In the words of Michael J. Fox, a renowned Parkinson’s survivor, ‘Parkinson’s sucks.’ Big time. Talk of the anxiety, the stress, the dyskinesia, the insomnia and the tremors that PD patients have to put up with and you will have so many reasons why the disease sucks.
One of the most obvious and perturbing symptoms of Parkinson’s are the hand tremors. The tremors make it impossible for you to do anything. You will not be able to eat, hold your cane, write or use your computer. It feels pitiful and rather uncomfortable when you have to rely on other people so that they can help you eat, drink or even drive. Parkinson’s tremors make you feel helpless and that is why adaptive therapy is of much help.
List of Adaptive Equipment for Parkinson’s Tremors
Today, we are going to do an exhaustive list of all the adaptive equipment for Parkinson’s disease that you might need in this journey. While the equipment do not cure or stop the tremors, they help make life easier so that you are able to do much of the tasks on your own without having to look up to others for help.
Weighted and smart Parkinson’s spoon for easier eating
There are some smart spoons such as the gyenno and liftware anti-tremor spoons that have been developed. They use the technology of motion sensors to counteract tremors in your hands so that despite your trembling, you are still able to direct food to your mouth without much spilling it on the table. With such a spoon, you will feel more confident even when going for dinner dates with your loved ones without the anxiety that you will make a mess of the dinner table.
The Gyenno smart spoon counteracts tremors in your hand so that you are still able to eat on your own, comfortably without spilling the food on the table
- Ergonomic design
- Comfort to use and good grip
- Counteracts tremors
- Reduces spillage of food from the spoon
- Quite pricey
These smart spoons use batteries that help control the movement of the spoon therefore counteracting your hand tremors. They are portable and come with bags for carriage.
Other than these smart spoons which, owing to technology, are rather expensive for the average Parkinson’s patient, there are other less dearer but just weighted. A good example is the Bunmo adaptive utensils as well as the Goodgrips spoons. These two are effective but not as high tech as the smart Parkinson’s spoons.
Weighted pens for tremors
It feels bad when you are used to signing your checks, appending your name in legal as well as commercial agreements but now that you have Parkinson’s, you are unable to do so since your hand cannot hold the pen, leave alone scribble something on the paper. It makes you feel down and it might even affect your self-esteem. However, things need not be that bad. With a thixotropic weighted pen, you are assured that you will still be able to hold it and even append the signature in the dotted section as required.
With a good grip, good weight and size, the thixotropic pen is great for people with limited dexterity such as those with Parkinson's, Arthritis, Essential tremor as well as Stroke
- Great grip
- Good weight and size
- Came with no sufficient ink and therefore did not last long writing
The thixotropic pen is way bigger than normal pens so that you can have a good grip on it without much of a fuss. It is also weighted so that your tremors are somehow regulated and you will be able to write in it.
Magnetic buttons for your shirts
Dressing for a Parkinson’s patient is a pain in the neck. They can spend a whole hour trying to wear a shirt and even after the hour elapses, they will only be sweating, tired and frustrated with the shirt not yet down or badly buttoned. But why the hassle when there are some magnetic buttons that can be fitted on the shirt so that all you need to do is wear the shirt and bring the two flaps together and they button themselves up.
The high quality shirt has magnetic buttons so that people with tremors do not have to sweat out trying to button up.
- Effective for people with limited dexterity
Other than shirts such as the Magnaready, Tommy Hilfiger and Magnaclick that come with these buttons, you can also get those that come with Velcro which is also equally good and easy to use. One can also order magnetic buttons to fit on their jackets, trousers as well as handbags.
Non spill cups for adults
Just like eating, Parkinson’s patients find it hard to drink from cups. Either they will drop the cup and its entire contents on the ground creating one big mess or they will spill almost half the contents of the cup before they are able to sip. But things need not get that bad. With the non-spill cups for adults, the patient is able to sip without spilling. These cups look like a baby’s cup but they are better designed so that one does not feel like a kid.
The Kangaroo cup sits stably on your dinner table, chair or even bed spilling no contents
- Great for people with PD, stroke or arthritis
- The material is not very durable. A fall on concrete floor would lead to breakage
The kangaroo non spill cup probably has the most endearing story. Designed by a girl who had seen how badly his grandfather found it to drink tea from normal cups, the kangaroo cup has received international acclaim for the ingenuity in the design as well as its effectiveness. Other non-spill cups include the Sammons Preston as well as the Handsteady sippy cup.
Essential tremor glove
Away from medicine, tremors can be controlled using essential tremor gloves such as the weighted j-fit glove that has been proven to work. With this glove, you are assured of a smooth day driving, drinking, eating or even writing without having to ask for help from others.
6.Weighted blanket for anxiety and insomnia
When a PD patient thinks that they had the worst day, the night is waiting for them. Here they have to battle with insomnia, anxiety and the classical restless legs syndrome. But science has gone ahead to make their lives better. We now have weighted anxiety blankets that help these patients in battling anxiety and insomnia.
The Gno weighted blanket is not only warm but heavy to control anxiety and insomnia in PD patients. Patients who have used it say that they feel more rested and calm throughout the night
- Breathable material
- Effective in controlling anxiety and insomnia
- Warm for winter nights
- Very durable bamboo interior
What weighted blankets do is that they exert lots of pressure on your body so that you are able to control your anxiety. The blankets also reduce the restlessness of the legs. Research has shown that when patients are under a weighted blanket, they feel as though someone is hugging them lovingly and this creates a sense of calm in their bodies.
7.Grabber Reacher Tool for Handicapped
People with tremors and dystonia will find that it gets increasingly hard to reach out for things on the ground or overhead them. But things need not get that difficult. With a good reacher grabber for handicapped people that has a good grip on what you want to reach for, a good length so that it is easy to reach for that item plus an ergonomic handle with a button to grip on the item tightly, then things just got easier.
One of the best reacher extension tools that we found out was the Unger professional Nitty grabber that measures 36″, is light-weight and has rubber grip to hold onto things tightly. It also has a magnetic built in system so that it is able to grab metallic things for example tins, car keys or even spoons when they are on the ground or on a top counter in your cupboard where it is hard to reach out for.