Use a Gel Pad

These gel pads are a fun way to keep hands and minds busy. They come in a variety of colors and designs, from simple one-cell packs to multiple cell “race tracks” and mazes. Some pads have hidden objects for the person to find and admire while the mazes and race tracks encourage the individual to manipulate an object through it. Some examples of each type are below.




The tactile feel of gel and the repetitive nature of the task can be soothing for those in the moderate to severe stages of the disease. These can also be a nice way to try to distract someone who might otherwise do something unwanted with their hands (such as pick at scabs, etc).

You can find instructions on how to make your own sensory gel pad at home (essentially stick some hair gel, some glitter, and a few trinkets in a ziplock bag), but I don’t recommend it; homemade versions tend to puncture and leak easily. Instead, check out these websites, or any other online provider for a heavy-duty version. I think you’ll be glad you did!

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