After a stroke, it’s important to get everything in order. The occupational therapist needs to be scheduled, the home health aide hired, etc. With so many moving pieces, it’s important to remember that the home itself will need to be transformed for stroke recovery.
If you are caregiving for a loved one who is entering stroke recovery, here is a quick guideline for setting up the home!
Set up your home care plan
Before you even step into your house, you’ll want to coordinate your home care plan. Work within your caregiving network to figure out the best strategy for your loved one’s stroke recovery. Will the occupational therapist be doing home visits? Are you going to be using a home health aide or live in aide?
Once you have an understanding of the game plan, it becomes much easier to strategize!
Do Some General Housekeeping
When you prepare your loved one’s home for stroke recovery, you’ll want to ensure that the entire abode works with your loved one’s new mobility. Clear any cluttered pathways and adjust entrances to accommodate their needs. This can include adding ramps over steps and widening entry points to accommodate a wheelchair.
Once the pathways have been cleared, it’s time to reorient the kitchen to meet your loved one’s needs. If your loved one is wheelchair bound, the main theme of this transformation will be to lower work areas to meet their mobility. This includes:
‣ Adding lever handles on sinks
‣ Lowering countertops for ease of use
‣ Placing high-use utensils in an easily accessible drawer
If your loved one’s bedroom is upstairs and they are now bound to a wheelchair, you’ll want to create a makeshift bedroom downstairs. Whether upstairs or downstairs, the bedroom should be modified to include:
‣ Grab rails for ease of transfer
‣ Lowered closet clothing rails and lower dressers
‣ A bedside commode
The bathroom will be one of the slipperiest spots in the whole house, so it’s crucial to make the room both fall-proof and accessible. This includes:
‣ Replacing all bathmats with a rubber backed mat.
‣ Installing grab bars near the bathing area for easily getting in and out
‣ Purchasing a shower seat
‣ Elevating the toilet seat through a toilet seat or commode chair
‣ Replacing shower faucets with hand held shower heads that can be easily accessed