Assistive Devices & Techniques
Click on one of the options below to jump to that section of the page.
Noninvasive Therapies | Orthotics | Utensils and Cooking | Clothing and Bedding | Technical Resources | Computer Aids
Writing Devices | Books | General Links
Placement of products on this page in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, or company by the IETF.
Limb Cooling Treatment
Studies found that the use of a cooling mat on the forearm of persons with action tremors, reduced tremors. Applying peripheral cooling might enable persons with essential tremor to perform functional activities more efficiently. Read about this approach as written by Lisa Warren, MHS, OTR/L in our June 2019 Tremor Talk magazine (page 4).
The Steadi-One is a battery-free, lightweight, water-resistant device that provides instant resistance against tremors. It incorporates a ball-joint surrounded by Non-Newtonian smart fluid, designed to provide instant and equal resistance against tremors. Developed by Steadiwear Inc., it has shown an 80% reduction in tremor amplitude. Learn more on the Steadiwear website.
The Readi-Steadi® Anti-Tremor Orthotic Glove System is a fully customized, hand orthotic invented and developed by an occupational therapist for the management of mild to severe hand and arm tremors. It is COVERED BY MOST INSURANCES including Medicare and VA with both on-line option and fittings in the Baton Rouge, LA clinic. Call 225-614-2631 or visit www.Readi-Steadi.com if you or a loved one is interested in this conservative tool with no side effects and 50% effectiveness.
Utensils and Cooking
Liftware Steady is a stabilizing handle and a selection of attachments designed to help people with hand tremor eat more easily. It automatically stabilizes so the attached utensil shakes 70% less than your hand. Liftware works best with mild to moderate tremor.
To get started with Liftware, order the Liftware starter kit ($195.00), which includes the stabilizing handle and a soup spoon attachment. Additional attachments are sold separately ($34.95 each). Order online on the Liftware website.
Liftware Donation Program
If you have essential tremor but cannot afford Liftware, you can apply to receive a free, refurbished, starter kit donated by Liftware. Please complete this application to be considered. (You must be a resident of the U.S. to apply). The IETF does not pay for Liftware nor does it solicit donations to pay for devices; we simply coordinate with Liftware in distributing donated devices to individuals diagnosed with ET who demonstrate financial need.
ELISpoon uses stabilizing technology to enable independent eating for people with limited hand and arm mobility such as essential tremor. The design allows you to interchange multiple attachments and use ELISpoon as a tea spoon or a soup spoon suitable for both children and adults. There are no electrical components; it uses no battery and no charger. It is dishwasher safe and FDA approved.
After 18 months of development, the S’up Spoon was originally designed for Grant Douglas, a man affected by cerebral palsy. Now this product is available to everyone who struggles with eating due to an unsteady hand. Unlike a normal spoon which requires your upper lip/teeth to pull content off the utensil, this simple spoon only requires you to tip the food into your mouth. Sold around the world. £15=$21.66. Shipping outside of UK is £5=$7.22. Learn more about this product, and watch a video on it’s creation and use on their website.
Eatwell Assistive Tableware Set
This special tableware is made for people with fine motor needs or cognitive issues. Its anti-tip design, specially curved spoon, slanted bottoms and deep chambers, plus bright colors, are special features that provide stability and support. Each piece in the Eatwell assistive tableware set is equipped with anti-slip material that is microwave and dishwasher safe, all of which helps to prevent spills and dropped foods and reduce or lighten caregiving requirements during meals.
Open Ease™ Automatic Jar Opener
This jar opener makes opening jars effortless. It fits small to large jars. The press of a button activates its powerful twisting action, tightening around the lid and loosening it. Available to order online.
NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves
These snug fitting gloves can be lifesavers in the kitchen if you have shaky hands. They are cut-resistant, ultra thin and elastic so they stretch. And they are machine washable. While they are great in the kitchen, they also are great for carpentry, fishing and hobbies like woodcarving. They are available in 5 sizes from XS to XL. Available online.
