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Gardening

Don’t let hand weakness stop you from living your life or doing the things you love.  There are products specifically designed to allow you to get the job done even if you have a limited hand function – from gardening and golfing to cooking, playing cards or using scissors.  

There are also hand exercisers that can help you strengthen your hands so that you can improve the grip you have.  Golfers, baseball players and other sports players benefit by having the strongest grip possible - and save the rest of us from flying baseball bats and golf clubs!   

Hand weakness or limited hand function can be related to many medical conditions – the more common ones being arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, MS, Quadriplegia and various myopathies and neuropathies.  See all the products below that can help you regain or keep your independence.

Products for People with Limited Hand Function

Easi-Grip Gardening Tools - The ergonomic design makes these gardening tools ideal for gardeners of all ages and abilities.  Each tool has a “soft feel” non-slip, angled handle that keeps your hand and wrist in a natural position.  Pain-free gardening!

See all Easi-Grip Products

Bionic Gloves – Better grips for golfers and gardeners alike.  Also works as a batting glove.

Scissors - Self opening scissors are designed for people with weak hands or wrists, or anyone unable to use conventional style scissors.  Don’t forget the Scissors Stand!

Kitchen Aids  - Knives, jar openers and kitchen utensils that all require less strength and dexterity than conventional products.  How about a Good Grips Peeler, Cheese Slicer, Kitchen Grater or Spatula!

Grooming Aids – Groom yourself with the no-slip Table Top Finger Nail Clipper,  Long Handled Hair BrushTube Squeezer, Hand Held Shower, Terry Soap Mitt and Long Handled Under-Toe Washer

Make your own pencil and utensil grips with Grippers  or Color-Coded Handle Foam

Eating Aids – See our built-up handle eating utensils.  Perfect for limited hand function or a weak grip.

Dressing Aids – Get Dressed with Zipper & Button Pullers and a Foam Grip Dressing Stick and Shoehorn

Playing Card Holders -  Much easier than trying to hold multiple cards in one hand.

Look around the site.  There are sure to be more great products to increase your independence.  Scroll through all Daily Living Aids and Personal Care

We hope you have a flexible and pain free day!  And thanks for your orders.  We appreciate your business.

I recently heard on the news that anxiety related doctor visits are on the rise.  Specifially, symptoms like upset stomach, insomnia, panic attacks and muscle aches.  They said that worries about the economy and personal financial turmoil are making people physically sick.  Is the economy making you sick?  If so, how can you be healthy when all you want to do is ignore your problems, eat a Whopper and drink yourself into oblivion?

For me, worry manifests itself in racing thoughts or “mind chatter”.  It happens at night, mostly, when I’m trying to sleep or early morning when I’m having lucid dreams.  It drives me crazy when I’m having a totally irrational dream and I keep having it over and over again.  It usually means I need to face the problem and deal with it.  But what do you do when you just can’t stop thinking about your situation or problem?   Here are a few things that work for me:

1.  Stretch and Breathe.  I know it may sound hokey, but I’m telling you it’s changed my life.  Get yourself a DVD – I have several but the one I started with is AM/PM Yoga for Beginners.   You can get this used (1998 VHS)  for under $2 bucks on Amazon.  You’ll can also get more updated versions as well as DVDs for stretches for bad backs, weight loss, abs, etc.  Do it every day and you’ll start feeling calmer, among other things.  Your mind will be on the exercises and not on your problems.  Many workouts include at least a few minutes of meditation and breathing exercises.  The morning yoga tape only takes 15 minutes and it’s a great way to start your day.  Need some gear?  Get a Yoga Starter Kit (my favorite) or see all of Allegro Medical’s Yoga Equipment.  Need something more concrete?  See 10 Products to Help you Relax.

2.  Get into nature.  Go outside and walk around.  Plant something or dig around in the dirt.  Go to the park and sit in the grass or swing on the swingset.  Get out of the city if you can.  Reconnecting with the earth does wonders for your psyche.

3.  Focus on things you can control.  Most of our worry is wasted on things we can’t control, or things that never come to fruition.  Read Managing Stress: Practical Advice from a Pro.  This article will also help you become a constructive problem solver.   

4.  Find your safe harbor.  I use this type of visualization when I’m having trouble sleeping because of racing thoughts or recurring dreams.  It’s all about having a place to visit, in your mind, whenever you want to relax.  It might be a warm beach, a field of flowers (that’s mine but I’ll share) or a sidewalk cafe in Paris.  Whatever.  Whenever you need to escape you just close your eyes and visualize it. 

5.  Meditate.  Okay, this may actually happen for some people.  You sit down and just be quiet and have a matra or you do breathing exercises, etc.  But unless I have someone making me do it, I don’t.  If this is you, I suggest you go to a class or listen to a tape or something while you’re doing it.  I’m all for it, I just never can get myself to stick with it.  Let me know how it works for you.

6.  Be nice.  Turning your focus to others ALWAYS makes you feel better and stops the mind chatter.  Go a step further and help out with a local charity.  Just find one that you fancy and call them to see if they need any help!  A few hours of doing nice things for other people can completely change the way you look at your situation.  Even simple acts of kindness or random acts of kindness make you feel better.  Start by saying something nice to the next person you see. 

