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One-handed Sandwich Cutter

An elderly stroke survivor with significant left-sided inattention and upper limb hemiparesis wanted to be able to make and cut his own sandwich to reduce dependence on his carers. The reliance on his right hand had made using knives risky (especially as he had previously been left-handed). Off-the-shelf sandwich cutters require force application from both hands. REMAP engineered a one- handed sandwich cutter that he could safely use with his functional right hand.

The Challenge

The client has a significant left-sided inattention and hemiparetic upper limb following a stroke. He is also apraxic (ideomotor) and has a left-sided homonymous hemianopia. He is therefore reliant on his right hand making him function sub-optimally and making any form of bilateral activity difficult. The combination of these impairments has made using knives risky as his left hand will instinctively try to assist and he is likely to cut himself. This seemingly straightforward difficulty did not appear resolvable with an off-the-shelf solution. The client is a retired engineer himself and was very interested in working through the problem. Achievement of his goal to make his own lunch is of significant importance to him.

The solution

After several visits and designs, Remap engineered a one-handed sandwich cutter with an upwardfacing cutter fixed between two plastic board layers with the top surface acting as the sandwich plate. This detachable setup is then inserted into a stable hinged press with a heavy steel handle designed to leverage downward motion to press the sandwich against the upward force of the cutter. The ergonomic design makes it possible to cut the sandwich with minimum force and without any exposure to injury.

The benefit

Being able to make his own lunch is really important to the client He is now able to make and cut his sandwich using his functional right hand without risk. He demonstrated understanding of the cutter and was provided with all the safety instructions before use.


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