Equipment for People with Use of Only One Hand
Some people have, for whatever reason, use of only one hand. This can make everyday tasks a challenge. Thankfully, there are many devices available to ease this difficulty. Here, you can find a very brief overview of the kinds of products available. More detailed looks at products can be found in the 'Great Gadgets for Home' page and also in the pages for individual rooms however, not all products on these pages are designed for single handed use. A consultation with an Occupational Therapist is also recommended.
In the Bathroom
Long Handled Aids
- Long handled brushes and sponges can be used to access hard to reach places.
- Long handled aids are available to assist with the application of creams and lotions.
- Soap on a roap or a wash mitt with an in-built soap pocket can help with managing soap in one hand.
Mounted Nail Brushes
- A nailbrush can be attached to the sink or shower with one hand.
- Flip top or pump action shampoo and conditioner bottles may be an effective alternative to screw-top bottles.
Mounted Aids for Nails and Hair
- Mounted nail clippers are nail clippers mounted to a block of wood with an extension handle. They allow for trimming of toe and finger nails with the use of only one hand.
- Nail files and hairdryers can be wall mounted or stabilised using specific wooden mounts.
- Shaving with one hand is often easier and safer with electric shavers.
- Flip-top or pump action toothpaste lids may be easier to handle than screw-top lids.
- Toothbrushes may be attached to the sink with a suction cup for cleaning dentures.
General Tips for Clothing
- It is easier to start dresssing on the affected side and easier to start undressing on the unaffected side.
- When buying clothes, try to find clothes with front openings, elasticised waists and cuffs, wide neck openings and armholes, larger buttons and stretch fabrics.
- For women, bras with front closure are often easier to put on.
- Dressing sticks can help to reach and pull up/on clothes in difficult places.
- Zipper pulls are wire hooks that attach to the zip to make it easier to manipulate.
- Buttonhooks can assist with doing up difficult to manipulate buttons. Alternatively, buttons can be replaced with velcro or press studs.
- Earrings with hinged posts or loops can be manipulated with one hand.
- Elastic watch bands can stretch over the wrist and do not have to be fastened or unfastened.
- Shoes with velcro or zipper fastens can be easier to manage. Elastic shoelaces stretch and do not need to be undone or re-tied.
- A long handled shoehorn can be used to assist with putting shoes on.
- There are several aids that stabilise jars and bottles, leaving one hand free to open the item. Some are table mounted and some can be attached to the bottom of higher shelving.
- A wall-mounted opener with a stand or grip can be used with one hand.
- A hand held electric opener, with practice, may be used with one hand.
- There are devices to assist with opening ring pull top cans with one hand.
- Scissors may also be used to open cartons and containers. Left-handed scissors are available or it is possible to stabilise packages between your knees while sitting.
Eating and Drinking
- Angled spoons make it easier to eat with one hand, as can knife and forks combinations like splades.
- Rocker knives make chopping easier by using a rocking motion as opposed to a sawing one.
- Plate guards prevent spillage and can help with loading food onto cutlery one handed.
- Trolleys/utility carts can be used instead of carrying items.
- It is recommended that you purchase foods that have minimal preparation requirements. For example, forzen vegetables, pre-crushed garlic and pre-diced meats.
- A chopping board with a knife blade attached can make slicing easier. Some chopping boards have clamps or vices to steady food or other items. They may steady containers for opening or food for peeling or chopping.
- Spiked vegetable boards secure food for peeling, cutting or grating. Alternatively, auto-choppers or food processors can be used to chop food.
- Vegetable peelers can be clamped to the table-top for one-handed use.
- A wooden bowl holder can secure a bowl while you stir. A wide base bowl with a rubber base or heavier bowls are more stable for stirring.
- Stove-top saucepan holders stop the pan from moving while the contents are stirred. These are magnetic wire loops, or flexible plastic wires on suction cups, that slip over the handle, stabilising the pan.
- A grater stand can stabilise the grater while grating food.
- Non-slip mats are also a simple way to stabilise any food preparation utensil.
- Gas gun lighter can be used to light stoves if necessary.
General Cooking Tips
- A colander or strainer placed in the sink may be useful for draining cooked foods.
- If heavy saucepans are troublesome, consider using a microwave or cooking devices like rice cookers, steamers or crock pots.