If a loved one has experienced a stroke, you’re probably eager for a way to help them navigate the transition. One of the most supportive things you can do is assist with their changing mobility needs. Research tells us that stroke patients have a higher risk of falling earlier in their recovery. That’s why fall prevention for stroke patients is so important, especially early on.
With your help, your friend or family member can reduce their risk of falling. We’ve created this guide to help you support them during their transition. Continue reading to learn about preventing falls in stroke patients.
Why Do Stroke Patients Fall?
Your brain is a very busy organ! It’s amazing how many unique processes are involved in keeping a person upright! After a person has a stroke, their brain needs to re-learn many things.
Think of it like taking a detour while driving in a car. You’re familiar with the easiest route, and can even drive it on auto-pilot. The detour removes you from your comfort zone and requires you to actively navigate. Sometimes you end up lost or driving around in circles!
Likewise, a stroke patient’s brain is learning to navigate new routes.
A few reasons why stroke patients fall include:
- Difficulties with problem solving
- Challenges with sequencing tasks
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in the senses
- Changes in mood that can affect attention
As your loved one navigates their recovery, they will likely learn to compensate for these changes. In the beginning, however, your support will play an important role!
How to Prevent Falls in Stroke Patients
When your loved one starts their recovery journey, they will gain a lot of new team members. Often, this includes physical therapists and occupational therapists. They might conduct something known as a “fall risk assessment” for stroke patients. Basically, they will observe your loved one and figure out the best way to help them with mobility.
As a result, they will come up with a fall risk reduction plan for stroke patients. This will include a lot of great, specific tips for how to help! Always follow the advice of the medical team first. In the meantime, however, consider trying the following:
- Clean Up Around the House
When struggling with motor skills, all extra obstacles can pose a fall risk. It can be helpful to visit your loved one’s home and do some tidying up.
Are there clear walkways with places to hold on? Are there any obstacles on the floor that might be trip hazards? A little elbow grease can really help stroke patients move around their home.
- Install Some Household Extras
While cleaning up goes a long way, a few extra precautions can really help build confidence. Are there non-slip mats in the bathrooms? Does the shower have a place to sit, or guardrails?
If you notice any dark spots in their home, consider adding some extra lighting. Visibility places a big role in keeping loved ones upright during recovery!
- Try Fall Prevention Technology
When your loved one is ready to get out and about, consider recommending fall prevention technology. A science-backed tool like NexStride attaches directly to their mobility device. It provides the light and sound cues that help their brain make connections. Often, it provides peace of mind and allows loved ones to improve their quality of life.
Recover From Your Stoke With Confidence
Fall prevention for stroke patients is about more than keeping loved ones safe. It’s about helping them maintain their independence. When people feel confident in their mobility, they tend to lead more fulfilling and satisfying lives. Luckily, the tips above can help them get there!
If someone you love still needs help to improve their mobility, NexStride might help. This research-backed tool uses light and sound cues to help stroke patients maintain a rhythm while walking.
Start by learning more about NexStride on our website. We’re happy to chat with you if you’re interested in learning more. Contact us by calling 805-779-3558 or use the live chat feature on our site.