Someone whose hand has been affected by a stroke may have difficulty with a strong grip or moving his or her fingers in a precise way to manipulate a small object like a fork. The same may be true for certain people with cerebral palsy, brain injury or spinal cord injuries. In trying to hold a small object in the affected hand it may slip out or they may not be able to grip it tightly enough.
If a person has a strong hand, they may rely on it only. However there is extensive research on increasing the use of the affected arm and making various functional progress. Although no one can tell how much recovery a person can gain, using an affected hand in daily activities can also build self-esteem and confidence despite deficits.
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Step 1: Gather Materials
To make an object easier to use you will need the following materials
The object- in the project we will use a fork
Grip/shelf liner- this is found in the kitchen/housewares section of most stores. It is used to line shelves so that items do not slide, but it works well for bulking up an object and making sure it doesn’t slip out of the hand. It also comes it a variety of colors and designs and is pretty cheap. I bought this roll for $2.
Step 2: Cut and Tape Liner to Object
Decide how much liner you will need and cut the appropriate amount in a long strip. Wrap the liner around the object until it has reach desired thickness and use masking tape to secure it.
Step 3: The Possibilities Are Endless!
By having the liner on, you can use many different ways to hold the object that you couldn’t before.
Similar products sell for a lot. I have seen a set of 4 utensils with bulked up grips sell for $50. Now you can easily make any object easier to hold and use in your affected hand.
**BONUS** The shelf liner also works as a great placemat to make objects not slide around as you are trying to use them, such as a plate or bowl. Similar products like dycem sell for a lot as well ($50 for a placemat), now you can have the same benefits for $2.
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