Tremor is an involuntary muscle contraction that leads to uncontrollable shaking in one or more parts of the body. A tremor typically occurs in the hands but can also develop in other areas such as the arms, legs, head, voice box, and torso. A tremor can be spontaneous and sporadic or intentional and continual. Although tremor is a common occurrence in the hands of anyone who’s stressed or filled with anxiety, it becomes a concern when it occurs due to a medical condition like Parkinson’s disease. The normal tremor is considered physiological, whereas the tremor caused by a medical condition is pathological. This article will focus on helpful devices to reduce pathological tremors associated with essential tremors (ET) and Parkinson’s tremors.
Types of Tremors
The most common tremors are essential tremors (ET) and Parkinson’s tremors, also known as action and resting tremors. ET is a condition where trembling is mostly in the hands but can also affect the legs, arms, head, voice, or torso on both sides of the body. It’s considered an action tremor or intention tremor, where the tremor occurs during voluntary movement. This type of tremor is common, non-life-threatening, and runs in families. Over half of the people with ET have someone else in their family with it. Even though ET is non-life threatening, performing daily living activities like eating, dressing, and writing is almost impossible.
Parkinson’s tremors also cause trembling in the hands, arms, legs, or torso. However, it usually starts on one side of the body and is considered a resting tremor. Unlike an action tremor, a resting tremor occurs even when the part of the body is relaxed or at rest. Another name for this type of tremor is parkinsonian tremors. The Parkinson’s Foundation predicts that over a million people will be living with Parkinson’s disease by 2030. It affects the part of the brain called the basal ganglia and the substantia nigra. Symptoms of Parkinson’s may include Brady kinetic tremors, which cause slow movements and weak dexterity, or postural tremors, which cause balancing issues or a stooped posture.
Adaptive Devices To Help Reduce Tremors
Resting or action tremors from Parkinson’s or ET in any part of the body make performing routine daily tasks very difficult. However, there are adaptive devices designed to help reduce essential tremors and Parkinson’s tremors. These adaptive devices were developed to help users maintain their independence and regain their self-reliance. Below are just a few devices designed to help with eating, drinking, dressing, and writing.
Adaptive Eating Utensils, Dinnerware & Drinking Aid
Adaptive eating utensils are a great place to start for reducing tremors associated with ET and Parkinson’s disease. There are several popular eating aids to choose from. An all-time favorite is the KEatlery Heavy Weighted Eating Utensils. This elegant eating utensil is solid stainless steel and weighted to help steady the hand while using them. Each utensil weighs a little over seven ounces, has a larger ergonomic handle with finger indentations for a comfortable, non-slip grip. These utensils are dishwasher safe and come as a 3-piece or 4-piece set.
Another ideal eating aid for ET and Parkinson’s tremors is the Freedom Scoop Plate with Suction Pad Base. This unique dinner plate has a suction pad base that keeps the plate from sliding even if you hit it, bump it, or push it. It won’t move. Another feature includes a deeper section of the plate on one edge than on the other edge. The lower edge allows users to scoop their food and use the raised edge to push the food onto the utensil. This is ideal for people with shaky hands or people with the use of only one hand. Food stays on the plate, and the plate stays on the table.
The Weighted Insulated Mug with No-Spill Lid enables users with Parkinson’s and ET to enjoy their favorite beverage without spillage. The mug has an added steel weight at the base to steady the hand while drinking. It eliminates accidental spills, and the no-spill closable lid keeps the beverage inside the mug until users lift it to take a drink.
Adaptive Dressing, Grooming, and Writing Aids
Getting dressed is made much easier with this Weighted Button Aid. It’s the perfect helper for people with Parkinson’s tremors, essential tremors, and shaky hands. The gray vinyl handle has a non-skid star-shaped grip and a formed stainless steel wire loop. The easy to grip handle guides the wire loop through the clothing eyelet and hooks onto the button to pull the button through. It’s that easy. The heavily weighted button aid weighs 6.5 ounces and comes with a brass plated hook to pull zippers up or down. Use it to button shirts, shirt sleeves, slacks, coats, and more.
The Large Weighted Universal Holder™ is a must-have for people who want to remain independent despite their tremors. This weighted holder will securely hold a toothbrush, a razor, and most other objects up to a maximum of 1/2 inch in diameter. Like the Weighted Button Aid, this universal holder stabilizes trembling hands, enabling the user to perform regular grooming activities without assistance.
In addition to the Large Weighted Universal Holder, these Deluxe and Standard Universal Holders™ are specifically designed for pens, pencils, and other round or irregular-shaped items. These holders’ weight stabilizes shaky and trembling hands to enable users to sign their name or write a letter without assistance. They are perfect for Parkinson’s patients, people with essential hand tremors, and those with other conditions that cause the hand to shake uncontrollably.
All of these weighted adaptive devices give Parkinson’s patients, people with essential hand tremors, and others with shaking hands the ability to take care of themselves. The users can dress, groom and feed themselves without assistance from a caregiver or family member. The users become more independent and less dependent, which can lift their spirits! Try one or all of these for yourself or a loved one. You can find these helpful tools on TheElderExpo.com.