Nearly four million Australians are affected by some form of arthritis, and this debilitating disease can make seemingly simple tasks such as taking out the rubbish seem impossible and painful. Luckily, there are a range of adjustments you can make to help you maintain your independence. Take a look at these tips for handling your rubbish bins if you have arthritis:
1. Use small bin bags inside
Managing your rubbish more easily starts inside your house. Rather than using standard sized bags in your indoor bins, use small bin liners or even plastic shopping bags.
That prevents your bags of rubbish from becoming too heavy and unwieldy. The bags are small enough to lift and carry outside to the bin. If possible, try to locate your bin as close to your garage or front door as possible so that you don't have to walk far with your rubbish bags even if they are relatively small.
2. Change the bin you use
Also, consider the type of bin you have and whether or not it is too challenging to own in light of your arthritis. If you own an old metal bin that you have to carry to the street each week, get rid of it and hire a wheelie bin.
If you already have a wheelie bin but still have trouble getting it to the curb, contact the rubbish collection company about replacing it with a smaller bin that is easier to move. Alternatively, buy or hire a wheeled cart to place your bin on when you need to move it.
3. Clear a path
Unfortunately, when you have arthritis, it can be hard to walk, and you may have trouble lifting your feet far from the ground, especially on days when you are having flares. To eliminate the risk of falling while moving the bin from its spot near your house to the collection spot, make sure you have a clear path.
Remove debris, have someone fix broken stairs and apply adhesive to curling outdoor carpet remnants. If the pavement has cracks or uneven paving stones, contact the council about possibly repairing those issues.
4. Modify the bin handles
Loss of strength and mobility are not the only things that affect people with arthritis. You may also have trouble with manual dexterity, and that can make it hard to grip the bin's handles or even open the bin lid.
To modify the handles of your bin, have a friend or relative wrap the handles with foam or cloth tape. That cushions the grip and also makes the handles wider, meaning you don't have to tighten your fist as much to grip them.
If you cannot open the bin lid, consider modifying that as well. For example, a price of canvas strap attached to the top of the lid in a large loop shape can make a great, easy-to-grab handle.
If you modify a hired bin, make sure the modifications are done with things like tape that can be easily removed.
5. Ask the rubbish company for help
Unfortunately, modifications are not necessarily going to make everything easier. If you have trouble getting your rubbish bin to the curb on the day the disposal company picks it up, you may want to ask the rubbish company for help.
Many waste disposal companies offer services where their employees run up to the house or garage, grab the bin, bring it to the truck, empty it and return it to the house. This service sometimes costs extra but is also sometimes offered for free for people who, due to aging or issues like arthritis, cannot move the bin on their own.
Contact a bin hire company for more tips on rubbish removal if you're hiring a larger bin for a special project.