Tips & Tricks

We know re-learning how to do simple tasks can be challenging. A great way to learn new techniques on old tasks is through others who are faced with similar circumstances. Below is a list of patient submitted tips, suggestions, and products for those faced with new physical challenges.

 

Upper Extremity

 

Tips

 

Lubricant for Sockets without Liners

Sometimes lubricants can interfere with electrode connections or gunk up the socket. Try using Purell Hand Sanitizer. The high-alcohol content causes most of the moisture to evaporate fairly quickly. If the skin in that area dries out due to use, try using the version with Aloe to help with moisturization.

 

Applying Personal Hygiene Liquids

Putting shampoo on your head with one hand doesn't mean you have to hold the bottle over your head and start pouring. That usually causes you to over-apply the liquid and is a waste of money. Next time you have to apply a liquid, try squeezing it out onto your residual limb or thigh and then wiping it off with your hand. 

 

Water Bottles

Try using sport-top bottles instead of twist-off bottles. Those are the lids that have a cap that pops off but stays attached. That way you don't lose a lid or struggle with having to put a lid on and off.

 

Ironing

Ironing can be a challenge with two hands, much less with only one. You can use weights to hold down garments in a particular position or you can try this trick. Put your item(s) in the dryer with a few ice cubes and a wash cloth. The ice will melt applying enough moisture to release wrinkles and the wash cloth helps ensure the garment actually tumbles around in the dryer getting the hot air where it needs to go. You may need to use a hand towel for smaller garments or omit if you're throwing more than one or two items in.

 

Using a Weed Eater

If you use a weed eater around the lawn at your house, try buying a lightweight battery operated version or try attaching a shoulder strap from an old duffle bag. Using a shoulder strap will support the weight of the unit but still allow for easy side-to-side motion.

 

Cutting Meat at Restaurants

If you're ready for a big juicy steak but don't want the hassle of cutting up the meat with one hand, try asking your server to ask the kitchen staff or chef to cut your meat for you. Their knifes are typically very sharp and will only take them a minutes to do. Just be sure to take care of the staff in your gratuity if they take good care of you.

 

 

Tricks

 

Changing Diapers

Here's a little video from an above-elbow amputee in Australia changing his son's diaper using one hand.

 

iPhone Accessibility

Apple products are built with accessibility in mind. To activate it, turn on the iPhone's Accessibility function full-time by turning on Assistive Touch.

 

Open Settings > General > Accessibility > Interaction > Assistive Touch > Slide the slider to On.

 

A shortcut to activate accessibility feature is built in to the iPhone. To program the phone to open Assistive Touch features, go to Accessibility Shortcut and select Assistive Touch. With this activated, triple-clicking the Home button will put the Assistive Touch button on your screen. Tap it once to open and under Favorites, you'll find the shortcut for zooming in or out. 

 

Pinch:
Open the AssistiveTouch menu and tap Favorites > Pinch.
When the pinch circles appear, move them anywhere on the screen. 
Drag the pinch circles in or out.
When you finish, tap the menu button. 

 

Swipe or drag with multiple fingers:
Open the AssistiveTouch menu and tap Device > More > Gestures. 
Select the number of fingers associated with the gesture you want to make.
When the circles appear, swipe or drag in the direction required by the gesture. 
When you finish, tap the menu button.

 

Mac OS Sticky Keys

Sticky Keys assist with multi-key functions on the Mac operating system. When turned on, pressing a function key like Shift or Command will keep the button pressed until the next key is pressed. This way you don't have to hold the Shift key to capitalize a word, simply press the Shift key, let go, then press the letter to be capitalized. You can also keep the button pressed by tapping it twice. This would function similarly to using the Caps Lock. Tap the function key again to turn off the lock.

 

To turn on Sticky Keys go to:

System Preferences > Accessibility > Check the box next to Enable Sticky Keys.

 

You can also set a few options such as the ability to turn Sticky Keys on/off by pressing shift five times in a row. You can have the system make an audible sound when activated or customize where the visual indicator appears on the screen.

 

 

Products
 

Kitchen

Kebo - one-handed bottle opener. 

Chef's Star - automatic can opener.

T-Knife - one-handed kitchen knife.

Zim - jar and bottle opener.

Hi-D - cutting and pairing board.

Knork - fork with edged side for cutting.

Scooper Bowl - bowl with suction base that tilts.

Scooper Plate - plate with suction cup bottom.

Bowl Holder - bowl with holder to tilt and bowl.

Sealer - zipper bag sealer

 

Hygiene

Loofah on a Stick - helps reach in shower.

 

Clothing

Lace Locks - no tie shoelace locks

Ableware - combination dressing stick/shoehorn.

 

Misc.

Key Ring Magic - tool to safely open split rings.

 

 

Lower Extremity
 
Tips
 
Tricks
 
Products

 

 

Skin Care

Ampubalm

Lanisoh HPA

A&D Ointment