn't it be nice if someone invented a bottle for prescription medication that was easier to use?
Well, someone has. More specifically, Rexam developed the 1-Clic Packaging System and it has received a Arthritis …

A HealthCentral Collection

It's been really busy around here lately, so I haven't had time to give you links to my recent HealthCentral articles. Therefore, you get three for the price of one! May is Arthritis Awareness Monthly in the US and we therefore have a lot of things on the go on HealthCentral's RA site.
First, and most importantly, our spectacular, wonderful, fabulous RA Awareness Contest! This runs through the month of May - deadline for entering is May 31 11:59 PM ET. It has some pretty terrific prizes - three Visa cards  ($275, $150 and $75) that you can spend a medication, chocolate, books or whatever heals you the most at that moment. Not only can you win a prize, but this contest also has real potential for changing the world! Each entry is an idea for building bridges and raising awareness about RA. We hope that at the end of the month, we will have a long list of doable, practical ways of taking action to create community and raise awareness.
The second post is Awareness and Action…

Muscat Grapes

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Reachers Can Help You Be Independent with RA and Disability

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This is the first post in a new series on helpful tools and doodads for people with RA and disability.
When we first came to Canada 30 years ago, I brought a reacher with me. It was a terrific reacher - lightweight, elegant and easy to use. During my time in Canada, I've had a number of occupational therapists in my home and they have always collapsed in swoons about this particular reacher. Why? Because it is designed to hold closed. This was new to them because in North America, reachers are designed in such a way that you have to squeeze the handle shut in order to close the tongs at the other end.
This is difficult to describe, so I took some pictures. First, my trusty 30-year-old reacher from Denmark.

As you can see, this reacher is also in two pieces. It was a terrific piece of equipment, sturdy and durable. It gave me 30 years of frequent, sometimes daily use, picking up pieces of paper, pens, food containers, fruit and everything else you can imagine. I used it to turn the…