3 Tips For Putting On A Bra With Limited Dexterity

3 Tips For Putting On A Bra With Limited Dexterity
After I had a stroke that left me paralyzed on the left side, I became very desperate to regain my independence. I hated having to rely on someone to help me get dressed in the morning, and I was determined to find a way to do it all by myself. The first hurdle I had to overcome to achieve
this goal was learning how to put on my bra.

Unfortunately, bras have clasps in the back that can be difficult to manage when you don't have full use of both hands. When I was in inpatient therapy, I told my occupational therapist about my goal to learn how to dress myself without assistance. My therapist taught me a way to put on
a bra by myself. To this day, 6 and 1/2 years post stroke, I still utilize this method. Here are my top 3 tips for putting on a bra as a stroke survivor. With limited dexterity:

1. Sports bras/bralettes are your friend. If I’m having a casual day lounging at home, I will usually opt for the comfort of a bralette, which I can easily pull on over my head. I slide my affected arm in first, then my other arm and pull the bra over my head like a shirt. It took quite a bit of practice for me to increase my range of motion to be able to lift my arm up over my head. I also know some people who will step into their bra feet-first, pull it up, and that technique works best for them.

2. When I wear a normal bra that clasps, my technique is much the same. I use my weaker hand to stabilize and hold the fabric while I use my stronger hand to hook the clasp. From here, I put my weak arm through the already-hooked bra. Then I put in my stronger arm and pull it over my head. This is a tried and true tactic that I learned when I was in inpatient therapy, and I have been putting my bra on this way for years.

3. If I want to put on my bra and clasp it without putting it on over my head, I rely heavily on my affected arm to stabilize half of my bra against my body while my stronger hand manages to weave the clasp.

Although independence after stroke looks a bit different for me than it did before, I am committed to blazing a new path forward for myself and creating new opportunities. Onward!

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