Bedroom Modifications

Of all the rooms in the house, it seems most important that your bedroom be a place where you can feel comfortable and safe. Because this is a private area of the home for you, it should be tailored to meet your needs.

To increase your independence in your bedroom, you may need to reorganize your clothing and personal items so that they are accessible by you, the stroke survivor. To increase your safety, you need to be sure that help is within reach if needed. It is also important to consider the room from a nighttime perspective: adequate lighting, clear pathways, and access to a toilet are essential in order to avoid accidents in the dark.

Storing and Accessing Clothes

When a stroke survivor returns home, he may find himself unable to access his clothes due to where or how they are stored. By changing the type of handle from one that requires fine finger movements to open the door or drawer to one such as a cabinet handle or d-loop, which can be opened with a fist, the person may again be able to access his clothing with little or no assistance.

The height of clothes in a closet or drawers in a dresser may also be a problem for stroke survivors. This problem can often be solved or lessened by lowering the closet bar or organizing the dresser so that frequently used clothes are in the most easily accessible drawers.

Dressing

To eliminate difficulties in getting dressed, stroke survivors can avoid clothing that may be difficult to put on. The National Stroke Association suggests to “avoid tight-fitting sleeves, armholes, pant legs and waistlines, as well as clothes which must be put on over the head.” Clothes should fasten in the front. Velcro fasteners or elastic in place of buttons, zippers and shoelaces can make fastening clothes easier.

Dressing aids are also available. A reacher, button hook, dressing stick (for putting on clothing and socks and reaching items from a closet), mirror that hangs around the neck, sock aid (which is used to put on socks when someone has difficulty reaching his feet), long handled shoe horn, and elastic shoe strings can all be used in this process.

Sleeping

To avoid accidents in the night due to being unable to get to the bathroom soon enough, a stroke survivor may want to keep a commode chair near the bed. A three-in-one commode chair has three features: a raised seat, grab bars on both sides of the chair, and a removable bucket. During the day or when it is not needed, the commode chair can be kept in a nearby closet.

Stroke survivors must understand that accidents are sometimes unavoidable. To deal with them, blue pads can be placed underneath sheets on the bed. Blue pads are pads, often washable and reusable, with a cloth and waterproof side to prevent staining on furniture.
Keep bedspread clear of walking paths.

Keep a telephone and light switch or lamp within easy reach of the bed.

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