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Recovery from a stroke can mean different things to different people. For some, it simply involves careful monitoring at the doctor’s office; for others, there’s a lot of rehabilitation and the need to re-learn important life skills.
“Sometimes people will have one part of their body that’s weak,” Lindsey Christian, a physical therapist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center’s Performance Therapy in Santa Monica, Calif., tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Others lose coordination or sensation.” But for many people recovering from a stroke, “basic tasks that they have to do throughout the day will be impacted,” Meg Amendt, a registered occupational therapist at Michigan State University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making this a big issue for many.
Experts stress that physical and occupation therapy is an important part of recovering from a stroke, but there are also several products for stroke patients that can help. Here are some of the best, plus why they can help.
Grab rails in the bathroom are crucial to helping people get in and out of the tub or shower since balance can be an issue after a stroke, Amendt says. These safety handles suction onto the wall, so you can move and adjust them as needed.
Shop it: Safe-er-Grip Bath & Shower Safety Handle, $11 (was $15), walmart.com
Slipping and falling is a big concern with people recovering from a stroke, which is why a non-slip bath mat is so important, Christian says. This super-soft memory foam rug will stay put. Available in 12 gorgeous colors, the memory foam makes it super-soft and comfy.
Shop it: Bathroom Non Slip Microfiber Memory Rug, $8, walmart.com
Laces can be tricky when your dexterity has been impacted by a stroke, which makes tying shoelaces difficult, Amendt says. These Lock Laces are elastic and form-fitting, and can essentially turn ordinary shoes into slip-ons.
Shop it: Lock Laces, $15 for two (was $16), walmart.com
The shower is another place where it’s easy to slip and fall, making a shower chair a must if someone struggles with balance. Shower chairs are “great for safety and energy conservation,” John Fenger, a physical therapist and manager of outpatient rehabilitation services at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., tells Yahoo Lifestyle. This chair is portable, holds up to 250 pounds, and has non-slip rubber feet and a comfortable back.
Shop it: Delta Tub and Shower Chair, $47 (was $62), wayfair.com
Meal prep can be tough when you don’t have full use of both of your hands, Amendt says. A product like the CanDo cutting board allows stroke patients to cut and prepare foods with just one hand. The cutting board, which was designed by a stroke survivor, has movable walls, prongs for impaling food, and a strapping system to help hold food in place.
Shop it: Etac Deluxe One-Handed Paring Board, $65, walmart.com
Fine motor skills can be difficult to use after a stroke, and even basic tasks like fastening buttons and zipping up zippers can be tricky, Amendt says. This tool comes with a hook and loop to make fastening buttons and pulling zippers easy, and has a non-slip handle for secure gripping.
Shop it: Vivi Button Hook and Zipper Pull Helper, $9, amazon.com
Grip strength can be tricky after someone has had a stroke, but you still have to eat. “Someone being able to feed themselves is paramount to function and independence,” Christian says. Finger-loop utensils like these are useful because they require little to no grip strength.
Shop it: Ableware Finger Loop Utensils, $19, amazon.com
Grip strength can take time and effort to regain after a stroke. Therapy Putty, which is a soft putty that’s designed for hand exercises (squeeze, pinch, stretch or twist) can help work on the muscles responsible for grip, Amendt says.
Shop it: Therapy putty, $15 (was $20), amazon.com
“An important part of rehabilitation is strengthening,” Christian says, and wearable arm and ankle weights are a great way to do this. The Cuff’s brand of weights are big with many physical and occupational therapists—and you can affordably buy them in different sizes to use at home.
Shop it: The Cuff Rehabilitation and Fitness Ankle and Wrist Weight (one pound weight), $9, walmart.com
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