DIY Accessibility: Pen & Utensil Grips

A stroke or brain injury can leave patients feeling frustrated during tasks that require fine motor control. This includes simple every day activities such as holding a fork or writing your name that many people take for granted. Luckily, we have wonderful occupational therapists that assist patients in finding adaptive equipment that can make these tasks manageable again. But what happens after you are discharged from OT and misplace your lovely adaptive equipment? Maybe you threw it in the trash by accident or maybe your dog selected it as its newest chew toy.  Either way, you are left feeling angry and frustrated that you have to shell out money to buy a replacement. Right?…. WRONG! The answers to your problem could be just a few minutes away. Check out ways to create grips for less than you would spend on a trip to the dollar store!

The Wine Cork Method

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All this takes is a little hardware and, of course, some wine corks. Use a power drill to drill through the middle of the corks, and then slip them over the pen. Not only do they make the pen thicker, but the texture is great for gripping.

The Tennis Ball & Washcloth Methods

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We love these ideas from e-Patients.net! If you have an old tennis ball lying around, simply cut a hole just large enough to fit pen or utensil through. Another even easier alternative is to wrap a terrycloth washcloth around the pen or utensil and hold in place with a rubber band. Easy peasy!

The Hair Curler Method

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This method from WebMD.com wins the prize for most creative. Remove the plastic snaps from sponge hair curlers (which can be bought at the dollar store) and slide over utensils and pens, or even toothbrushes as shown in this photo. The added texture will help you grip.

These are just a few accessibility hacks you can use to improve your grip. We would love to hear more! Let us know how you DIY accessibility — your idea could be featured in our next post!

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