Because of the handle and non-skid base, Stay Bowl helps people who have difficulty eating due to lack of upper body and/or extremity control enjoy mealtime again. With an ergonomic, soft-feel handle that balances and stabilizes the bowl while simultaneously providing support to the upper body, this bowl allows for controlled movement of food to the mouth. Made from polycarbonate; scratch resistant, dishwasher and microwave safe. Price: $12.95 and offered by Maddak Ableware.
KEatlery Weighted Utensils
KEatlery utensils are weighted high quality 18/8 stainless steel utensils. Dining with KEatlery utensils, as with other weighted utensils, will lessen your hand tremors, allowing you to eat more successfully and with greater skill. And, they have the appearance of good quality flatware.
The handles of these adaptive utensils are solid which gives them their extra heavy weight. Each utensil weighs approximately 8 ounces. A slight indentation on the handles places your fingers in a comfortable ergonomic position. The soup spoon has a recessed edge and a slightly deeper bowl to assist in preventing spills. These utensils are dishwasher safe. More details.
The Rocker Knife with T-handle is an easy-to-use adaptive knife that cuts food with a rocking motion. The 4 1/2 inch stainless steel single-edge curved blade easily cuts through food and can be sharpened like any other kitchen knife. The knife is easy to use – simply apply gentle pressure to the handle with your whole hand then simply rock back and forth. Available with a wood or plastic handle for $18.95. Order yours from CaregiverProducts.com.
Good Grips® Weighted Utensils
The 6 oz. (170g) of added weight in the built-up handle of this product provides more control so that the utensil reaches the mouth easier. Good Grips® are ideal for persons with limited hand control and tremor. The sample kit includes a teaspoon, tablespoon, soup spoon, fork and rocker knife. You can get the set for $59.95 or purchase each piece individually for $12.95 each. Call North Coast Medical Inc. toll free at 800.235.7054, or visit their website for more information.
The lightweight design works with all forks and spoons, even plastic. SteadyRest goes on easily with a velcro strap which has two snaps that adjust to accommodate any sized hand. SteadyRest can also be used with pens and pencils. By adjusting the position of the device on the hand, users can write smoothly and with control. Recommended for light to moderate tremors. $49.95 at www.steadyrest.org.
Clothing and Bedding
MagnaReady offers classic dress shirts with magnetically-infused buttons, making it easy for anyone with limited motor skills to dress independently. MagnaReady’s hand-sewn shirts are 100% cotton, stain-resistant and wrinkle-free. They are available in men’s sizes S-XXL and offered in white, blue or plaid for $59.99 each. For women, the company sells a classic tailored striped Oxford crafted from cotton. Styling includes a tapered look, forward-point collar with white collar, cuffs, and placket, plus single-button barrel cuffs with signature darts. Boys and girls outerwear is also available via the MagnaMini website. Learn more at www.magnaready.com.
Never have to go through the struggle of tying your shoes again with Hickies. These straps take the place of laces in your shoes and once they are snapped into place they allow for ease in slipping your shoes on and off. They come in a variety of colors and are made from durable thermoplastic elastomer so they stretch. Learn more at their website.
Buck & Buck
Buck & Buck has been providing clothing solutions for more than 33 years. What began in Seattle as an adaptive clothing service for nursing facilities in the late 70s, has grown to become the national leader in the design and manufacture of specialized clothing. Clothing designed with snap closures, VELCRO® Brand closures and zippers help make getting dressed easier. Visit their store.
Weighted Blankets may improve sleep. A 2015 study conducted by Gaby Badre, a sleep specialist and neurophysiologist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, studied the impact of weighted blankets. Electrodes measured participants’ brain and muscle activity. The participants moved around less in their sleep, and they experienced fewer bursts of brain activity called sleep spindles. Most of the participants reported that they slept better. And many people with essential tremor have recommended them as well. Mosaic Weighted Blankets is one site that carries a variety of styles and colors.
