For millions of Americans, living with tremors is a daily battle that they have to overcome every day. Essential tremor (ET) and other movement disorders, like Parkinson’s disease, are common in the hands. It is an involuntary shaking that can make accomplishing daily tasks, such as drinking beverages and eating meals challenging.
Hand tremors are a truly debilitating condition, and it comes with innumerable difficulties, particularly for seniors. It makes even the simplest daily task impossible to carry out without any assistance. Luckily, there are now modern medical technologies, such as assistive devices for hand tremors, that may help seniors accomplish their tasks on their own or with minimal help. From weighted utensils for people with hand tremors to other groundbreaking innovations, there are various medical devices today that are made to enhance the lives of seniors living with tremors.
If you are in search of helpful devices that your elderly loved ones with hand tremors may use, you’re in the right place. In this post, we are giving you a guide to selecting tools and equipment for the elderly with hand tremors.
What are Assistive Devices for Hand Tremors?
An assistive device for hand tremors pertains to the medical tools that are specifically created to improve the quality of life for people suffering from tremors. These devices aim to actively reduce the frequency or intensity of the tremor, as well as to make tasks affected by the tremor easier to complete. For instance, a weighted utensil for people who have hand tremors is made to help steady the hand and improve its functionality as the individual eats.
Benefits of Assistive Devices for People with Hand Tremors
Assistive devices for people with hand tremors are made to make simple tasks more manageable for people struggling with movement disorders and other types of disabilities. They are helpful tools that make everyday tasks easier to accomplish for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and essential tremors. But beyond their intended use, assistive devices may also offer other associated benefits. Below are some of them:
- Makes dangerous tasks like cooking or shaving a lot safer
- Promotes a greater sense of independence for the elderly
- It may help restore the quality of life for people suffering from hand tremors.
- Makes it possible for people with hand tremors to go to work, travel, and join community activities
In addition to seniors suffering from hand tremors, there are also many other individuals that may benefit from using adaptive tools and equipment. These may include those who have cognitive, hearing, visual, physical, and mental issues.
Different Types of Tools and Equipment for the Elderly with Hand Tremors
When you visit medical stores or search online for tools and equipment that may help seniors accomplish tasks even though they have hand tremors, you will find many different options. It’s because there are several different types of assistive devices for hand tremors that may help with tasks like drinking, eating, writing, and using other things like computers. These can be categorized into utensils, writing devices, and computer aids. Read on below to learn more about these:
Utensils / Dinnerware
Based on the International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF), people who are suffering from essential tremors and other movement disorders have different options for adaptive utensils and cooking devices. These utensils are designed to help people with hand tremors cook, eat, and normally drink without any challenges.
For instance, manufacturers of weighted utensils employ the idea that heavier items are easier to stabilize compared to lightweight utensils. There are also some brands that manufacture tools like meal lifters and automatic jar openers, which are also very helpful for seniors suffering from hand tremors.
Below are a few examples of assistive utensils and dinnerware for seniors with hand tremors to help you choose:
BunMo Adaptive Utensils for the Elderly: These utensils feature large, easy-grip handles for maximum hold. They are specially designed for the elderly and people suffering from hand tremors. The set comes with a tablespoon, teaspoon, rocker knife, and fork. It is made of high-quality rustproof stainless steel.
UrbanRed Weighted Utensils for Tremors: This utensil set is made for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other conditions that cause hand tremors. They are weighted silverware that help stabilize hand and arm movements for people experiencing tremors of the hands when eating. These are designed ergonomically with large handles, which is great for those struggling with dexterity issues and weak grip strength. They are all made of stainless steel that is dishwasher safe.
ABLE-T Right-Angled Knife: This is an adaptive kitchen knife that is designed by an occupational therapist for people with limited hand strength or those suffering from hand tremors. It has an ergonomic design with a handle positioned above the blade to reduce strain on the wrist and fingers.
HealthSmart DUO Beverage Grip Hand: This beverage grip provides a great solution for people who are looking for an extra handle for grip and stability while drinking. It can be attached to everyday mugs, glasses, and bottles. It has an innovative clip-on design that snaps on and off easily. It can also protect the hands from the hot surface of the mug. It is a great tool for people with hand tremors, arthritis, and limited hand strength.
SP Ableware Scooper Bowl with Suction Cup Base: This bowl features an elastic base. It is molded of heat-resistant plastic. Its suction base keeps the bowl in place as the user eats, which reduces spilling accidents. It is perfect for individuals suffering from hand tremors as it helps them prevent splashing or spilling food as they eat.
Providence Spill Proof Scoop Plates: For people with hand tremors, it is difficult to chase food around the plate, particularly when using traditional flat plates. That is why these adaptive plates are made to restore the joy of eating for elderly people with hand tremors. It features raised edges that will help you get the food from the plate to the utensil in just one simple move. It is convenient and safe to use and is microwave and dishwasher-safe.
Assistive Jar Opener: This jar opener features an effortless push-button opening. You just need to place it on top of the jar and press the engage button. It can open a wide variety of jar sizes. This is perfect for people suffering from hand tremors as they no longer need to use their hands to open jars.
