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This topic has 13 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 3 months ago by David Z.

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    • #15425
      Ryan Berhar
      Keymaster

      I’ve always driven my chair with my weaker left hand. Switching my joystick to the right side seemed like a no brainer, but when I tried it a few years ago, I realized I didn’t like it because I could no longer multitask. For example, I couldn’t use my phone while operating my chair. However, my left arm/hand is so weak now that I frequently need help placing my thumb back on the joystick. This problem would be eliminated by moving my joystick to the right side, so I think the pros of more independence probably outweigh the cons of not being able to multitask. Do you guys prefer driving with your weaker hand or your more dominant one?

    • #15430
      Kevin Schaefer
      Keymaster

      Interesting question. I’ve always used my right-hand to drive, but I get the frustrations of trying to multitask and operate your chair. Using my tray helps a lot with this. I can keep one hand propped on my tray and near my phone, and use the other to drive. Plus when I got my current chair, I had my tech people cut out a part of the tray and have the joystick placed in that spot. It helps, because it makes it much easier for me to get my right hand back and forth between my joystick and the tray. Hope that helps.

      • #15474
        Ryan Berhar
        Keymaster

        I guess both of your arms and hands are pretty equal in terms of strength/weakness, right? I’m sure it doesn’t matter as much for some, but for me it’s more of a dilemma.

        • #15481
          Kevin Schaefer
          Keymaster

          They’re about the same, but I do use my right hand a lot more. But yeah, I recommend a tray or something for support. I feel like you’d exert less energy that way and be more mobile. Just a suggestion.

        • #15496
          Ryan Berhar
          Keymaster

          Trays are not very useful for me beyond handwriting, because they sort of eliminate whatever leverage I have. For example, the way I use my phone is resting my phone on my leg, and resting my hand on my hip pad. This works extremely well for me, and is not possible with a tray. Hopefully that makes sense. Kind of hard to explain.

        • #15509
          Kevin Schaefer
          Keymaster

          Gotcha. Yeah I mean every SMA person is different, and you have to do what works best for you.

    • #15488
      Adnan Hafizovic
      Participant

      I m  a left handed but also use joystick with right weaker hand.Probably I use it with right hand because I had always got wheelchairs with joystick on right side.But I haven t any problems with that.

    • #15498
      DeAnn R
      Keymaster

      I’m right hand dominant, with my left much weaker. My joystick is on the right. I couldn’t imagine driving with my left, but I can see what you’re saying. If I have to carry something it can’t be very heavy. I say both arms together equal about half an average arm. Have you tried various joystick positions or different knob types that would be easier to get in position? I would think it would be awfully difficult to switch driving sides.

    • #15518
      Ryan Berhar
      Keymaster

      DeAnn and Yvette, I use a mini joystick. I think it’s the most sensitive joystick available. That’s all my left hand is capable of at this point. One idea I had was to modify the platform my driving hand rests on. It’s just a little rectangular pad, but if I put some sort of border around it, it might keep my hand in position better.

      • #15530
        DeAnn R
        Keymaster

        That might not be a bad idea to try.  As I’m a crafter I know they make a variety of foam tape.  It would be soft, but have a ledge to keep in position.  I’m thinking you could find it in the weather stripping department or ask at a hardware store. May be worth a shot.

    • #15639
      David Z
      Participant
    • #15510
      Kevin Schaefer
      Keymaster

      That’s a good point about change. For me, I was hesitant to switch from the t-shaped joystick to the ball-shaped one when I got my current chair. However, I’m really glad I made that switch. The ball one is easier for me to control, and I have an easier time getting my right hand from the joystick to my phone.

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