Stroke is one of the the biggest killers and also a leading cause of disability. According to the Stroke Foundation, “in 2017, there will be more than 56,00 new and recurrent strokes – that is one stroke every nine minutes”.
A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is restricted, either through a bleeding or a blockage. This blood restriction cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain, causing damage to the affected tissue. The after-effects of the stroke can be life changing. Speech problems, memory loss and paralysis in varying degrees are some of the problems developed after a stroke and they depend on the location and amount of brain tissue damage. How far a person who has suffered a stroke can recover will largely depend on their brain’s ability to reorganize itself.
There are various forms of stroke rehabilitation which can help stroke sufferers return to their normal like activities. Voluntary physical exercise for example, is known to have a positive effect on stroke patients’ overall well-being. Recent studies also suggest that Yoga may aid stroke recovery. But even after rehabilitation, some stroke survivors have trouble balancing, walking, or performing certain daily living activities. In such cases, stroke aids and equipment can help patients maintain their independence and live a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the most common stroke aids and equipment used by stroke survivors include:
Cane – many people who have had stroke use a cane for support when walking. For those with balancing problems, special canes with more ‘feet’ are available.
Walker – a walker provides better support than a cane and different designs are available to help people with different necessities and with different problems with balance or walking.
Wheelchair – some stroke survivors will need a wheelchair. There is a wide range of designs to choose from and some of them can even be customized to fit the user’s abilities and needs.
Aids for bathing, dressing, and eating – some of these are safety equipment such as nonskid tubs, floor mats and grab bars. Others make it easier to do things with one hand such as Velcro fasteners on place-mats that don’t slide on the table.
Whether you are a stroke survivor yourself, a caregiver or an occupational therapist, you will discover that stroke aids and equipment are real life-changing products. From products designed to help you or your patients to include their hand functionally in therapy or at home, to assist the arm during exercise training and daily living tasks, online and offline you can find a range of innovative products to assist in stroke recovery.