This week, we spoke with Caroline Coster, a quadruple amputee, about the resources available for new amputees. The first thing you need to know is there are a lot of new amputee resources available around the world and on a local level.
Caroline is just approaching her 12-month mark of being a quadruple amputee. If you haven’t read her story yet, see her Bionic Caroline page or visit her blog. Caroline’s energy can light up a room, and while she acknowledges the challenges of life as a new amputee, she remains positive and optimistic about this next chapter in her life. Some of the resources Caroline shared below are specifically for new arm amputees and focuses on community knowledge sharing, peer, and tool support.
Caroline has also provided some advice with each new amputee resources point, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Caroline points to Alex Lewis as someone who understands the level of adaptation you will need to go through on your journey. Talk to your mentors, find out their strategies, and what tools they have found most useful.
Do you need to invent new tools to participate in old or new hobbies? Caroline recommends contacting Remap who can help you make new tools.
Armless Amputees is a community Facebook group that Caroline recommends joining and actively participating in. If you’re a new arm amputee who is also a quad amputee, Caroline recommends the Facebook group Quad Squad for peer support. Steel Bones is another Facebook group that offers more organised community support.
Limbless Association is a group that organises events and can help you find what you’re looking for.
If you have lost your limbs to sepsis, an invaluable organisation is the UK Sepsis Trust. This group can provide nurses that call you for check-ins weekly and monthly. It’s a safe space that can help you through all aspects of your life after surviving Sepsis.
Skills For Life is an incredible organisation that can support you through workshops, learning new skills, and new ways of completing tasks.
Ask your NHS clinician for introductions to groups that can support adapting your home and work environment: Environmental Control Group and IT support have been invaluable for Caroline.
Get creative yourself! Caroline has enjoyed the process of hacking ‘around-the-house’ objects into activity-specific tools that make her life easier. If you’re struggling with a task, think about what you need to make the task easier. When Caroline struggled with washing her hair, she bought a battery-powered head scrubber and melted it onto one of her arm prostheses. Now hair washing is a lot easier!
Another top tip from Caroline for new arm amputees is to make the most of the resources by sharing your milestones and achievements with your chosen groups. Your communities will understand better than anyone the sense of achievement and will celebrate your wins with you, no matter how big or small.
If you’re a new arm amputee, Caroline has offered to be available to give guidance and support. You can contact her here. Thank you Caroline!
Would you like to recommend other resources for new arm amputees? Please email us your suggestions through our contact page. If you are an arm amputee and looking for prosthetic arm options, register to book an informal call with out team.
We’re a bionics company developing affordable assistive devices that enhance the human body. We’ve started by introducing the Hero Arm, a clinically approved 3D printed stylish multi-grip bionic hand. Current upper limb prostheses exist as hooks, grippers, or expensive bionic hands. We’re on a mission to make clinically approved 3D prosthetics beautiful, functional and more accessible.