Adjusting Your Home After a Stroke: A Mini Guide to Enhanced Safety and Comfort
Recovering from a stroke can be a challenging journey, not just for the individual affected but also for their loved ones. One of the key aspects of this journey is adapting the home environment to ensure safety, comfort, and support during the recovery process. At Island Mediquip, we understand the importance of creating a living space that caters to the new needs of stroke survivors. This blog aims to provide practical tips and insights on how to adjust your home post-stroke.
A bedroom should be a sanctuary, offering comfort and safety. Post-stroke, it's vital to ensure that the bedroom is equipped to handle the new challenges. One important aspect is to ensure that the lighting is adequate, as a well-lit room reduces the risk of accidents, especially during the night. Keeping a flashlight beside the bed can provide additional peace of mind, and consider adding in some nightlights.
There should be clear unobstructed access to the room, reducing any tripping hazards. Have clothing and personal items organized and within reach, and choose clothes that are simple to put on and off. Velcro fasteners or elastic in place of buttons and zippers can simplify the process. Also consider gadgets like a reacher, button hook, sock aid, or long-handled shoe horn to aid in dressing. For those nights when getting to the bathroom might be difficult, a commode chair near the bed can be a helpful addition.
Living and Dining Spaces
The living and dining areas, where families gather and share moments, also require thoughtful modifications. Clear pathways for easy navigation are essential to avoid accidents. In the dining area, consider using silverware with larger or rubber grip handles and plate guards, as they can make eating more manageable, plus drink using a straw and lid. Chairs might need back supports or cushions to create a good position for eating. If wheelchair use is a factor, ensuring that the dining table is at the right height is crucial for comfort and accessibility.
The kitchen, often the heart of the home, can present various challenges post-stroke. Choosing appliances with safety features, such as kettles with automatic off-switches, can add an extra layer of safety. Utensils and cooking tools with large handles are easier to use and can make a significant difference in the kitchen experience. For those using a wheelchair, adjusting the height of countertops can make the kitchen more accessible and functional.
The bathroom usually demands significant modifications for safety and ease of use post-stroke. Consider the following adaptations:
- Place a non-slip mat in your tub and shower to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
- It's essential to regulate the water temperature. Avoid overly hot water and test the temperature before use, and even use a thermometer for accuracy.
- Install taps that are simple to operate, and use coloured tape to indicate the correct temperature settings.
- Installing grab bars or handrails can significantly aid movement and maneuverability in the bathroom.
- Use a tub bench for safe entry into the tub, and a shower chair for stability while showering.
- Use adjustable or handheld showerhead to cater to different heights and needs.
- Keep all bathing necessities within easy reach, and consider a long-handled sponge for added convenience.
- Opt for squeeze bottles and soap pumps as they are easier to use than traditional bar soap.
- Use an electric toothbrush or one with a larger handle for easier grip. A flip-top toothpaste tube and a tube squeezer can simplify toothpaste application.
Mobility Around the House
Adapting your home post-stroke requires a focus on both safety and accessibility. This means not only adjusting the physical space but also integrating tools and equipment that facilitate independence and ease of use. From the kitchen to the bathroom, every corner of your home can be optimized to support recovery and daily living needs.
Portable ramps can provide easy access to the house for those using mobility aids. In homes with multiple levels, stair lifts can be a life-changing addition, and don’t have to be as complicated as you think. Installing grab bars and handrails throughout the house aids in safe movement from room to room.
Remember, each stroke survivor's needs are unique, and so should be the approach to home adaptation. While these guidelines provide a general overview, personalizing your space to suit specific requirements is key. This might involve small tweaks in furniture arrangement or investing in specific aids that address individual challenges.
Island Mediquip is here to provide the equipment you need to make these transitions as smooth as possible. We understand the complexities of post-stroke recovery and are committed to supporting you every step of the way. We also offer a wide variety of equipment for rent, get in touch for more information.