What to Look for in a Writing Aid for Parkinson’s
The best writing device for you will depend on a few factors such as your hand size and whether you need more weight to your pen. Keep an eye out for additional factors, such as whether a pen cartridge can be refilled and the cost of the ink refills.
Size of Hand
The size of your hand will naturally influence which writing device works best for you quite a bit. If you have exceptionally large hands, a pen with a thick grip or that utilizes the weight of your hands can be extremely beneficial.
Conversely, if you have weak or tiny hands compared to the average adult, you’re likely to need a pen with a more stabilizing quality to it. Consider the possibility of writer’s cramp, as struggling to write with Parkinson’s can take a long time. If a wide grip tends to give you writer’s cramp, stick to something like the Ring Pen Ergonomic Ball Point Pen or the steadying device from Aids to Daily Living.
Some seniors will actually find that a thicker grip will keep the writer’s cramp at bay better so it may take a little trial and error.
Weight of Pen
If you notice your tremors tend to lift your hand up off the page more than moving it side to side, a weighted pen is our recommendation. The Thixotropic Heavy, Big Weighted Pen is an excellent choice in this case, as it weighs 3.5 ounces (roughly 10 times that of a standard Bic pen). We also love the wrist strap on this particular pen for those whose Parkinson’s not only made their writing unsteady but who often drop their writing device because of the condition.
More Comfortable Angles to Write
When the standard grip of holding a pen or pencil is uncomfortable or unmanageable for elderly with Parkinson’s or even arthritis, a device that changes the way the pen is gripped is a fantastic idea. Both the Aids to Daily Living Steady Write Writing Pen and the PenAgain 3 Pack of Pens do this to some extent. So, these options could be worth a try.
If Dropping Is an Issue
Some seniors with Parkinson’s will find that shaking is not the only struggle with writing. If dropping your writing device frequently is a problem, getting either a ring style pen (that slides over your index finger) or a pen with a wrist strap is recommended.
Especially for elderly individuals who might have trouble getting back up after bending over or who suffer from back problems, we highly recommend one of these two styles.
Parkinson’s can be a frightening and frustrating condition when it comes to nearly any movement, but especially those that require dexterity. It’s recommended by Parkinsons.org, however, to remain as active as possible to slow deterioration with the disease. So, while it might be exasperating to write or draw, it’s suggested that those with the condition do their best to keep at it.
Having a writing device to alleviate some of the struggles can add motivation and a feeling of independence. Considering most writing aids are relatively low cost, we think they’re worth every penny if they can boost the moral of aging patients with Parkinson’s.