Before you think this blog is a shameless plug for how great the Keywing key turner is and why it's the best arthritis aid please bear with me, as it is not!
Whilst I was designing the Keywing I met with a wide range of people across the UK who have arthritis pain in their fingers and hands, and with low hand strength. Most often it was due to arthritis, however it was also commonly caused by general ageing, multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons.
When meeting these people I always ask what other products they wish existed, and what daily activities give them the most grief. I’m always searching for the next challenge to solve, and hearing ‘first-hand’ from people across the country what ails them the most is the best inspiration for new design opportunities.
The more people I hear from the better, as it helps me to understand what the most common problems are and what product would have the highest need & demand.
After hearing from users across the country of what they wish existed, I always do my research to take a look at any existing products that help tackle the situation. Whilst doing this research, I have come across a range of very clever, thoughtful products that focus on design to help people with arthritis, weak hands or low dexterity.
The following are a few of the popular and more inventive products that exist as a “mobility aid”, “arthritis aid”, “daily living aid” or whatever you want to call them – they’re handy products. They may be the difference between someone maintaining their independence or not and can have a significant impact.
In this list I’ve focused on products that spark interest and appeal thanks to thoughtful use of design to address challenges in clever ways.
I'd love to hear your thoughts or any others that I've missed. Please leave me a comment at the bottom and I'll get back to you.
In no particular order:
The S’up Spoon
Visit & Credit: https://www.sup-products.com/
The inventor of the S’up Spoon Grant Douglas has shaky hands due to being born with Cerebral Palsy. After looking for an adapted spoon and trying many different pieces of cutlery specifically adapted for disabled people, he had the lightbulb moment of deciding that he needed a spoon with a lid on it. Grant invented a spoon to enable him to eat more, chat more and spill less.
The S’up Spoon has a deep cavity that stops any spillage when it’s tipped back, it also has an angled handle that makes it easy to pick up from a flat surface.
The S’up spoon doesn’t only help people with cerebral palsy, but it can also help any person who has uncontrollable upper body movement which could be as a result of Huntington’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Essential Tremor, Stroke, a traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease or other conditions that cause tremor.
FreeKey – A press to open split ring
If you are continually challenged by the task of taking keys on and off keyrings, this smart device allows the keyring to be opened by pushing down on the device itself, as shown in the picture.
Designed in Sweden and manufactured in the USA from high-grade stainless steel, FreeKey rings eliminate the always challenging operation of a traditional key ring by opening with the simple press of the ring. Featuring a brilliant and simple design FreeKey rings achieve enhanced ease of operation by introducing a strategically placed bump in one of the ring loops - essentially creating a pivot that allows the end of the ring to lift when the ring is pressed.
The FreeKey keyring allows you to quickly and easily attach keys to it by pressing on the ring itself. This simple design eliminates the difficulty associated with attaching keys to a key ring simply by pressing the ring to open.
The FreeKey is a great device to enable the user to independently add or remove keys to a keyring without the need for pliers or other levers.
Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder
The Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder, or mill, is as efficient as it is exquisite. A high performance ratchet operating mechanism and a durable ceramic grinding stone combine for easy, effective grinding of salt, pepper and spices.
The clever ratchet design provides a large, easy grip ‘ball’ handle that minimises any fine pinching and gripping required for standard grinders. In conjunction with the extra leverage of the handle, this product makes it a breeze for anyone with arthritis or other disability that reduces hand strength.
To grind, simply pull the ratchet handle back and forth – it’s easy on the wrists and particularly suitable for those with dexterity problems.
RAY Accessible SmartPhone
Visit & Credit: https://project-ray.com/
Smartphones are supposed to be liberating, bringing the wonders of communication, community, and advanced technology to billions, worldwide. Living with visual impairment and the challenges of actually using smartphones should never limit your ability to join that global community of family and friends. But, tactile devices have all but disappeared from the market in favor of flat touch screens, and graphical user interfaces put vision and images up-front.
