This post starts a new series of helps for daily living with stroke.
If you have had a stroke, or if you know someone who has had a stroke, and you are left with only one working hand (just for now, in my case – remember, I’m determined to completely recover!) then you know how hard it is to try to get food items out of a can, to eat everything on your plate, to butter toast without having to chase it all over the table, challenges like that. It’s really exasperating (aka “It’s strokic!”) to have to struggle with simple tasks of daily life like eating. It’s bad enough having to unseal bottles when you have to put the bottle in between your legs and your only working hand is not your dominant one.
Since I’ve been out of the hospital, I’ve found myself forever chasing pots, pans, bowls and plates of toast all over the table with my “working” hand. I didn’t know what I could do about that. You see, I’m single. This means I live alone (except for the cat, of course). I haven’t yet been able to teach the cat how to cook. So it’s all been up to me to figure things out. And preferably as inexpensively as possible.
I wanted something that would grip the table as well as whatever container I was futzing with at the time, to keep it from moving around. But I didn’t want something permanent, and I didn’t want something so sticky that it would be impossible to work with. I also didn’t want to spend $25.00 or more on it.
First I googled, and I eventually came up with a baby’s place mat. I saw some of these online, and they were about $10.00 each. But the good thing about them was that they were made from silicone, could be washed or wiped off, and were intentionally made for a baby who is first learning how to eat. Just like me. Learning how to eat again.
Later on, when I was talking to my friend Susie and telling her about the baby’s place mat, she came up with a fantastic idea. “Why not use that rubbery shelf liner?” Brilliant! Really brilliant! I have a roll of that stuff already, and I even have a piece about 12″ x 12″ that is a refrigerator drawer mat. That’s one of those things that goes in the bottom of a refrigerator produce drawer to keep your produce off the bottom of the drawer and keep air circulating around it (and I think I paid a buck or two for it.) That liner is grippy without being glue-y, can be kept clean, is food-safe, and doesn’t adhere permanently. Perfect!
So this is what I’m using to keep cans steady, prevent bottles from falling over when I’m opening them, stop plates of toast from moving around, and hold avocados in place so I can cut them. I haven’t tried anything hot on it yet, like a pan or a pot, because I’m afraid it might melt and ruin the bottom of the pot/pan, not to mention my kitchen table. But it has been really useful so far, and is a big, big help. You should try it.
Thank you, Susie, my brilliant friend!
I’d really love to hear what you’ve come up with to help resolve this problem. What do you do?