Winter Issues. Before I leave my house in the winter I have to (1) don boots and (2) zip my coat.
Access. This includes (3) getting out keys for my house and car which is harder than it sounds and (4) getting out of my house. Going out my front door has four challenges. First, I need to open the door and place my cane on the porch so my sound hand is free to close and lock the door. Second, I have to step over a one inch high strip when I walk backwards to pull the front door closed (photo on right).
Third, I have to hold the screen door open as I close the front door. I used to use my butt to hold the screen door open because it is a heavy wheelchair-width door. I dented the screen so now I push against the storm window which I keep down all year. Fourth, the 2nd photo shows a shallow ledge built into the screen door. I have to keep the heel of my hemiplegic foot from getting stuck on that ledge as I step down onto my porch. People who hold the front door open are not preparing stroke survivors for the day we want to walk out the door and drive somewhere by ourselves. We need suggestions on how to deal with the hazards at our front doors.
Parking. (5) I had to parallel park to pass my on-the-road test. Carrie, the OT who trained me, did such a good job that I never panic when I can't find pull-in parking. (6) The spinner knob I use to control the steering wheel is made of a plastic that gets hotter than a regular steering wheel. I can't afford to burn my sound hand so I'm glad I found sunshades I can put up quickly to cover the windshield.
Car Maintenance. (7) Before a mechanic works on my car he shoves the car seat back because I have short legs. Before I can drive away I grab the steering wheel with my hemiplegic hand to pull the seat forward while my sound hand presses down on the release bar. I have yet to find a reliable way to leave a mark that another person could aim for. A palmar grasp gives me a skill I need to be independent in car maintenance.