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 and 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

Article Source:

FREE Adaptive Clothing Catalog Click Here


Living With Brain Injury – Checklists for Families on Caregiving

Brain Injury Category >>


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. 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

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:

Article Source:

Article Source:

Concussions, Brain Injury and Personality Changes

Brain Injury Personality Changes Category

Being aggressive, violent and unable to make good choices can be some of the changes in a survivor of brain injury or someone with repetitive concussions. They may also suffer from mood swings, mental rigidity, impulsive behavior, be apathetic, lethargic, are unable to show emotion, have no interests, be bored and may feel intellectually dull. If they once liked to play games, they may no longer wish to do so because they are unable to concentrate as they once did. If memory is an issue, which it often is, playing games will be increasingly difficult.

They may feel a great sense of loss after suffering a brain injury because they will feel as if they have lost their personal identity and personal power. They will feel that they don’t know who they are any longer. If this is the case, they should try to find a Neuro-Psych doctor and a speech therapist who, through therapy, will help them try to fill the holes in their personalities that survivors often feel they have in how they identify themselves.

Many survivors of brain injury feel there is a stigma to having such an injury and will deny and cover up or isolate themselves rather than own-up to a brain injury. They will blame their problems on other things that are physical such as chronic pain in legs that were broken or other health issues which may or may not have been sustained in their accident.

Besides their loss of personal identity, sense of power and self-awareness, they may also lack self-determination, be unable to keep and make friends, have lost some of their memories, be unable to socially interact with others, understand the needs and desires of others as well as be unable to feel compassion and empathy. Very often their likes and dislikes will have changed as well as their sense of humor. They may no longer have a sense of humor or be interested in anything at all.

With so many losses, it is little wonder that a brain injury survivor’s personality is likely to change at least somewhat.

Not only is it difficult for the brain injury survivor but it is difficult for his/her family and spouse.They have lost the person they once knew and will feel the loss themselves. They have to get to know that person again as he/she may be quite different from who he had previously been.

In the case of concussions, some damage, regardless of severity will be sustained so multiple concussions can cause more damage. Both concussions and brain injuries can leave the survivor with deficits. Personality changes are the result of deficits.

Sometimes personality changes may only be really evident to those closest to the brain injury survivor. Others may say, ‘He just isn’t the same.’ or ‘Something seems off.’ without being able to pinpoint exactly what the difference may be. But often it is enough of a change for even those unsure of what the change is for friends to not visit as often as they once did.

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:

Article Source:

How to Deal with Having a Stroke

Stroke causes brain damage. The extent of the injury depends on the type and the severity of the brain attack. In any case stroke recovery is hard – for stroke victims and for their relatives and close friends.

By Keith Londrie


If you are living with someone who suffered from stroke, you should be prepared for the recovery process. First of all speak to the doctor to learn what the damages are. Some mild strokes don’t leave severe damages and thus the recovery is not that difficult. Unfortunately in most of the cases the damages are serious and the recovery process is much longer. In some cases full recovery is not even possible.

Stroke Victim

Once you have spoken with the doctor you will be prepared for helping your dear one to recover from the brain attack. You will have to cope with his physical disabilities – in some cases the stroke victim may be paralyzed or suffer vision disability or experience difficulties to speak. In the worst cases the stroke victim is unable to recognize familiar faces and is completely disorientated.

Being close to someone suffered from a stroke will make you face a lot more that the physical damage to his or hers body. Stroke survivors usually suffer from post-stroke psychological problems as well. Many stroke victims develop depressions, have anxiety attacks and find the adaptation to the after stroke life very difficult. Some have difficulties to express their emotions and other cannot express emotions at all.

You should arm yourself with a lot of patience and try to provide as much support as possible. The rehabilitation process will be long and if you decide to be part of it you better do it right. Do not stop believing that the person you love will recover and keep saying this to him. Stroke victims usually loose believe in life and need to be reassured that everything will be OK. In some occasions a stroke may lead to relationship problems so you better be prepared and react accordingly. Since you know what the reasons are you should skip the things that normally would piss you off. Seek help and appoint visits to a behavioral therapist to help your loved one recover quickly.

Remember that even after a stroke recovery your role is not over. A stroke victim should maintain a very healthy lifestyle in order to prevent future brain attacks. Keep an eye on him or her and make sure the rules set by the doctors are followed. Try to help by setting up healthier environment and if required by changing your own lifestyle.

Keith Londrie II is the Webmaster of A website that specializes in providing information on Life After Strokesthat you can research on the internet. Please Visit Today!

Article Source:

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