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The challenge

Bernard Weatherill,   Case Officer Basingstoke Remap, writes:

We have recently had a referral for a client, a man in his twenties/early thirties, who uses a wheelchair and has MS. He is a budding artist and has displayed and sold some of his work in the past to supplement his income and raise funds for MS. The issue he poses is that although he can hold a crayon quite easily the problem really lies with controlling his tremors. Ten minutes is about as long as he can last before the spasms get too bad for him to continue and even before they kick in he is unable to draw a straight line. The OT who is overseeing his case at first thought he had a problem in holding the crayon but that is not the real problem – it is his tremors. He is not keen on having weights applied to his wrists/hands but has been encouraged by a video made for the BBC Simon Reeve programme ‘The Big Life Fix’ :-

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Haiyan+and+Simon+Reeve&&view=detail&mid=1553BF972DE78C60BC951553BF972DE78C60BC95&&FORM=VRDGAR

 

We will be pursuing details of this device and the possibility that our client might be able to acquire one. However, in the meantime it would be helpful if any of the Panels have had similar requests and have either been successful in sourcing such a unit or have details of producing a device that could provide a suitable solution to the problem.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Bernard

 

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9 thoughts on "Controlling tremors in artist with MS"

  1. Avatar Ian Midgley says:

    Hi Bernard,

    nearest we have done is this but if the client is reluctant to try out weights, this might not be suitable.

    http://www.remapharrogateripon.org.uk/remap_074.htm

    It’s recently had a replacement baseboard as a different child is using it and the original board was a bit heavy as it used some spare car bodywork steel I had!

    It is now 6mm roofing polycarbonate, and the plate stuck to it with contact adhesive is 0.7mm 400 series stainless steel so no longer needs a plastic covering. The black foam is the sort you get to protect kids from glass table top edges, and now goes all the way around.

    Be interested to know if the Big Life Fix device got any further.

    Regards, Ian

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  2. Avatar Bernard Weatherill says:

    Hi Ian,

    Many thanks for the reference to the Harrogate Panel’s solution to the problem. There are a number of plus points and also a few negatives – the weight issue and the fact that the rollers will be running over any artistry work that has already been committed to the underlying medium. I will be passing on the information to the OT and client involved and, if it sparks some interest, hopefully discussing the merits of this solution and any possible modifications that might make it more suited to his use.
    Regards, Bernard

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    1. Avatar Ian Midgley says:

      No problem – it was a long shot.

      Here’s another one. Has the client tried any type of wrist support? Even though the tremor is involuntary, altering the way the wrist/arm is supported can sometimes make a difference when the tremor gets worse with fatigue.

      I got a noticeable improvement with one client some years back by trying him out with a wrist rest the same as this one.

      https://www.staples.co.uk/crystal-keyboard-wrist-rest-blue/cbs/297976717.html

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  3. Mike Nevett says:

    Hi, Just wondered whether a “Neater Eater” might be helpful.
    http://www.neater.co.uk/
    Mike Nevett Leicestershire panel

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    1. Avatar Ian Midgley says:

      The powered arm support they do looks an interesting piece of kit.

      http://www.neater.co.uk/neater-arm-support/

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    2. Avatar Bernard Weatherill says:

      Hi Mike, many thanks for the information; very helpful. I will be getting together with the client and the OT in the near future to look at the various ideas that have been forwarded and then making an assessment as to which way to go.

      Regards
      Bernard

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  4. Avatar Stan says:

    Hi,
    I’m in collusion with a client artist with “essential tremor”. On a project several years ago I worked with a client artist suffering from MS, which caused similar uncontrolled tremor. Now, as then, I have constructed an easel which incorporates a bridge over the working area of the easel and supported on each side by a pair of drawer runners, 100% extension. The present project is still being assessed but shows promise. The bridge allows the artist to press his hand onto a solid support while presenting his brush or pencil to the canvas. The bridge has a serrated track on either side that is engaged by a serrated sprung clamp so that the bridge will remain in position when unattended.
    If this is of interest I can send photographs of both devices.

    Stan Penman, West Midlands REMAP

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    1. Avatar Bernard Weatherill says:

      Hi Stan, Many thanks. The answer is ‘Yes please’ to the photos; I would be very interested in seeing how you have tackled the job.

      Regards Bernard

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    2. Avatar Stan says:

      I’m not familiar with this method of communication. Please send your email address to stan-penman@blueyonder.co.uk

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