The RAY accessible smartphone on a Samsung/Android platform uses a proprietary software application to offer a fully accessible, vision-free cellphone. A touch and slide motion on the screen provides spoken access to all functions of the phone, including calling, contacts, settings, voice dialling, calendar, messages, location services, and easy access to your music library.
With the addition of Ray Click BLE - a five-button, tactile keypad using Bluetooth to communicate with your device, the Ray Click BLE delivers superior, easy-to-use control with five clickable keys attached to the back of your smart device.
Ray Click technology is the only solution that enables you to transform any smartphone and/or touch-enabled device into a tactile-powered tool.
Staybowlizer Mixing Bowl Stand
Visit and Credit: http://www.staybowlizer.com/
Ever wish you had a spare hand when cooking in the kitchen? Staybowlizer is a silicone ring that acts as a third hand by securing bowls of all shapes and sizes whilst you mix and incorporate ingredients with your free hands.
Staybowlizer suctions onto your work surface and will hold any size bowl in place whilst you are mixing, beating and whipping up your favourite recipe.
Made from food grade silicone, Staybowlizer can withstand high temperatures and can therefore be used to create a double boiler or bain-marie and makes a great trivet or hotplate.
Staybowlizer is useful even beyond the kitchen, when used to keep a dog bowl secure preventing it being chased around the kitchen by your hungry hound!
Visit and Credit: https://www.gripoballs.com
Also Available at: https://shop.thomashilfen.de/
Eating and drinking independently in the company of others is so much more than mere food intake. "It is a celebration of hospitality, friendship, and togetherness. In other words, eating and drinking together builds social cohesion. It creates and strengthens human bonds," says Guy Charles, Managing Director of GRIPOBALLS. "Eating meals around a table makes people forge personal connections, makes them feel accepted and appreciated. Daily living aids like the Gripoballs and the GripoFix eliminate any differences and brings people together."
Gripoballs are small PVC balls that measure four centimeters in diameter, making it possible to widen the handles of standard eating utensils as well as pens, razors, toothbrushes, and nail files to allow a stronger and better grip. People with shaky hands can reduce tremors by weighing the Gripoballs down and adding up to five stainless steel balls at ten grams each.
Also available: https://www.able2.nl/en/product/AL2020
The well-designed ring pen takes most of the tremor and muscle pain out of handling a pen. Easy to use, one finger goes through the ring creating a solid grip and the ergonomically designed barrel provides a natural resting place for the writing finger. The barrel fits snugly between two other fingers eliminating pressure and pain. Can also be used as a toe pen.
This ergonomically designed pen is suitable for right or left-handed people who may experience difficulty in holding a normal pen due to conditions of arthritis, tremors, and lack of hand and forearm muscle tone. Its design provides added control and support to the writer.
The Ring Pen Ultra uses the same ergonomic principles as the original Ring-Pen, but can be removed and used on your own pen, pencil, paintbrush, cutlery, toothbrush. This device is available only in a RIGHT-HANDED version and regrettably the ULTRA will not work for left handed writers but the manufacturers are aware and looking to introduce a LH version.
PanPickle – Award Winner - Watch this space!
Visit and Credit: https://panpickle.co.uk/
The Pan Pickle is a stick on hob accessory that gives support while cooking. A Pan Pickle guides cookware onto the ring and holds it there to reduce the risk of spills; multiple units can be used on a single ring to provide additional support.
The food safe silicone is held in place with a super strong glue backing that can withstand the heat of the hob without budging.
It started life as a university project making cooking more inclusive for people with visual impairments, but has been redesigned to provide better support for motor and dexterity difficulties and is being developed into a real product!
For more information visit their website: panpickle.co.uk
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Thanks for reading. If you have a friend or relative that has arthritis in their fingers or reduced hand dexterity and could benefit from a Keywing Key Turner, you can pass the message on here: