Have you found that living with one sided weakness has made it really hard to wear shoes with laces because tying them is nearly impossible? Here are a few tips to help you bring back the laces and regain some of your dressing independence. Ditch the classic two looped knot for this one-handed knot and start wearing your favorite lace up shoes again. Directions accompanied by diagrams and pictures can be found on the website at the end of this post!
A suggestion from one of our readers: “Having limited use of my left arm after my strokes created a dilemma when it came time to tie my shoes. For a while I did have to have someone tie my shoes. At one point I could hold thing in my hand but had no strength. At this point when I would go to tie my own shoes, I would wrap the left shoestring around my left finger. This gave me the added leverage needed to pull my strings tight. This allowed me to tie my own shoes. I might add if you cannot bring your leg up to allow greater access to the shoe, try sitting on the bed, piece of furniture, I have even sat on the bottom of the stairs, that are low to the ground.”
For instructions on how to tie this knot, copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/onehandedknot.htm
For lacing instructions and sizing, copy and paste the following link into your browser: http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/onehandedlacing.htm
Follow the link below to view and purchase bathing and grooming aids such as a one handed nail clipper, bath kit, angled hairbrush and mounted finger scrub brush! The site is advertised for individuals with arthritis, but many of their products may also be extremely helpful to those with one sided weakness. The remarkably easy to use website also features kitchen aids, household aids and mobility aids.
This video features tricks for opening envelopes, writing cards, writing checks and reading paperback books. Although many of these activities can be performed online these days, paper is not yet completely obsolete and often poses significant challenges for those with one sided weakness. Take a look at some of these tools and maybe you’ll find yourself inspired to send a handwritten not to a loved one to let them know you are making strides to independence with the help of some of the things featured on this website!
Links to the Book Bone and the Book Holder can be found below. Copy and paste the URLs into your browser to purchase them off Amazon!
Book Holder: https://www.amazon.com/Actto-BST-09-adjustable-Portable-Document/dp/B005IV6U0U/ref=sxts_k2p_hero1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=2668835642&pd_rd_wg=Qa3G2&pf_rd_r=NT0P7PMFA8CAR5M9PXD6&pf_rd_s=desktop-sx-top-slot&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_i=B005IV6U0U&pd_rd_w=saXn6&pf_rd_i=book+holder&pd_rd_r=507MNSEMTBT0YVQNMSH1&ie=UTF8&qid=1479331319&sr=1
Meal preparation can be one of the most frustrating tasks for a stroke survivor living on their own. Cutting and chopping healthy fruits and vegetables can be difficult without the use of one hand. This video features a few helpful gadgets that can make cooking easier and can help you feel more independent and safe in the kitchen!
The single handed cutting board specifically featured in this video can be purchased from the link on the “Other Online Resources” post! Another one handed cutting board option from Amazon, along with the other items featured in this video can be found below.
Single Handed Cutting Board: https://www.amazon.com/ABLE-Swedish-Cutting-Board/dp/B00AHKWTMA/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1475977004&sr=1-2&keywords=single+handed+cutting+board
Crater Cutting Board: https://www.amazon.com/Matching-Cutting-Crafted-Tempered-Preparation/dp/B01CDTA8SE/ref=sr_1_5?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1475977004&sr=1-5&keywords=single+handed+cutting+board
The following site is another blog titled “Single Handed Living” by David Layton, a stroke survivor. His site contains several suggestions of adapted recreational activities, exercises, music and other hobbies for people affected by one sided weakness. You can also find other dressing tips and mobility aids that David has found helpful!
The following YouTube channel has several videos highlighting some of the ways to modify traditional exercises for people with all kinds of disabilities. Physical activity is one of the most important things to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle to prevent a future stroke, however, the task of learning how to workout with a disability can be daunting. Start small with simple exercises such as raising your arms above your head or walking around the block and don’t be afraid to get creative with your movements. One of the best things about exercise is that it can be modified to meet anyone’s needs. Any movement is better than no movement so grab a water bottle and do what you can!
Adaptive Exercises from the Human Development at the University of Kentucky
The following links will take you to videos about the benefits of yoga among stroke survivors and others with disabilities, some of the principles of adaptive yoga and full adaptive yoga classes. Remember, yoga focuses on connecting with the body through focused breathing and movements. Do the movements that work for you. Listen to your body and adjust any poses for your ability and comfort level. Relax, breath, and have fun!
Adaptive Yoga, recognizing the Human spirit
- This video is a Tedx talk given in Columbia, SC in 2014 by Dara Brown, a yoga enthusiast and instructor who has worked over the past 3 years to bring adaptive yoga to South Carolina
Columbia Offers Adaptive Yoga Class
- An interview with Dara Brown about the benefits of her class
Adaptive Yoga-Full Class
- Full adaptive yoga class taught by innovator Matthew Sanford
YOGAdapt’s Adaptive Yoga Series-1
- An adaptive seated yoga class
The following link will take you to a different blog filled with helpful one-handed kitchen tools. The site, One Hand Can, is run by Rosanna Radding who has been living with the effects of a stroke since 1995. It contains several cooking videos featuring Rosanna and her inventive one-handed devices. You can buy many of the products that appear in the videos by clicking on the OneHandCanSHOP tab, you will then be directed to a separate site where you can then buy the products.
This video comes to us from South Carolina as well and features a creative, cheap tip to conquering those pesky jacket zippers. Like many other one handed tasks, patience is the key to success with this trick, even with the help of the shoe lace tied to the zipper. Enjoy!
Please enjoy this video of a couple helpful kitchen gadgets and tools submitted to us by an inspiring stroke survivor in South Carolina.
The following links can be copied and pasted into your web browser to buy the items showcased in the video:
Rocker Knife: https://www.amazon.com/Grips-Rocker-Knife-Serrated-Blade/dp/B000G386MU/ref=sr_1_2?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1475976552&sr=1-2&keywords=one%2Bhanded%2Bknife&th=1