Written by Ralph Aurora, former Coordinator of Accessibility Programs at Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL) and PATF Funding Assistance Coordinator
(Note: This blog article contains a link to a product. Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation does not endorse any particular assistive technology product or vendor company but has included this link for information purposes only.)
Nearly everyone can benefit from exercise, and individuals with disabilities are no exception according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The benefits of physical activity are numerous, including decreased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. There are also many physiological benefits to physical activity such as improved stamina and muscle strength. In many cases, exercise is referred to as “natural medicine” due to the great mental and physical rewards that come with physical activity. Additionally, according to the CDC, as individuals age, the importance of exercise increases. However, grip weakness, which is common among members of the disability and aging populations, can be a barrier to certain types of physical activity.
As part of our in-house assistive technology lending program, the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL) has purchased a product called Active Hands, which is a type of gripping aid. These devices promote independence in exercise and recreation as well as in activities of daily living by assisting individuals with holding anything from a pencil to a bike handle.
Here are some examples of Active Hands Gripping Aids and how they can be used:
Small Item Gripping Aid: Used to hold small diameter items such as make-up, bathroom, office and kitchen products.
General Purpose Gripping Aid: Great for gripping items for recreation such as free weights, boat paddles, and pool cues. Also used for everyday items such as holding a glass or a bottle.
Hook Gripping Aids: Excellent gripping aids in the gym for equipment with bars, machines with bar handles, and handlebars on bikes or hand bikes.
Looped Exercise Aids: These gripping aids are used for gripping things in fitness centers such as pull-down bars or rowing machines. They are also great to be sued outdoors for gripping handles on hand bikes.
As an Assistive Technology Resource Center, LVCIL has an in-house assistive technology lending program where people with disabilities can borrow devices to test them out. Additionally, LVCIL also has an in-house reuse program where people donate items to us, and LVCIL has them available for others to receive and keep them. Items in the lending program range from bed shaking alarms to amplified telephones. Items in the reuse program range from power chairs to CapTel caption telephones. You can learn more here: www.lvcil.org/assistivetech. For information on funding resources for assistive technology such as Active Hands Grip Aids, contact Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation.
Many Active Hands products cost under $100, but if you’re looking to bundle a few products together or you are interested in their more expensive products, a PATF Mini-Loan is a great option to help with the cost. PATF Mini-Loans cover amounts between $100 and $2,000, there are no fees associated with our loans (or any of our services), and our Mini-Loans are interest-free with monthly repayments as low as $20. That means you can get your assistive technology now, pay it off over time without spending more money in the long run, and build positive credit along the way. Contact us to learn more!