Importance of rehabilitation
Rehabilitation, which also includes occupational therapy, plays a crucial role in improving the outcomes in performing routine chores of a person. The affected individual needs to evaluate, and break the given task into smaller tasks and plan accordingly. There are a number of available devices and aids that can help conveniently perform every day activities; this can be discussed with your therapist.
Tips to efficiently perform daily activities
Difficulty in dressing can result due to weakness of the either side of the body. Various aids are available, and it is best to plan a method on how to wear the required garment.
- When wearing a shirt or pant, always wear it on the affected side first.
- When removing a shirt or pant, always remove it from the unaffected side first.
- When wearing shoes, use a long shoe horn to pull up your shoes and even the stocking.
- Discuss with your caregiver on which clothes to opt for while shopping. Opt for loose clothes that can be easily worn or removed.
- Always use an anti-slip mat to avoid falls in the bathroom.
- Place grab bars or railing near the toilet or urinal.
- Use a toilet seat for better support
- Use a portable urinal at night to avoid rushing to the bathroom and potential falls.
- Incontinence may be common in the initial weeks after stroke. However, bowel and bladder control and tone improve over time.
3. Bathing or Showering
Adopt a routine of showering that is not only safe but also allows gives the person more independence.
- Shower chairs can be opted for to prevent slipping and fall.
- Place the person against a wall for better support.
- Before starting the bath, place all toiletries within access.
- Long handled sponge can be used for bathing, especially on the back areas.
- Before starting a meal, ensure that the person is seated on a chair in an upright posture with both feet placed on a support.
- Affected arm should be placed or supported on the table.
- Encourage eating by themselves as much as possible.
- Assisting devices such as support for eating, which include both spoon and fork, are available.
- Plate guards to keep the plate stable can also be used.
Driving may be possible only after a complete medical assessment and clearance from your physician. Certain assisting devices may be required while driving.
6. Skin Care
Caring for your skin actively although seemingly mundane, goes a long way in preventing infections. Stroke can lead to dry, dehydrated skin of the affected area.
- Wash the skin regularly with mild cleansing agents
- Moisturize your skin regularly to prevent dryness and dehydration.
- Prevent skin friction by avoiding the same posture and resting in different positions.
7. Hand Care
Stroke may lead to the loss of strength and sensation in the hand. This can contribute to swelling due to fluid retention, which can also lead to pain and other complications of that hand or limb.
- Use assisting devices for your affected hand. Hold up the affected hand in front with fingers open and wrist supported.
- Gently move and open the fingers of the affected arm with the other hand.
- Stroke the skin of fingers if they are tight or highly spastic.
8. Foot Care
- Regularly check your feet for blisters, sores, or ulcers.
- Always wear socks as it helps to keep the feet clean and dry.
- Wear a comfortable pair of shoes that fit snugly. Low or no heels, shock absorbing heels, and Velcro fasteners should be considered while buying footwear.
9. Leisure Activities
- An online game of cards can be refreshing. Card holders are also available.
- Books can be read online or using one hand. Book holders and large print books also available.
- A number of sports and leisure activities can be performed with support or even on their own e.g. listening to music.
It is important that a person affected with stroke be treated with due respect as any other individual. Taking extra care and enabling independence using aids and devices should be top priority.
Care24 experts are well trained and fully aware of the problems faced during post-stroke rehabilitation at home and can help you provide hassle home nursing care, be it physiotherapy, nursing, nutrition, etc.