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The Reacher - An Indispensable Tool

Posted 4/20/11
Written by Chris Stoeri

When you have a temporary or permanent disability and are unable to bend low or reach high, everyday life can be a challenge. I’m no longer able to bend my hips because of arthritis. Recently while I was doing some cleaning around the house, I was reminded of how much I appreciate the reacher as an everyday tool. In fact, I have a reacher in every room of the house, plus one I keep in my car. Using a reacher has become second nature with me and it is easy to forget what an amazing invention it is.

What is a reacher? A reacher is an assistive device used to reach an object that is far away. You can pick things up from the floor or take things off a shelf (or put them back). You can use them to help you dress, do laundry, or perform any daily task that involves bending or reaching.

The two main types of reachers are the claw type and the suction cup type. They both work well picking up a variety of items such as a coin on a smooth floor or heavier items from a shelf. When purchasing a reacher, pay particular attention to the length that you select. Longer reachers give you more range, but the longer the reacher, the heavier the item will feel when you pick it up. Some reachers have claws that can rotate 360 degrees, or even have a magnet on the tip to help pick up lightweight metal items. Many suction cup reachers have a locking feature to keep the suction cups locked onto your item.

Most reachers work well for up to 1 pound in weight, but consider the size of the item to avoid an accident. Also, never use the reacher in a manner that brings the object you’re picking up over your head! If you lose your grip or the reacher fails, it could cause a serious accident.

The reacher is an inexpensive, yet indispensable tool for everyday tasks.

About the Author
Chris Stoeri was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 17, and has spent several years as an active volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation. He founded EnableYourLife.com to help people with all types of diabilities to more easily tackle their daily challenges, providing a wide range of mobility products, self help aids, wheelchair parts and accessories, and thousands of other medical produtcts and supplies.