The one handed bra could be the item that could change your patient’s life
Losing the ability to use one arm or hand can feel very debilitating and frustrating for many. This could be through a stroke, arthritis, amputation or wrist damage. You may be working with a patient recovering from surgery waiting for full function to return or they may have been born with a limb difference.
Anyone who has lost the function of one limb will find it difficult to adapt, however, as OTs you know you can recommend dressing aids, offer advice on how to tackle activities of daily living, get creative with kitchen skills and offer advice for bathing and hair washing. Often patients will have a carer or partner who can help to get them dressed, however, this does remove their independence significantly and for a woman the trickiest task of dressing can often be putting on a bra.
Putting on a bra is quite an intimate process and not always something that a patient would want even their partner to help with. The ability to independently put on a bra easily is naturally very practical, but it can also have an effect on the patient’s emotional wellbeing.
The One Handed Bra company (powered by BraEasy) is an Australian-based company that was created by Rachel Whittaker, a mother frustrated with her search for a bra that her teenage daughter could independently put on. Jamie-Lee was nine-years-old when she was diagnosed with a very rare and life-threatening tumour. During surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible Jamie-Lee suffered a stroke which resulted in deficits on her left side.
Subsequent chemotherapy and radiotherapy were successful and Jamie-Lee is now 20. In her early teenage years her mum struggled to find any bra for Jamie-Lee to put on herself, so she embarked on a mission to change this.
Rachel has succeeded in creating an amazing, simple and stylish bra that allows women to dress independently. The bra itself features Velcro side openings that are incredibly strong, ensuring there are no wardrobe malfunctions. You can simply leave one side open, pull the bra on and attach the Velcro side opening to your comfort, and you only need the use of two fingers to remove it.
They boast a range of sizes with bras from A-H cups and you will find useful measuring instructions on the website too. They have a range of attractive styles, not medical looking old-fashioned bras, these are bras you want to buy, they are as much about offering pretty lingerie as they are about practicality.
You will find videos showing you how to put the bra on and take it off, and you can also book a free online demonstration too. They ship worldwide too.
The feedback from women in a variety of different situations have been so positive. Here’s just a few things they had to say:
“I work in disability services, and this product is damn amazing!”
“Love this idea and as a former manager of a bra store, I can assure you there IS a market for this and a lot of people would be so grateful for these bras.”
“First all – I LOVE the concept! Absolutely love. I damaged my wrist 18 months ago, and for 3 months my husband had to help me get dressed. As an incredibly independent person, this killed me inside.”
“Recently broke my shoulder and this would have been awesome.”
“I’d have killed for this after my surgery. My surgery had a few adaptive products I could buy before my surgery – this would have been gold.”
“I had a frozen shoulder for two years and could so have done with this. Xxx”
“I love this idea!! I broke my clavicle last year and ended up spending 6 months in recovery (bra-free). This is an actual issue I don’t think a lot of people consider! Go you!! ”
This could be a life-changing item for many patients, to find out more visit theonehandedbra.com.
This article originally appeared in the Jul/Aug 20 issue of The OT Magazine.
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