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By: Kathryn Perry, OT
Essential tremor and Parkinson’s-related tremors of the hand can interfere with daily life activities like writing, eating, and dressing. There are some simple modifications that can help manage tremors.
Here are some tips and suggestions:
• Relax! Stress, frustration, and anxiety can make tremors worse.
• Minimize your caffeine intake.
• Support the elbow/forearm on a table or countertop to provide added stability.
• Use two hands to manage items.
• Try a wrist splint to reduce unwanted movements at the wrist.
• Consider using a heavier glass, straw, or a cup with a lid to minimize spills.
• Wrist weights, weighted gloves, weighted pens/eating utensils, or custom devices like the Readi-Steadi® Anti-Tremor Orthotic Glove System may help minimize the tremors.
• Liftware Steady motorized utensils may help reduce spills during mealtime.
• When dining out, ask staff to cut up food before serving.
• Gel pens and fountain pens may help those with essential tremors write with ease and smoothness.
• Consider using a button hook when getting dressed or adapt clothing with Velcro or magnets. Some brands like Tommy Hilfiger have adapted clothing lines available.
• Elastic shoe laces or shoes with Velcro strapping make it easier to put on shoes.
Occupational therapists can help people find ways to manage tremors and promote independence with daily tasks. Additionally, exercise is a great treatment option. Sheltering Arms offers a group exercise class specifically designed to help people combat Parkinson’s and Parkinson-like tremors. To learn more, click the button below or call (804) 764-1000 to schedule a visit with a Sheltering Arms Occupational Therapist.