Category Archives: Arthritis Kitchen Tools

Top Ten Gifts for Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Pearlie

The best gifts for active seniors say, "I love you" and "I'm thinking of you."

I’m glad you found my list from last year useful.  I’m back from my on-line shopping trip with some old favorites and some new gift giving ideas for that creatively aging  person in your life.  Be sure to select the shipping method that offers the most value. As we get nearer to Christmas, that may mean upgrading to a faster delivery service.  Happy holidays!

Under $100

HappyLite Mini Ultra Sunshine Supplement Light – – HappyLite Mini Ultra sunshine supplement light system helps fight SAD seasonal affective disorder and winter blues. Available through

The Sonic Boom Alarm Clock and Bed Shaker. The Sonic Boom, designed for heavy sleepers or people with hearing loss, wakes you with a loud alarm, bed shaker, or flashing lights. The Sonic Boom can be placed under a pillow, or you can plug a lamp into te back of the clock so the light flashes when the alarm goes off.

$50 and up

Jewelry for Seniors – a marvelous web site with a category of gifts for senior men and senior women.  Nice, tasteful, clever ideas make for fun gift-giving.

Under $50The Handybar Vehicle Exit Device. Spare your loved one the embarrassment of those slipping disks. This discreet bar does not require permanent installation so it can be used on multiple cars, on both driver and passenger doors, and front and back seats.  Also features an emergency seatbelt cutter and window breaker.

The Easi Grip Arm Support Cuff and Set of Garden Tools. For the gardener in your life.  The garden tools and support cuff work together to assist avid gardeners whose grip has slipped a little due to time, injury or arthritis.  Cuff easily plugs into the rear of any Easi Grip tool.

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes – ah yes, those ugly but practical shoes, right?  Very wrong!  I visited their site and was most surprised with theselection.  Cute boots!  Cute sandals!  Click on the link below and see some of the fun, smart styles.  A gift certificate sure to please. Monalo Blaniks are fine for the twenty- and thirty-somethings, but feet wizened by a few more years seek comfort in addition to style. Nice selection of shoes designed for style as well as comfort.

Under $10

UN-SKRU Jar and Bottle Opener – S/he will think of you every time they effortlessly open screw top lids. The UN-SKRU’s been around for three decades –– a simple design that works better than any other for opening all sizes of screw-top lids, from tiny nail polish lids all the way up to the big car wax, peanut butter and warehouse-sized wood glue and pickle jars. Eco-friendly, too –– no batteries to wear out and dispose of, and it’s under the cabinet, not junking up her kitchen drawer

This easy to install and use opener opens all sizes of lids, from ½” to 5″ in diameter. It’s so effective that Good Housekeeping kitchens tested it and deemed it “best we’ve used.”  Company also offers the UN-SKRU in a festive gift basket with other hand-helping products.

Hand Key-per 8-way Household Opener – Clever opener has internal keys for easier turning of car ignition or home locks. Internally stored bag slitter is handy for envelopes, stubborn plastic bags, and numerous tasks where you “wish I could cut that.”  Also features a small jar opener, an emery board and a magnet so your keys can be stored on fridge or dash board – in easy sight so you won’t lose your keys.   Available on-line

DOORNUTS Door knob and Faucet Turners. These simple little polymer O’s install over door knobs in about two seconds and allow folks with limited or no finger grip to open doors. They also fit over water faucets, and come with free DOORNUT HOLES that fit over pens, crochet hooks or art brushes. Go to

#1 Gift Idea! The best gift you can give is one that involves you.  This from Dear Abby, and too good not to repeat. Visit your loved one and help them set up their tree and decorations. Clean up after yourself, and remember to *complete* the gift after the holidays by returning to take *down* all the decorations and neatly pack them for storage until next year. Isn’’t this a great idea! Happy holidays to all! -Janet


Make life a little happier – spread sunshine!

How will you spread sunshine today?  Please let us know!

How will you spread sunshine today? Please let us know!

Some days are just sunnier than others, thanks to wonderful people who share good news and good will.

