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144586 tn?1284669764
Felt-Tip pens and stroke rehab
The very elderly and stroke-disabled often have difficulty in using a ball-point pen or pencil. On one of my visits to a nursing home last week to help out a friend I brought her packages of "sharpies" in many colors, and a bristol-board pad upon which to draw. Bright purple, red, green, blue and many pastel shades in between. I prefer the fine points. She has trouble sharpening a pencil or using a ball-point pen, but delights in using the markers. Because she has a tendency to leave the caps off I purchase them in six-packs. These will bleed through ordinary paper, however bristol-board pads are available that will not bleed through. I have used these markers with severely damaged stroke patients, who cannot hold a pen or pencil wil sufficient pressure against paper to make a mark. They come on both non-toxic and toxic varieties. The non-toxic have a water-based solvent, which unfortunately, does not make as bold a mark, mark as easily or is indelible,so I prefer the ordinary versions.
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187666 tn?1331176945
On the other hand, if the person does slip and make a mark on themselves with the water based variety, it will wash off. I've learned this from my grandson who delights in drawing on himself more than paper.

I thought I had heard of special grips that can be added to pens and pencils that aid a person in holding them. Would these be needed for felt pens as well?
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There are grips available, but if one can't find them, pink foam rollers work too. Just take out the curler clip and slip the pencil/pen into the foam.  Additionally, a light weight that attaches with velcro (like ankle weights for work outs) around the wrist can give a little bit of positive pressure enabling a person to steady the hand a little better.  
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