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Top 10 Gadgets for Stroke Survivors

Below is a list of what we are calling our ‘Top 10’ gadgets for stroke survivors. This is a selection of what we think are the most useful products, designed to overcome obstacles caused by a stroke.

Suffering a stroke can be both life-threatening and life-changing. The longer the brain is starved of oxygen, the more severe the damage. One of the most common outcomes of a stroke is weakness down one side of the body. This can include, on top of other things, a lack of strength in one arm and a poor grip in one hand. Everyday activities such as dressing, writing, cooking and eating can suddenly become a frustrating struggle.

However, it doesn’t have to stay this way.

Here at Active Hands, our products cater to clients with various upper-limb affecting conditions, including stroke survivors. We believe that no problem is insurmountable when armed with the right aid. Whether you are newly injured or decades down the line, it is never too soon or too late to embrace innovation and reclaim your independence!

1. Small Item Gripping Aid

One of the main frustrations after a stroke is the struggle to hold small, day to day items. These could be anything from toothbrushes to makeup brushes, kitchen utensils to writing implements. The Small Item Gripping Aid is the all-in-one answer to this.

  1. Slot the item you wish to grip into the Palm Pad
  2. Fit the Neoprene glove comfortably over your hand
  3. Attach the relevant Velcro Palm Pad to it the glove

…and the affixed item is now ready for use!

The Velcro means the Palm Pad can be attached at any angle required. You can also switch between pads quickly and easily. Why not load a few Palm Pads ready for use?

This multi-functional aid is ideal for helping people with their routines throughout the day.

Small Item Gripping aids in use

2. Cat Tongue Grip Tape

Cat Tongue Grip Tape in use

All of us with limited grip will, at one time or another, have had something breakable slip from our grasp and shatter onto the floor. This could be a mug, a plate, a controller, a work tool or something else entirely. The result is always the same – a messy clean up, a costly replacement and a few curse words uttered at varying decibel levels! Cat Tongue Grip Tape can put a stop to all of this.

Available either in pre-cut sizes or a roll, this self-adhesive, waterproof tape can be fixed to any object. The grippy-but-not-sticky texture helps the object stay in the user’s hand when picked up, removing worries and rebuilding confidence. This multi-purpose tape can also be attached to the likes of door handles, levers and foot plates. If console gaming or phone/laptop browsing is your thing then check out the Cat Tongue Gaming Grips and Cat Tongue Phone/Laptops Grips.

3. Button Puller

People can be put off wearing certain items of clothing after a stroke, especially if they require help to get them on. Shirts, blouses, or anything with buttons, can be a time consuming nightmare when you lack fine finger movement and dexterity. Rather than settling for a life of jumpers and crew necks however, we recommend getting a Button Puller.

With a loop that fits through the button hole and hooks over the button, you are able to pull the button back through the hole with ease. The chunky, rubber handle is great for gripping. The small hook on the opposite end is ideal for zipping and unzipping the likes of trousers, jackets, dresses and skirts. This simple aid can make doing up buttons and zips a breeze and stops your stroke from dictating your wardrobe.

We also love the Bra Buddy, which allows you to put a bra on with just one arm!

Button Puller in Use

4. Zubits Magnetic Laces

Another item of clothing that causes calamity post-stroke is shoes. Not only is it harder to get your affected foot in and out of them, but the tying and untying of laces is virtually impossible without two fully functioning hands. So why not bypass the issue completely? Attach Zubits Magnetic Laces to your shoes and you will never need to stress over them again.

Separate the magnets and it is as if three rows of laces have disappeared. This leaves you free to slip your foot in with ease. Once in just click the magnets together and your shoe is secured. When it’s time to take them off, either stand on the back of the shoe and lift your foot out or slip a finger between the magnets and separate them. This game-changing product will save you hassle on a daily basis and remove limitations on what shoes you can wear.

5. Nimble

Whether you’re cooking a meal, grabbing a bag of crisps or opening the mail; getting into finicky packets when you have limited grip is a pain. I’ve lost count of the number of times I tried to peel back a film layer with my teeth, only for it to tear off before it even left the corner! That is why we have the Nimble.

The Nimble slips comfortably onto a finger and has a tiny, zirconia blade. It can cut through plastic and paper just by running over them. The safe blade ensures that it can’t cause serious injury unlike scissors and knives. It can even be carried in your pocket, ready to use at a moment’s notice. A favourite amongst our customers, the Nimble enables independence in any number of situations.

The Nimble is worn on your finger and can open packages and cut through wrapping paper and plastic film.

