|"Top 7 Reachers"
Shelley Peterman Schwarz
This month we bring you another feature provided by Shelley Peterman Schwarz.
Shelley Peterman Schwarz is an award-winning author, TV personality, self-syndicated columnist, motivational speaker, Internet radio host, and teleclass instructor who offers practical tips and strategies for living well despite chronic illness and disabilities.
For more than 20 years, Shelley has been using her personal journey living with multiple sclerosis and her professional training as a special education teacher to help others cope with life's challenges. You can visit Shelley's web site at www.MakingLifeEasier.com.
I don't know what I would do without my reachers. From my wheelchair I can reach dishes and glasses, put groceries away, hang up clothes in the closet, get things out of the refrigerator and pick up almost anything that has fallen to the floor. I have different reachers for different purposes.
Here are my Top 7 List of Reachers:
- Kitchen & BBQ Tongs – Standard kitchen tongs, can pick up dropped objects, retrieve toilet paper from the back of the cabinet, or reach something that’s fallen on the floor of your car. When you need a longer reach, grab the BBQ tongs.
- Make your own reacher – Affix a wad of tape or a magnet to the end of a yardstick and you have a handy reacher. The magnet will pick up pins, nails, and other metallic objects, while tape will pick up lightweight non-metallic objects, like paper and cloth. Or, open up a coat hanger and use the hook end to get clothing out of the washer or dryer.
- My favorite commercial reacher is the TeleStik™ –Its lightweight (2.3 oz to 5.4 oz), slim design allows you to pick up objects, including cell phones and TV remotes, without squeezing—even from tight places where most reachers will not fit! The compact design fits easily into a fanny pack, coat pocket, or purse, yet extends up to 34 inches to retrieve objects weighing up to 1 pound.
Other TeleStik™ reachers include the TeleMag™ (a powerful magnet) and the TeleHook™ (a hook for pushing, pulling, or dragging objects). The UltraStik™ has an adhesive disk that’s good for 2000 pickups. Wash the disk and the disk is rejuvenated; it’s perfect for retrieving paper and small objects. All reachers are available from Cougar Mountain Marketing Corporation, 877-299-2982; www.telestik.com Cost: $16-$28
- Pistol grip reacher – Pistol grip reachers work by squeezing a trigger, like you would a gun. The advantage to this type is that you can squeeze with just one finger or your whole hand to activate the gripper arms.
- Locking reacher – The E-Z Reacher has a locking lever that locks the object in place, so you can move or carry the object without continuing to squeeze. Once you have the object where you want it, release the lever to free its gripping arms. These reachers come in various lengths and there’s a folding model for travel. Available from Dynamic Living Inc., 888-940-0605; www.Dynamic-Living.com. Cost: $10-$25
- Omnigrip™ Reachers –The jaw of this foldable reacher is easily adjusted to any of four up/down and axial positions to achieve the best angle for use whether sitting, standing, or lying down. A magnet on the jaw picks up needles and nails; a unique locking mechanism allows a continuous hold on an item without applying pressure on the trigger. The trigger requires a bare minimum of hand strength to operate and a removable wrist support adds balance and control for people who need it. Available from Maddak, Inc., 973-628-7600; www.maddak.com. Cost: $60-80
- Rubber grip/Suction cup reacher – The Gopher™ reacher has flexible rubber suction cups on the end to provide a gentle grip with more cushioning for more delicate objects. It also offers a secure trigger-lock handle and folds for easy storage. Available from Aids for Arthritis, 800-654-0707; www.aidsforarthritis.com. Cost $10
To try various types of reachers before you buy, contact your local hospital or clinic Occupational Therapy (OT) department, a home health store, or Independent Living Center. You’ll find a list of Independent Living Centers in your state, at: http://www.ilusa.com/links/ilcenters.htm.
If you have additional questions, send an email to Shelley@makingLifeEasier.com and we’ll do our best to help you find the answer.
Visit www.MakingLifeEasier.com to sign up to receive her free inspirational E-zine. While you are there, listen to her weekly Making Life Easier Internet radio program, where Shelley and a guest discuss the lessons learned and wisdom gained living with chronic illness, disability, and age-related limitations.
You’ll also find descriptions of Shelley’s books which you will find at your local bookstore or may order directly from the publisher:
Demos Medical Publishing – www.DemosMedPub.com
Tips for Making Life Easier with Arthritis
Tips for Making Life Easier with Multiple Sclerosis
Tips for Making Life Easier with Parkinson’s Disease
The Attainment Company – www.AttainmentCompany.com
Memory Tips for Making Life Easier
Dressing Tips and Clothing Resources for Making Life Easier
Organizing Your IEPs