Dycem Product Review

The good folks over at Dycem were kind enough to send me some free samples in exchange for a review. Click through to read (and win a prize!)

Dycem products have expanded since I was in school, learning about their use. They have even made a special section on their website just for OTs. I got a few products and started trying them out in my practice and handing them out to others.

I was a little confused by the mat that had a peel off on both sides. I am 80% sure that it was just like that for easy distribution and cleanliness, not to be adhesive. (There are adhesive strips/mats as well) I tossed one of these in my utensil drawer, because the force from me closing the drawer kept knocking the silverware tray back into the depths. I put it in a few weeks ago, and despite me purposefully slamming the drawer, the tray does not move. The silverware itself keeps trying to run away, but I digress. We will also use some for either the drawer holding baggies or for where the wine glasses are.

One of the rifton chairs at school has a piece of Dycem on the seat to help keep the child from sliding. This does work, but you have to be very conscious that you are positioning the child properly and with a good pelvic tilt since it will be hard for them to readjust themselves.

I like the coaster a lot. It doesn't slide on the surface and the glass doesn't slide either. The downside is that it cannot absorb any liquid, so the glass will get pretty drippy if you have a lot of condensation. I tried to use this in the car to hold my phone (illegally) on the dashboard, but it couldn't quite hold the phone during the turns.

The pediatric mats are quite cute. However, the shape cutouts can make it difficult to get the absolute best fit for the object getting stabilized. I have used the Turtle while in the schools, stabilizing slant boards, the Ipad, blocks etc while on the wheelchair tray or tabletop. The kids seem to like it, but it can be a little distracting. I sent the hippo to my grandma because her little fat dachshund dog is so eager to get her daily food portions that she attacks them and pushes them under the toe kick for the kitchen cabinets. This is annoying for my grandma, who really shouldn't be bending over and digging under the cabinet or all across the floor for these bowls. She swapped the old mat for the dycem one and has not had a problem with the bowls moving at all. I got a text message ("from the dog") that reads- "Dear Cheryl, I like my new mat. I don't have 2 chase my food dish. It is easy for my maid 2 pick up and clean. It doesn't take up as much space. Thank u for thinking of me. love, Annie"
The jar and bottle openers are my favorites by far. The jar opener has worked on everything I could try, and my elderly patients have always liked it. It is listed at $12.75, but really high quality. It is much better than the rubber or silicone trivets/openers I've tried before. The bottle opener is a little redundant, but lets me open my adult beverages without assistance.

Keep in mind, when using any of these products, your results are much better if the surface and the product are both clean and dry. I have to keep the portable mats in boxes so that they can be transported without getting nasty. It just takes soap and water to clean. I tried to use the placemat "off label" as a trivet. I wouldn't recommend it for that. It's better than a towel, but does still transfer the heat as time goes on. I actually checked the specs and material is supposed to be OK up to 50*C, but I like my silicone trivets better for this purpose.

Things I didn't try:
- On the website, you can see small furniture disks to keep chairs from slipping. I would be interested to know whether this provides enough stabilization to someone who is really pushing back hard on the chair (like a person with Parkinson's). I suspect it would depend on the angle of the push- might be ok for a person who pushes straight backward, but most are at an angle that causes the chair to tip back.
- Also on the website, they have a picture of a sheet of Dycem on a hospital bed presumably to keep a person from sliding down the bed. Would this really work? Soft surface of sheet plus either soft hospital gown or skin? I don't know that I would try it.
- I didn't have one of those mats to try out with sit-stand transfers. It would probably work with some, but the ability to adjust the person's feet is sometimes needed. Could still be useful.

If it were me, I would expand the product features in a few ways. I think the openers and the coaster could be more accessible if there was a magnet or clip to attach to the fridge or cabinet drawer. The jar opener could probably be made into a ring only and attached to a keyring for tailgating purposes. Some products could be integrated with others to increase their function. A silverware drawer with Dycem lining on the bottom and insides would be helpful. A coaster that could somehow have a cork middle to be absorbent while still retaining the non-skid would be great. Anything that could tolerate high temperatures, microwaving, or going through the dishwasher would be helpful. And more color choices are always enjoyed.

I really don't know of an alternative better to Dycem. It just works.

Free Giveaway!
Thanks for reading this far! Please leave a comment regarding this entry or the blog in general (polite only please, no email addresses, no spam plugging fake universities, etc). Get these in by 11:59pm (EST) Sunday November 6 and I will use a random number generator to pick a winner(s) and mail you a slightly used but not damaged Dycem product. You can also get brochures and free samples here.


OTA_Stolinski said...

Hi there! I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. I randomly stumbled upon it a few weeks back and have been going back in time reading your older posts. I'm a second year OTA student and I'm finishing up my last semester of course work and preparing for clinicals which start in January. I just wanted to say "thanks" for all the insight and stories you're sharing on here!
- Ben, OTAS

Cheryl said...

Thank you very much Ben for your nice comment! I really appreciate it! Feel free to email me if there's any questions or things you'd like to see... and good luck on those fieldworks!

Cheryl said...

Hey Ben, you're the winner for the Dycem giveaway! email me and I will send you a prize :)