Adaptive Clothing for Stroke Patients [Hemiparesis]




After having a stroke, one may experience hemiplegia or which causes weakness on one side of the body. As a result of this weakness, the stroke patient may have great difficulty with getting dressed. While in a rehabilitation center, stroke patients and caregivers may learn hemiplegic dressing techniques which focus on using the unaffected arm and leg to perform dressing. Such techniques focus on placing the weak arm and leg into clothing first and using the strong hand to pull clothing over the paralyzed extremities. Other techniques to help with dressing may involve using adaptive equipment such as a dressing stick. With severe disability, getting dressed or undressed can sometimes become too difficult even with hemiplegic dressing techniques or special equipment. There is a solution for this dilemma. The answer for problematic dressing is adaptive clothing or clothing for the disabled. This type of clothing is designed to make it easier for caregivers to assist a patient when getting dressed. Adaptive clothing and apparel is easier to use because of adaptations such as the following:

Adaptive Clothing :

* Velcro or snap closures rather than buttons
* Designs which allow a person to get dressed from a seated position
* Zippers located in the front of clothing
* Front closing bras
* Velcro on shoes
* Open back clothing
* Wrap skirts
* Side-opening pants.

There are also clothing and accessory items that assist with safety and cleanliness such as non-skid socks, arm protectors, and protective bibs. Another important aspect of clothing made for the disabled is that it can accommodate for problems like swelling or poor circulation. It also allows for quick changes when bowel or bladder incontinence is an issue. Even pants can be changed from a seated position without standing. Adaptive clothing is not only convenient but is offered in fashionable styles that will allow the stroke patient to feel inconspicuous. This is important to help preserve the dignity of stroke patients who do not want to be stuck wearing hospital gowns or peculiar clothing items that draw attention.

Adaptive clothing is comparable in price to regular clothing and can be purchased at several online websites. Two such online venues are Silverts.com and BuckandBuck.com. Silvert’s website (based out of Ontario, Canada) offers a catalog with clothing recommendations for stroke patients as well as dressing tips to use with the Silvert adaptive clothing line. Buck & Buck has been manufacturing adaptive clothing for over 33 years and is based in Seattle, Washington. If you are a stroke patient experiencing problems with dressing each day or a caregiver having difficulty helping a loved one get dressed, it is worth your while to check into adaptive clothing.

Karen Murray, Occupational Therapist
http://www.stroke-rehab.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6727699




FREE Adaptive Clothing Catalog Click Here


 

Living With Brain Injury – Checklists for Families on Caregiving

Brain Injury Category >>

By

Living with a person who has a brain injury means that families now have multiple roles as caregivers as well as being a parent, spouse, sibling or child. These dual roles can be demanding, frustrating, confusing and exhausting. The routines at home must change as families learn how to live with the physical, cognitive, communicative, behavioral and social changes caused by the brain trauma. Caregiving means finding the balance between protecting a person from further injury and encouraging independence. This can feel like a juggling act for caregivers.The immediate concern is the severity of the injury when a family member is hospitalized. The hardest question for families to ask is whether the person will survive. But once the medical crisis has passed and the person’s condition is stable, then the concerns of families shift to anticipating what this means for their lives and future.

Families soon ask the question, “When can he come home?” This is often followed by concerns about, “How will we manage? Can she be alone? How much supervision and help will he need?”

We all depend on others in some way, whether it is for physical help, emotional support, finances or learning. But once a person has a brain injury, additional help may be needed in other areas. The following checklists help families and caregivers identify the changes caused by the brain injury. This information is useful for discussions with therapists and doctors to determine how much help is needed at home.

Checklist for Caregivers on Living with a Brain Injury

Self Care – These are the basic activities of caring for oneself. How much help does the person need to:

  • take a bath or shower
  • brush teeth
  • use the toilet
  • organize belongings and room
  • find clothing and dress self
  • climb stairs
  • move over varied surfaces such as carpeting or linoleum
  • monitor personal hygiene
  • take medication

Orientation – Getting through the day is not always easy. It takes organizational skills.

  • How much help does the person need to:
  • provide vital data such as age, birthdate, etc.
  • give personal address and telephone number where living
  • give names and telephone numbers for emergencies
  • easily see and read clocks
  • name the day of week and the date

Communication – This is much more than speaking.

  • It is important to observe whether the person can:
  • speak clearly and be understood
  • use the telephone
  • write or print clearly
  • use a computer
  • understand written information

Home Safety – Lots of families and caregivers worry about whether the person can safely stay alone.

