Adapting to life with an upper limb disability could be challenging, especially for individuals who are used to doing things with both hands.
Fortunately, there are many assistive devices out there that make life easier for people with upper limb disability.
In this article, you will find my selection of some of the best one-handed assistive devices available online. These assistive aids are pretty much basic devices that everyone with limb loss or limb difference would need at a certain point in time.
Table of Contents
- Hobbies for those with One Hand
- Best One Handed Assistive Devices
- Final Thoughts
Hobbies for those with One Hand
Having a disability doesn’t mean that you can’t make the best out of your life. Today, there are many famous people with disabilities who have been able to achieve more in their lives by looking past their disabilities. You can do the same too.
Here are some fun and creative hobbies you can indulge in if you have an upper limb disability.
Knitting is a very popular hobby among able-bodied people but you can knit with only one hand and still make the best wears. To knit with one hand, you need assistance from your legs, table, or chair. It might be difficult getting things right at first but you’d be able to pull through as time goes on.
There are lots of sports that you can participate in with only one hand. Football (soccer), ping pong, and table tennis are just some examples of entertaining sports you could engage in.
Painting or Drawing
Linda Riveros is an example of exceptional individuals known to create paintings and drawings with either their feet or mouth. There are many more people born without arms who have come to create perfect images with other body parts. For you with only upper limb disability, painting or drawing should be a breeze.
If you love reading, losing one of your limbs shouldn’t stop doing it. You could also take this hobby one step further by going into writing. You could use voice typing apps to convert your speech to text if you don’t feel like writing with your hand.
Best One Handed Assistive Devices
1. Etac Deluxe One-Handed Paring Board with Rocker Knife
Etac Deluxe One-Handed Paring Board is an efficient assistive device meant for easy food preparation and it does just that. This means that you no longer have to worry about your spices and seasonings falling off the board while you chop or dice them.
If you love cooking and your disability is making you feel less of the master chef you really are, this device would help you to get back in the kitchen and back to preparing your favorite meals.
The Deluxe One-Handed Paring Board is designed with all the right features to keep everything in place while you work with your one good hand. It comes with jaws and a wooden-handled rocker knife for easier cutting.
The jaws are where the magic happens. It is designed to hold a wide variety of things like a bowl, grater or piece of food in a steady position. It also comes with a small plate designed with spikes to hold smaller pieces of food. The board stands firmly on four enclosed suction feet that ensure that it remains stationary while you use it.
It could also be useful for holding jars and bottles while you open them with your good hand. Furthermore, you could also use the device to hold bags with zippers in place while you pull them open with your good hand. Overall, this assistive device is a great device but it could do with better suction cups.
The paring comes with directions on how to set it up.
- Useful for food preparation
- Powerful clamp to hold jars and bottles in place while you open them with your good hand
- Easy to use
- Setting it up could be tedious
2. Vive Reacher Grabber
Vive Reacher Grabber is not just a grabber, it’s a stress reliever. With this 32-inch tool, you won’t have to stress or strain yourself to reach those jars that you stored too far away while you were showing off your home management skills.
This means that you can just stay put on your couch and stretch this grabber to get the remote or just about anything that you’re feeling too lazy to get yourself.
But would the item stay in place? Now, this is where the quality of the grabber speaks for itself. The tool is designed with powerful jaws that can rotate a full 360 degrees in 90 increments.
Powerful jaws mean that the item isn’t going anywhere except where you want it to go. Also, this makes it easier for the grabber to get into those hard-to-reach places. Furthermore, it can be used both vertically and horizontally giving you access to items that should normally be impossible to reach.
If you’re like me and you’ve got really sensitive hands, you might be wondering if this tool is nice on the skin. Once again, everything about the Vive Reacher Grabber is top-notch. It features an ergonomic design that allows for a comfortable strong grip. It also comes with a padded anti-slip handle and a contoured trigger that makes it quite efficient and effective in grabbing items.
For most buyers, the grabber ticks all the checkboxes when it comes to sturdiness, versatility, durability, and ease of use.
- Can be used both vertically and horizontally for hard to reach places
- Easy to use
- Cables could be thicker
3. EazyHold Silicone Adaptive Aid
Living with an upper limb disability is quite challenging. If you lose your dominant hand, then you would know how difficult it is to make adjustments to do things with the non-dominant one. You might find yourself unable to hold onto things or even maintain a steady grip.
If you’re facing this problem, you need an assistive device like EazyHold Silicone Adaptive Aid to set things straight.
It’s a 7-pack strap made of soft, flexible food-grade silicone that allows you to hold onto items with ease. They are really adaptive and you can just get your toothbrush or pencil and put them on with your good hand.
The straps come in 7 different sizes that allow them to fit items of different sizes. Whether you want to put them on your pen to help strengthen your grip while writing or on your cutlery or your hairbrush, these straps come in various sizes to suit your needs.
They are also comfortable on the skin, so you won’t have to worry about friction or pressure while using them for extended periods. Lastly, they are quite easy to wash and clean. You can just throw them in the dishwasher and take them out when they are done.
- Comfortable on the skin
- Easy to clean
- Versatile adaptive aid
- Need more sizes
4. QuicStick Portable Hand Controls
QuicStick Portable Hand Controls is more of a driving aid for people with mobility disabilities rather than an aid for those with upper limb disability. If you’re having issues with any of your lower limbs and you find it difficult to step on the gas and brake pedals of your vehicle, this device will help you to do so without having to move your legs or strain yourself.
