One Handed Strategies for Kitchen Tasks

presented by Debra Latour

Accreditation Check:

Occupational therapists advise and counsel clients on strategies to increase functional independence and improve quality of life. Many occupational therapists struggle with knowing how to demonstrate adaptive strategies to clients who have suffered loss or loss of function of one hand to complete functional activities. This four-part series is directed toward completion of bi-manual tasks using such adaptive strategies with one hand, the residual limb, and a prosthesis, and may include the use of assistive devices. The course focuses on completing common kitchen-related tasks, such as cutting and chopping food, mixing ingredients, using the stove and oven, and washing dishes. The ability to prepare food not only provides sustenance to the individual, but also brings joy in the opportunity to cook for family and friends. Join Debi Latour as she personally demonstrates how to complete each of these kitchen-related tasks.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Debra Latour, M.Ed., OTR/L

    Debra Latour has been an innovator from her earliest years. Debi wore her first prosthesis at the age of 14 months and then spent the years that followed working with the clinical team at Shriners Hospitals to improve upon their prosthetic designs. When it came time to decide upon her next step, Debi decided that a career as an occupational therapist was just what she needed. Not only could she combine her interest in art with her love of science, but she felt like her use of a prosthesis could really provide a unique perspective to her future patients. So, Debi enrolled at the Tufts University/Boston School of Occupational Therapy and then eventually received her Master’s in the Advanced Practice of Occupational Therapy from Springfield College. Debi’s career in occupational therapy has taken her around the world to present on topics related to successful patient care for upper limb prosthetic patients. She has been a featured speaker at events throughout the US, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands. For the past thirteen years, she has worked with pediatric patients through the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, MA as well as serving as an adjunct professor at Springfield College since 2006. Debi’s passion for helping people not only applies to her patients but also to all the people in her life. She enjoys spending a great deal of time with her immediate and far-reaching family members. Debi has also spent a substantial amount of time working on her new Anchor Technology that provides a completely new way for patients who use body-powered, upper limb prosthesis to have a more solid suspension system. Whether it is her family, her friends or her Handspring patients, Debi Latour is dedicated to helping to improve their lives each and every day.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. Peeling, Cutting, and Chopping Foods

    1. Peeling, Cutting, and Chopping Foods

    Preparing fruits and vegetables for cooking can present a challenge for someone that only has functionality of one hand. Join Debi Latour as she describes adaptive strategies and methods for peeling, cutting, and chopping foods.

  2. Mixing and Pouring Ingredients

    2. Mixing and Pouring Ingredients

    Many people find enjoyment in baking for their loved ones, but this too can be difficult, especially when the mixture is made and ready to be poured into a baking dish. Watch as Debi Latour demonstrates how to mix ingredients into a batter and pour the contents into a baking dish.

  3. Navigating the Stove and Oven

    3. Navigating the Stove and Oven

    Once food ingredients are prepped for cooking, the use of the stove and oven is often the next step. These present their own risk, particularly in people with decreased sensation of their effected side. Join Debi Latour as she demonstrates how to use the stove and oven, and discusses strategies for the patient with decreased sensation.

  4. Washing Dishes

    4. Washing Dishes

    Washing dishes, while not the most exciting task, is important for maintaining a clean and healthy home. Watch as Debi Latour demonstrates how to clean different types of dishes without breaking them or putting the intact hand at risk.