In my previous three blogs I’ve encouraged individuals with disabilities to change their attitude, be willing to take some risks and begin to try some different ways to make their lives a little easier. I talked the talk but now it is time for me to walk the walk and show you some things that I’ve done to adapt equipment for my use. Below is a materials list of items that will be helpful to have around for making adjustments to things you use.
Cable ties Clamps Clips Compression bandage Duct tape Electric tape Friction tape Foam Hose Clamps Pipe Insulation PVC Pipe Straps and Webbing String and Shoelaces Velcro Wooden Dowels
My hands are normally in a loose grip position. It is almost impossible for me to grip anything tightly. In order to hold on tight my hands must be strapped on the object. I noticed lacrosse and hockey players wrap tape repeatedly around the same spot on their sticks to prevent their hands from sliding off the stick so I decided to try it. If you look at the attached pictures you will see how I use friction tape and a piece of wooden dowel to enable me to use a broom. The friction tape has been used to make what I call a “stop.” On a long handle, such as this broom, you should decide where you want your lower hand positioned and place the “stop” right there. Wrap tape repeatedly around the same spot until you have built up a raised area on the handle. Grip the broom as best you can. When your hand slides up the handle it will come to rest against the “stop” and prevent any further upward movement.
At the top of the broom handle I have taken a small piece of wooden dowel, which I removed from a foam paint brush, and passed it through the hole. If the handle does not have a hole have someone drill one for you. I’ve attached the dowel through the hole using a rubber band. This enables my wife to remove it if it is in her way.
We have a wire wreath-like birdfeeder which is filled with peanuts. We then hang the wreath outside for Blue Jays and other birds. They will pull the peanuts out one by one. As you can see in the video the kitchen is quite a mess when I finish. So I use the broom I have adapted to clean up. Use this technique on other long handle tools like a mop, leaf rake and garden tools. See Long Handle Tool Control on my website.