If you are suffering from limited range of motion, f.i. due to conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s or dystonia or if you are having an injury, you may find that reaching to pick-up something can be a struggle. Fortunately, you can get a mobility aid like a reacher to help you reach these difficult areas without causing you pain or strain. This assistive daily living aid will help make routine challenges easier and achieve more independence.
What is a reacher?
Reachers – sometimes also called grabbers - are extension tools that allow you to reach to distant and hard-to-reach places and bringing things close enough to grab.
Reachers are used to pick-up things, pull or push and move items around. They work like a bionic or extended arm in many cases: their long handle work like a hand and fingers. The simple technique of pressing a lever puts into action a hand-like claw or grasping arm that helps hold or catch the object.
It allows you to pick-up a newspaper or TV remote from the floor, a slipper under the bed, a key on the table or your glasses on the cupboard etc. Some even have a magnet to help you pick-up objects like safety pins, paper clips or your hair clip.
What are reachers used for?
People that have difficulty bending, find using a reacher tool very helpful when reaching for things that are hard to get:
- To grab an item from a high shelf
- Pick-up an item that has fallen on the floor
- Open cabinet doors or drawers
- Retrieve pencils and pens, newspapers fallen on the floor
- Take a book from a bookshelf
- Work as dressing aid to pull up socks
- Pick the remote control
- Reachers with magnetic tip, pick up keys and paper clips with ease
When do you need a reacher?
Different conditions and injuries can result in a someone losing the ability of using their hands, arms, and fingers. Weakness can also cause the person to lose the ability to grip or hold something. There are a number of reasons why you can profit from a reacher:
- Seniors having difficulty bending
- Humerus fractures
- Muscle and ligament tears
- Sprains and strains
- Hip or knee injury
- Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis
- Shoulder dislocation or instability
- Muscle stiffness
People bound to a wheelchair or bedridden individuals may also require the assistance of a reacher to carry out simple tasks.
Reasons to invest in a reacher
Here are the best reasons you want to have one at home.
One of the simplest reasons to get this daily living aid is that it allows seniors a degree of independence with day-to-day chores.
No longer will they need to call on people if they need to reach a jar that’s higher up. No longer will they need to bend down to pick up an item that they may have dropped.
In a sense, it isn’t just a mobility aid for them but is a tool to (re)gain independence at home or in the aged care facility.
Even if your older parents aren’t too far ahead when it comes to their ability to reach for things, you would do well to help prevent them from reaching that point. Remember, again, that their bones and muscles aren’t where they used to be in terms of capability. Therefore, they can risk harming themselves if they so happen to overreach or bend down the wrong way.
A simple independent living aid like a reacher can then become a preventive measure to help them stay out of trouble.
The beauty of a reacher is that it isn’t an age-restricted device. In fact, it’s a tool that can be used for the convenience of those still at younger ages.
There are many scenarios that one might find these daily living aids useful. For example, it is useful for grabbing something that may have rolled off into a hard to reach area. It can also be useful when an item just so happens to be too high and a ladder isn’t handy.
It can also be invaluable as a safety tool around the house. The length of the bar of these mobility aids is adaptable making it easy to grab things further away without falling or slipping.
The truth is that there are many very useful reasons why investing in daily living aids are a great idea. Provided that you find a sturdily built one, it will have clear utility in and around your home. It will also prove useful to whoever uses it.
What are the best options in reachers?
- The Aktiv Reacher by Etac is a useful extension tool used as dressing aids or for reaching all kinds of objects. This reacher features striated plastic jaws that securely grip round and square objects with minimum grasp strength from the user. Adjustable 360° turning jaws conveniently set at any angle, eliminating arm-turning. The handle has a support for the index finger which gives improved precision. This reaching aid can lift loads up to 2 kg.
- The Easireach II by Homecraft is a lightweight aluminium reacher with an ergonomic handle that sits comfortably in your hand. The jaw opening opens to 7.5 cm and is equipped with a slip-resistant orange surface for higher visibility. It holds objects securely whilst the magnetic tip can retrieve small metal objects (like keys). The hook is used for dressing and pulling items closer. It is available in 6 models, differing in length and in the ability to fold.
- The Reacher from Handi-Grip is available in 2 versions and extends your reach either with 66cm or 81 cm. The great advantage is that the rubberised jaw rotates 90° - just like your wrist - so you can use it vertically and horizontally. It is coated with anti-slip material to prevent items from dropping or slipping. Our reaching aid guarantees precision pick-up from any surface.
Whether your strength isn’t what it used to be, or you just have had a hip or knee surgery, or need a little extra assistance, a reacher can be extremely useful around the house. It securely grips the items and it is built to last.
This tool is the perfect tool for seniors or those with limited mobility.