Tips from Survivors: Fingernail Grooming & More

Two great tips for caring for your nails with the use of only one hand plus advice for shoes, dental floss and a device that helps when peeling fruits and vegtables.




Stroke survivor David Layton shares his tips for nail care

Nail Care Tip #1

Tip #1: One thing I have found particularly helpful is a fingernail brush attached with stainless steel screws to a board cut to fit in the bathroom sink. I use it to clean my hand and fingernails after working in my garden. The board helps secure the brush while I scrub my fingernails and hand across the brush.

Nail Care Tip #2

Tip #2: Another idea for fingernail maintenance is to use a spring clamp to hold a fingernail file to a desktop or countertop, so I can move the nails of my working hand across the file. We all got the idea that nail clippers were necessary for nail maintenance back when we had two working hands, but filing without using nail clippers will do the job.

Learn more about David on his website. 

More tips from survivor Adrienne Statfeld

I have weakness in the fingers of my left hand. I’ve found the following items to be helpful during my post-stroke life.

Elastic shoelaces to replace laces that need to be tied. Now I only buy slip-on shoes and sneakers that come with elastic bungee laces.

Button-hook device — Using this device makes getting dressed and undressed easier. It only requires moderate dexterity from the fingers on one hand while buttoning a shirt without the device requires the cooperation of the fingers on both hands. Of course, clothing with fewer fasteners or hook-and-loop fasteners instead of buttons or zippers would be easier, but would require that I buy a new wardrobe.

Extra-long shoehorn — Saves unsteady survivors from bending over to get their shoes on.

Dental floss that comes attached to a plastic pick so only one hand is necessary. Just because you’ve had a stroke doesn’t mean you can neglect dental hygiene.

“Prep n Pop”: This device, advertised on infomercials, is a winner. It allows you to stab a fruit or vegetable and hold it in place while you peel or slice it.

I suggest you keep items, even if you feel you no longer need them. Shower seats, grab bars and over-the-toilet commodes might seem less important following recovery, but they can decrease the likelihood of a fall.


Do you have some great tips or adaptations that could help other survivors? Or looking to find new and better ways to do some things yourself? Visit our Tips For Daily Living Library to check out the latest tips or to submit one of your own.

This information is provided as a resource to our readers.These tips, products or resources have not been reviewed or endorsed by the American Stroke Association.

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Stroke Rehabilitation

Making the Best Decisions at Discharge After Stroke

The type of rehabilitation and support systems a survivor receives at discharge can strongly influence health outcomes and recovery. In this, the first part of a two-part series on stroke rehab, we offer guidance for the decision-making process required when it’s time to leave the hospital.

What to Expect from Outpatient Rehab

After stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type of rehabilitation. Outpatient therapy may consist of Several types of therapy. Whether a patient is referred to inpatient or outpatient therapy depends on the level of medical care required.

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

Following a stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type rehabilitation. In this second of our two-part series, we want to alleviate some of the mystery, fear and anxiety around the inpatient rehab part of the stroke recovery journey.
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AHA-ASA Resources

The Support Network

When faced with challenges recovering from heart disease or stroke, it’s important to have emotional support. That is why we created a network to connect patients and loved ones with others during their journey.

Caregiver Guide to Stroke

The Caregiver Guide to Stroke is meant to help caregivers better navigate the recovery process and the financial and social implications of a stroke.

Stroke Support Group Finder

To find a group near you, simply enter your ZIP code and a mile radius. If your initial search does not pull up any groups, try

Tips for Daily Living Library

This volunteer-powered library gathers tips and ideas from stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals all over the country who’ve created or discovered adaptive and often innovative ways to get things done!

Stroke Family Warmline

The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with an ASA team member who can provide support, helpful information or just a listening ear.

Let's Talk About Stroke Patient Information Sheets

Let's Talk About Stroke is a series of downloadable patient information sheets, created by the American Stroke Association, that presents information in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read.

Request Free Stroke Information Packets

Fill out this online form to request free information about a variety of post-stroke topics.
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Stroke & Parts of the Brain

When Stroke Affects the Occipital Lobe

Our occipital lobe, the smallest of the four lobes of the cerebral cortex, controls how we visually interpret our world.

When Stroke Affects the Cerebellum

The cerebellum contains 80 percent of our neurons. Its job seems to be to make things better. We talked with neuroscientist Jeremy Schmahmann about how stroke affects the “little brain.”

When Stroke Affects the Parietal Lobe

The parietal lobe helps us make sense of sensory information, like where our bodies and body parts are in space, our sense of touch, and the part of our vision that deals with the location of objects.

When Stroke Affects the Frontal Lobe

Of the four lobes that make up the cerebral cortex, the frontal lobe is the largest. It plays a huge role in many of the functions that make us human — memory, language, movement, judgment, abstract thinking.

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe has several functions, mainly involved with memory, perception and language.

When Stroke Affects the Brain Stem

The brain stem serves as a bridge in the nervous system. It sits at the top of the spinal column in the center of the brain. When a stroke happens there, it can cause a few different deficits and, in the most severe cases, can lead to locked-in syndrome.

When Stroke Affects the Thalamus

The thalamus can be thought of as a "relay station," receiving signals from the brain’s outer regions (cerebral cortex), interpreting them, then sending them to other areas of the brain to complete their job.
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Departments

Stroke Notes

Stroke-related news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Readers Room

Articles, poems and art submitted by stroke survivors and their loved ones.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These stroke survivors, caregivers and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Everyday Survival

Practical tips and advice for day-to day living after stroke.

Life At The Curb

A unique perspective on survival by comedian and stroke survivor John Kawie.

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.

Helping Others Understand

Stroke affects people differently and many of the effects of stroke can be complicated. Helping friends and family understand how a stroke is affecting a survivor can help everyone involved.

Support Showcase

Our new department highlighting the good work being done by stroke support groups from around the nation. If you are part of a successful support group we should consider featuring, let us know!