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Tips to Help Stroke Survivors Dress Independently

One of the most important elements to remaining independent as a stroke survivor is the ability to dress one’s self. For stroke survivors in the early stages of their recovery, coping with hemipeligia or otherwise limited mobility, this formally simple task can prove daunting. With a few helpful hints and assistive devices, stroke survivors can continue dressing themselves, even with limited mobility or hand strength.

Tricks for Making Dressing Less Daunting

  • Lay clothing out on a bed or chair before beginning.
  • Dress while seated
  • If you’re wearing a belt, thread it through the loops first.
  • Loose, comfortable, wrinkle-free clothing is ideal.
  • Slip-on shoes, watches, and jewelry are a wonderful thing to have.
  • Stroke survivors should begin to dress with their stronger, or unaffected side first.

Utilize Highly Recommended Assistive Devices

A Reacher and Grabber

The Carex EZ Grabber Reacher is a good thing to have around no matter what the task at hand. Even those with full mobility can benefit.

They are available in multiple lengths and feature a 90 degree rotating arm to access hard-to-reach angles. Rubberized grabber cups and grasping jaws make it easy to retrieve objects, even those from lurking from deep within the recesses of a closet or shelf.

A Button Hook and Zipper Pull

Enablers Button Hook Zipper Puller makes buttoning a breeze. Even the smallest, most difficult to grasp buttons are easily maneuvered through the smallest of openings with this simple little tool. It features two different tips that fold out from the ergonomic handle when needed for pulling zippers or buttons.

This device is great for stroke survivors, those with arthritis or Parkinson’s disease, as well as anyone with a weakened grip or for whom buttoning has proven to be a challenge or a chore. The lightweight and compact device stores easily in a purse, briefcase or pocket.

A Sock Assistant

The Dual Handle Sock Assist is a consumer favorite. The flexible polypropylene construction makes for an incredibly easy job of putting on all types of socks, nylons and even compression stockings.

The two side wings keep the sock securely on the device until it is released on the calf, and a flexible center tongue helps ease the sock onto the device. The rear flares on the base providing maximum comfort and protection by preventing the cord from rubbing against the skin, and the textured surface prevents skin from sticking to the base. An extra-wide foot bed accommodates feet and calves of all sizes and is simple and easy-to-use, allowing for easy donning of socks with just one hand.

A Shoehorn and Dressing Combo Stick

The Shoehorn / Dressing Combo Stick pulls on shirts, sweaters, coats as well as pants and skirts. It's a great help for those hard to reach clothes on faraway hangers or high closet rods. The soft silicone capped pull hook is made of smooth, durable plastic with rounded edges that will not poke holes and offers a secure non-slip grip for a wide variety of materials.

The opposite end features the handy shoehorn designed with a smooth rounded push hook that will not scratch or cut skin. The dressing stick/shoe horn is ideal for people whose reach, dexterity or ability to bend is limited.

There are such a wide variety of dressing aids that take much of the labor out of the whole process. Perhaps, the most important tip of all however, is to take it slow and be patient. While it is ideal to resume independent dressing as soon as possible, it’s never beneficial for a person to do so before they are ready. Fortunately, there are tools available to help stroke survivors put their best foot forward.

By: Courtesy, ActiveForever.com

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"With a few helpful hints and assistive devices, stroke survivors can continue dressing themselves, even with limited mobility or hand strength."

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