Such was the case today when I received this letter from Mary John Thomas of Newnan, Georgia.

“Dear Janet,

You cannot imagine how THRILLED I am to be able to buy a replacement UNSKRU jar opener.  Since mine broke several years ago (after more than ten years of use), I have been trying to find one just like it. During this time, I’ve bought several “fool-proof” jar openers – even one from a shop for the disabled.  All were unsatisfactory!

This is, by far, the BEST jar opener that I’ve ever had.  There is no strain on your wrists and you don’t need THREE HANDS to try to open a stubborn jar lid.  It is everything you say it is and I just love it.

Enclosed is my order form for 3 openers.

You may use any part of this letter for your web site.”

Have you spread some sunshine lately?  I vow to look for proof of things that work properly, that fulfill their promise(s) and that make my life easier, and let the people responsible for that success know I appreciate them.

Meanwhile, thank you, Mary, for brightening my day and for letting us know that our product makes your life easier!

Mother’s Day Contest – win gift basket or buy/save with $6 off code!

Mother's Day gift basket is filled to over-flowing with hand care openers - the UN-SKRU, the Hand Key-per and DOORNUTS! Doorknob/faucet turners. Also dreamy soft gloves & moisturizing lotion!

Great way to pamper Mom's hands! Mother's Day gift basket is filled to over-flowing with hand care openers - the UN-SKRU, the Hand Key-per and DOORNUTS! Doorknob/faucet turners. Also dreamy soft gloves & moisturizing lotion! Win it, or buy it and use the special code to take $6 off!

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT BASKET – Overflowing with hand-friendly household openers and whisper-soft night-time gloves and lotion for overnight skin pampering.  $42.95 + $8 S/H

(continental US only)



Write a short story (100-200 words) of the best Mother’s Day present you’ve given or received in the past, and why it was so great, and you could win first prize in our “Best Mother’s Day Present” contest.  Then you can give your mom or grandmother this beautiful hand care gift basket filled with helpful household openers … the UN-SKRU under-cabinet jar opener, the HAND KEY-PER 8-way traveling opener, and DOORNUTS! doorknob and faucet turners.  We’ve also included a soft, nurturing pair of night gloves and moisturizing lotion to pamper her.

Best Mother’s Day Present Contest Rules

Send a short story (100-200 words) of the best Mother’s Day present you’ve given or received in the past.  If you have a photo, send that along, too, and we’ll post it with your story.  If your story is chosen, we’ll send you a FREE hand-care gift basket.

Send by e-mail or as a comment right after this post by clicking just after this article on the link that says “no comment” or “o comment” (it really should say something like “click here to comment), and if you have one, email the photo.   Or you can e-mail us directly at:  multimarketing @ (take out the spaces before and after the @-sign.)

We WILL NOT SELL, SHARE OR LOAN your address or e-mail address to any firm or organization.  This is just a fun contest to celebrate our customers, Mother’s day, spring, and effective ways to protect and pamper our hands.

So, you have nothing to lose, and a lovely Mother’s Day present to win.  C’mon.  Send us your story!  DEADLINE:  Stories must be received  by May 5, 2009.

TOO BUSY FOR A CONTEST?  SKIP IT AND ORDER THE BASKET:  Call 1-800-506-0248.  Multi Marketing & Mfg., hand-friendly household products since 1977.

Avoid hand injuries in the kitchen – Top Ten Tips

Avoid injury when preparing food--be a vigilant protector of delicate finger and wrist joints.

Avoid injury when preparing food--be a vigilant protector of delicate finger and wrist joints.

Avoid hand injuries in the kitchen – Top Ten Tips
by Janet Penaligon

A regular cooking or baking session can be frustrating and downright painful when injury or arthritis limits normal lifting, turning and twisting movements necessary to prepare a meal.

Here are some ways I’ve discovered to take charge in the kitchen without creating pain or strain.