One of the major areas where this driving aid stands out is versatility. Let’s say I have three vehicles from different car brands and models. They all have different brake and gas pedal design, but getting one, two, three driving aids to fit them all does no good to my bank account.
The good news is that with the QuicStick Portable Hand Controls, all you have to do is just read the manual and you can fix the driving aid into literally any vehicle type whether it’s a truck, sedan, SUV or crossover.
For most users, fixing the driving aid was a breeze and it should be the same for you (especially if you follow the instructions in the manual). The QuicStick Portable Hand Controls is not something you buy and plan to replace in a few years. It is so durable that you won’t even notice wear and tear on it even after using it for so long.
- Adjustable for any driver
- Fits virtually all vehicles types
- Quality T-6 aluminum construction
- They could be difficult to assemble
5. Sammons Preston Hi-Lo Scoop Plate
Eating with one hand should be a breeze for most people but if you have to constantly hold the plate steady with your other hand to allow you to guide the food onto your cutlery, that would be a problem especially if you have upper limb disability.
This is where an assistive aid like Sammons Preston Hi-Lo Scoop Plate becomes necessary. Unlike other plates that are designed for able-bodied people, the Sammons Preston Hi-Lo Scoop Plate is designed specifically for people with disabilities and those who would need assistance while eating.
It’s 11/2″ vertical curved wall do the work of guiding food onto cutlery and its entry wall makes the plate easy to handle. So, you can scoop and expect to find food in your spoon, unlike normal plate types.
Maybe the most important feature of this plate is its non-slip bottom. Not only does the design help you to eat more of your food, but it also comes with a rubber ring on the bottom that keeps the plate in place as you eat.
Although a few users complained that they still had issues with the plate moving around with the slightest push when scooping, it is unlikely that you will experience this while using the plate as its non-skid bottom is designed to keep it in place. However, if this happens while you scoop, you could remedy it by placing a placemat or non-slip mat under the plate to keep the plate in place.
- Ergonomic plate design helps guide food onto utensils
- Non-skid bottom
- Plate slips easily in some cases
6. Sammons Preston Slip-On Typing Aid
The present-day keyboards aren’t built for individuals with one hand but that doesn’t mean that your upper limb disability should prevent you from writing a report or a book with your keyboard. If you love writing and want to work on your computer, all you need is the Sammons Preston Slip-On Typing Aid to get you back on track.
It is a molded plastic typing aid with a rubber-tipped pointer for easily typing on keyboards. The design allows you to easily wrap it around your finger and punch the keys on the keyboard with ease.
Although the typing aid helps you to type, you’d still have to familiarize yourself with typing with one hand. This could take some time getting used to but with constant practice, you would become better.
Overall, this assistive aid does its job pretty well. However, there are complaints as to the comfort it offers. For some persons, the material of the aid required some getting used to and for others, the size was too small. About the size, Sammons Preston offers two sizes – small and large – to fit all hand sizes. It also offers options for the left hand and the right hand.
- Multiple sizes to fit most hand sizes
- Ergonomic design
- The material could be quite uncomfortable on the skin
7. Sammons Preston Rocker Knife
The first thing you will notice about this knife is that it has a different design from other knives on the market. This is because it’s not for everyone but just for those with one good hand. For able-bodied people, holding a normal knife with one hand and the item to be cut with the other hand is pretty easy. But for people with only one hand, it is extremely difficult.
To me and many other buyers, this knife is special. It is designed with a 3-inch stainless steel blade that allows you to cut, slice, and chop items with ease. It also features a 4-inch curved plastic handle ergonomically designed to help you to maintain a steady grip while using the knife.
The Sammons Preston Rocker Knife does perfectly but moving it around is usually a problem since its quite heavy and doesn’t come with a sheath. You’ve got to brace up if you’d want to carry this knife from place to place.
- 3.5-inch stainless steel T-shaped blade for easy cutting
- Dishwasher safe up to 125º
- Perfect for one hand persons
- Could be uncomfortable to hold for some people
8. Sinceller Electric Jar Opener
I’m not going to tell you how hard it is to open a jar with one hand because you’ve most likely been through that and that’s why you’re searching for an assistive aid. Usually, getting a jar opener that works and lasts long enough to get a “thumbs up” is a hassle. They don’t just make them as great as they used to.
But the Sinceller Electric Jar Opener stands out from the pack. In fact, it is one of the best one-handed assistive devices in the sense that it is a working solution to one of the biggest problems facing those with upper limb disability. This energy-efficient device can effortlessly open cans of any size without you having to hold the jar in place or perform any manual labor. It’s really that efficient.
And the process to get the opener on your jar is so easy. All you need to do is to place the jar opener on the jar or can and it will automatically open and release the jar lid.
Sinceller Electric Jar Opener comes with a wide jar lid opening size range and jar body opening size range of diameters 1.2 inches – 3.5 inches and 1 inch – 3.5 inches respectively.
- Automatically opens jars
- Energy efficient
- Easy to use
- Only compatible with few jar types
That’s all on the list of the best one-handed assistive devices. I consider these devices to be some of the most important aids for people with upper limb disability as they make everyday activities like food preparation, driving, and opening of cans & jars easier.
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