Home modifications for stroke patients will help ease the transition back to everyday life.
The purpose of home modifications for stroke patients is to make life after stroke as easy and safe as possible so that patients can regain their independence.
They should help make activities of daily living like bathing, getting out of bed, eating, toileting, and grooming simple.
Home Modifications for Stroke Patients
These home modifications will be most useful for stroke patients experiencing impaired motor control, lack of balance, or poor memory.
1. Doorknob Extenders
If your doorknob doesn’t have a handle, consider doorknob extenders.
They easily attach to your doorknob and create a lever so that you don’t need to twist it in order to open.
All you have to do is press down on the lever!
2. Transfer Bench
It allows you to shower seated so that you don’t have to worry about slips and falls.
Try to find one with an attached bar on the side to hold onto for extra support when you reach for products like shampoo!
3. Rails/ Grab-bars
The purpose of rails and grab-bars is to help you stay balanced as you move from place to place.
You can install one by your toilet, near your bed, near your seats, or by your stairs.
4. Shower Hoses
Shower hoses allow you to move the shower head around.
This is super useful for those that have limited movement and need to sit while showering or bathing.
5. Non-slip Bath Mats
Non-skid bath mats help stabilize you so that you won’t fall on slippery bathtub floors.
They have suction cups to keep them in place and a textured surface allows for better grip.
6. Night Lights
Ever wake up in the middle of the night and try to navigate yourself in the dark to get to the bathroom?
Turning on a bright light in the middle of the night makes it harder to fall back asleep, which is why many of us would rather risk bumping into a few things in the dark than turning on a light.
Stroke survivors should definitely not try to walk around in the dark because it increases their chances of falling.
Instead, set up red or orange night lights throughout your home to guide you to the bathroom.
Red and orange light will not disrupt your internal clock the way white or blue light does.
7. Rug Grippers
Make sure that there’s some sort of grip on the bottom of your rugs to prevent sliding.
You can buy non-slip adhesives or pads that attach to the bottom of your rug and keep it in place.
8. Clear Walkways
Clear frequented walkways of items that could potentially get in your way like furniture, toys, and cords.
Stroke survivors that use wheelchairs will need clear, spacious walkways while those that don’t use wheelchairs will want to reduce risk of tripping.
Consider getting rid of doorknobs with locks or at least get into the habit of not locking your doors.
If you ever end up falling or need help, your caregiver won’t be able to reach you quickly.
10. Raised Toilet Seats
Raised toilet seats will make it easier to sit down and get up for stroke survivors who have weakness in their legs.
You can even find some that come with armrests that will help you stay balanced.
11. Soap Dispensers
Rather than using bar soap or squeeze tubes, try to get soap dispensers with pumps or electric soap dispensers.
It’s much easier to press down on a soap dispenser than to grab a bar of soap (which can get slippery) and rub your hands together until it starts lathers up.
Stairs and wheelchairs just don’t go together.
Consider getting a portable ramp. They’re easy to set up when you need them and can fold for convenient storage.
Try to find one with anti-skid fabric on top so that there’s secure traction.
13. Open Shelves
For stroke survivors with memory problems, try to place objects in plain sight so that they’re not difficult to find.
For example, install open shelves where everything is visible instead of cabinets that need to be individually opened and closed.
14. Closet Racks
Another good idea to utilize a closet rack or rail and hang all your clothes instead of using drawers.
Everything will be laid out in front of you and you won’t need to open up various drawers or mess up stacks of clothing to find what you want to wear.
15. Cord Covers
Loose cables and cords are major tripping hazards.
Consider taping them down or find a cable cover that can be mounted onto your wall.
Things to Consider Before Adding Home Modifications for Stroke Patients
Before adding home modifications for stroke patients, ask yourself:
- Is there enough space?/ Can your wheelchair fit?
- Will you remember where you put this?
- Can you reach this?
- Is it too tiring to do this?
- How will you stay balanced?
It’s also a good idea to have your occupational therapist visit your home to point out what may need to be changed and the best ways to do it.
Hopefully, these home modifications gave you some good ideas for making life after stroke more convenient and safe.