Another task that the elderly with hand tremors may find difficult is writing. Fortunately, there are now hand tremor devices for writing that may help them, such as ergonomic or weighted pens. These pens can be used to sign documents, write a check, or complete projects with ease, even when you have hand tremors. Below are some examples of writing tools that may be helpful for the elderly with hand tremors:
Big Weighted Fat Pens for Parkinson’s Patients: This big weighted pen is easy to hold, and it helps control involuntary motion. It is best for people who are suffering from Parkinson’s, low grip strength, or arthritis. It is 5.2 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. It is retractable and easy to grasp. It also comes with a storage bag and two blue and two black extra ink refills.
Heavy Weighted Wide Grip Pen: This pen is 84 grams in weight, and it provides stable writing even for those who have Parkinson’s and essential tremors. It is also great for those with carpal tunnel, arthritis, or fine motor skill issues. It is a ballpoint pen that easily glides on paper when writing, and it also does not require much pressure. It comes with an extra ink cartridge replacement.
No matter what a person’s age is, what he does for work or fun, technology is a big part of people’s lives. From picking up your smartphone to messaging your loved ones to using the computer to read emails and do research, many people, even the elderly, use technology on a daily basis. However, when a senior is suffering from mobility challenges like hand tremors, the use of these devices may become frustrating for them. But no worries, because there are also assistive devices that may help seniors use computers and other technologies with ease, even when they have hand tremors.
Below are a few computer aids that may help seniors with hand tremors and other movement disorders:
Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse: This mouse has an ergonomic design that encourages healthy neutral handshake wrist and arm positions for smoother movement and less strain. It can be a great computer mouse to use for people with hand tremors as it provides more sensitivity compared to a standard optical mouse, making it more precise. It also has added next/previous buttons, making it more convenient to browse web pages.
Visionboard2 Large Key Keyboard: Standard keyboards usually have small keys, which can be difficult to use for people who have hand tremors. Luckily, a keyboard like Visionboard2 exists, which features large keys. This makes it easier for people with hand tremors to press the correct keys when typing. The letters are also in bold and large prints, which are clear to view even in low light.
Other Useful Tools for Seniors with Hand Tremors
In addition to the devices and equipment mentioned above, there are more tools out there that seniors with hand tremors may find useful. Below are some examples:
RMS Button Hook with Zipper Pull: When a person suffers from hand tremors, he may find it difficult to button shirts and other pieces of clothing. But that may become easier with the use of this button assist device. It features a wide rubber handle that is easy to hold onto and maneuver. It has a spring loop that pulls buttons through holes one-handedly. It also features a zipper aid. This tool can help seniors get dressed even without any assistance.
Dext Key Turner Aid: Putting a key in a keyhole and turning it can also become challenging for people with hand tremors. But with the use of this key turner aid, it may become easier. This tool provides extra leverage so that less strength will be needed to hold and turn a key. It has comfortable dimpled domes that provide fingers a firm grip to stop people with hand tremors fumble and dropping keys. It is a small, lightweight, and convenient-to-use tool.
Vive Utensil Padding Grips: These are foam tubes that can provide a wider grip for greater control and a more secure grasp on everyday objects. They can be used for pens, silverware, toothbrushes, and more. It builds up the utensil handles to create a soft, comfortable grip, especially for people who are suffering from hand tremors. The foam is non-slip, and it stays securely in place on the tool or utensil. It also does not absorb odors from hands or food.
Plate Food Guard for Parkinson’s Patients: This eating aid makes it easy and safe for a loved one when it comes to eating by themselves. It is a spill guard that is placed on a plate to protect the food from falling off while eating. It also helps to push the food onto the utensil to assist with one-handed eating. It is highly recommended for people suffering from hand tremors.
EasyHold Aqua Silicone Adaptive Aid: This is a universal cuff or handgrip that can be used by people with hand tremors to hold items easier. It can fit objects like mops, brooms, toilet wands, shower heads, gardening tools, hair brushes, electric toothbrushes, cooking utensils, and more. It is made of soft and stretchy silicone that securely grips the skin.
Radius Flex Toothbrush with Soft Bristles: This toothbrush features a wide oval brush head and a flexible neck. It is great for people with hand tremors, and it also targets hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. It has long-lasting bristles. Its flexible neck reduces pressure on gums and teeth, especially for those who are hard brushers and people who can’t control their hands that much.
It is indeed difficult for seniors experiencing hand tremors to go about their daily activities independently, such as eating, writing, and other tasks. Luckily, there are now many different tools and equipment available in the market that may help them with their conditions. These help them accomplish important tasks on their own, which boosts their willpower and helps them feel good about themselves. But in addition to using these tools and equipment, it is always best to reach out to doctors in order to learn more about the best treatments and other assistive devices for seniors suffering from hand tremors. We hope this post helped you learn more about selecting tools and equipment for the elderly with hand tremors.
If you need more recommendations, read our Guide to Selecting Assistive Devices for People Living with Parkinson’s Disease.
 Khosla D.O., D. (2021, November 22). Assistive Devices for Hand Tremors. Cala Trio. Retrieved February 14, 2023, from https://calatrio.com/help-center/articles/4415467577883-assistive-devices-for-hand-tremors/