Background and aims: Despite the importance of handwriting in everyday life, virtually no literature can be found documenting the extent and range of everyday handwriting performance and ability among healthy elderly persons. The aim of this pilot study was to examine the kinematic characteristics of the handwriting process of healthy elderly persons and its correlates. Methods:Fifty-three healthy participants (aged 60 to 94) living in the community, performed five functional writing tasks using a computerized system which documented the handwriting process. Results: In air time (i.e., the time of non-writing while writing) accounted for approximately half to two-thirds of total writing time. Higher age was consistently associated with longer on paper and in air time, as well as with lower speed and lower pressure. Conclusions: The results of this pilot study indicate that kinematic analysis of handwriting provides important information about the handwriting process among elderly people.

Published in: Aging: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2006, 8(5),433-439.