Not only can weakening grip strength reduce the independence of the older adult in your care, but a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association shows it may also be a sign of declining brain health and could even indicate the onset of dementia.
Because grip strength is such an important factor to help determine if your senior may remain independent (and at what level), caregivers have an important role in maintaining or working to improve grip strength in older loved ones so they can increase their self-sufficiency and the ability to do the things they love.
Caregivers have an important role in maintaining or working to improve grip strength in older loved ones so they can increase their self-sufficiency.
While your senior can build grip strength at home with everyday hobbies and tools found around the house, a focused effort on building hand muscles through the use of hand grip strengtheners or exercisers can speed the process. The options are virtually endless, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites to help in your search.
This combo pack of tools offers a way to keep your senior interested and engaged in exercising while targeting different hand muscles. Included in this set are three finger stretchers and three hand grips, each developed for varying resistance levels.
- Lightweight, durable and washable silicone
- Builds dexterity in fingers and overall hand strength while reducing fatigue
- Engages both muscles needed for grip strength as well as muscles needed for expanding
This uniquely designed strengthener and stretcher features a wrap that secures to the older adult’s wrist and offers both activities in a lightweight, silicone tool that targets muscles in the hand, wrist and forearms.
- Lightweight silicone and Velcro wrist wrap
- Adjustable design offers multiple resistance levels
- Tapered finger holes for increased comfort and grip
- Ergonomic design suitable for all fitness levels
- Three-year warranty
This set of three grip strength balls resemble stress balls and offer three resistance levels. Perhaps the most basic of grip-strengthening tools, these simple egg-shaped balls provide the opportunity to build strength without the risk of injury or pain.
- Lightweight, soft thermoplastic elastomers that are 100% recyclable, soft, odorless and not sticky
- Ergonomic egg shape for maximum comfort
- Three color combinations
(For a variation on the stress ball, try the Fanwer Stress Ball with Finger Grips, which offers additional stability and less chance of dropping.)
If you’re like me, this is what you likely pictured for a “hand grip strengthener.” I grew up using my dad’s for fun—a contraption that resembled this tool from KDG. This two-pack allows you to exercise both hands equally and at the same time.
- Heavy-duty stainless-steel spring and plastic
- Ergonomic handle design for maximum comfort
- Easily adjustable from 10 to 130 pounds
- Digital display and grip counter
- 100% money-back guarantee
This fun contraption from Logest individually targets each finger while also offering a grip strengthener for the whole hand.
- Plastic and metal springs
- Isolation of each individual finger for increasing strength, dexterity and endurance
- Ergonomic base design for increased comfort
- Spring-loaded finger pressure buttons
- Three resistance levels
Find the right fit for your senior
When shopping for a hand and grip strengthener, it’s important to consider the current fitness and dexterity levels of your senior. If they’re currently struggling with basic household tasks – or if they have a hard time holding onto smaller items – start with lower-resistance, simpler tools like a soft stress ball and work your way up. The key is consistency and frequency, so if they don’t like the tool or struggle to use it properly, your efforts will go to waste.
Do your research and watch your senior use the tool several times before deciding if it will work for them. Most of the manufacturers on this list have money-back guarantees, and Amazon offers free returns on most items, so you can properly test each product before committing to it.