• Older folks – shaking mouse

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    This might sound odd to most readers, but it is a real problem for me and a few colleagues.

    Being over 80 years old I would like to use my computer, especially in these Corona days.  Problem: my hands are shaking due to my age [as it was with my grandfather and my father]  and I spend much time trying to get the mouse to where I need it.

    Does anybody have an idea how to overcome this problem ?


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    • #2223265

      We have a Tech Accessibility Forum. I have moved your topic into that Forum for feedback.

      There are several Topics that may have some information that will help you. @Elly , one of our MVPs, has  has shared her information on the subject.

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    • #2223279

      I also have essential tremors( as did my father) . Have you tried to adjust speed of mouse pointer in control panel=>mouse=>pointer options ?


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    • #2223419

      What has been most useful to me is a program called SteadyMouse.

      Within Windows I can make adjustments to screen out multiple clicks on the keyboard through Ease of Access, and adjusting sticky keys and filter keys… but have a real problem clicking on things with the mouse.

      SteadyMouse has a targeting system that lets me get in a general area, without having to be accurately placed over an icon or text box. It also allows finer control than the Windows settings. Once I made the initial adjustments, I can forget about it… and it makes using my computer less frustrating.

      I also find a weighted glove useful. It can help, when using a mouse… there is a relatively inexpensive version here.

      Because I spend a lot of time using my computer, I really thought about what I need- and have made positioning adjustments that support my arms, which reduces tremor when typing, and using the mouse.

      If I’ve learned anything, it is that you need to experiment and see what works best for you.

      Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

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    • #2223572

      The crux of the problem is that the mouse is moved in order to position the cursor/arrow before clicking, so the solution is to separate the moving of the mouse from the click.

      Do a search of “trackball mouse”.

      This kind of mouse stays stationary while you position the cursor/arrow with a trackball. Clicking the left or right button is completely independent from the movement of the mouse itself.

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      • #2223673

        A track ball mouse was recommended to me, some years ago. From my experience, my tremor still affected the track ball… and was a little worse, because my hand/fingers were lifted above the track ball, without support, in order to move the ball. It did not reduce the problem with targeting.

        I got better results from supporting my lower arm on a pillow, with the hand resting over a regular mouse. I don’t have to lift (and shake) in order to direct the mouse, and the pillowcase fabric slows the mouse movement down, making it more controllable. I just have to ensure that it is at a comfortable angle, and that the fabric is stretched smooth. I notice that I use one to two fingers anchored on the pillow, while moving the mouse, which also reduces tremor.

        Just a little more detail- I use a portable zero gravity chair that I can fasten pillows to, so they don’t get out of position when I get in and out of the chair, or change the tilt. I tilt back, and use the keyboard setting on my lower abdomen, and the mouse rests where my hand naturally rests when my arm is at my side, supported by a pillow. This is the best way I’ve found to minimize tremor, because my hands and arms are fully supported when typing and using the mouse.

        I would really encourage people to experiment with what works best for them, because I never had anyone suggest that positioning through reclining would help… not a physical or occupational therapist, websites with tremor suggestions, or other family members with tremor. A lot of time is spent teaching me to look or act ‘normal’ and it isn’t the norm to recline when using a computer. I spent a lot of time trying to use a computer with normal positioning, and it just resulted in constant frustration and fatigue. Between SteadyMouse and positioning, I’ve reduced the need for constant corrections that used to drive me crazy… and the targeting feature makes navigating and using my computer a joy again. But try things, and figure out what works for you… and what you are comfortable with.

        My family was a little put out at the design of my work station… but it is priceless to be able to kick back, be productive, and relax when on my computer…

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

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      • #2262072

        I’m almost 80 and use only Logitech M570 thumb trackball. I had tried the finger trackball, had use the Logitech many years ago and tried it again. Solved all the problems.

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    • #2261331


      Many thanks to those who responded.

      For myself, over the past few weeks I have been using a track-ball, and it feels better than the “normal” mouse; I do not have difficulties in typing – the mouse has been the real issue.

      I will continue to appreciate any new idea about controlling the mouse, or maybe another pointing device.

      Again, thanks all for their ideas.


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      • #2262093

        Perhaps try adjusting the cursor speed? Controlpanel=>mouse=>pointer options. You might find ‘snap to’ of some use ….it moves the cursor to the default button….

        Be Well!

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    • #2261375

      I teach computer classes at a local technology center.

      Years ago, one of my “older” student’s hands were shaking so bad that she could not use the mouse to point to the objects on the screen.

      I switched the mouse with a track ball. It helped her with the shaking pointer because she could steady her hand on the track ball.

