Living with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic condition that affects more than 18% of adults over the age of 45 in the UK. People with osteoarthritis experience joint pain that can be debilitating. Most commonly, hands, neck, lower back, knees, and hips are sources of pain. Osteoarthritis is caused by a wearing down of cartilage at the ends of bones. This happens gradually and worsens over time. The pain and other symptoms of OA vary greatly from person to person. Some people may experience almost no pain while other may have severe pain and decreased movement.

 

Typically, a rheumatologist will diagnose OA. Patients with OA may also see physical therapists, occupational therapists, or other health care providers to diagnose and treat the symptoms. Although there is no cure for OA, gentle exercise, weight loss, and drug therapies can help manage the symptoms. In severe cases, surgery may be performed. In addition to these treatments, adaptive devices can make daily living with OA easier.

Daily Living Aids for People with OA

The pain and stiffness that accompanies OA can make small tasks like getting dressed or walking quite difficult. Painful knees make walking hard and stairs or other obstacles more difficult. Patients with OA in their hands can have difficulty tying shoes or buttoning shirts and pants. Fortunately, there are a variety of assistive devices to help make living with OA easier.

Walking Aids

No one wants to be trapped inside or confined to a chair because of joint pain, particularly in knees or hips. Many options exist to making walking inside and outside the home easier, including: walking sticks, crutches, walking frames, rollators, and tri-walkers. If mobility is severely impacted, a wheelchair or power wheelchair may be better for you. Choosing the right walking aid depends on your pain level and other medical concerns. Check with your health care provider to decide which walking aid is best for your lifestyle.

Daily Living Aids

Getting dressed or cooking a meal can be incredibly difficult and painful for patients with OA in their hands. A variety of tools exists to make these daily living tasks easier. Combination sock aid and long handle shoe horn take the pain out of protecting your feet while button hooks and zipper pulls help you keep your independence.

 

In the kitchen, open jars and preparing a meal is made easier with a variety of tools. Bottle openers and can pullers help people with OA retain their independence and enjoy their favorite foods and beverages. Once the meal is made, special cutlery or scoop plates make it easier for people with OA to enjoy the meal they’ve made without help. Two handled mugs or special drinking cups mean your favorite beverage is always accessible. And if you’re wanting a hot beverage, try a kettle tipper to ensure the pain of OA doesn’t cause a kitchen accident.          

 

With the right mobility aids, people with OA can still participate in their favorite hobbies, such as gardening  or gripping a pencil to complete the Sunday crossword.

 

Thanks to the many mobility aids available, people with OA can still lead active, independent lives.

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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).