Creating a Safe Environment for Those Who Have Experienced a Stroke

happy senior lady smiling at cameraAccording to the National Stroke Association, there are several tips and tricks to making a house more accessible for those who have experienced a stroke.

Forty percent of stroke survivors suffer serious falls within a year after their strokes.

To Avoid Falls

  • Clear paths to the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom
  • Move electrical cords out of pathways
  • Wear non-skid shoes and avoid slick surfaces
  • Remove loose carpets and runners in hallways and stairwells or fasten them with non-skid tape to improve traction
  • Replace thick carpeting with lower pile carpeting to make wheelchair or walker movement easier
  • Install handrails for support in going up and down stairs and check to make sure they’re securely fastened to the wall
  • Consider stair glides, stair lifts and platform lifts if stairs are required

Doing Laundry Will Be Less Challenging With a Few Simple Changes

  • Stackable, front-loading machines may be easier to reach and take up less space
  • Move laundry machines to a place where they are easily accessible
  • Use easy-to-reach, labeled detergents and laundry supplies
  • Have easy-to-read markings for wash settings
  • Use a nearby table or cart at the right height for sorting and folding
  • Use an ironing board that folds down from the wall

Special Utensils Help People With Physically-Impaired Arms and Hands at the Table

  • Attachable rings which keep food from being pushed off the plate accidentally
  • Flatware with built-up handles which are easier to grasp
  • Rocker knives for cutting food with one hand

Making the Bedroom Safe and Comfortable

  • Move/reorganize clothes and personal items to make them easier to access
  • Use a nightlight and clear a path for easy access to the toilet at night
  • Consider placing disposable “blue pads” underneath the sheets
  • Keep a commode chair near the bed
  • Install a light switch near the bed

Adjusting to Challenges in the Kitchen

  • Adjust the kitchen table so it is the right height for a wheelchair or for a chair with arms that supports posture
  • Mount an over-the-stove mirror to help see stovetop contents if cooking while seated
  • Keep a clear space near the stove to place a hot pot or pan quickly
  • If possible, use a stove with push-button controls at the front
  • Install automatic shut-off controls
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Have oven mitts on hand

Helpful Bathroom Devices

  • One-piece faucet with lever handles or long extensions, allowing water to be turned on and off with a fist or arm movement
  • Cut-out or roll-under sink, which allows room for legs underneath the sink while seated
  • Suction pads to hold grooming tools or bottles in place on a counter, requiring just one hand to pick up or use
  • Easy-to-use water control knobs with easy-to-see settings or long-handled levers
  • Non-slip flooring strips installed inside and outside of the tub
  • Electric toothbrush and flip-top toothpaste tube
  • Grab bars in shower or tub
  • Sturdy handrails
  • Raised toilet seat or toilet chair
  • Adjustable or handheld showerhead
  • Bathing supplies that are easy to reach and use
  • Long-handled brush
  • Squeeze bottles and soap pumps
  • Washing mitt with pockets for soap
  • Soap-on-a-rope
  • Electric razor
  • Tub bench

Resource: National Stroke Association is the leading national non-profit organization devoting all of its efforts and resources to stroke. NSA provides the most up-to-date information on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and support for stroke survivors and their families. For more information on NSA contact 1-888-4-STROKE or visit Stroke.org.

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