Stroke Connection - Fall 2013 - (Page Cover3)
Delegation means assigning
the right tasks to the right worker.
As you save energy, pace and
simplify, you may decide that
some tasks or parts of tasks
should be delegated — they take
too much energy or effort in
comparison to how important or meaningful they are to you.
Rather than giving up the activity, you may want to
delegate the part you can’t do to a family member or helper,
at least temporarily. Delegation is a management strategy to
keep you in charge of your activities.
• Putting a jar gripper under a medicine bottle and using
the heel of your hand to press down and twist makes it
possible to open child-proof containers with one hand.
• Wrapping a stabilizer around the handle of a toothbrush,
hairbrush, fork or even a pen makes the tool easier to
hold while brushing, eating or writing.
Delegate tasks to your
smartphone, tablet or computer.
There are apps available for
phones and tablets that can help
you schedule activities, remind
you of appointments, extend your
abilities or keep track of your health.
Many of these apps are free (visit
Reachers have a trigger at
one end and a claw or pinch
mechanism at the other. When
you squeeze the trigger, the claw
or pincher closes. There are many
different kinds of reachers. Some have a rubberized pinch
and a magnet on the end to pick up small or metallic items.
Others have a claw wide enough to grab your pants out of a
bottom drawer or your cereal off the cupboard shelf. They may
be called reachers, grabbers or pick-up tools. Some models
fold so they can be carried in a tote, a walker basket or a
wheelchair pack. Reachers are available in home improvement
stores, medical supply stores and Internet vendors. You may
find it convenient to have one in each room of your home —
especially your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.
for more details about helpful apps).
Monitor your home. If you have a home wireless network,
you can install cameras inside or outside to monitor areas of
your home from your computer, tablet or smartphone. If you
have delegated tasks to others, this can allow you to supervise
or monitor a helper who is in another room or see who is at
the door without getting up from your chair.
Home automation systems allow you to control lights,
start the coffeepot, adjust the thermostat or call for help.
Simple systems are available for under $100 and allow you
to control lights or appliances with remote control. More
complex systems integrate wireless networks with your
home’s electrical circuits or alarm systems. These can be
programmed or can be controlled from smartphones or tablets
even when you are away from home.
Stabilizers can make it possible
to do tasks with one hand. My
favorite stabilizers are rubber jar
grippers and rubberized shelf liner.
They can come in handy for a
number of things:
Whether a tip or gadget is right for you depends on your
habits, your preferences and your needs. There is no one-sizefits-all cookbook for activity redesign. Give yourself time
to try a new method or tool to decide if it works for you.
It takes time to get used to, but it also takes time for it to
become habit — to be automatic. If you need more advice or
assistance identifying methods or tools specific to your needs,
consult an occupational therapist in your area.
• Putting a jar gripper or shelf
liner under a jar helps hold
the jar in place so one hand can twist it open.
• Putting a piece of shelf liner on the floor stops the shoes
from sliding away while slipping feet into shoes. (Pick it
up before walking.)
• Cutting shelf liner to the size of a placemat and putting
it under the plate or bowl stops the plate from moving
when you are cutting or scooping.
About the author...
Carol Siebert, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA,
is an occupational therapist and the
owner of The Home Remedy, a practice
she established in 1997 to provide
consultation and services to assist
individuals to be independent in their
homes. She lives in Chapel Hill, N.C.
S T R O K E C O N N E C T I O N FALL 2013
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