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It’s no secret that we think a well-fitting, comfortable prosthesis that someone has been taught to use can be life changing. We have seen that having the option to don a device each morning that can allow a person to not only perform their Activities of Daily Living but also perform their job confidently and competently AND pursue their personal goals can make life better. We’re glad to be a part of something that makes so many of our patients happy. But! We do know that there are some assistive devices out there that can make daily tasks easier, either while wearing a prosthesis or while it’s off. Let’s explore a few of those.

We’ll start in the kitchen. Pan Pickles are a great option for anyone who has a flat stove induction or electrical and is tired of the pan sliding around when they’re trying to stir. This can be a particular problem for people who are just using one arm when cooking.

Here’s another product that can help, though it’s also helpful outside the kitchen (like fishing, for instance see the image at the top of this article). Dycem® Mats are non-slip mats that allows a person to stabilize many objects. It can be great for plates and bowls, but it can also be of use trying to, say, get a tricky door open or a bottle cap off while out and about. A patient of ours keeps a small strip of Dycem® in his wallet for just such occasions.

Last for the kitchen are assistive knives, such as the rocker knife seen in the picture below, or right-angle knives, seen in the video below.

Rocker Knife

These are portable items that can be taken with someone when they go out to eat. We encourage our patients to get comfortable with a standard fork and knife, but that’s not in the cards for everyone and may not be as easy as using these types of assistive devices.

For more ideas for how to making cooking and eating easier, please see our articles Kitchen Tips for Upper Limb Amputees: Cutting and Chopping, Kitchen Organization and Set Up for People with an Upper Limb Difference and Eating When You Have an Upper Limb Difference.

Let’s move on to dressing. There are several adaptive clothing companies and lines, which is great if you’re in the market for new clothes. If you’re not, and you’re not about to get all your clothing altered, this Pocket Dresser is an inexpensive device our patient Chris swears by:

We have two articles regarding dressing: Clothing Options for People with an Upper Limb Difference and Adaptive Clothing: Tips and Tricks for People with a Bilateral Upper Limb Difference.

Lastly, here’s an item that comes in handy all over the house. It’s an elastic arm band that can be used to do all sorts of things in the morning or the evening, before a prosthesis has been donned or after it’s been doffed. You can watch our patient Gerry explain this device, that was made for him by one of his occupational therapists:

There are more assistive devices out there, some of which are discussed in our article Occupational Therapy Month: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.

Assistive devices can be a big help, especially in the first year or so after an amputation. Ideally each person would find a few that work best for them and learn how to use them from a qualified occupational therapist, like one of our clinical therapy specialists. But also, it’s best to learn how to do the task without the device. It may take longer or be annoying, but you may not always have that tool with you. What if you’re traveling, or out with a friend who unexpectedly suggests grabbing lunch? While they are helpful, try not to let these tools become your only option for completing a task.

Are you or someone you know looking for prosthetic care? Please contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation with our clinical team, either in-person or via video chat. We can discuss our holistic prosthetic care offered by our upper limb specialists. If you have a comment on the items above or would like to recommend an item you have found helpful, please comment below.


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