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Tips For Cooking After a Stroke


My best friend recently had a stroke and is not able to use her right arm, so now everything must be done with her left hand. Her kitchen is where she loves to be and the heart of the home. She desperately wants to be cooking again. Can you provide me with any tips on how to help her get back in the kitchen?

Absolutely. It’s important for stroke survivors to regain independence and find activities that give them joy. Activities like cooking can help with recovery and support her rehabilitation program.

Here are some tips to help get a stroke survivor back in the kitchen.

Start Simple
Start with easy one-pot recipes that are not time sensitive. Try soups and stews, skillet meals, oven dinners or pies and pizzas. Working with only one arm in the kitchen is cumbersome at first and takes a lot of extra time and coordination, which will eventually come. Juggling multiple hot pots and pans initially is a recipe for danger and disappointment.

Prep Work
Cutting, slicing and dicing can be the most challenging part of cooking for a stroke survivor. Have your friend pick out some dishes she would like to cook over the next few days and do the prep work for her. You can cut and chop items needed and store them individually in zip-lock bags for usually up to a week. You can also purchase many items that are already preperaded like chopped garlic and shredded cheese. Leave a few of the easier prep work components for her to do to with her left arm to help her gain coordination.

Useful Kitchen Gadgets
Cooking with one arm is challenging and can be dangerous. Purchasing a few simple items will help eliminate frustration and ensure your friendssafety.

  • Find a single-handed cutting board. Be sure it has rubber suction feet so it won’t slip around on the counter. Look for one with spikes to hold object in place and edges in a corner to keep items on the board.
  • A traditional food processor can be a great tool as they come with slicing, shredding and dicing features.
  • Non-slip mats will keep bowls and plates in one place on the counter.
  • A bottle, jar and can opener will ease the function of simply opening items.
  • Pot and pan holder are a must have. They hold the pot or pan in place on the stove allowing for the food to be stirred while eliminating accidental tipping and spills.

Direct Friends, Family and Neighbors On What They Can Do To Help
Share with family, friends and neighbors that your friend wants to be cooking and that they can help with prep work. The cultural standard is for people to bring food when a crisis strikes. Suggest that food is still brought so she can simply grab a meal for her family when she is tired but suggest that they take on prep work for certain meals too. It will help your friend to feel more independent and being helped rather than dependent. That can make a big difference psychologically.

More Resources

Watch this video: One Handed Cooking

Watch this video: One Handed Pizza Wrap

 

Related articles: Kitchen Aids For Stroke Survivors

Related articles: Holding Items In Place

Related articles: Making Your Kitchen User Friendly For Everyone

Related articles: The Dirty Dozen: Foods Stroke Survivors Should Avoid

By: Stroke-Network.com Staff Writer Amy McCraken

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"It’s important for stroke survivors to regain independence and find activities that give them joy. "

Useful Kitchen Gadgets

  • Find a single-handed cutting board. Be sure it has rubber suction feet so it won’t slip around on the counter. Look for one with spikes to hold object in place and edges in a corner to keep items on the board.
  • A traditional food processor can be a great tool as they come with slicing, shredding and dicing features.
  • Non-slip mats will keep bowls and plates in one place on the counter.
  • A bottle, jar and can opener will ease the function of simply opening items.
  • Pot and pan holder are a must have. They hold the pot or pan in place on the stove allowing for the food to be stirred while eliminating accidental tipping and spills.
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