Stroke Rehab: Adaptations to the Home
As a follow-on to the article called Fear of Going Home Following a Stroke, let’s look at adaptations to the home. Why would a person want to make adaptations to the home? And which adaptations to the home might a person make?
Why Make Adaptations to the Home?
When a senior is physically affected by a stroke, there may be mild, moderate or severe effects on mobility.
The senior considers, “Can I go back to my home, and live the way I did? Do I need to move? Do I need to make expensive renovations?”
If a person wants to move, well and good. At that point, a senior might choose to move in with a son or daughter, or move to a senior living community. There are different options.
However, many seniors like living in their home. There is a reason for the expression, “A man’s home is his castle!”
Many people prefer to avoid the expense of moving or extensively remodeling.
The answer is, to make adaptations to the home as it is.
Before discharge, the rehab hospital or rehabilitation center will give advice about adaptive living. They may recommend which items to install in the home to improve safety and mobility.
Books for caregiving will add depth to the experience of people caring for loved ones. There are informative books as well as those for entertainment.
Discover resources for home adaptation devices that promote independent.
You can find out about rehabilitation products and innovation at Saebo.com.
Find out about getting coverage for some of the expenses. Medicare pays for some items. There is help for veterans with the Special Home Adaptations (SHA) grant.
Some Types of Mobility Issues That May be Caused by Stroke
Mobility could be affected by stroke in several ways, affecting for example:
- A person’s gait and how they walk
- Reduction of sensation in parts of the body
- Balance issues
- On one side of the body: muscle weakness, paralysis or stiffness
- Disturbance of activities of daily living
Safety When Planning Home Adaptations
The National Stroke Association mentions a number of important issues.
We need to think about:
- Safety: Adapt walk-around areas by removing anything that a person could trip over. Examples include: Rugs, charger wires, storage containers, tables with legs that stretch outwards. It is so important, that while you make the home safe, you do not remove the person’s identity. For example, we advise removing rugs, but a beloved rug can be cleaned and used to cover a side surface.
- On a tangent: Check that adaptive equipment that is has relevant safety marks or medical device certification.
- Adaptations to the Bathroom: Sometimes the hospital will give or loan the equipment. Reading tips on personal hygiene following a stroke will give ideas of which equipment a person might need to buy. It is advisable to speak to your doctor or nurse. Double check which equipment for bathroom adaptations is actually needed. Floor surfaces in the bathroom should be slip resistant. You can add grab bars by the toilet and the bath.
Devices to Encourage Independent Senior Living
The following is a collection of devices that might be useful to a senior who is returning home from stroke rehabilitation:
(Click on a heading to follow the link.)
A Grabber Stick
Squeeze with one hand to reach items at a distance or height.
Stainless Steel Drinking Straws
Straws that let a person drink and do not bend with a bite.
A Side Sleeper Pillow
Get a good sleep in different positions.
Designer Grab Bar
A bar that looks good and helps a person hold on tight.
A Shower Chair
A safe seat for those who can shower instead of bathing.
A bedside floor mat to help avoid falls and soften the landing if it does occur.
For keeping clothing clean after an adaptive eating meal.
Right-Handed Angled Spoon
A spoon especially for independent eating.
Adaptive Cutlery – non-weighted or weighted
For enabling seniors with certain conditions to eat independently.
As we see, there are many ways to make adaptations to the home. Following a stroke, a senior might absolutely and resolutely want to go home. The family and caregivers have the proper job of honoring the requests of the senior, as far as is feasible.
Original Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay
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