If a loved one has recently been hospitalized following a stroke, it’s likely that getting home is a top priority. The good news is that recovering from a stroke can be done in the comfort of home. Being in familiar surroundings can bolster a person’s mood and help the individual gradually resume daily routines.
Prior to the doctor giving the green light to go home, it’s important to ensure the house is safe and that there is ongoing support during the recovery period. It’s common to make the most progress in the initial months following a stroke, but recovery can last much longer, too.
What can be expected during the stroke recovery process?
Long-term effects of a stroke vary from person to person and are impacted by the area of the brain affected and the severity of the stroke. It’s important to follow the physician’s rehabilitation plan in order to aid in recovery. Common effects of a stroke include:
- Physical symptoms including paralysis, weakness, and difficulty swallowing
- Emotional symptoms such as depression
- Cognitive symptoms such as trouble speaking and memory problems
- Extreme fatigue and trouble sleeping
- And more
Having one stroke raises the likelihood of an individual having another. To lower the risk, prioritize overall health by eating well, getting adequate rest, taking medications as prescribed, and working with any occupational, physical or speech therapists. A professional in-home caregiver from Abrio Home Care can help provide transportation to doctor and therapy appointments, grocery shop and prepare healthy meals, and provide encouragement and support to aid in the recovery following a stroke.
What are the top home modification tips that help when recovering from a stroke?
Making modifications to the main living spaces in the house can make recovering from a stroke at home safer. Modifications will also help an individual maintain independence following a stroke and get back into a daily routine more quickly. Assess the following rooms of the house and make these recommended modifications:
- If space is tight or the bedroom is not on the ground floor, consider moving to another bedroom or converting a dining room or den into a bedroom.
- Rather than storing clothing in a dresser, use a closet or open shelving. Installing a low bar in the closet (approximately 42” off the floor) makes it easier for someone in a wheelchair to hang or retrieve clothing.
- Keeping a wheelchair, walker, or cane near the bed can help with the process of getting in and out of bed.
- Remove throw rugs and make sure walking paths are clear from cords, clutter, and other obstructions to reduce fall risk.
- Accessing the bathroom is often the first hurdle. Walkers and wheelchairs may not fit comfortably through standard bathroom doorways. To gain width, door hinges can be replaced by offset hinges.
- Installing a one-lever faucet at the bathroom sink makes it easier to turn the water on and off and control the temperature with one hand.
- Raise the toilet seat with a toilet elevator or seat elevator which increases the seat height by several inches.
- Install handrails and nonskid strips in the shower and/or bathtub.
- If the individual will be using a wheelchair, lower the mirror or install a new mirror that can easily be seen from a seated position.
- Move frequently used items to lower shelves. Consider installing open shelving at an appropriate height so that items can be easily seen and accessed.
- Purchase utensils and cooking tools with larger handles, which may make them easier to grip.
- Place non-slip strips in front of the kitchen sink and remove throw rugs to help avoid falls.
- Ensure there is adequate lighting at each entry point into the house. Install motion sensor lights that come on at night automatically.
- Install handrails on both sides of stairs. If handrails already exist, check to ensure they are secure.
- Keep stairs free of debris and install non-slip treads on each step.
If you or a loved one will be returning home following a stroke, let the professional care team at Abrio Home Care help make the transition smooth and successful. In addition to providing a home safety assessment, our care team can offer ongoing support and encouragement during the recovery period, monitor for changes in condition, assist with mobility and personal care needs, help with light housekeeping, and much more.