Don't get anubby or compact unless you want to carry the thing. If it is to replace the shotgun in the home only getting a small handgun makes no sense.
Revolvers do seem to be easier for people with arthritis. Charter Arms makes a few that have a decent reputation for being utilitarian.
Colt Police Positive in 38 S&W(used). They are cheap. The trigger is great. The round is in between a 380 and 9mm as far as power. It is a pricey, but if you are just going to shoot it a few times then throw it in a drawer for just in case I don't think $5 extra on that one box of ammo is much of a concern.
S&W model 10 is more or less the same deal in a little bigger package and using 38 special, which is a more common round.
If yo go for an auto and get a medium framed one in 380 it should be REALLY easy to handle. I think CZ makes one, but I am not sure.