Staying Mobile After a Stroke
Stroke is one of Australia’s leading causes of disability in Australia, with over 475,000 people living with the effects of a stroke, according to the Stroke Foundation.
Depending on the type of stroke and area of the brain affected, difficulties with coordination, weakness and even paralysis are common and may require the regular use of a wheelchair.
Sensory problems like hearing and vision loss can also take away the ability to drive or travel alone, putting additional pressure on friends, families and carers, reducing independence and greatly impacting quality of life.
National Stroke Week is coming up from 3 – 9 September, so we have pulled together some ways to help you maintain as much mobility and freedom as possible throughout the recovery process and beyond.
You may need to make changes around the home to aid in your recovery and keep you both safe and active.
Installing handrails in the bathroom and along stairwells can be helpful if you’re experiencing muscle weakness and fatigue. If you’re in a wheelchair, you may need to install ramps instead. Mobility aids like walking sticks and walkers will also help you move around safely while you rebuild your strength, balance and coordination.
Exercise for Stroke
Exercise is an essential part of stroke recovery as it can provide a multitude of benefits for the body and mind, and can even help prevent further strokes. If you are having difficulty walking, you may need to consult a physiotherapist for a program that is tailored specifically for your needs.
Always consult your doctor or health professional before starting a new exercise routine, but here are some exercises from the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability you can try at home:
If you are in a wheelchair, read more information about how to exercise in a wheelchair!
Getting Out & About
You may not be eager to travel when you first come home, but you will need to attend physiotherapy, doctors and hospital visits in the month following a stroke. It may not be safe to drive if your vision or hearing has been affected, public transport can be unreliable, and taxi fares can be expensive. You will likely need support from friends, family or a professional carer to help you get around.
If you’re in a wheelchair, getting out and about may be even trickier. A wheelchair accessible vehicle is a great option to help you maintain a sense of freedom and takes the pressure off your loved ones, who may be required to lift you in and out of cars.
A Wheelchair Access Vehicle (WAV) can be customised to meet your specific mobility and lifestyle needs and can include manual or automatic ramps that allow you to wheel straight into position and lock your chair into the vehicle. You can choose to sit beside the driver in a passenger-side conversion or sit in the second or third row – depending on your preference and vehicle.
Support from loved ones and care-givers is the key to your successful recovery. Support groups can also be helpful in answering any questions you or your family may have, along with providing emotional support from a place of understanding.
At Automobility, we understand that having reduced or limited mobility can be challenging. As industry leaders in WAV conversions, our goal is to help get back your freedom!
Call our friendly team on 1300 660 773, or contact us online for an obligation-free demonstration and consultation at your home. Let us help you remain mobile, and experience all that life has to offer!
All content provided in this blog is purely informational and should not be substituted for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns about a health condition, consult your doctor. If you think someone is having or has had a stroke, call 000 immediately.