Health & Beauty Tips # 20 : Tools & Gadgets to Make LiVing with Parkinson’s Easier!- By Dr. De Leon

Health & Beauty Tips # 20 Tools & Gadgets to Make  LiVing with Parkinson's Easier!- By Dr. De Leon

I am sure you all have experienced the frustration of doing a simple chore like breaking an egg for breakfast and 30 minutes later after having to wipe off counters and floors because you accidentally shattered the egg in your hand because of the rest or action tremors…or egg went flying off your hand onto the floor due to same….
Sometimes, they simply roll off the counter, but you are simply to slow to catch before they reach the ground.

Or the other day, when my biggest accomplishment for the day was sewing a pair of my daughter’s favorite cozy socks. I could not thread the needle due to poor fine motor skills and then attempted to use one of those needles with open top which makes threading easier but due to tremors and dystonia …I was unable to make more than couple of stitches because I kept unwillingly pulling the thread out!
So, frustrating…funny part was that my husband saw my desperation and thought he would come to my rescue….but, alas, to my surprise, he too was unable to thread needle!
Triumph at last….35 minutes later…I had sewn the darn socks and I was UTTERLY worn out! But feeling so very proud of my victory over the needle and thread…ha
Afterwards, I thought to myself, there MUST be a better way.
I already have been collecting gadgets to kelp make life easier…
So, I thought I would research what is best way to thread needle for people like me…
And I would share my findings

First, no kitchen should be without a “gripper” ….we have all found ourselves being unable to open even the smallest jar…of anything….due to our Parkinson’s.
when I was practicing, I had gotten some samples of rubber grippers that were distributed by (Novartis Pharma makers of Stalevo). When I closed my practice I found one which I had not given away to my patients and since at that time I was caring for my grandma who had PD, I brought home.
Well, shortly after she passed away, I noticed increasing difficulty opening even water bottles and this little gadget has come in handy …. I use daily!
Get one by calling Novartis or on line I found grippers to open jars just like the one I have for as low as $3.99. You don’t need anything more expensive or fancier.
These can open bottles, jars and pill bottles!
To avoid making a mess in the kitchen with eggs or having to fish out she’ll from your scrambled eggs or have to eat crunchy eggs..invest in an egg craker…two I have found on amazon…the egg craker separator only $2.99 and the one I recommend or the egg craker for $4.99

You can find needle threaders at Walmart or any Hobby Lobby or arts and crafts or sewing places…again you can mind a wooden or metal ones…I like the metal…but I think the wooden ones may have better grip…and less likely to slip and easier to see…prices dance from $1.50 to 17. I again will not spend more than $5.00

Second, I know that eating can sometimes be more than a challenge….for instance I love seafood and realize that I have increasingly more difficulty eating shellfish like crabs and lobsters….especially when very rigid and slow ….good luck ….I have to engage the help of my family…..
Sometimes using forks can be a challenge especially if very shaky -unless you stab your food! …spoon maybe the best alternative….but as we all know eating soup can also be very challenging because of tremors especially the action tremors ( those that come on or get worst with movement as opposed to rest tremors). The best solution in this case is using a spoon with a long handle. These can be extremely helpful. You can either have your occupational therapist make you one or again can shop for long handle spoons….range varies widely from $10 up to $120.00.
Another way you can dampen the tremors is by buying small wrist weights 1/2 pound to a pound and strapping on at time of feeding. You Can buy these at places like Academy. This latter can also help you drink better without spilling. But if severe tremors and weights are not enough consider use of cups with lids!


you can follow me on twitter at defeatparkinsons@DrmariaDe

Dr. M. De Leon is a retired movement disorder specialist, PPAC member and research advocate for PDF; Texas State Assistant Director for PAN (Parkinson’s Action Network). You can learn more about her work at you can also learn more about Parkinson’s disease at or at;,,
may also contact me at


6 thoughts on “Health & Beauty Tips # 20 : Tools & Gadgets to Make LiVing with Parkinson’s Easier!- By Dr. De Leon

  1. What an informative post! I shall share this with my friends on Twitter because these are the kind of ideas that can make a big difference by changing little corners of our lives! -Pamela-

    1. Thank you! Like wise. A lot of young onset Parkinson’s present and have dystonia as a prominent feature so your writings are extremely helpful and encouraging! Keep up good work. But, as a neurologist I have seen first hand the disabilities, pain and frustration by all those that have Parkinson’s and dystonia…always looking for ways to make everyone’s life better. Take a look at some of my earlier writing on Shabby chic etc. other dressing and living tips which would be useful to people with dystonia as well.
      Have great day!

  2. I don’t understand how a long handled spoon is supposed to help me. I can’t control a regular spoon, a long handled spoon will just fly farther.

    1. With a longer handle you can hit the target ( your mouth) easier. There are also spoons and utensils that have a weighted handle if you prefer to dampen tremors and also there are those that have an anchor like effect to prevent you from flipping utensils in the air… They have a type of handle where you can interst your hand and stabilize your palm. There was also a new device that was created specifically for people with tremors like Parkinson’s and essential tremors in whicH the spoon had a chip to adjust for movement tremor but these were selling for nearly$300 retail…don’t think anyone or few people can afford and don’t think it has been as popular as the developers hoped…

    1. fotografo matrimonio Milano forum…thank you form your kind comments…please let me know if there are any specific topics or concerns that you would like for me to address. best wishes!
      stay tune for my upcoming book on Parkinson’s disease…with a lot of new information on this an other pertinent topics of daily living-be out in spring 2015!

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