I am writing this post after a brief conversation that I had with one of the Parkinson’s patients under my care. His name is Maribet and is aged 70 years. He tells me that when he was young, he was an artist of great repute and true to his word, some of his relatives have come to the elderly home with some of his drawings and they were simply awesome. Today however, he is not able to draw. He cannot hold a pen or pencil steadily unless he used weighted pens for tremors. Having a conversation with him has made me realize how we take some things for granted such as being able to hold pens or pencils in our hands with ease.
Just after talking to Maribet, I watched a video by BBC of Emma who had Parkinson’s at the age of 29. Emma was a graphic designer before they diagnosed her with PD. And when the tremors came, she could not do what she loved doing best; drawing and designing with her hands. Haiyan Zhang however designed a wearable wrist-watch like device that counteract the tremors from the brain to her hand. It is so tearful seeing Emma write her name and draw a square after such a long time. “The device makes me forget that I have tremors,” she says.
Weighted pens for tremors
As we have already pointed out, patients with Parkinson’s disease will have trouble eating or drinking due to the tremors. Other than this, they will also have difficulty writing or drawing because of the much trembling. In this post, we will be looking at pens for disabled hands that these PD patients can use with ease despite the hand tremors.
Weighted Ergonomic Ballpoint pen
Advertised as the best pen for disabled hands, the pen is said to help those with writing cramps as well as PD patients. We loved it for the two weeks after buying it but then the tip started misbehaving by coming out regularly.
Weighing about 4 0z, the weighted ergonomic ballpoint pen helps steady your tremors so that you are able to write and draw again even despite the PD tremors. The pen which is developed by doctors is ideal for patients with all types of tremors as well as kids who have not developed stability in holding the pen upright and writing in it. It also comes with Schmidt Parker ink cartridge. It has a good grip handle that makes it ergonomic to write with.
What we loved about it
- Good grip
- Good weight
- Able to steady the tremors and patient able to write in it
What we did not love about it
- It was good for two weeks until the tip started coming out making it useless for the PD patient.
Alimed Weighted Pen
The weighted ergonomic pen was good for the first two weeks but when the tip started coming out, it was of no use. We therefore needed to look for an alternative. At this time, Maribet’s tremors had become more pronounced and regular. A doctor advised that we try the Alimed weighted pen since they are uniquely designed for people with extreme tremors.
The pen comes with five 10 grams weight each so that you can increase the weight depending on your tremors which I felt was a cool feature. It is also oversize so that the patient can hold with ease without straining.
What we loved about the Alimed weighted pen
- The concept of adding weights was cool
- Enabled Maribet write legibly
- Durable unlike the ergonomic weighted pen.
What we did not like about it
- Quite pricey