Theraputty, a resistant, pliable material made of silicone is being used by physical therapists and stroke specialists across the nation to help senior stroke survivors regain strength and fine motor skills in the hands. Today, Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of stroke care in Cincinnati, shares a bit about this fun and valuable rehabilitation tool.
The material, which is graded and color coded according to density, can be manipulated in many ways to help seniors stretch and enhance strength and flexibility in the fingers and the hand as a whole. The grades for theraputty, which is conveniently priced around $3.50 for 2-ounces, are as follows:
- Tan – XX-Soft
- Yellow – X-Soft
- Red – Soft
- Green – Medium
- Blue – Firm
- Black – X-Firm
Exercises for Hand Strengthening with Theraputty
The following three exercises are great for senior stroke survivors of all abilities and can be modified to meet individual needs. Family members and caregivers should set a time for five minutes, and have their loved one do three repetitions of each exercise. Should your loved one’s hands feel tired or achy, encourage him or her to take a break.
- Full Grip – Have your loved one squeeze the putty with his or her fingers against the palm. Press until the fingers reach the palm. Form the putty into a ball and squeeze again. This exercise will help your loved one to grip objects such as a door handle.
- Hook Fist – Bend the middle knuckles of your loved one’s fingers while keeping the large knuckles of the hand straight. Your loved one’s hand should form a hook. He or she can then squeeze the putty with their fingertips. This exercise will help your loved one carry items such as a purse or briefcase.
- Finger Dig – Have your loved one hold the putty in his or her palm and dig the fingers into it. Roll the putty over to re-shape and repeat. This exercise improves grip strength.
- Thumb Press – Have your loved one hold the putty in his or her palm and press their thumb into it until it reaches the palm. Re-form and repeat. This exercise builds strength for holding a cup.
- Finger Extension – Roll putty into a rope. Loop it over the top of your loved one’s second knuckle, with the finger bent. With the other hand, hold the ends of the rope down. Straighten the finger as your loved one pushes up against the putty. Repeat with each finger, including the thumb. This exercise improves hand control.
- Finger Pinch – Roll putty into a ball. Have your loved one pinch it between his or her thumb and second finger as far as possible. Repeat with the thumb and the rest of the fingers individually. This exercise facilitates buttoning and zipping clothing.
Theraputty is just one of the many ways in which seniors can enhance recovery at home. For more tips and tricks or to learn about in-home stroke care for a senior loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati today. We are proud to provide home care Cincinnati families trust, with flexible care schedules and no long-term contracts required. Call 513-891-2273 to speak with an experienced Care Manager and provide your loved one with the high quality stroke care he or she needs and deserves.