1.  Consider yourself a management specialist when you enter the kitchen. Your first priority is to protect your (fill in the blank). This could be your wrist, if it’s been sprained, your finger(s) if it’s been broken, your joints if they’re more fragile than they used to be.  You will be the advocate for those delicate parts, and adjust your actions where necessary.

2.  Be aware of the most common enemies: twisting, prying, the pinching motion of thumb to forefinger, and any wrenching movement that torques the joints of finger, wrist, forearm or tendons.

3.  Use both hands.
If you’re taking a large skillet out of the cupboard, or anything that’s hefty, be sure your feet are balanced under you and avoid lifting with your back.  Be especially cautious when taking food out of the microwave. Protect your hands with hot pad mittens, which will not slip, and if your microwave is high, lower it to a safer level for you.  If you can’t do that, use a very sturdy step stool (not ladder) as a last resort.

4.  Divide and conquer. Unstack before trying to lift two or six or eight pots or plates.  If what you need is at the bottom of stacked pots, for example, remove them one at a time to lighten the load.  A few extra moments of preparation may save you from a new sprain or additional pain.

5.  “Choke up” on weighty items.
Grasping the skillet at the end of the handle closest to the bowl of the skillet will make it easier to lift – provided you’re lifting a cold skillet, of course or if you’re lifting a heavy knife or other sharp object, don’t get too close.

6.  Change the procedure if it hurts. Ziplock bags are handy, and the newer bags with the built in zipper tag are hand-friendly, but beware!  The old, standard Zip-locks may be priced right at Sam’s Club and Costco, but if you have arthritis or sprained thumb issues that give you trouble with the pinching action (squeezing the zip line of the plastic bag between your thum and pointer finger), they are not your friend.  With the tag-less Ziplock bags, I’ve found success (and spared myself pain) by laying the bag on the counter (won’t work for liquids but does work for food such as left-over broccoli or cooked rice, for example).  With the zip line in contact with the counter, I use the flat of my hand, if the bag isn’t too full, or my knuckles, and starting at the edge, pinch it closed between my knuckles and the counter.  It closes without the potentially painful pinching action.

7.  Get a good jar opener. Not one of those cheap plastic stick-ons, but a quality opener that installs with screws so it can handle the torque of a tight lid.  Yes, of course I recommend the UN-SKRU.  Heck, we sell it, and know it works great, and it doesn’t add to the clutter in your kitchen drawer because it’s under the cabinet, and it opens all sizes of lids easily.

If you’re in a kitchen without it, though, avoid trying to twist lids open with your bare hands. Summon help, if you can. It’s that important!   Avoid knife-banging and other activity that can only cause injury. If nothing else, a piece of no-slip Dicem or tacky fabric or towel can help, but go slowly and stop if you feel pain.

8.  Get an electric can opener. It’s just too hard on fingers, wrists, and the twisting motion taxes  the radius and ulna, the bones of the forearm.  Another option is to shop for the growing number of products–soups, vegetables, pet foods — that feature tab-top cans.

9.  Snuggle up and get better leverage. For certain opening tasks, moving closer to the object you wish to open gives you better grip and leverage. For example, new refrigerators have a powerful suction grip to keep the cold air inside.  Try this two different ways and you’ll see. If you stand three feet away from the refrigerator door and open it, then try standing just one foot away from the door and open it, you’ll see the difference.  Anything that avoids strain will help protect you.

10. Don’t forget the floor. Your poor hands will take a beating if you fall because you’ll use your hands to block any falls.  Be sure it’s clear of spills, any debris that could be slippery, or any cat, dog or grandchildren’s toys that could make you fall.

I developed these management methods.  What have you descovered or refined?  Have you developed clever management tips for kitchen safety?  We’d love to hear from you.  What’s your tip for us today?  Click on “comment” below and share it with us.