  • It is helpful to ask if the person:
  • remembers to lock doors
  • remembers to lock windows
  • knows what to do in case of fire
  • knows what to do in a power failure
  • limits personal information on the telephone or Internet
  • feels comfortable staying home alone

Household – It is helpful for caregivers to ask how much help the person needs to:

  • separate, wash, dry and put away clothing
  • vacuum or sweep carpets or floors
  • determine if food is spoiled
  • plan and prepare a good meal
  • follow steps of a recipe
  • use a stove safely
  • clean up after cooking
  • prepare menus
  • shop for food

Organization – Getting through the day is not always easy. It takes organizational skills.

It is useful to ask if the person:

  • can plan daily tasks and chores
  • make and keep appointments during the day
  • set an alarm clock to get up in morning

Transportation – Just getting places can be challenging for a persons with a disability or any type of impairment. It is important to assess whether the person can:

  • drive a car safely
  • use a public bus or subway
  • travel by plane
  • get and pay for a taxi
  • go for local walks

Tracking Progress

You can use these checklists at any stage of the person’s recovery to chart progress, identify improvements, and spot problems. If the person you expect to provide care for has not been discharged yet from the hospital or rehabilitation program, you can share this list with therapists. You can then use it to work together to plan the person’s care, including how much assistance and independence you can expect. It also gives you a starting point to track further progress after the person comes home with you as caregiver.

If you are already caring for or supervising a family member at home, then it is important to include everyone in the discussion. There needs to be agreement among everyone providing care on the individual’s current level of skill and decision making abilities in order to safely promote greater independence.

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W., Lash and Associates Publishing/Training, Inc. http://www.lapublishing.com has books, pamphlets and information on the treatment, rehabilitation and recovery of traumatic brain injury in children, adults and veterans. For a tip card with more information on Adults Living with Brain Injury by Carolyn Rocchio, Pam Fleming and Erika Mountz, go to http://www.lapublishing.com/traumatic-brain-injury-adult-tips/

Tools to Help With Recovery For Brain Injury

Brain Injury and Music Category

With both clinical and scientific research, it has been proven that there are benefits with music. It is one of the tools that has been discovered that help benefit those who have been victims of a brain injury. It helps to re-organize the structure of the brain. Music, such as Mozart will help with organizing thoughts, activities and emotions. It also helps with memory, sequencing, concentration, verbal communication, self-esteem, depression and frustration. Music can be used to reeducate and retrain the injured brain. It can help with language and speech problems. It has been discovered that although a patient may be unable to speak or put several words together to form a sentence, they can sing those same words in a song that is known to them. It has also been shown to help build relationships and facilitate positive behavior. It helps to improve movement in limbs and increases their strength as well.

Music therapy can enhance cognitive skills. Classical music especially increases brain activity but all types of music can be beneficial. There is growing evidence that demonstrate music is a valuable resource tool for those with head injuries. Another of those benefits is that it increases dopamine levels and changes the brain’s chemistry. Many professionals working with survivors of brain injury have discovered that music is a power tool.

Another tool is the use of technology devices that are being used by virtually everyone but recently are being used in brain injury recovery.

They have been found to help survivors, particularly those who have speech difficulties. It allows them to be able to communicate with caregivers, medical professionals and friends, helping them to stay connected with others. Some of these assistive devices offer a voice generated option. These digital devices can help them to relearn simple tasks including things such as reading. The use of these devices also improves cognition and helps with memory and organizing as well as giving reminders of daily tasks eliminating the necessity of using a diary.

Computers can also be a powerful tool in rehabilitation. This is especially true if programs are selected to meet the needs of the brain injury survivor. Introduction to computer use though should only be when the recipient is open to using a computer and not forced if they are adamantly opposed to it.

Another tool that is being used in some instances to treat brain injury and stroke is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). It is a high concentration of oxygen within a pressurized chamber. It is considered somewhat controversial as a treatment for brain injuries. However, it is claimed by some that many of the conventional treatment methods are not working. In some cases it is claimed that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can dramatically increase the oxygen carried in the blood stream and therefore assists with recovery.

It was once thought that after six to eighteen months following a brain injury, there could be little hope for further recovery. But with more awareness and knowledge of the brain and the discovery of tools that can now be used in rehabilitation, it is now known that a head injury survivor can continue to improve indefinitely.

Sylvia Behnish has written numerous articles relating to family issues, motivational topics, entertaining, travel and brain injuries. For more information on any of these topics, go to her site listed below. She has recently published her first non-fiction book entitled “Rollercoaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)” and her first fiction novel entitled “His Sins”, a three generation family saga.

Either of the above books can be ordered by e-mail at the following blog:

http://www.progressofabraininjury.blogspot.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sylvia_Behnish

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7011150

Rehabilitation Care and Safety Articles, Care Checklists, Resources, Tips on living with Hemiparesis , Muscle Weakness, Partial Paralysis, Dropfoot, Spasticity…


Silvert's Disabled Clothing for Elderly Care

FREE Adaptive Clothing Catalog Click Here