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One Handed Crafts

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An accident or stroke may result in losing the use of one hand. This does not mean the end of crafting opportunities. This is a guide about one handed crafts.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 31, 20080 found this helpful

I need help. I work at a brain injury rehab facility. Most of our clients have use of only one hand and I would like to know if you have some ideas for activities we could do.

Margie

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Answers

December 31, 20080 found this helpful

Most activities can be adapted for one-handed individuals. Occupational Therapists are adept at adapting activities for people with different abilities. If your facility has one on site, ask her/him. Otherwise, post some specific questions on thrifty-fun and I and others will do what we can to help you.

There are commercially available holders for playing cards, but you can use a clean hairbrush to hold the cards. Most other games are fine one-handed.

Crafts are generally pretty easy to adapt. The hardest are knitting and crocheting, but they, too can be done if the individual is well-motivated.

There is non-stick sheeting that can be placed on a table to keep objects from sliding around while they're "worked on" (Dycem), and if you can't get Dycem, you can use the mesh-like material used to line shelves and keep area rugs from slipping around.

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What kind of activities were you thinking about? Hopefully you'll get lots of input on here!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 1, 20090 found this helpful

The nursing home where I used to work had great success with bins of scraps of colored paper. The residents would arrange and glue them, and they looked good. They were labeled with the new resident's names, and taped on their door as a welcome gesture.

My favorite activity was memorizing tin pan alley songs. I played the ukulele (only cost $30), and sang songs I got for free from the library. Don't worry if your voice and playing are not great (mine aren't). The residents did not care one bit, they just loved old songs they remembered.

They also ADORED it when I read Shakespear plays to them, acted out the different parts, and explained what the plays ment.

Best of luck,
Londa

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January 6, 20091 found this helpful

Fourth of July sparklers? those are good year-round and handy when the days are shorter...lame-o, maybe so...

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January 7, 20091 found this helpful

Could they play dominoes? They can be handled with just one hand. Also, there's a new game called "Triominoes" that's fun. Good luck and God bless you.

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January 7, 20090 found this helpful

The game UNO.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 7, 20090 found this helpful

When my dad had a bad fall and fractured his skull, he ended up in a nursing home for a short period of time. He acted a lot like a stroke patient. I went to visit him one day when they were playing bingo. I was amazed! You could just see the "gears turning" as he checked the columns and rows for letters and numbers. He made a quick recovery!

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January 7, 20091 found this helpful

I spent a couple of months in a nursing home after a car wreck. The Activities people regularly read articles from the newspaper out loud to us, a time they called "News Break." Except for the designated reader, this is hands-free and I remember it as being very interesting. It made all of us feel a little less isolated, too.
Something else that could be done one-handed is jigsaw puzzles. You can get most kinds, from beginner to advanced, at garage sales or dollar stores, for little money. Finishing a puzzle is also a great morale booster, no matter what the level.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 8, 20090 found this helpful

After my mom's stroke, I bought her kids' puzzles and the large crayons & simple coloring books. How about stamping art projects; you can usually find stampers in the dollar stores, and sometimes craft stores have a clearance bin full of them.

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August 20, 20140 found this helpful

My formerly active friend suffered a stroke and is now paralyzed on one side, and bedridden in a nursing home. Her dominant hand is unaffected, the other one has very little strength or movement. She found a crochet project too difficult to hold. Bead and paper crafts could be too messy or too hard to manage.

I would appreciate knowing how other people have been creative in similar circumstances. I could buy her a spiral notebook and suggest she write short stories about all sorts of memories from different stages of her life, even about her present situation. This could eventually go to her children and grandchildren so they could get to know her background.

By Endee Mac

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By 0 found this helpful
April 13, 2009

Can scrapbooking be done with one hand?

By Drawlee

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Anonymous
April 13, 20090 found this helpful

On TV I have seen people with no hands doing just about anything anyone else can do, but they use their feet. I'm not suggesting that one-handed people do things with their feet, but I feel like if a person wants to do something bad enough, they will work and work at it until they figure out ways to accomplish what they want to do.

One thing that would probably help is a paper cutter. I am hoping that other, more inventive people can come up with lots of good suggestions that will help.

I have much confidence in the human spirit, where there's a will, a person can figure out a way.

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April 14, 20090 found this helpful

I don't see why not! My cousin lost his Arm in a car accident & he wired his whole house by himself! He still does everything he used to, sometimes it takes him a bit longer, but he gets it done!

* I think the one thing that would help is to have a non-slip surface to work on, so things (like the book) don't slip... I believe they sell stuff like this for quilters at fabric stores, but I bet you could also use fun-foam. Also, buy a tape dispenser that you don't need 2 hands to operate, they have some that work by just pressing down on them & pulling, then giving it a little push or twist & the tape cuts by itself. (It's double-sided tape)

---> Just go to any Scrapbooking store & ask the salesperson what will work best with one hand. They know their products well. They also have glue that has a roller tip or you can use a glue stick. & don't forget you can make your own cool-tools. For example you could glue an eraser to each end of a 10 or 12 inch long dowel (or use a pencil) & put it in your mouth to use your mouth as an extra arm. HAVE FUN & think outside the box! Maybe you'll invent some new tools for crafters with disabilities!

I remember when I broke my wrist how I had a hard time even writing a check myself. But I have a wonderful older customer that has only one arm that works & she beads the most beautiful bracelets. She had to give up her knitting, but she picked up beading & she does it well. She's one of those people who brings a pocket full of sunshine with her wherever she goes!

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April 14, 20090 found this helpful

Depending on what part of the limb you have left to use ( no fingers> some fingers>risk heal only) I have seen people on TV attach helping items like tongs etc to there limb with velcro bands and do lots of things as there second hand. My dad is 70 years old and has had 3 of his fingers off on one hand and the rest of that hand stiffen with no feeling and use since he was in his early 20"s and he uses it just as though the hand was still there like it was before it happened. You will find that if you want to do something bad enough your mind will find a way to accomplish it.

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April 16, 20090 found this helpful

No reason why not, with adaptations or using tools like Xacto knives instead of scissors. I agree that things moving or slipping might be one of the biggest problems. I would try those non slip mats they sell for under rugs. They can be cut up to any size. Also I can't believe there isn't a website for disabled crafters, I'd google it. Have fun whatever you do.

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