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Daily living activities

3) Dressing: shirts and t-shirts video

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This film shows techniques and tips for dressing using one hand. If you have any questions about dressing problems, speak to an occupational therapist or stroke nurse.

This is Greg. As you will see has hardly any movement of his left arm but he can still dress himself.
He looks for the left sleeve of his T- shirt. He then gathers the material at the sleeve with his right hand. Once the sleeve has been opened he places it between his knees and lifts his weaker, left hand into the sleeve. He can then pull the sleeve up over his hand and up to his shoulder.
It is then easy to get his right arm in to the other sleeve. Then holding on to the collar of the T-shirt as he places it over his head.
He checks the position of the left shoulder and adjusts the T-shirt by pulling down at both sides.

Alternative method

For this method Greg starts by finding the left sleeve and gathers the material together as before. This time he holds on to the gathered sleeve and places it over the left hand with his right hand. He then follows the same method as before to get the T-shirt up to his shoulder and over his head.

Long sleeved shirts can be a little more difficult to put on after a stroke.
Greg looks for the collar and then the left sleeve.
He uses a gathering method from the collar to the cuff of the left sleeve. Once he has the sleeve gathered and open, he places it between his knees and lifts his left hand in to the sleeve.
He pulls the sleeve up to his shoulder. Then he holds on to the collar of the shirt pulling it across the back of his neck and shoulders. Once the shirt is across his shoulders he can find the right sleeve and place his arm in to it.
He adjusts the collar and sides of the shirt.
To button the shirt he feels each button hole until he reaches the third button hole next to the pocket to guide him. Then he feels for the third button which he then fastens.
Shirt buttons can be very small and buttoning them one handed can take time.

Greg will not be able to fasten the button on his right cuff so he chooses to roll up his sleeves. The right sleeve had to be rolled up before he put the shirt on.

To take off a long sleeved shirt or T-shirt.

Unfasten buttons.
Pull shirt or T-shirt over the head by holding on to the collar or material at the back of the neck.
If the material stretches this will be easier to manage. The clothing is then in front of the person where it can see it easily.
Use the material against itself to give friction which helps to remove the unaffected arm first, then the affected arm.

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