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Self-Care for Stroke Client

How does stroke affect people

The effects of a stroke on patients differ depending on the part of the brain injured, the severity of the injury, and the person's general health. People who survive a stroke may have different levels of physical, cognitive and speech impairment, which can affect their daily lives.

Regain independence

Stroke clients have to learn to cope with these disabilities so as to improve their quality of life. Occupational therapist will help stroke clients to achieve their optimal personal level of functioning and independence, through training in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), use of assistive devices, and home assessment, etc.

Tips for Daily Living

Basic ADL comprises feeding, grooming, dressing, toileting, and bathing, etc.

I. ADL & Assistive Devices

1. Feeding

Aim Remarks
To avoid choking
  • Observe the client's ability during feeding
  • Proper positioning for feeding: sit upright with the head tilted forwards, do not lie down or tilt the head backwards
  • Selection of food to facilitate swallowing: avoid food which is too dry, too slippery, too large, or sticky.
  • Feeding aids such as food guard and non-slip mats may be helpful.
To facilitate feeding

2.Grooming

Aim Remarks
To facilitate grooming
  • Learn special techniques, e.g. Wringing a towel with one-handed technique (Fig.1)
    Wringing a towel with one-handed technique
    Fig. 1
  • Use grooming aids, e.g. suction brush, looped towel (Fig.2)
    suction brush, looped towel
    Fig. 2

3.Dressing

Aim Remarks
To facilitate grooming
  • Learn techniques of putting on or taking off clothes easily, e.g. when putting on, place the affected limb into the garment first.
  • Wear simple and loose fitting garments with minimum fastenings, e.g. trousers with elastic band, footwear with Velcro or elastic shoe-laces.
  • Use dressing aids & make adaptations to clothing, e.g. using large buttons or Velcro instead of buttons.

4. Toileting

Aim Remarks
To facilitate toileting
  • Learn special techniques and procedures to transfer to and from a toilet e.g. the normal limbs of the patient who uses wheel chair should be placed near the toilet so as to aid transfer.
  • Selection of aids for easier and safer toileting, e.g. grab rails, commode, urinal, etc
To prevent fall

5. Bathing

Aim Remarks
To facilitate bathing
  • Increase awareness to safety and prevention of falls.
  • Use bathing aids, e.g. bath-board, shower chair, long handled sponges, etc. Learn how to use bathing aids properly, e.g. transfers in & out of the bath-tub with a bath-board (Fig.3).
    Fig3
    Fig.3
To prevent fall

II. Home Assessment

Occupational therapists provide home assessment service for stroke clients to ensure the home is safe and to advise on appropriate modifications and use of assistive devices. Home modifications depend on client's need, e.g. installation of handrails and ramp, and widening of passage. (For enquiries, please consult medical professionals.