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Maximizing Life with Limited Dexterity

Sometimes we take our coordination and dexterity for granted when we are younger. Unfortunately, as we age both of these can become diminished. Living with limited dexterity can pose problems in just about every aspect of our lives. If our dexterity decreases, are there ways to get the most out of life without surrendering to this issue? We here at HPFY can give you some great tips for maximizing your life while dealing with limited dexterity.

What Can Cause Limited Dexterity?

Many of our physical capabilities can diminish over time as we age. Our dexterity and ability to do some fine motor skill tasks are definitely one of these physical abilities. Many of these can be important to us since they are part of our everyday hygiene routine, as well as, simple tasks we may take for granted. Is it just aging or is there other potential causes for this decline? Some causes include:

These and other causes, such as alcohol misuse or medications, can lead to ataxia. This is the term used for a lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements. These voluntary movements can be everything from picking up items to walking.

Maximize Your Dexterity

For whatever reasons your dexterity becomes limited or diminished, finding the appropriate medical aids that can allow you to maintain your sense of independence and quality-of-life is truly important. A great resource for the type of products you may need is your occupational therapist. They may suggest items such as:

  • Essential Medical Lotion EZE Long-Handle Lotion Applicator: Whether used with over-the-counter or prescription lotions, this 14 inch long handled applicator can easily reach your legs, feet, or back. For those who may experience limited dexterity in their hands, it has a contoured grip with a thumb hold for a secure grip and the easy to remove pad can be cleaned or there are replacement pads available.
  • Maddak Role Easy Lotion Applicator: This foldable lotion applicator can be used at the 8.3 inch unfolded length or it can be extended into a 14.5 inch applicator that can allow for easy, simple lotion applications. It’s perfect for applying any type of lotion to the neck, back, or leg area and has two different massage rollers that are simple and easy to change.
  • Complete Medical Comfort Blue Jay Long-Range Self Wipe: For those with diminished flexibility and limited dexterity, this wand can extend up to 15 inches and can be used with toilet paper or flushable wipes to maintain your personal hygiene. It is made from sturdy ABS plastic and has a release button for hands-free disposal.
  • Homecraft Flannel Strap and Wash Mitt: Maintaining a personal hygiene routine may become more difficult with limited dexterity and this flannel strap and wash mitt allow the user to apply lotions, creams, and even body wash where needed. The strap has a soft, terrycloth side and on the other a coarse foam for exfoliating and toning skin. Users with limited dexterity benefit from the D rings on each end for a secure and safe grip.
 
  • PETA Long Reach Toenail Cutter: Those with limited dexterity or diminishing fine motor skills can benefit from this toenail cutter. The angled serrated blade and the contoured shape and soft feel handle make it easy to use and allows the user to maintain their personal hygiene routine. It grips the nail while cutting and avoids twisting your wrist.
  • Economy Dressing Stick: Limited or no movement in one arm can make dressing next to impossible and this dressing stick can remedy some of that. The 27.5 inch dressing stick only weighs less than 5 ounces and has a hook on one end to pull-up lower body garments while the other end has a larger hook and a pusher to position clothing properly. It can be used for socks, shirts, and even pants to maintain your level of independence.
  • Good Grips Button Hook: Fine motor skills can be compromised for those with limited dexterity and buttoning your shirt can be extremely difficult. This aid can help users button their shirts with a rubber like handle with flexible ribbing that can accommodate any grip. It has a firm 2 inch long wire section that can grab just about any button is designed to be used single-handedly.
 
  • Norco Regular Elastic Shoelaces: Those who may suffer from limited back mobility, limited hip flexion, or limited dexterity can benefit from these elastic shoelaces. By allowing the user to lace and tie their shoes once in a normal manner, they can then slip their shoes on or off without tying or untying.
  • Etac Hair Washer with Lightweight Handle: Often as we age we lose flexibility in our shoulders, wrists, and hands and this can make washing our hair difficult. This showering/bathing aid can easily reach the scalp to apply and scrub shampoo/soap on our scalps. This makes it easier for the user to reach their head without straining their shoulders or arms. Rub a dub dub!!
  • Slip on Writing Aid: Our penmanship can take a huge hit when we experience limited dexterity in our hands. This writing aid easily and securely fits the user’s writing hand (left or right) and can hold a pen or pencil at whatever angle they feel comfortable using it at. It is adjustable, simple, and easy to use, therefore making it extremely user-friendly.
 

Tools for maintaining your quality of life are out there but may require some trial and error on your part to find what works right for you. You can seek the advice of your doctor or occupational therapist as to what might benefit you the greatest, but rest assured there are medical aids that can help you overcome limited dexterity and any flexibility/fine motor skill issues you have.

 

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