A Complete Guide to Assistive Technologies for Hand Tremors

If you’re on this page, we're sure you’re wondering how you can stop or even reduce your hand tremors.

We mean naturally. Either for yourself or a loved one.

Without having to take medication or undergo invasive procedures such as DBS.

Well, there’s good news and there’s not so good news.

The good news is that while the answer to “..can I reduce my shaky hands naturally..?” is a resounding YES, the not so good news is it’s not that simple.

In 2020 there is so far, as Google will show you, such an amazing amount of aids and devices available to drastically reduce hand tremors, that it leaves most users overwhelmed, not knowing which is right for them.

Should you go for the individual, task-specific devices or for the “all-in-one’s” that can help you with a multitude of activities?

The overwhelm leads to confusion which in-turn leads to no decision.

That’s where we come in.

To help you get closer to making a decision, we’re going to demystify and dive a little deeper into assistive devices for hand tremors from Essential Tremors (ET) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and help you on your journey to finding the best potential solution.

One that is right FOR YOU.

To help you out we have put together a complete guide of assistive devices for hand tremors on the current tremor market. 

All assistive devices have been categorized in such a way that you can go directly to the category that best resonates with your daily challenges and preferences.

We’ll be covering:

  1. Wearable Solutions - Orthotics or Gloves
  2. Smart Clothing
  3. Utensils & Cooking Aids
  4. Assistive Aids for Using Technology
  5. Writing Assisted Devices

We’ve also included a handy ‘Pros and Cons’ section for each type to help you narrow down your choices.

At the end there’s a section comparing which aids can cover the greatest amount of  everyday activities - so your cabinet isn’t overflowing with essential tremor devices.

Let’s get started.

Your complete guide to assistive devices on the US and Canadian market as of 2020 starts here. 

  • Wearable Solutions
  • Let’s start off by covering some wearable solutions, these include orthotics and smart clothing. 


    Orthotics

    Steadi-One - World's First Battery-Free Glove Designed To Reduce Hand Tremors

    Steadi-One Glove

    The Steadi-One is a battery-free, lightweight, water-resistant device that provides instant resistance against hand tremors from ET and PD. It incorporates a ball-joint surrounded by Non-Newtonian smart fluid, designed to provide instant and equal resistance against tremors (1). Developed by Steadiwear Inc., it is an FDA approved Class 1 device that has shown an 80% reduction in tremor amplitude (1). Visit the Steadiwear website to learn more. 

    The Steadi-One glove. Image pulled from Steadiwear (1).



    Tremelo

    Tremelo is a wearable device worn at the wrist to assist people with moderate to severe hand tremors from ET to perform daily tasks with steady hands. The device uses Tuned Mass Damper technology to mechanically stabilize the arm with no electrical nor nerve stimulation components (2). Tremelo is an FDA Class 1 device and is safe to use for your daily activities involving your hands, such as eating, drinking, and handling tools (2).

    Tremelo. Image pulled from Five Microns (2).

     

    Readi-Steadi

    The Readi-Steadi® Anti-Tremor Orthotic Glove System is a fully customized, anti-tremor hand orthotic invented and developed by an occupational therapist to reduce action and resting hand tremors. The Readi- Steadi weighs less than one pound and functions by applying sensory cues to the tremor type (3).

    Readi-Steadi®. Image pulled from Readi-Steadi (3).



    Orthotic Products at A Glance

  • Smart Clothing



  • MagnaReady

    MagnaReady creates adaptive clothing apparel for people living with hand tremors and other dexterity disabilities to ease the stress of dressing up with tremors getting in the way. MagnaReady clothing uses a magnetic closure system to eliminate the need for traditional buttons and make dressing quick and painless (4). The magnets are concealed and the clothing stylish. The manufacturers warn that people with pacemakers should consult their physicians before wearing MagnaReady products (4). Visit the megnaready website to learn more.

    MagnaReady Shirt. Images pulled from MagnaReady (4). 



    Buck & Buck Adaptive Clothing

    Buck & Buck creates various adaptive clothing using Velcro in place of buttons to ease the pressure of dressing with hand tremors (5). Buck & Buck’s clothes and shoes help to promote independence in people living with hand tremor and related disabilities. The clothes retail for modest prices online and cover a wide spectrum of needs in all types of needs including PD, Arthritis, Disabilities, Alzheimer’s, ALS, and so on. Visit the Buck&Buck website to explore more clothing options.

    Velcro Front Pants. Image pulled from Buck & Buck (5). 

     

    Hickies- Shoe Straps

    Hickies shoelace 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 (6). They come in a variety of colors and are made from durable thermoplastic elastomers so they stretch. Visit the Hickies website to learn more.

    Hickies Lace. Image pulled from Hickies (6)

     

    Interested in more information like this? Sign up for Steadiwear’s newsletter here to learn more and stay informed about your hand tremor. Follow our Facebook Community Group, where members can speak to one another and have direct access to our product design team to help us improve the Steadi-One. 

    Smart Clothing Products at A Glance 

  • Utensils and Cooking Aids
  • This section will cover assistive devices for specific tasks such as eating, drinking, and aids for dressing.

