Overcoming Impaired Dexterity June 02 2009

Individuals with impaired dexterity such as weakness resulting from injuries, paralysis, stroke, birth defect or arthritis may benefit from modifying their environment to suite their needs.

This can be done by adding safety devices in the bathroom such as hand rails, nonskid flooring, installing call bells, use of portable devices such as commodes.

The goal of any device is to allow individuals to live as independently and safely as possible. With arthritis pain individuals clothing may be altered so it is easier to manipulate.

Consider choosing clothing with a zipper instead of buttons, which may be difficult to manipulate. Some people have replaced all zippers and button closures on their clothing with Velcro, which is much easier to use. Do not wear too many layers of clothing or underwear, which may be cumbersome to remove. If diapers or containment devices are used, choose devices that are easily removed.

A vocational therapist or rehabilitation therapist can provide you with a list of manufacturers of "ready to wear" clothing and assistive devices.