6. Belliclamp Jar and Bottle Holder

Twisting the lid off a jar or bottle is a basic daily activity that most people do without thinking. However, remove a person’s grip in even one hand, and the task becomes infinitely more problematic. You’re left either struggling to twist off the lid as you hold onto the item or struggling to hold onto the item as you twist off the lid! This is precisely the problem people face after stroke and the reason the Belliclamp Jar and Bottle Opener was designed.

Hooking onto the edge of a worktop, the Belliclamp operates using a clamp system. This enables you to open jars and bottles of various sizes using just one hand. Simply place the item in the V-shaped section and then use your stomach or hip to push the ram up against the item and lock it into place. With the item secure you can now use your ‘good hand’ to unscrew the lid! A great gadget to have in the kitchen, the Belliclamp acts as an extra hand when you need it most.

Use with our silicone Jar or Bottle Openers for an even firmer grip!

7. Uccello Easy-Pour Kettle

One of the more risky household activities to attempt after a stroke, making hot drinks is part of the daily routine for many people. However, picking up and pouring a container of boiling water that you are unable to fully grip can lead to accidental spillages and painful burns (I have the scars to prove this)! The Uccello Easy-Pour Kettle takes away this risk.

Sitting on a non-slip, sturdy base, the kettle operates via a ‘pivot to pour’ method. This means that, rather than lifting the kettle to pour, you simply tilt it on its base. The water will funnel neatly out of the spout and into the cup in front of it. When finished, return it to the upright position and the water will stop. With this you never need to worry about holding the kettle again and can instead focus on making a brew for the family!

A tip-able kettle that allows you to pour without lifting! Safer for those with weak grip than lifting a heavy kettle of boiling water.

8. One-Handed Plate

The one-handed plate holds your food steady while you cut it - great for those with limb difference, stroke or hemiplegia.

Food is one of the great pleasures in life. Sitting down to enjoy a well-cooked meal as the smells waft into your nose, anticipating that first bite – nothing beats it. However, one thing that can sour the experience is the frustration that comes with struggling to cut or scoop up the food. This is something that many people face after a stroke, only being able to grip one item of cutlery at a time. This is why the One-Handed Plate was designed.

With strategically placed cylindrical pegs that allow foods of all shapes and sizes to be held in place; this plate enables the user to cut food into pieces without worry of it constantly slipping out from under the knife. The high edge running around the rim enables smaller pieces of food to be scooped up with ease, and the sloped area allows sauces to be easily collected. The silicone ring on the bottom means the plate remains stable on any surface, helping you to eat independently and frustration free!

9. Topple Tray

The vast majority of trays on the market are designed to be held with two hands. This unfortunately makes them virtually unusable for anyone with limited arm or hand function, meaning repeated trips back and forth are necessary in order to carry food and drinks through to anywhere. The Topple Tray is the one-handed solution to this.

The metal tray and angled handle mean it is designed to be held with one hand rather than two. The circular, non-slip base holds items in place, whilst the swinging motion of the tray counteracts any sloshing from the items on it, making it very hard for anything to spill out. We feel this is a great home solution for anyone whose grip or balance has been affected by a stroke. Also, for easy, individual cup carrying, check out the SpillNot.

10. Hand Eggercisers & Finger Exercisers

Hand Eggercisers and finger exercisers in use

One of the most important things to remember when being discharged from hospital is that your rehab doesn’t end when you get home. Physiotherapists can show you what you’re capable of and put you on the right path, but you have to carry that potential forwards. Recovering from a stroke is a long journey and working on regaining some of that lost hand and finger function is an essential part of it. The Hand Eggercisers and Finger Exercisers are here to help you along the way.

Available in 5 varying resistance strengths, the Hand Eggercisers are designed to help improve your grip strength, increase your dexterity and develop those motor skills. Give your hand a workout with exercises such as squeezing your fingers together, pressing them together and rolling the egg with them. The Finger Exercisers, available in 3 different resistance levels, help develop your finger strength by having you work on opening your fingers outwards rather than squeezing them inwards. Pop your fingers and thumb into the holes and stretch. You can work on individual fingers or all of them together. Both products fit into a pocket or small bag, so you can work out whenever you have a moment free. And yes, these are two separate products so a slight cheat to end on, but we just couldn’t choose between them!

So there we have it, our ‘Top 10’ stroke related products. But just because they are our top 10 doesn’t mean they are your top 10. Check out our store page for the full catalogue and see which would fit into your Top 10 list!

Gareth Herridge