Wouldn’t it be nice if we could prevent finger contractures from developing? One issue I observed when working with the older adult population were stiff fingers. There were a number of older adults whose fingers were curled into their palm. Their fingernails would be digging into their skin. Sweat would form, and this population became at greater risk of skin breakdown. When I would go to help stretch them out, it was fairly difficult to extend them.
One way I saw staff prevent this problem, aside from physically pulling the digits out, was putting a rolled linen in their hands. This tool really only helped prevent the contractures from getting worse.
If this method was upgraded, it would be a material that could expand when pressure was placed upon it. The material would be placed in a person’s hand. Then, as the individual exerts a tighter grip, the material would either roll outwards or inflate in size. The goals would be to improve finger dexterity and just be an easier hand to hold. There is something comforting of having your hand held that can only be understood with experience.
Note: 1. The ‘Imagine’ series was inspired by a discussion with a friend about the present day definition for creativity.
2. These blog posts will be written to get readers thinking of ways to better every day life and spark discussion about change.