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Helpful Hobbies After a Stroke

Senior couple paints in the park

Being able to continue with beloved hobbies, or taking up new ones after a stroke can keep you physically and mentally fit. Depending on the impacts of a stroke it is important to find a good hobby to avoid frustration with the activity and to improve life satisfaction. 

Tip Number One

One-sided weakness can be a big obstacle to pursuing hobbies.  If keeping an object stable while you work on it with one hand is an issue, try adhesive suction cups or special tape that uses micro suction cups instead of adhesives to keep items in place.

Knitting

When one hand doesn’t work well it can seem like this past time may be lost. However, there are options available. A padded knitting boards allows you to use the weight of one arm to hold a needle while knitting with the other hand. A padded knitting board can be purchased for around $65. Another more affordable option are table clamps, that can act as the steady hand.

Cooking and Gardening:

Many tasks involved with cooking and gardening can be done with one hand.  Simply watering a tomato plant or stirring the mixing bowl is a good start.  Enlist the help of a friend if needed for these activities, but simply by engaging in these hobbies you can increase strength and dexterity and you may be surprised with how much you are able to do after a little practice.

Cards:

Card games don’t have to be a thing of the past.  If you used to get out to a Bridge game, and are now homebound or cannot hold a hand of cards, computer card games can help.  Not only does this solve the issue of being able to maneuver the cards, but many games can be played online with other players in real time. 

Art:

Aphasia and other communication-related side effects of having a stroke may impede the ability to express oneself. Especially if tactile functions are intact, taking up art as a hobby can provide an alternative form of expression. A simple water color kit, large-grip brush, and small easel with a clip to keep the paper in place is a great and inexpensive way to start. 

Books:

Many books are available on e-readers such as Kindle and iPad.  These can take the trouble out of having to hold a book and turn pages. Reading is also a great way to passively strengthen your cognitive abilities.

For stroke survivors coping with visual impairments or physical challenges that make reading difficult, there are online resources such as Bookshare that have audio versions of thousands of popular books.

By: Buckley Ann Kuhn Fricker J.D., GCM, President of Buckley’s For Seniors, LLC

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"Being able to continue with beloved hobbies, or taking up new ones after a stroke can keep you physically and mentally fit."

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