Any Advice for Handling Fiddly Strips with Arthritic Hands?

Hi, I'm new here.

I have long-standing RA, and my hands are pretty much hosed. I have trouble gripping anything small, and small flat slippery things - like the test strips - are really difficult.

I brought this up in chat, and the suggestions were for a meter that spits out strips (Accu-Chek?), a larger container I could better get my fingers into, and fingernails (I've been keeping mine very short, as my nails are very weak).

Any others? I'd love to hear anything anyone's tried that's helped.

The two Accu-chek meters we mentioned in chat were the Compact Plus, and the Mobile.

Compact Plus:

One thing to be aware of with the Accu-Chek meters, if you don't test that often, is that the strips expire. I got an Accu-Chek Mobile to use while swimming (since strips are hard to handle with wet hands) and really liked it except that the cartridge of 50 strips expired when there were still 19 left in there because I didn't use it often. I think the strips take six months to expire, so as long as you test more than once a day (which I'm assuming most here do!) it would be fine, but just something to be aware of.


Those are good ideas above. I'm not as fancy and like my One Touch. I just let the strips flow from the vial onto my fingers and pick one out. I lick my pointer finger tip or thumb tip and press it onto the middle of the strip which picks it up. I just picked one off the floor yesterday. My nails are strong but I also keep them short. I am long term Type 1 and Ra. Hope this helps too.

Bayer has a Breeze meter where the strips are dispensed form the meter. Maybe you can check with our insurance to find out if it is one of the meter companies they cover. I would also think that our MD could write an Rx for that meter to help with the hands issue. There was another meter that had a drum you loaded into the meter but I don't think it is around anymore.

Thank you for this post. I am especially having trouble getting strips out of the tin since Kaiser's supplier for my old OneTouch went to 50 strips in the tin that used to contain only 25 strips.....My husband's recent suggestion was that we transfer them to a larger container. I haven't tried that yet, but if I dump them all out accidentally once more, that's it. I think it's a good suggestion. I'm just not sure of what kind of larger container!......Again, thanks. And if I figure this possibility out, I'll let you know!...Blessings...Judith in Portland.....

I agree the One Touch 50 strips are annoying! My solution for that is to hang on to an empty one and put like 10 at a time into it, which seems to make them easier to handle. I usually had an empty around anyway, for stuff like running I'll bring 4-5 strips in a separate container in case I get a sweaty leak or something...

If you think finger nail idea is viable, try this: Buy some clear nail polish (I personally like Sally Hansen for this purpose) and use it on your fingernails. The polish actually protects them from detergents, soaps, etc. I can personally attest that it works.

I do a similar thing.
I have Contour Next strips, in containers of 50's. I take an old bottle, and put about 1/3 the strips from new bottle into the old one, and refill as needed. Then keep the old one in my meter case for daily use. Makes it much easier to get a strip out of a partially filled container.

My father does this. He thinks it's awesome.

Though I hate that they're so big, they're much easier to handle. And the vial is bigger, so it's easier to get your fingers into.

I'm pretty sure the Mobile isn't available in the US. I wish it was...

I have some arthritis in my hands and understand what you are talking about. Fortunately my hands are not in as bad a shape as yours. My only advice is: Don’t get the One Touch Verio meter. The gold strips are incredibly difficult to handle and they tend to stick to each other. I’ve always wanted a strip dispenser that is like a Pez candy container. And maybe I could get Bugs Bunny or Snoopy on the top.

Love it, Laddie. A Pez dispenser. Perfecto!!!...Blessings...Judith in Portland