Coping with Essential Tremor
Once known as familial tremor, benign essential tremor or hereditary tremor, essential tremor (ET) is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. Some even feel an internal shake. It is often confused with Parkinson’s disease although ET is eight times more common, affecting an estimated 10 million Americans alone. Because of stereotypes and a lack of awareness, many people with ET never seek medical care though many would benefit from treatment.
Essential tremor is a life-altering condition that makes everyday living a test of ingenuity, perseverance and self-esteem. Daily activities such as writing a letter, dressing and eating cause frustration that can lead to stress with temporarily worsening tremor. In order to assist people who have ET in continuing to live full, meaningful lives, the IETF offers some coping tips.
Assistive Technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities. The IETF hopes you find the assistive technologies listed enable you to perform daily tasks that you were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing.
The anxiety induced by a diagnosis of essential tremor, along with the stresses caused by the life-altering effects of tremors, can be difficult to manage. It’s crucial to have tools to cope with essential tremor, as tremors worsen in times of stress.This information can ease day-to-day living with ET.
Meet people with essential tremor from all walks of life—artists, musicians, quilters and more—and be inspired by their stories. If you’d like to share the story of your experiences with ET, contact the IETF.
ET and the Arts
Many people with essential tremor still find ways for expression through creative acts. The artists, musicians, and creative individuals featured in this section have found ways to accept the challenges of essential tremor and still demonstrate their talents.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law on September 25, 2008, clarify and reiterate who is covered by the law’s civil rights protections. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 revises the definition of disability to more broadly encompass impairments that substantially limit a major life activity.
Job Accommodation Network
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. JAN is a provided as a service of the Office of Employment Policy, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor.