I’m finding it increasingly difficult to open and grip items, do you have any suggestions?
Everyday activities become more difficult when age or illness affects our physical or mental health.
Stamina, strength and co-ordination cannot be relied upon as we used to. So performing ordinary tasks becomes more difficult or impossible.
We all want to be able to do things as normally and independently as possible – without having to rely on others – whenever we want to get things done. Finding another way isn’t always possible and sometimes we need help.
Some problems with everyday living are:
- opening things,
Here are some solutions which can help.
Just had a delivery of gorgeous strawberry jam and you plan to put some on hot buttery crumpets later?
Before you can spread it thickly you need to get to it, but the vacuums used to seal the jars are industrial strength and there’s a competition in the kitchen to see who can get it open! You’d prefer not to have to call a neighbour if you live on your own.
It’s not only the hand that grips the top that needs to be strong enough, it’s the one that is holding it in place also. If you balance it on the counter it can slip away from you and the contents tip out. If you hold it towards yourself it can end up on the floor.
The best type of openers address both these issues – with a non-slip cone to hold the top and a non-slip holder for the bottom. When the jar is stable and the top is securely gripped it much easier to open it.
Also pushing down onto the jar to open it usually allows you to use more of your arm muscles to better effect.
If however you find it easier to push, then the Easi Twist Jar Opener may be sufficient. It will be even easier to use this on a non-slip surface.
Scissors can be fiddly to use, a clever new invention is the Nimble Packet Opener is a clever invention that will do the trick on opening parcels, packets or cellophane lids.
Who would have thought a tin-opener would be the talking point at meal times? but the No Mess Can & Ring Pull Opener certainly will! For tins or cans – even ring pulls, this opener has been designed to allow someone who finds it difficult to use a traditional twist opener.
It has a ratchet handle that moves backwards and forwards which may be an easier movement for those with arthritis or a weak grip. Using push and pull movements, the grips are large and comfortable.
Using ordinary scissors can be troublesome when you have arthritis for example and getting into tetrapaks can be hard. These self opening scissors which are very sharp and easy to use can be the answer.
Until you can’t grip things easily you don’t realise how many everyday activities need good grip strength. Clue – almost everything!!
From brushing your teeth in the morning to opening your sleeping tablets at night!
Here are some more products to make life easier.
With a large spout and hinged lid, this kettle is easy to fill using a lightweight jug for those with low arm strength or it can be removed easily from the cradle to be brought to the tap. – https://shop.springchicken.co.uk/products/easy-pour-tipping-kettle
The great thing is the ease in which it can be poured safely still looking attractive with an easy to read water level indicator.
Using ordinary cutlery can become a problem for a few reasons, one solution is to increase the area that is available to be gripped.
This cutlery is bendable which could allow the user to reach their mouth easier if they have a decreased range of movement in their wrists or elbow from arthritis or stroke for example.
The Medi-Popper takes care of the three most popular sizes of tablets or lozenges you may need to open. https://shop.springchicken.co.uk/products/medi-popper
It takes a surprising amount of strength and co-ordination to get into these fellas and this makes it impossible to send on flying out of reach!
As with many things, when you are forced to change the way you do something it can involve some time to learn a new way and adjust.
An Occupational Therapist, whose job it is to look at ways of making difficult activities easier, has even developed a way to put a bra on using one hand.
This piece of kit could mean the difference between being able to do it yourself or having to allow carers to help.
For people who find it difficult to grip or reach there are products designed to help.
When using the toilet this bottom cleaner makes wiping easy and comfortable even if you find it difficult to reach.
The handle is ergonomically designed so it’s easy to hold. The patented mechanism grips the toilet paper or wipe firmly and releases cleanly.
There’s no need to touch the paper. It’s easy to clean with disposable wipes or mild soapy water. https://shop.springchicken.co.uk/products/buckingham-easywipe-bottom-cleaner
If you have trouble bending and reaching to dress or pick things up, try a Classic Pro Reacher.
It features a Gripcert jaw with soft rubber coating for a precise grip, a magnetic tip, a dressing post and a soft textured, hooked trigger. Comes with a built-in clip for hooking to your chair so your reacher need never be far away.
Reaching down to get your socks on can become a problem after surgery to hips or back and if you have arthritis. There are different types and this one we think is the best.
Taking medication regularly can be difficult to remember – especially when out and about.
This handy pill dispenser can help.
Easy to set, and pocket sized, it will remind you to take tablets up to five times per day.
You can set the MiniTell to alarm, vibrate or both and it’s so easy to use. https://shop.springchicken.co.uk/products/minitell-pocket-pill-dispenser
If you’ve ever let a bath overflow you know its something to avoid!
These specially designed plugs help prevent floods from taps left accidentally running.
They have a pressure detection gauge built in which releases water from the bath or basin when the water level gets too high. https://shop.springchicken.co.uk/products/magiplug-water-level-alert
The heat sensitive pad helps prevent burns by changing colour if the water gets too hot.
For someone who may be forgetting more important things such as where they are or how to get home, this may provide some piece of mind, if popped in their pocket or bag, it will show on a phone app the exact location of the wearer.
Also, it can notify family members by text if the person travels out of a zone.
The wearer can also summon help by pressing the button and have two-way conversations.
There are many more products designed to make life brighter and better at
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No patient/doctor relationship is to be inferred and you should seek medical advice from a qualified practitioner.
Nothing on this site should be used as a substitute for competent advice from a qualified medical practitioner.