Accomplishing an independent living skill, such as opening a can of green beans, gets easier with a little bit of practice. Paul, a C6/7 quadriplegic with no finger movement, shares a technique he has learned to opening an easy-open or pull-top can.
To begin, make sure to get some kind of tray in your lap to sit the can on. Also, Paul recommends wearing a glove to avoid cutting yourself in the process of opening the can.
Here are the steps he takes to open the can:
Step one is to pry open the top. Get a spoon and stick it under the tab of the can. Pushing down on the spoon, the spoon will act like a lever. A pop can be heard as pressure is released from the can.
Step two is to break the seal of the can and pour the water out. Take the spoon out from under the tab of the can, and steading the can with one hand, push the tab up with the other hand. Then, pour the water out of the can.
Step Three is to completely open the can. Now that the tab is in an upright position, use the spoon as a lever again. Maneuver the end of the spoon through the hole of the tab, so the spoon is laying across the opposite end of the can. When the spoon is positioned in the hole, hold the end of the spoon steady on the can with one hand, while gently pushing upward on the front end of the spoon with the other. The seal on the can will break, and the spoon can be used to pull a part the can from the lid. Or, like Paul, you can hook a finger in the hole of the tab to pull the lid off.
“If you’re a quadriplegic, you know there is no such thing as an easy open can."
But with a little bit of practice, Paul proves that opening the can is indeed possible!
Do you use a different technique to open a can? Share your technique with us, and you might be featured on AbleThrive.com!