Posted on 10/05/2016

Adapting after a stroke

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Adapting after a stroke

Many people who have had a stroke report feeling a lot of uncertainty about the future, or grief because suddenly life has changed. They may be feeling shocked by what has happened, or fearful of having another stroke. If you, or someone you care for, are currently recovering from a stroke, the following information may help you understand what to expect in the days and months ahead.

After-effects you may find difficult

The effects of a stroke are individual to each person, as they will depend on the type of stroke and which parts of the brain are affected.

A common result of a stroke is muscle weakness or paralysis; this can affect walking, standing or use of the hands for everyday tasks such as eating and drinking. Fatigue can also be a problem. Additionally, there may be difficulties with memory and speaking or writing can also be hard.

Improving quality of life

Recovery from stroke is a gradual process which can be accelerated through the involvement of a good care team, as well as actively participating in rehabilitation. Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy can help you recover mobility functions and the abilities required to carry out everyday activities. If you have difficulties with communicating or swallowing then speech and language therapy can help. Medical input is essential with treating the stroke and reducing the risks of another stroke happening.

The Stroke Association is a voluntary organisation offering advice and information, as well as support from other people who are affected by stroke; they have local branches and meetings to attend across the UK.

Products that can make everyday tasks simpler

There are a number of products which can help you to keep living independently, depending on the kind of symptoms you experience after a stroke. One of the more common experiences involves difficulty in using the affected side of the body.

Using a Nelson Knife or Knork enables someone to cut food and feed themselves using one hand, as these combine a knife and fork in one implement. Using a Manoy sloped plate with a non-slip Dycem mat can further help independence when eating.

If you’re struggling to get in and out of bed then a bed handle, such as the NRS 2-in-1 bed rail , can help make this less challenging.

Bathing and washing are often difficult after a stroke. There are several products to help make bathing safer, but it is important to choose the right product. If you are able to independently get in and out of bed, and have the ability to sit up safely without any back support, then a slatted shower board may help you to sit over the bath to wash safely. Products are also available that have a back rest, such as our range of bath lifts.

Getting up from the toilet can even become an arduous task, but a raised toilet seat and the use of a wall fixed grab rail can help solve this issue.

Finally, if there are difficulties with remembering to take medication, an Automatic Pill Dispenser could be really helpful.

Why we’re the best people to help you

By choosing NRS Healthcare you can benefit from free product advice from our Occupational Therapist (OT) advice line. Our OTs can advise you about the best products suited to your needs. NRS Healthcare is also a member of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), and our website is a Certified Google Shop, so you can be confident of buying from a trustworthy retailer. We will only suggest products that are suitable for your needs. NRS Healthcare also offers free delivery on orders excluding VAT over £40.

Extra things to consider

Sometimes people think using elastic squishy material to squeeze repetitively can help recovery from a stroke but this is likely to increase muscle tone and should be avoided.

It is also important to find the right balance between using products to adapt to difficulties and doing activities that are difficult but can help to regain former abilities. Advice should be sought from a care team specialised in treating stroke. Speak to your GP about getting therapies to help recovery and gain independence.

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