Coping with arthritis, injuries

My latest fashion accessory (the transparent tape allows me to wear my favorite sweather without it adhering to the Velcro)

My latest fashion accessory (the transparent tape allows me to wear my favorite sweater without it adhering to the Velcro)

I sprained my wrist and both thumbs last weekend, and I’m struggling with daily activities.  My niece recently told me the Story of the Spoons, a touching article by a woman who suffers from Lupus, and her effort to explain to her loved ones what it’s like to live when your ability to perform daily tasks is either stripped completely, or when it negatively affects your ability to accomplish ordinary chores and functions. It’s an inspiring story which, upon reading, you might find touching and gain new insight into how to understand others, or to explain chronic illness or pain to your loved ones.

When telling friends and acquaintances about our products, I often mention pronating and supinating, both movements possible because of the marvelous bone structure in our forearms. This accident has reminded me of how painful those intricate movements can be.

I have a touch of arthritis in my hands, and experience that every now and then.  I think it’s become better since I read You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty, by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj (He calls himself Dr. Batman for short), and started drinking more water.

With this latest injury, however, I have become more cognizant of severely limited movement, and how ordinary actions can bring about pain.  Turning the key in the ignition – ouch!  Pulling on shoes?  Difficult.  Picking up my little Chihuahua?  Painful.  Typing?  I’m down to hunt-and-peck.  Zipping a coat?  I found a trick – have my husband start the zipper and safety pin it, and just pull it over my head.  Dishes?  Ignore any that require scrubbing.

Coping tools.  For almost two decades I’ve been working with products designed to cope, to help prevent (further) pain or injury when performing daily tasks, and supplying catalogs who offer our products, as well. I realize that many UN-SKRU owners endure more pain than what I’m currently experiencing, many of them working with chronic pain, this injury increases my appreciation for the way injury or advancing arthritis robs us of full movement, and am glad to be a small part of the  answer to those daily challenges.  How do you cope with arthritis?  Click on the “comment” or “no comment” link below and share with us.

Arthritis and Tools for Daily Living

The UN-SKRU is an easy to use, affordable, long-lasting tool.

The UN-SKRU is an easy to use, affordable, long-lasting tool.

Best tools answer ongoing need, are simple and practical

Many of our customers have a touch of arthritis and find the UN-SKRU helps protect their joints from strain while opening stubborn jar lids.

The Arthritis Foundation offers these guidelines when selecting kitchen and gardening tools that help protect your hands from strain and injury during normal daily living.

•Be selective. Think about the tasks that are difficult for you on a regular basis and look for products that can make them easier.

•Select products with texture. For example, when selecting glassware, drinking glasses with bumpy exteriors are easier to grasp than glasses with smooth exteriors.

•Seek lightweight products that require minimal upkeep and are safe to use.

•Avoid products that are difficult to grasp or require twisting with your fingers to open and close. Instead, look for flip-top caps, zippers and larger, easy-to-open lids.

•Avoid the bells and whistles. Look for products that are simple and practical, rather than fancy gadgets with intricate pieces.

Following these guidelines will also help you select tools that make thoughtful and welcome gifts.

Old AARP Ad from 1970s, customer comments

AARP Ad from the 1970s

AARP Ad from the 1970s

Many of our customers remember the several years when we advertised in the AARP newsletter.  Unfortunately, advertising costs continued to rise so sharply that we were faced with a decision:  raise the price of the UN-SKRU sharply, or find other ways to reach our loyal customers.

We now find, as many fine retails have discovered, that the Internet is a friendly business environment that allows us to better showcase our products and more easily communicate with our customers. With this new endeavor, we welcome your comments.

As promised, here are a couple of comments from owners of the UN-SKRU jar opener.

We received this letter from Florida …
“As a retired Engineer I believe that I am qualified to say that your device is the most cleverly designed jar opener that I have ever seen.  You may use this letter as a testimonial if you so desire.”  …Edgar Althouse, Spring Hill, FL

… and from Michigan …
“My neighbor had a stroke and has no use of his right hand.  No way I can describe the smile on his face when he opened a bottle of pop with a screw cap!”
… Orin Mercer, Grandville, MI

Do you have a story to share about the UN-SKRU?  We welcome your email and photo(s).  You can become a permanent part of this forum.  We made it for you.