Pen adaptors: Are there pens that are easier to grip for people with arthritis?

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Are there pens that are easier to grip for people with arthritis?

Question

The clinic suggested Ability411; I've been looking for a pen adaptor for my arthritis - any ideas?

Our answer

Keeping a comfortable grip on a pen is so important to many tasks that involve writing. With conditions that impact grip strength or precision, such as arthritis or Parkinson’s, it can be difficult to maintain the control needed to produce the smooth lines associate with writing. Thankfully there are a range of options to help stay independent, and write clearly and confidently.

You may have seen some of the products mentioned in another Ability411 question, Is there a tool that can help me hold a pen? These products are available online:

  • The Steady Write Pen by SP Ableware-Maddak (at caregiverproducts.com) is designed to help improve the handwriting of people with arthritis, Parkinson’s or other hand limitations. The triangular base balances and stabilizes the hand to smooth out shaky penmanship. This product costs about $10 (U.S.), plus a shipping fee. It is also available on amazon.ca for about $21 (Cdn).
  • The Weighted Pen with Grip by The Pencil Grip, Inc. (at caregiverproducts.com) is a ball-point pen that is weighted in order to stabilize the hand while writing.  This product, which is available through a U.S. retailer, costs about $21 (U.S.), plus a shipping fee.
  • Pen and Pencil Weights by Kinsman Enterprises (at caregiverproducts.com) can be reused with any pen or pencil, and placed at different locations on the writing utensil. This set of six pen and pencil weights is available from a U.S. retailer and costs about $24 (U.S), plus a shipping fee.

Another option is to connect with a maker from Makers Making Change – a program made available through the Neil Squire Society. They share designs for assistive technologies, like writing grips, and volunteer makers create the product for the individual who needs it. The individual is expected to pay for the cost of the materials. Some relevant projects include:

You may also wish to consult with an occupational therapist (OT) they may be able to recommend some simple and affordable options that fit your needs.

If you still can’t find what you're looking for, please ask us a question.