Many people who have had a stroke can only use one hand, however many learn to adapt and can make their own meals. A little extra planning and organising helps. The right kitchen equipment can make a big difference. Here are some tips which may help you at home.
- Ask the Occupational Therapist for advice if the person is still in hospital. They should be able to tell you about any safety issues the person may have if they have been assessed in the therapy kitchen. If the person has a problem with vision, awareness, memory, planning or dyspraxia. (problems performing a previously learned task.) They should be supervised when in the kitchen. For some people you may be advised they should not attempt kitchen tasks at all.
- Think about the layout of your own kitchen. How could this be made easier for the person if they have difficulty bending or reaching. Reorganise cupboards so that frequently used items are close at hand.
- De-clutter. Keep cutlery in compartments so they are easier to find.
- Start by doing simple tasks first. Don’t expect too much if the person gets easily fatigued.
- Use worktops to lean against so the person can then use both hands for the task. Worktops can be used to slide heavy items to where they are needed without being lifted or as an alternative to using a walking aid for short distances around the kitchen. Ask the occupational Therapist if a kitchen trolley would be useful to carry items around the kitchen or from room to room.