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American Stroke Foundation

Life SkillsHome Improvement

Home Improvement

Home modifications can help to prevent fall risks and increase participation in everyday activity. There are many cost-effective ways to make home modifications depending on your needs.

The Bathroom (1:04-4:47)

The bathroom is a major room to make modifications in because it is often a small space that requires a lot of transfers.

Grab bars are a good addition to help with transfers and standing balance either on and off the toilet or in the shower. These can be purchased at local hardware stores or Walmart. But ensure they are installed properly for safety.

Tub chairs or benches can be great for transfers in and out of the tub as well as energy conservation when taking a shower. These can also be purchased at Walmart, Amazon, or Target for pretty low prices.

Removable shower heads can be helpful for energy conservation while showering and provide extra assist for caregivers who help individuals take showers.

Soap dispensers and toothpaste lids can easily become one-handed techniques by making simple purchases at the grocery store. One-handed techniques are great for increasing independence in self-care tasks.

The Kitchen (4:47-9:10)

Home modifications in the kitchen can help increase independence and socialization.

Using an open-shelving unit or placing items either lower for wheelchair users, or at waist-level, can help increase safety and ease of reaching for objects in the kitchen.

Adding a lever-handle faucet instead of knobs can make washing hands much easier for individuals with hemiparesis. Faucet extenders are also inexpensive options to add that can increase the distance that your faucet water sprays out.

Adding a worktable or station to your kitchen can help for prepping or mixing items. This can add a lower surface for working for individuals using wheelchairs.

Adaptive cooking utensils can help make cooking easier for individuals with hemiparesis. Items like a dicer or garlic press are adaptive without being advertised as such. Other objects like adaptive cutting boards and knives can be purchased at places like Amazon.

The Bedroom (9:10-13:00)

The bedroom is another room in the house where safety and independence are very important.

Bedrails can be placed under a mattress and provide support when transferring into and out of bed or to reposition in bed. These can be purchased at Walmart or Amazon.

Closet racks or low-handing clothing can be easier to use and access clothing items than a dresser or high shelves.

Rug grippers can be placed under rugs to prevent them from sliding or getting caught on wheels, walkers, or feet. This is an easy way to prevent falls.

Night lights can help with anyone who has vision challenges or needs to get up in the middle of the night. These increase safety so individuals do not have to walk in the dark.

Doorknob extenders can help individuals with limited hand function to open and close a door. These rely more on shoulder strength to pull down on the lever. These can be purchased on Amazon.

These are just a few ways to increase safety and independence in the home. It is smart to always consult with an OT before making changes or modifications to your home to ensure it is being done safely and that it is necessary.

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