Today, I held a seed packet with my right hand and fished seeds out with my left hand. A lot of times I have to move objects so I can tidy-up stuff around the yard. For example, the barbecue grill is an item I use fairly often. Moving it back and forth to/from the middle of the yard on its 2 wheels is something I can do. It's one of those large kettle styles. I move it using both hands, and once I get my hand in position, I can trust my spastic right hand not to let go.
When I'm exercising and stretching my arm and hand, I tell my brain to extend the arm using my tricep and then bring it up with my bicep. Each event is unique and has to be part of an intention.
Also, with the affected hand I practice making a fist then spreading my fingers out. Close it and open it in a pumping fashion about 5 times, or as long as it lasts. The spasticity starts freezing up the fingers. That's why it's important to breathe, because breathing helps the hand to relax. Exhale when the hand opens and inhale when a fist is made. If only that were enough.
The affected side needs to feel loved, as well. And you make it feel love by putting it to work. For a healthy garden, Lady Bug fertilizer pellets can be broadcast at the base of plants. Guess what I do? I hold a small jar of fertilizer in my affected right hand and pull out a fingerful of pellets with my left and toss them under the plants . It doesn't seem like a lot, but for a stroke survivor it could be a major accomplishment of intent and coordination. It involves maintaining balance and throwing the pellets with accuracy.
The gardener has to keep a steady hand with a jar of fertilizer pellets. Stroke survivors know how spasticity can be, and there's no controlling it. I'm lucky when I don't spill half of it because the jar in my hand tends to want to turn outward and up toward my chest. Consequently, I have to concentrate on relaxing and breathing into my hand to keep it from turning over. And that can be very dicey when you're trying to keep a cup of coffee, a glass containing liquid remnants, or a little jar of fertilizer pellets from spilling to the ground.
It helps if particular tendencies can be detected during the process. Pay attention to the hand and arm. Help them to be helpful! And be safe. Anticipate what could happen when you move into a particular space.