Things to Live By
Here are some useful products that make life easier and more independent for stroke survivors, people with aphasia, people who use only one hand, people with mobility issues and physical disabilities, and anyone who wants to make their day a little easier around the house, in the kitchen, grooming, reading, writing, moving around, going out, traveling, working, playing, enjoying life.
My speech, occupational and physical therapists helped me learn to be independent by teaching me techniques for one-handed living, a weak right leg, and speech problems from aphasia. Then, it was up to me to continue to find new tricks and tools for my personal care, household chores, work and play. Like most people, we live on a tight budget. So, instead of ordering from an expensive medical equipment supplier, we look for gadgets in our local department store, hardware store, drug store, and occasionally a specialty catalog. You can find almost anything on Amazon, so we have provided a link to Amazon to see and order products like mine.
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Lighting Candles With One Hand
Lighting candles for holiday or birthday celebrations can be hard one-handed. Matches are almost impossible for me. Instead, I use a lighter that looks like a small gun, the BiC Multipurpose Candle Lighter. You hold down the hammer with your thumb, then pull the trigger and a little flame leaps out, easy to light any size candle with one hand.
One-Handed Secure Containers
Opening and closing containers with secure lids with one hand is hard. Over the years I have tried many products. My new favorite is the Good Grips Pop Storage Container. I set up the coffee maker the night before and use the 1.7-Quart Rectangle Container to store ground coffee. It fits on the shelf in my fridge. It is easy to open and close without spilling, and the large opening is easy to scoop.
One-handed Gourmet Breakfast Maker
There are many small kitchen appliances that I use to prepare meals with one hand. One is a waffle maker like the Hamilton Beach 26020 Belgian Style Waffle Baker. You can make the batter in a mixing bowl with a handle and spout to pour onto the waffle maker with one hand. You don't need to turn them, since they heat on both sides. When done, you lift out with tongs.
One-Handed Can Opener
The Chef'n EzSqueeze One-Handed Can Opener opens cans with 1 hand, with just a few squeezes, quickly, safely and easily, without batteries. Stainless steel cutting blade; magnetic end allows for easy and safe removal of lids. Top-rack dishwasher safe.
I tested the KitchenAid All Purpose Shears with Protective Sheath at a Stroke Comeback Center hands-on review of kitchen products for people with weakness in one hand, like me. These scissors have a comfortable handle that works for either left-handed or right-handed user, and stainless steel blades with micro-serrations for enhanced cutting performance and extra thickness for added strength and durability.
Serving With One Hand
Tongs are one of my favorite one-handed tools. Tongs allow me to toss and serve salads; grip and turn burgers, chicken, fish, and other items in the oven; lift toast out of the toaster; serve cut-up fruit; and many other things that might otherwise require 2 hands. Also, I use them to grab a box or can that's a few inches out of my reach.
One-handed cooks, like me, can use the Pampered Chef Salad Chopper. It has spring-loaded, titanium-coated stainless steel blades and an easy-grip handle. You chop salad, salsa, or anything right in the bowl.
Easy One-Handed Lattes at Home
We make coffee and tea lattes and hot chocolate by warming milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for a minute or so, then frothing it with a small, hand-held, battery-powered aerator. The Aerolatte Milk Foamer looks like an electric toothbrush with a little round wire mixing head.
One-Handed Kitchen Helper
Cutting fruit and vegetables can be difficult with one hand. The Food Preparation System Etac is a good kitchen tool with stainless steel spikes to hold food for cutting or slicing, and a vise to hold larger food items, or jars or mixing bowls. Rubber suction feet hold the board securely in place.
Spinning With One Hand
The OXO SoftWorks Salad Spinner has a push-button spinner, and can be managed by a one-handed person, is dishwasher safe, the pieces come apart to use separately, it comes in 2 sizes, large and small, and is reasonably priced.