Bonus:  When I can’t get a song out of my head, I break the cycle by singing a foreign tune.  Freres Jacques is a popular one, but anything foreign will do.

Ahhhhh…. Ommmmm….  Hmmmmm….

Spring is springing and it’s time to go play in the dirt, right? Not so fast, Marge. Gardening and lawn work will help you find muscles you didn’t know you had if you’re not physically ready for it. Especially if your winter routine didn’t include a lot of bending, reaching and kneeling.

Reduce the risk of injuries, skip the low-back pain and soreness, increase blood flow, improve balance and relieve tension with some quick pre- and post-gardening stretches. The following routine only takes 2 minutes for the warm up and you can use the same stretches afterwards for your cool-down.

1. Neck. Stretch your neck by slowly moving your head from side to side, laying your head first toward one shoulder and then the other. Repeat a couple of times. Now move it front and back with your chin on your chest and then tipped back. Hold for a few seconds.

2. Back and Shoulders. Bend forward at the waist and let your hands hang toward your toes. Roll your shoulders back and around, as if you are shrugging. This elongates your spine and loosens your back. Stand up slowly and place your palms on the back of your pelvis and lean back from the waist. Drop your head back and hold it for a few seconds.

3. Trunk. Reach one arm across your chest. Twist that same direction. While you’re doing that, reach the other arm behind your back. Do this 3 or 4 times, switching arm positions. This works the trunk and opens the spine.

4. Upper torso. Hold your arms straight out at shoulder height. Make fists. Pull your arms back as if you were trying to touch your elbows in the back. Tighten your fists and then push your hands in front again. Roll your shoulders forward to stretch your upper back. Open your hands with your wrists flexing up and spread your fingers as you push forward. Do this several times.

5. Ankles & Lower Body. Lift your knee as high as you can and point your toes toward the ground as far as you can. Then extend your leg forward, with your leg straigh and flex your ankle up, with your toes facing the sky. This will loosen most of your leg.

6. Knees. I like to add a few deep squats and lunges just to get my knees extra warm. Use a rake or chair for balance. While I’m lunging I stretch and flex my fingers. This helps grip strength.

Continue your warm-up in the garden by starting slow. While you work, be mindful and thoughtful about how your body is positioned. Try not to twist a lot or stay in one position too long. Stand up at least every 10 minutes if you’re bent over or on your knees. Make sure you’re using ergonomic garden tools. Read Gardening Made Easy to see what I mean.

Save the heavy lifting for later – say, a half-hour into it. Make sure you’re good and warmed up before you start moving pots and bags of soil.

Drink plenty of water! Set a kitchen timer if you need to be reminded. Every 20 minutes take 5 big gulps.

A good cool-down is even more important than a good warm up. After gardening, don’t just sit down. Take 10 minutes or so and really stretch to keep that lactic acid from building up and making you sore later. Use the stretches above as a guide, but do them slower and longer.

Do you have a tip or a favorite stretch? Please share it!

I love digging in the dirt, planting seeds and relishing the fruits of my labor just as much as the next gal, but nothing crumps me up faster than a few hours in the garden. My friend and co-worker Melissa swears that her mom’s knee replacements were directly related to her years of gardening. I believe it. Kneeling and stretching and bending, oh my!

I tell ya, these products are worth their weight in gold whether you’re a professional greenthumb or a weekend warrior. They’re especially awesome if you want to keep gardening, but your arthritis or other pain is stopping you.

Gardener’s Easy-Up Kneeler & Seat – My absolute favorite! Use the side handles to ease yourself up and down on the padded cushion and then flip over the whole thing and use it as a seat. Great for indoors too – you can kneel on it while giving the kids a bath or cleaning baseboards. Makes a GREAT gift. Mother’s Day is coming up!

Easi-Grip Add-On Handles- Pack of 2 – Convert your in-line garden tools into an ergonomic grip that will keep your hand and wrist at a natural angle. Reduce twisting, wrist strain, callouses, arm strain and back pain. They can even improve your grip on the rake, hoe, vacuum, golf trolley and other sports equipment. Eureka!

Long Reach Gardening Tools – Stainless steel, high quality. Get all 5 as a discounted set, or order the culitvator, fork, trowel, hoe or arm support cuff separately. The long handles let you reach further to the ground or further into the flower bed without bending. You can even sit down and garden! The ‘soft-feel’ ergonomic handle keeps your hand and wrist in a natural position. Lightweight. Non-slip grip. Mighty hip, Skip!

Easi-Grip Gardening Set – These are like the long-handled ones above but they’re short. Same great ‘soft feel’ non-slip ergonomic handle and high quality stainless steel. These tools will keep your wrist and hand in a stress-free position to avoid wrist strain and palm callouses. Tools are also sold separately.

Bionic Gardening Gloves – What am I, Jamie Austin? Okay, really, these things are neat and they’re top-grade, machine washable leather. Really, though, what makes them ‘bionic’ is the strategic padding and the fit of the glove. They keep your hands clean AND improve grip strength, reduce hand fatigue, and keep callouses at bay. Oh, and they make you look COOOL! If you want to weed all day, try the Extended Wear Bionic Gardening Gloves. Then you can come to my house and weed some more. :)

See All Gardening Gear.

So you see, with a little help you can garden at any age, with just about any disability. Get out there! But first, read this – Ready. . . Stretch . . . Garden!

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