    Liftware Steady

    The Liftware Steady is an electronic stabilizing handle with various attachments designed to help people with hand tremor eat more easily. It is designed in such a way that the attached utensil shakes 70% less than your hand (7). The handle is composed of sensors and a small onboard computer that detects tremor and differentiates it from the movement of the hand. When the device detects tremor, it directs two motors in the handle to move the attached utensil in the opposite direction, thus allowing it to eat easily. Visit the Liftware website to learn more.

                                                Liftware Steady. Images pulled from Liftware (7).

     

    S’up Spoon

    The S’up spoon is simple but effectively designed. It is a spoon for people with shaky hands from ET, PD, and cerebral palsy (8). Unlike a usual spoon that requires significant hand effort to pick up food and put its contents into the mouth, the S’up spoon requires the user to scoop up food, lift the spoon backward, bring it to the lips, and tip the spoon content into the mouth. Visit the S’up Spoon  website to learn more.

    S’up Spoon. Image pulled from S’up (8).

     

    KEatlery Weighted Utensils 

    KEatlery utensils are weighted utensils with the appearance of high- quality stainless steel (9). They have a slight indentation on the handles so that fingers can be placed comfortably in an ergonomic position. These utensils will allow you to dine like everyone else as the utensils look like any other utensils while cutting down on the hand tremors. Each utensil weighs just a little less than half a pound, the handles of these stainless-steel utensils are solid, which gives them their extra heavy weight (9). Each individual utensil weighs around 7.3 ounces to make them heavy enough for those suffering from PD, Ataxia or other illness which cause shaky hands (9). Visit the Elder Store website to learn more.

    KE11795 KEatlery Weighted Utensils. Image pulled from Elder Store (9)

     

    Good Grips® Weighted Adaptive Eating Utensils

    Good Grips weighted adaptive eating utensils have 170 grams of built in weight for each handle to provide extra control as you maneuver your food (10). The added weight helps to reduce hand tremors while the rubber latex provides better grip. Visit the North Coast Medical website to learn more and explore Good Grip Cutlery. 

    Good Grips® Weighted Adaptive Eating Utensils. Image pulled from North Coast Medical (10).

     

    Steady Rest

    The Steady Rest weighs a quarter of a pound and works for eating with forks and spoons, as well as writing with pens and pencils (11). It allows the user the ability to dine and write with confidence. The Steadi Rest design is lightweight and is easy to wear with a Velcro strap that is adjustable to one’s hand size (11). It is recommended for light to moderate tremors Visit the Steady Rest website to learn more.

                                                                       Steady Rest. Image pulled from Steadi Rest (11).

     

    Gyenno Bravo Twist 

    The Gyenno Bravo Twist Smart technology is designed to help stabilize hand tremors from PD and help with independent eating, the kit includes attachments for a fork and spoon. It is an intelligent anti-tremor spoon and fork that helps people eat and monitor the hand tremors with the Gyenno app while using the device (12). The Gyenno Bravo Twist is battery-operated and works by sensing the tremor and learning the user’s tremor patterns. It can then determine the movements of the hand that are unwanted and which are intended, with this it generates an algorithm of the user’s hand tremor. When the computer in the spoon detects the unwanted tremor, it instantly moves the attachment in the opposite direction (12). Visit the Gyenno website to learn more. 

    Gyenno Bravo Twist- with fork attachment. Image pulled from Gyenno (12)                                      

     

    Eatwell Assistive Table Set

    Eatwell Assistive Tableware set is designed for people with cognitive issues such as dementias and motor impairments such as hand tremors from PD. The Eatwell Assistive Tableware is designed with over twenty unique features in each set, each feature based on research evidence (13). Some of the set’s most prominent features include specially curved spoons matching the curvature of bowls to provide easier eating motions, and anti-drip design intended to prevent accidents from tipping cups (13). The set won first place at the 2014 Stanford Design Challenge out of 52 teams (13). Visit the Eatwell website to learn more.

    Eatwell Assistive Tableware set. Image pulled from Eatwell (13)







    NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves

    NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves are light, ambidextrous cooking gloves made from food grade ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, glass fiber and Spandex to protect the hands from accidental cuts during cooking (14). While the gloves are not specifically designed for people living with hand tremors, they are nonetheless useful for this population as they reduce the likelihood of accidents due to tremor. The gloves are washable, fitted, and safe. Visit NoCry to learn more.

    Cut Resistant Gloves. Images pulled from NoCry (14). 

    Utensils at A Glance 










  • Assistive Aids for Using Technology (Computer, iPad, and Phone)



  • Abilipad App

    Abilipad is a customizable writing aid keyboard application for the iPad. The app features advanced word prediction and text-to-speech options that help people with limitations in their hands write better. The keyboard can be customized by size, number of keys and combination of letters and words to suit individual needs (15). Available through the iOS app store. Visit the Appy Therapy website to learn more.

    Abilipad App. Image pulled from Apply Therapy (15)

     

    RollerMouse

    RollerMouse works well in compact spaces and offers different styles for users with small to large hands. The 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 (16). RollerMouse is ideal for use with mountable keyboard trays. Visit the Contour Design website to learn more. 

