One-handed cell phone use: How can I use and control my cell phone with one hand?

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How can I use and control my cell phone with one hand?

Question

I am right-hand dominant and left-side deficient from a stroke several years ago, and I have difficulties using a cell phone with one hand. What is available to help me hold and use my phone?

Our answer

A cell phone provides the possibility to remain independent while also giving the option to stay connected to friends and family. Some may find it difficult to handle a modern cell phone due to the size of the device, and even more difficult to navigate the screen while holding the device using one hand. Here are a few options you might want to explore:

If you are experiencing difficulties using your cellphone with one hand due to the size of the phone, you might want to try a silicon case for your device. Silicon is designed to be sticky and can be easier to grip in your hand or reduce sliding off surfaces. Depending on your device, these cases can range from about $5 to more than $20 (Cdn) from retailers including AmazonBestBuy and Walmart.

Another option you may wish to explore is a phone grip, such as a Pop Socket (at Amazon.ca), Spigen Style Ring Grip (at BestBuy.ca) or a Lazy-Hands Loop Grip (at Walmart.ca). These devices are designed to help prevent dropping the phone by giving the user a more secure grip. These devices range from about $11 to about $65 (Cdn), plus any additional shipping fees.

 

If you are having difficulties navigating your phone because of the size of the screen, you might want to explore different programs and settings that help enable a phone to be easier to use with one hand. Here are a few resources:

Android phones:

  • The article “9 Tips for Using your Big Android Phone with Just One Hand” by Make Use Of describes some of the options available for Android phones. These options include programs to manage preprogrammed gestures to make repetitive navigation easier or keyboard programs to enable one-handed mode.

For iPhones:

  • Apple introduced Reachability into the accessibility options of an iPhone for users that are unable to easily reach the top of their iPhone’s screen. To enable Reachability: launch Settings from your Home screen, then General, then Accessibility, and turn on the Reachability switch under the Interaction section. When Reachability is on, lightly double-tapping the Home button (do not press the Home button) will lower the screen within reach.
     
  • Apple devices also have the ability to turn on a one-handed keyboard. The article “iOS 11: How to Use the One Handed Keyboard” by 9 to 5 Mac describes how to turn on a left-handed or right-handed keyboard on Apple devices with iOS 11 or newer.

 

Some technologies and devices may require an in-person assessment. Speak with your health care provider for additional information and support.

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