      In my office, I now use a track ball due to carpel tunnel syndrome. I use the Logitech trackball that has a button on the side that allows me to slow the pointer down by about half. This is really handy when I’m editing photos and videos. When I want to speed up the pointer, I click the button again and the pointer resumes to full speed.

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      • #2296676

        Agreeing on the Logitech MX Ergo trackball; I’d add a steady thumbs up for the very comfortable fit, programmable functions, and the switch to flip between two different machines (using additional Logi wifi dongles). The unit is weighted, helping me eliminate the traditional problem of a jerky aim.

        A second tool that I might mention is a “smart” keyboard such as the Microsoft Natural one: The function keys, plus the top row of pre-programmed ones are easily reassigned to macros, or playback of keystroke sequences.

    • #2261577

      If it is just shaking hands, you might be better served with a roller ball mouse or a trackpad.  I have used them both and while I prefer the roller ball mouse, the trackpad is a usable alternative.   A graphics pen pad is also an alternative.

      Here is one from Amazon, but just search for them.  They come for your thumb or for any finger.



    • #2261583

      Go analog. A friction element on top of the mouse pad.  You want the mouse to not move after it arrives where you want it, but not so much friction it causes it to be sticky. First idea worked rather well, a piece of paper towel. It causes the mouse to be somewhat sluggish, but it was effective. It could be gotten used to. There are many household items that might work;

      terry cloth



      coarse paper

      rubber mat

      piece of high density pile carpet

      coarse woven or textured fabrics

    • #2261622

      Hi Shaky Mouse, I am 81.5 years of young & I started having that problem & I started taking some B Vitamins in a capsule & it was a type called B 50 which is a combination of all the B Vitamins.

      Give it a try, One Capsule daily with a meal.

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      • #2261639

        I’m glad vitamins were able to help you Robert, and I know that minerals like magnesium are a big help too.

        However, this is really not the realm of AskWoody – a tech-help site. Perhaps we should steer a little clear of passing on helpful tips that may be best left for people to discuss with their medical practitioners?

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    • #2261704

      I’m a couple of months shy of 80 but have used a keyboard wrist pad for 2 decades to solve a shaky mouse problem. The wrist  pad is 6 inches longer than the keyboard and supports the weight of the hand roughly below the pinky finger as I use the mouse. My elbow rests on a padded arm of a chair adjustable vertically for best results. Thus the mouse arm/hand has two contact points to keep it steady, allowing pretty accurate mouse action. Works for me….

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    • #2267197

      I ran into the same problem in the 1980’s when I was doing CAD work all day and the arm became fatigued. I switched over to a Logitech Trackman trackball mouse. The hand rests on the mouse without moving and the ball is moved with the thumb. I’ve been using one ever since. I’m in my late 60’s and have arthritis, but the Trackman is still comfortable to use with as much resolution as I need.

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    • #2276549

      Again, thanks to all responders.

      I have started to use a trackball [M570] following the above responses; I slowed down the movement and it did help a lot.  I am almost back to the “old times”.

      I think I can handle my computer much better now.

      Regards,   DM

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    • #2276666

      Your original post sent me off researching (just to see what I might see).

      On OlderGeeks I found Angle Mouse. There is a lot of associated theory that allows it to use “a target-agnostic pointing facilitation technique that works by continually adjusting the control-display (C-D) gain based on how coherent (straight) or divergent (angular) the mouse movement is. When the mouse moves straight, the gain is kept high, but when the mouse corrects abruptly, often near targets, the gain is dropped, making targets bigger in motor-space.”

      That quote, and other descriptions of what it does, are a little too technical for me… and why I had never tried it before this… but you got me thinking… and I was ready for a little experimentation.

      To my surprise, I simply had to install it… there are no adjustments to make on my part. A user does not have to ‘successfully’ hit the target, as with ‘sticky’ targeting. I had definite improvement in scrolling and targeting, and could easily forget that it is assisting me, as I just experience what used to be normal for me.

      You might try it.

      My daughter and grand kids do not even notice it is ‘on’ when using my computer. Too often, with adaptations, it is difficult to share, because what makes something work for a person with disability does not work for those around them. This is seamless, and does not change how anyone else uses the computer.

      The development of Angle Mouse was supported in part by Microsoft Research- got to give them credit, here… no telemetry added!

      Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

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    • #2277008

      Hello Elly,

      Its clear that U took it as a project, and U did much better than I could do myself.

      I will try the Angle Mouse probably this coming weekend and see how well it works for me.

      Many thanks for the opportunity to try something else.


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