    RollerMouse. Image pulled from Contour (16)


    More Assistive Aids for Using Technology (Computer, iPad, and Phone) to explore

    Due to the similarity of the devices, only two of them were discussed in further detail. The rest can be found listed below by category.

    Assistive Apps

    • Seasame Enable App. Touch free smartphone app  visit the Sesame Enable website to learn more (17).
    • TypeWay. Assistive app to type on your phone visit the Typeway website to learn more (18).

    Keyboards

    • Chester Creek Vision Board 2 Keyboard. Visit the Ablenet inc website to learn more (19).
    • Balance Keyboard. Visit the Contour Design website to learn more (20).
    • BigKeys LX Keyboards. Visit the Contour Design website to learn more (21).
    • Digit Grip. Easily hold and grip your devices visit the Digit Grips website to learn more (22)
  • Writing Assistive Devices 


     Weighted Universal Holder for Pens and Pencils
  • The weighted universal holder is a fairly basic but nonetheless useful assistive device that helps people with hand tremor perform daily tasks. The holders add extra weight to small items such as pens, pencils, and toothbrushes. The holders are designed to help people with hand tremors build strength in their hands and to steady hand tremors. The weighted universal holder comes in two weight categories (100g and 200g) (23). Visit the The Therapy Store website to learn more.


    Weighted Universal Holder. Image pulled from The Therapy Store (23).

     

    Steady Write Pen

    The steady Write Pen helps people with limited capabilities in their hands. The pen is attached to a base that helps stabilize the hand at a special angle and reduce the effects of tremor on writing (24). Visit the Therapro website to learn more.

    Steady Write Pen. Image pulled from Therapro (24).


    ---Placement of products within this blog in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, or company by Steadiwear. This is strictly for awareness purposes.

     

    Interested in more information like this? Sign up for Steadiwear’s newsletter here to learn more and stay informed about your hand tremor. Follow our Facebook Community Group, where members can speak to one another and have direct access to our product design team to help us improve the Steadi-One. 


    References 

    (1) Steadiwear (2020). Steadi-One. Retrieved May 22st, 2020, from https://www.steadiwear.com/

    (2) Five Microns (2020). Tremelo Stabilizing Hands Enhancing Lives. Retrieved May 22st, 2020, from https://fivemicrons.com/tremelo-2/ 

    (3) Readi-Steadi (2020). Readi-Steadi Anti-tremor Orthotic Glove System. Retrieved May 22nd, 2020, from https://www.readi-steadi.com/

    (4) MagnaReady (2020). MagnaReady- The Original Magnetic Apparel Company. Retrieved May 24th 2020, from https://www.magnaready.com/

    (5) Buck & Buck (2020). Buck & Buck We Make Dressing Easier. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.buckandbuck.com/

    (6) Hickies (2020). Hickies – How It Works. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.hickies.com/pages/how-it-works/

    (7) Liftware (2020). Liftware-Eat with Confidence. Retrieved May 22st, 2020, from https://www.liftware.com/

    (8) S’up (2020). S’up Spoon. Retrieved May 24th 2020, from https://www.sup-products.com/

    (9) Elder Store (2020). KEatlery Weighted Utensils. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.elderstore.net/keatlery.aspx

    (10) North Coast Medical (2020). Good Grips® Weighted Adaptive Eating Utensils. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.ncmedical.com/item_229.html

    (11) Steady Rest (2020). Steadi Rest Dine with Confidence. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.steadyrest.org/

    (12) Gyenno (2020). Gyenno Bravo Twist Kit. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.gyenno.com.au/product/gyenno-bravo-twist/

    (13) Eatwell (2020). 8- piece Eatwell Assistive Tableware set. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.eatwellset.com/product-page/copy-of-8-piece-eatwell-assistive-tableware-set

    (14) NoCry (2020). NoCry Cut Resistance Gloves. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://nocry.com/products/nocry-hicut-cut-resistant-gloves

    (15) Apply Therapy (2019). Abilipad App. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://appytherapy.com/abilipad/

    (16) Contour (2019). Rollermouse red series. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.contourdesign.com/product/rollermouse-red/

    (17) Sesame Enable (2020). Seasame Enable App- Touch Free Smart Phone. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.sesame-enable.com/ 

    (18) TypeWay (2019). TypeWay. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from http://typeway.com/

    (19) AbleNet (2020). Chester Creek Vision Board 2 Keyboard. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, https://www.ablenetinc.com/visionboard-2-white

    (20) Contour (2019a) Balance Keyboard. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, https://www.contourdesign.com/product/balance-keyboard/

    (21) Contour (2019b). BigKeys LX Keyboards. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, www.contourdesign.com/

    (22) Digit Grip (2019). Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from https://www.digitgrips.com/

    (23) The Therapy Store (2019). Weighted Universal Holder. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from http://www.thetherapystore.com.au/product/weighted-universal-holder/

    (24) Therapro (2020). Steady Write Pen. Retrieved May 24th, 2020, from http://www.therapro.com/Browse-Category/Writing-Tools/Steady-Write-Pen.html



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