M A K E S U R E A F T E R S T R O K E
Y O U H A V E P R O P E R B A T H R O O M S A F E T Y
Bathroom safety after a stroke takes in a lot. Being such a personal thing,
the stroke survivor wants to be as independent, as possible here. Depending
on their symptoms they may need help for everything, maybe just minimal
help or they may have total independence in the bathroom needing no help at
all. However, no matter the situation...safety issues have to always be watched.
Bathroom floors must be dry. It's too easy to slip and fall. A stroke survivor
that has a balance problem needs to be aware of this at all times. Just as a wet
spot can cause an accident, so can the use of throw rugs in the bathroom,
especially if the survivor has drop foot and/or is wearing a brace of some sort.
Inside the shower area, there needs to be hand railings along all three walls.
If the tub/shower is not non-slip in itself, then you need to add the non-slip
strips. Some sort of shower seat or bench is also needed, if there is a balance
problem. I recommend a portable shower head, making sure it's within reach
so the survivor doesn't have to lean and possibly fall. Shower items , such as
soap, shampoo, etc. need to be within reach, also.
Some stroke survivors have vision problems. In this case, you want to label all
items, using big letters. If you are unable to do this yourself, ask someone to
help you with it. Depending on the side of the brain that's been affected, it's
possible to have a problem with your memory. This is another reason to label
these items. Make sure you re-learn what they are...and what they are for.
Stroke survivors with paralysis can have a hard time twisting and turning on the
toilet. There are toilet aids available to help with this. Toilet seats alone, may
give you or the survivor more confidence and better balance. You may only
need a larger seat to accomplish this. However, there are special seats that
help with cleaning for better hygiene and also aids in balance. There are ones
made for using with the left hand only, others for the right hand only, and also
push button remote cleansing for those with non-use of either hand. Floor to
ceiling grab poles will aid when getting up and down on the toilet.
Don't forget that the towels need to be easily accessed, along with wash
cloths, powder and whatever else you may need or want. It may also, be a
good idea to add the non-slip strips to the bathroom floor. If the bathroom
is large enough, a chair or bench in the dressing area would be helpful and
add to the safety of getting dressed, also.
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