One-Handed Cooking After Stroke

Cooking for themselves allows stroke survivors to feel more independent and confident. Since cooking involves working with a variety of tools and handling hot or sharp objects, it is very important for people with one hand impairment to be extra careful in the kitchen. Thankfully, the use of few adapted tools and smart planning can make cooking easier. Here is how:

Keep It Simple

Working with one arm is difficult at first, which is why it will take you longer to handle multiple things. Start simple and plan easy meals. You should not be tempted to do something in the kitchen you are not physically comfortable with. Write things down. You can use a chalk board or magnets on metal surfaces to fasten notes. Assemble all needed ingredients, tools and equipment before starting preparation.

Keep help at hand

Place frequently used tools and spices in an easy-to-reach area. Remove seldom-used tools and other items from kitchen drawers and cabinets to make needed items easier to find.

If you have a hard time reading the small print, ask someone to rewrite the names of the foods and spices in large, block letters. A side-by-side refrigerator makes accessing frozen foods much easier, especially if the stroke survivor is in a wheelchair.

Handy Cooking Products

Some of the handy stroke supplies can make cooking easier. Buying these items will not only cut down on frustration but will also ensure that you can cook safely. Here, a Pan Handle Stabilizer can be a great tool to stir in a stable position. A chopping board with spikes can also be useful to stabilize vegetables for chopping and slicing. Additionally, a Clamp-On can be used by one hand to move the vegetable up against the blade.

Electric Can Openers are the easiest way to open cans. Similarly, an Electric Knife may also make cutting bread or carving roasts easier. Long-handled measuring cups will be easier to use than short-handled ones.

Ask for help

Don’t hesitate to let your family and friends know that you are going to cook for yourself. They may want to help you with any prep work that you might be finding challenging, physically or mentally. You may ask them to chop or peel difficult items and keep them in your fridge for later use.


If you are in a wheelchair, ask your caregiver to angle a mirror above the stove so that it can reflect the contents of pots and pans. This will empower you to see what’s cooking. While buying the meat, ask the butcher if he can pre-slice the meat for you.

Other Safety Precautions

  • Keep sharp object such as knives in special holders rather than keeping them in a drawer.
  • Ask your caregiver to clean up spills instantly from floor to avoid falls.
  • If your balance is poor, use a long-handled sponge or mop for quick clean up.
  • Avoid garments with in-seam pockets (especially when they are large) or tie belts that might catch on handles or knobs. Do not wear loose or full sleeves clothes as they might catch on fire.

This Blog is contributed by Dr. Rimpy kanwar. She has more than 8 years of working experience in the field of Physical Therapy. Her expertise lies in ortho-neuro and Pulmonary rehabilitation cases. 


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