Weighted Button Aid
The Weighted Button Aid features a heavy, vinyl grip handle with contoured finger grips. People with tremor will find the added weight in the handle helps to stabilize their hand. The stainless steel wire loop button hook securely and easily pulls a button through the clothing eyelet. The Weighted Button Aid weighs about 8 oz and measures 7-1/2 inches long. Available for $12.95 from CaregiverProducts.com.
Medical History Bracelet
The CARE Medical History Bracelet, an easy-to-use electronic medical bracelet. Created by GC Publishers, this device can be loaded and viewed from any computer, MAC or PC. Learn more.
This iPad app is a customizable keyboard and adaptive notepad with word prediction and text-to-speech features. It enables the user to quickly and easily create customized keyboard layouts including the ability to assign each key a designated letter, word, sentence or picture; merge cells together to form larger keys; create audio recordings and convert text-to-speech with words highlighted as they are spoken. $19.99 at iTunes.
Dexteria – Fine Motor Skill Development
Dexteria is a set of therapeutic hand exercises (not games) to improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in children and adults. Dexteria’s unique hand and finger activities take full advantage of the multi-touch interface to help build strength, control, and dexterity. Price: $3.99 and it is available at iTunes.
The BIG Launcher replaces the user interface of any phone or tablet with Android 2.1 or higher. It provides maximum readability via enlarged icons and large buttons that are easy to use and customize. Set up an unlimited number of screens with apps, contacts, shortcuts or widgets. Swipe between them or use the buttons to group related functions. Price: $10.00. Learn more online.
Nuance’s Dragon Mobile Assistant is a virtual assistant for Android that can perform a wide variety of functions including conversion of speech to text and text to speech commands, dialing to texting, launching music, share location, find directions and more. The “always on” assistant can dial into scheduled conference calls, compose email and read calendar alerts, Facebook Newsfeed updates and text messages. Download it online.
Contour RollerMouse Products
RollerMouse works well in compact spaces and offers different styles for users with small to large hands. RollerMouse products provide palm support and allow you to maneuver your PC or Mac cursor with just your fingers, eliminating the need for you to hold your hand against gravity. RollerMouse is ideal for use with mountable keyboard trays. Prices range from $199.95 to $265.00 and they offer a 30-day trial. Check out all the different options at their store.
SteadyMouse Hand Tremor Mouse Accessibility Software
This software is designed to assist people with hand tremor. Major Features: Anti-tremor mouse filtering. Removal of accidental mouse clicks. Assistive “Icon Targeting” system. Quick enable/disable using the scroll lock key. Simple design for easy configuration. Visit the SteadyMouse website for more information.
Chester Creek VisionBoard 2 Keyboard
The VisionBoard2 keyboard’s big 1″x1″ square keys and large, bold black-on-yellow letters and numbers help users to improve readability and reduce eyestrain. Users with low vision or hand tremor can increase and improve capabilities with greater comfort and control. Simple USB connection. Operating System: Windows 98SE, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, MAC OS 10.1.5 and higher. Price: $70.45. Learn more online.
BigKeys LX Keyboards
BigKeys LX is a standard-sized desktop keyboard with 60 oversized keys with easy to read labels. All of the bright white, high contrast keys on BigKeys LX are 1-inch square — almost 4 times bigger than the keys on a standard keyboard. BigKeys keyboards are compatible with all major software packages. No special software is required: the keyboard is just plugged into the computer in place of the regular keyboard. Price: $159. Visit their website to learn more.
The first ergonomic grip for mobile devices. Digit Grip allows the user to put any mobile device into the palm of their hand and aids in holding on to devices such as plus size phones and tablets. It makes larger devices feel more manageable. The Digit Grip is universally fit and great for surfing, texting, reading, playing games, flying drones, video chatting and selfies. Price: $7.99 – $12.99. Visit their website to learn more.
Weighted Universal Holder for Pens and Pencils
These Weighted Universal Holders help individuals hold pens, pencils and other round or irregular shaped objects. The heavy weight of the holder allows the user to write, draw, paint or brush their teeth independently. When using the holder for writing, it requires very little pressure if held in an upright position.
