These Products Can Make Everyday Tasks Easier If You Have Limited Hand Strength
If you have a disability or chronic illness that affects the function of your hands, everyday tasks can be difficult. Things able-bodied people often do without thinking, like opening jars or holding a cell phone can be challenging for people with arthritic hands, chronic pain or spasticity. We asked our Mighty community about products that make life easier when you have limited strength in your hands. Here are their recommendations.
1. Phone Grips
“Love my pop socket for my phone,” Kathy L. said. Makes it way easier to grip and hold my phone and not drop it.”
“The ring style phone grips,” Finna N. recommended. “I can hook it on my finger so I don’t need to worry about muscle spasms or weakness, it just stays put.”
2. Car Seat Key
If you have difficulty pressing the seat belt release button, this gadget can help. It’s designed for kids’ car seats, but can also work for wheelchair lap belts and more.
“It helps to unbuckle my kids’ car seats so I can do things with them even when my hands are being uncooperative,” Samantha M. said.
Buy a car seat key in the United States.
3. Squishy Toys
Squeezable toys may not seem “useful,” but for many people, they can help to relieve hand pain and stiffness, making everyday tasks easier.
“Squishy desk toys/fidgets to keep my joints and muscles moving,” Katherine R. explained. “It’s easy to do wherever and whenever, kinda like a mini PT session for my hands.”
Check out more cute comfort items you’ll want on days you’re stuck in bed.
4. Steering Wheel Cover
Holding a steering wheel can be difficult and painful if your hands are stiff or weak.
“I have a memory foam steering wheel cover,” Kathy C. said. “It makes it much easier to grip the wheel when my hands hurt.”
Check out more ideas to make your car comfortable for travel.
5. Package Opener
Opening packages can be an exercise in frustration when you have a disability. Try a simple ceramic safety cutter or this battery-powered blister pack opener.
6. Bottles You Don’t Have to Squeeze
Kathy L. said she uses “Pump shampoo/conditioner bottles instead of regular bottles that I have to hold, grip and squeeze.”
7. Ergonomic Pens
Several Mighty community members, including Grace D. and Gemma C. suggested ergonomic pens. There are quite a few options, including PenAgain, Yoropen and jumbo ballpoint pens. You may need to try a few of them to see which is best for you.
8. Foam Grip Tubing
Gemma C. said she needs, “Fat cutlery. Can’t even use skinny cutlery.” You can buy special cutlery and Good Grips kitchen items, or simply make your existing items accessible using low-cost foam tubing.
9. Electric Can Opener
People with rheumatoid arthritis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and many other chronic conditions find it hard to use a hand can opener. “Some tins are impossible, like salmon comes in a very thick tin. I simply can’t do it,” Sapphire N. explained. An electric can opener can help solve this problem.
10. Electric Jar Opener
Jars often present similar challenges for people with physical disabilities. You can buy manual jar openers — Noelle V. recommended this one and Lisa T. likes The Gripper — but an electric jar opener can help even people with very limited hand function.
11. Vegetable Chopper
Kathryn K. recommended the vegetable chopper above.”It’s made meal prep so much easier,” she said.
12. Vegetable Peeler
La Tia S. recommended this vegetable peeler that fits in the palm of your hand.
13. Non-Slip Pads
Chrysoula C. recommended “those sticky plastic pad things for gripping.”
14. Countertop Roaster Oven
“Bought a counter top roaster oven by Rival that cooks my meats perfectly without needing to bend down or try to lift heavy/hot pans out of the oven,” Missy K. said. “It bastes itself, so no need to open the lid until it’s done. Love it. Perfect meat every time, especially holidays.”
15. Instant Pot
Instant pots are wildly popular right now, but for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, they provide accessibility, not just convenience.
“Instead of standing over the stove continuously stirring soup with the ladle that eventually makes my hand cramp, I just throw everything in the instapot and ‘bam,’ dinner in an hour without having to repeatedly stir,” Lisa K. said.
16. Dishwashing Wand
Malina M. loves the Dishmatic. “It makes it a lot easier to do the dishes. I don’t have to apply as much force and my hands don’t cramp up,” she said. “You fill the handle with washing up liquid, it’s got different sponges that go with it, ranging from non-scratch to extra heavy duty. Amazing little kitchen helper!”
Buy Dishmatic in the United States, Canada and U.K.
Need more help in the kitchen? Try our guide to products that make cooking easier with a disability or chronic illness.