Managing Liquids with Essential Tremor

For those with hand tremors, handling liquids can feel like a nightmare—and it becomes even more of a hassle when handling hot drinks, as spilling these can be dangerous. Although it can be a struggle for those with essential tremor to carry or drink fluids without spilling, it’s not impossible. The educators at the Essential Tremor Education Center have a few tips for handling liquids while minimizing the risk of a spill.

Hold Glasses Near the Rim

When you hold a glass near the bottom, this causes the glass to be top-heavy. As a result, any tremor is considerably more likely to cause liquids to splash out the sides. To prevent this from happening, avoid filling your glass fully, and then place your fingers at or above the water’s surface. This will help to balance the water. If you’re dealing with a full glass, place your hand above the glass and carry it with your fingertips placed just below the edge of the glass’s rim. Again, this will help keep it properly balanced.

Don’t Raise Your Hand

Be careful how high you raise your hand. If you raise your hand above your shoulder, then you’ll engage new muscles that will make it even easier to spill your drink. Instead, try to keep your drinking hand below your shoulder. This may seem awkward if you’re in the middle of a toast, but don’t worry—you can still keep your hand below shoulder level while other people move their glasses toward you.

Invest in Tall, Straight Glasses

Any glass that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom will be difficult to control for those with essential tremor. Instead, stock up on glasses and mugs that have straight, tall sides. These glasses are easier to hold and it will take less work to keep them balanced.

Be Patient and Plan Ahead

Even with taking precautions, spills will still happen. Be patient. Instead of being frustrated with the occasional spill, plan ahead so that an accident won’t be embarrassing or difficult to clean up. Try wearing dark clothes, as these will hide any stains. Also, if possible, use furniture with easy-to-clean surfaces.

Handling liquids may seem intimidating with hand tremors. But, by following these tips, it can be easier to prevent unwanted spills. If you or a loved one are currently looking for essential tremor relief, call the Essential Tremor Education Center at 844-NO-TREMOR today to chat with one of our educators. We aim to educate those with essential tremor about their options so that it’s easier to take your health into your own hands.