Case study - how equipment helped Sylvia


Sylvia found simple equipment helped her carry on being the family chef.

Her challenge:

Sylvia is 35 years old and lives with her husband in a ground floor flat. Sylvia is not able to use her right side, following a stroke a couple of months ago. She is not happy with the meals her husband is making as this mainly consisted of toast. She wants to get back to cooking, something she's always been keen on. She is finding that she becomes unsteady and tired whilst standing for long periods but the main problem is that she is having to rethink how to use tools as she is right-handed and now needs to use her left hand for many tasks.

Possible solutions

Sylvia came onto this site to research the options. When she met up with her Occupational therapist who was visiting to assess her need for bathroom adaptations, she asked whether she should go ahead and buy the equipment she had identified as useful. The Occupational Therapist confirmed that Sylvia had identified a sensible range of equipment that she could purchase herself, but in the meantime arranged for the installation of:

  • A perching stool, so that Sylvia can conserve her energy when preparing food at the sink or worktop. They have a sloping angled seat and are suitable for people who can take some of their weight through their legs. Because of this semi-standing position less leg room is needed, which can enable a user to get closer to certain work surfaces.

Sylvia went back to Living Made Easy to identify which suppliers she wanted to order the equipment from. This is what she had delivered:

  • A table top peeler can be clamped to her kitchen table edge, so she can peel one-handed. Some similar products combine this feature with a grater.
  • A cutting board with a slip-resistant base will clamp vegetables allowing Sylvia to chop her vegetables and butter bread using one hand.
  • The slip resistant mat can be used to stabilise something for example, a mixing bowl so that Sylvia is able to beat eggs with one hand without the bowl sliding. She will need to read the instructions of these mats as some of these are only heat tolerant to a certain temperature. So they cannot be used with very hot pans.
  • An autochop means Sylvia can finely chop vegetables as she requires using one hand.

Sylvia also noticed some high street products that would make life easier:

  • Sylvia can put food into a cooking basket and then put it into her saucepan which means she does not have to carry a hot and heavy saucepan and can manage independently again.
  • An electric free standing tin opener is ideal for Sylvia to use on a wide range of tins.
  • A wall mounted screw lid opener means this jar opener can be fitted under a cupboard, saving space in Sylvia's kitchen. This piece of equipment will allow Sylvia to open a range of screw lid jars using one hand.

The outcome:

Sylvia was relieved to able to cook a tasty meal again. Her husband was also happy to be relieved of toast duty. Sylvia's Occupational Therapist was impressed with the changes Sylvia had made. She said "With the adaptive kitchen equipment Sylvia is now confident and able to manage cooking. These are low cost pieces of equipment which provide a great benefit to service users like Sylvia."

To view the equipment solutions listed above, please click on the product images below.