Each holder will hold most round or irregular shaped items from 1/8 to 7/16 inches in diameter. The Standard holder weighs 6.5 ounces, is 3/4 inches in diameter, and costs $20.95. The Deluxe holder weighs 7 ounces, is 1-1/8 inches in diameter, has a plastic vinyl cover, and costs $22.95. Order yours from the elderstore.
Along with new enhancements like a pocket clip, retractable cap, easier refilling and more streamlined ergonomics, the new Ergo-Sof PenAgain® is also finished with a soft rubber coating that adds extra comfort and style to the tension-free “No Grip” design. All Ergo-Sof pens come with two additional black refills. Starting at $4.99. Visit PenAgain.com to choose your favorite color.
The Steady Write Pen is helpful for those who have ET, Parkinson’s, arthritis or limited use of hands. Permanently attached base stabilizes hand at a special angle to smooth out shaky or poor handwriting. Grip with fingers held between knuckles or grasp like an ordinary pen.
Essential Tremor: What the Experts Say
The IETF is excited to offer the new, e-book, Essential Tremor: What the Experts Say, exclusively available to annual donors who make a contribution of $30 or more. Through this comprehensive collection of informative articles, you’ll gain insight and a better understanding of essential tremor through the knowledge of the world’s finest movement disorders specialists and experts.
Now in its third edition, the e-book features over 80 articles filled with invaluable information for you to reference time and time again. The e-book is compatible with any e-Reader, as well as available for download in PDF format.
The IETF thanks the many physicians, health care providers, and other individuals that contributed time and effort to make these articles possible. These people have contributed greatly to the success of the IETF over the years.
Make your annual donation today and receive the new, e-book, Essential Tremor: What the Experts Say (and a 1-year subscription to Tremor Talk magazine) as our way of saying thank you.
Deep Brain Stimulation: A New Life for People with Parkinson’s, Dystonia and Essential Tremor
By Kelvin Chou, MD, Susan Grube, RN, MSN, and Parag Patil, MD, PhD
Everything you need to know about deep brain stimulation. From the first consideration to long-term care, this is an invaluable resource that patients, their families, and their physicians will want at their fingertips. $19.95 Order here.
I Can’t Stop Shaking
By Sandy Kamen Wisniewski
Sandy, who was diagnosed with ET at the age of 14, wrote a personal essay entitled “I Couldn’t Stop Shaking” for Woman’s Day magazine in 2001. Now, she shares her story of living with ET – and the stories of others – in her book. Also included within this book is a medical chapter written by Peter A. LeWitt, MD, a movement disorder neurologist. Available in paperback for $13.46. Buy it on Amazon.
Essential Tremor: The Facts
By Drs. Mark Plumb and Peter Bain
Provides a comprehensive guide to understanding ET and minimizing its impact. It begins with a close look at what ET is and how it is diagnosed. It also details who gets the disorder, the causes and how it affects day to day lives, current treatment options, along with patient advice on how to cope with the stigma of ET. The book concludes with a chapter on the prospects of a potential cure. Dr. Mark Plumb is a geneticist who has had ET since childhood. Dr Peter Bain is an international authority on tremor, movement disorders and deep brain stimulation. $20.65 Get it on Amazon.
Orthostatic Tremor: Am I the Only One?
By Jane Baker Conner
A rare neurological movement disorder, Orthostatic Tremor continues to baffle medical science. The author shares her experiences in order to: 1) help identify orthostatic tremor symptoms, 2) explain the alternative of deep brain stimulation, 3) describe practical ways to manage the unique challenges of OT, 4) teach how to cope with an HMO’s process of securing outside referral, and 5) offer hope for living with a disorder that currently has no cure. Available in paperback and Kindle. Get it on Amazon.
Many items are available on Amazon. Access Amazon through AmazonSmiles.com so that a portion of your purchase price is donated back to the IETF.
Caregiver Products.com – Another online destination for adaptive technology and home care products.