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Assistive devices after a stroke


A stroke can lead to a number of lingering physical complications. Muscle weakness, sudden bouts of dizziness, problems with balance and coordination … all of these things can make day to day tasks seem impossible.

Fortunately, there are a lot of household upgrades and assistive devices that can help you maintain your independence, whatever your needs are.

Walking around

  • A single tip cane gives a little extra help walking.
  • A quad cane offers greater stability.
  • Consider a walker if balance is a major issue.
  • A wheelchair or scooter.

Bathing and Toilet Needs

  • Install grab bars in the shower or bathtub or near the toilet.
  • A bath chair or bench. Some have steps built into the side to help walk over the high rim of the bathtub.
  • A detachable showerhead on a long hose.
  • Anti-slip rubber decals to stick to the tub, or bath mats anchored by suction cups at the bottom.
  • Long handled sponges and bath mitts.
  • A raised toilet seat is a simple plastic ring that fits over the existing toilet so the person doesn’t have to sit so low down.
  • A toilet frame with arm rests to help you get up.

Other Personal Care Needs

  • Portable foot bath to soak toenails and make them easier to cut
  • Press-down nail clippers, if the scissor-style ones are too hard to grip.

  • A pumice stone on a long handle.
  • A toothpaste squeezer.
  • Long handled hairbrush or comb.
  • An electric shaver.
  • A stand for a hairdryer.
  • Makeup brushes and applicators with thick handles. Consider universal foam handles that can be slipped over the brushes you already have.

Getting Dressed

  • Wear loose clothing.
  • Dress the weaker side first.
  • Fasten buttons with a button hook.
  • Look for wrap clothes and those with front fasteners, no tricky zippers at the back.
  • Consider going to a tailor and having some clothes altered to use Velcro fasteners or easy plastic snaps.
  • Avoid clothes with a lot of texture or seaming, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting.
  • Look for sock pullers and a long handled shoe horn if flexibility is an issue.

Cooking and eating

  • Invest in a kitchen trolley, to reduce wandering around the kitchen gathering what you need. These are wheeled, so do not lean your full weight against them unless they have a locking brake.
  • A rocker knife to cut food.
  • A wall mounted electric can opener.
  • Adhesive rubber placemats to keep bowls from sliding.
  • Plastic plates, cups, and bowls are easier to handle when hand and arm strength is reduced.
  • Multipurpose utensils such as a spork, so fewer have to be juggled while eating.
  • Drink from a long straw placed into the cup if it is difficult to lift. If you’re having trouble swallowing, consult your medical team.

Communicating with loved ones

  • An ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Some are specially designed for one handed use.
  • Voice operated typing program.
  • Type to talk devices.
  • Communication boards and books, so you can point at the pictures or words you want to get across.

One Step at a Time

With a little practice, these common devices can help you stay on top of your household tasks and get back to living a full life with your loved ones.



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