Presentation to PiRAtes

Presentation to a Patients’ group

Caroline presented a talk to PiRAtes, a patients’ group in Cornwall for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and grip problems.

Caroline, who after many years as an Occupational Therapist, set up her own business www.gorgeousyarns.co.uk specialising in luxury yarns.  She talked about making activities like knitting, gardening, craftwork, painting, DIY easier for those with a grip problem.

She is very happy for knitters and crocheters to contact her on gorgeousyarns@gmail.com  if they need advice. She can’t give assessments, but can make suggestions of things they might like to try, and also share the love of gorgeous yarns.

This is some of the yarn (Alpaca silk) she has dyed with natural colours recently.

The central mantra is to make any task

easier, simpler, lighter.

She explained about different shapes and grips your hands make and the issues people with RA have to deal with and then offered the following ideas:-

·      Use Dycem – a non-slip rubber sheet on a roll that can be cut to size ie wrap around pencil/crochet needle, paint brush to make wider, fatter and easier to grip (can buy online)

·      You can get and make thicker, wider handles on many tools used in DIY, craft and gardening

·      ‘Fimo’ (can buy online) – you can use this to customise handles.  Make a sausage around the handle then hold and indent they way you would whilst working, then oven bake it according to pack instructions. (NB on metal – not plastic!!) Especially good for crochet hooks.

·      Use pipe insulation to thicken handles

·      Painting and DIY – use roller rather than a brush to reduce repetitive strain on your wrist.

·      Look at holding implements differently

·      You can get spring loaded scissors which can help if opening them to make a cut is difficult.

·      Pace yourself with jobs – don’t try to do the whole lot at once ie pruning. cleaning, decorating, gardening, washing the car, 

·      Knitting – the following are available and might help

o   Square needles (Cubics)

o   Carbon fibre needles (Karbonz)

o   circular/interchangeable needles (ChiaoGoo)

o   Plastic and cheap bamboo make knitting hard work

See also this blog…

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