Practical Self-Help Tips

  • When you cook, place utensils so they are arranged on your better side and more convenient for a one-handed approach.
  • To stabilize items, place a rubber pad, rubberized shelf liner, or a dampened sponge cloth under your mixing bowl or cutting board.
  • Line your sink with a rubber mat to prevent glasses or dishes from breaking if you drop them.
  • To open a jar with one hand, place the jar inside a drawer and lean against the drawer with your hip. The base of the jar remains still while you turn the top.
  • If you are using a one-handed can opener, place the can inside a pan before opening it to catch any spills.
  • To transfer a pot from the counter to the stove, place the pot on a tray or cookie sheet with a raised rim and slide the tray instead of trying to lift the pot.
  • Use a plate or food guard, available in independent living catalogs, to keep food on your plate. If you have a reduced visual field on either side, remember to turn your plate a half turn after you finish eating to see if there is still food left on your plate.
  • Use a one-handed rocker knife, available in independent living catalogs, for cutting and slicing. As you rock the handle up and down, the sharp, curved blade slices through the food.
  • Keep work surfaces clear and free of clutter that can distract you. Use solid, non-patterned tablecloths and place mats to minimize visual confusion and provide maximum contrast.
  • Use grab bars in the tub area and next to the toilet and use a bathtub bench or shower chair when bathing. Use a pump bottle of liquid soap instead of a bar.
Reproduced with permission of APH Press, American Printing House for the Blind, from Maureen A. Duffy, “Additional Health Conditions” in Making Life More Livable: Simple Adaptations for Living at Home After Vision Loss, pp. 177-182. Copyright 2015 by American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved.

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