Case study – Independence In The Kitchen
I visited Ruby who had suffered a cerebral vascular accident (CVA) in which she had lost the use of her right hand. This was her dominant hand and she had undergone rehabilitation with Occupational Therapists so had re-learnt dressing skills etc. She now wanted to be more independent in the kitchen having been a keen cook prior to her stroke.
Ruby and I went to the kitchen and looked at some of the difficulties that she was having which included lifting the kettle to make hot drinks, chopping vegetables and making sandwiches.
I had brought with me some items that I thought would be useful; a kettle tipper and a kitchen spread board. The kettle tipper holds the kettle in place and I advised her to fill a plastic jug with cold water and then take this to the kettle thus avoiding lifting; we also practiced lining up a cup beneath the kettle so Ruby felt confident. We tried a kitchen spread board with fruit and veg grip, this is ideal for one handed use because it provides an area with raised sides to hold a piece of bread in place to butter, an area that has grips that could hold veg or cheese to peel or grate it and the board had non slip feet to provide stability.We also discussed the use of non slip mats under items to stabilise them and provide resistance to work against.
Ruby was able to make herself a hot drink safely using the kettle tipper and she could now make sandwiches using the spread board. Her confidence increased, and she was able to reduce her care package at lunchtime something that had been her goal for some time.