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Old 03-28-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
pepsi99
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crocheting for a stroke victim
Hi

A friend of mine has had a stroke and can't use her left hand. She loves to crochet and misses it terribly. Does anyone know of a way or any tool that will help her be able to crochet again?

Thanks
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
Antares
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It seems like I came across a thread on KH about such a thing (or was it elsewhere?). Have you tried Googling this or using KH's search engine?
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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How extensive is the disability on her left side? Specifically, you say she can't use her "left hand." Can she use any part of her left arm? Maybe the forearm or the elbow?

What I'm envisioning as a work-around is an arrangement where her right hand still manipulates the crochet hook, forming the stitches. The yarn feeds through a "third hand" or "stitching bird," which is usually an embroidery or hand-sewing accessory.

This is simply one example of what I mean. An Internet search of "third hand" "sewing tool" will produce many different models, and there are yet more "third hand" tools for electronics, bicycle repair, and other tasks. If she's working with a physical therapist, the PT may have some good input on what kind of "third hand" tool would be most useful (if the therapist has a clue about crochet, that is).

Then, with her left elbow or forearm, she can hold the ball of yarn or the in-progress crocheted item. The exact mechanics will need to be worked out, and neck/upper back comfort attended to, but the "third hand" may help out.

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Old 03-29-2012, 09:48 PM   #4
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This is therapy after a stroke and would need to be done by a professional. I believe the term for this would be an Occupational Therapist. She could check with her doctor, medical social worker, or physical therapist to see if she could get a referral to one and if it would be covered by her insurance. Occupational therapists deal with the movements, provide special equipment (customized crochet hooks for instance), and suggest adaptations needed.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:08 AM   #5
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Agreed, Lady in PJs. But, having rehabbed after two knee-replacement surgeries and paid private PT (!) before that simply to maintain my walking function (previous orthopedists said "The MRI is negative" and refused to examine the reason for my extreme bilateral knee pain any further) for several years, I can say that a PT may be easier for the stricken crocheter to come by.

Many health plans will refer to physical therapy more easily than to occupational therapy. My sister is an OT, and I hear laments about this unfortunate reality frequently. But yes: ideally, an OT would be working with the stroke survivor to tailor a solution involving ergonomic design of crochet hook, chair/seating furniture, height of work surface, "third hand" tool, and so on. Definitely.

You'll get no argument from me on the ideal solution!

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Old 03-30-2012, 11:34 PM   #6
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Thank you all for you replies.....I did find online a crocheting and embroidery holder which is meant for a stroke victim. Not sure how this would work exactly since it only holds the yarn and doesn't pinch it like a real left hand but I'll let her know it's available. She has worked with therapists and they're saying there's really not much hope for her left hand.

Again Thank you all! Happy knitting and crocheting!

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Old 03-31-2012, 11:41 PM   #7
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Papsi99,

I had a stroke 14 years ago, and still can't crochet effectively. I can hand knit in a weird way, and do have an idea on crocheting that I want to test out tomorrow which may work for your friend. Stand by and I'll let you know how it works tomorrow.

Thanks for being such a good friend for asking this on her behalf!
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pepsi99 View Post
Thank you all for you replies.....I did find online a crocheting and embroidery holder which is meant for a stroke victim. Not sure how this would work exactly since it only holds the yarn and doesn't pinch it like a real left hand but I'll let her know it's available. She has worked with therapists and they're saying there's really not much hope for her left hand.

Again Thank you all! Happy knitting and crocheting!

Pepsi99,

I don't want to offer unrealistic hope for your friend, but having walked a similar road as her, my experience with PT, OT, and speech therapy varied. PT and speech were most useful. OT, on the other hand was much less so. I heard too often there that "I'd just have to accept that there were things I'd never do again." I am stubborn by nature, and the surest way to get me to do something is to tell me "you can't do that." I can, by golly, just not the same way most people do. My point is that the word of an Occupational Therapist isn't necessarily gospel.

That said, I do have a video of me crocheting for your friend: please tell me if you think this technique can help her. If so, I'll get some clearer video for her. http://farm0.static.flickr.com/0/7036174307__s.jpg

My best wishes to you and her, and never give up, never give in!
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Darn it, the link didn't work! And unfortunately Flicker cropped most of the video.

Reuploading video to you tube at link below, if you think this will work for her I'll find a way to get better video to her.

http://youtu.be/pvb-1zXnVt8
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Last edited by justplaincharlotte : 04-01-2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: broken link
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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Charlotte, that's very impressive. I hope Pepsi99 sees this. If she doesn't respond in a few weeks, I'd suggest PMing her!

Thanks for making and sharing the video. It provides a lot of insight (at least for me) about the kinds of motor skills lacking in stroke victims. It's one thing to hear about it and another to see it. I so hope this will help the OP's friend!
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