Preventing falls after a stroke

Weakness and loss of feeling on the affected side after a stroke increase the possibility of falling. You can take the following precautions to prevent falls:

  • Have someone help you when you are getting out of bed or walking.
  • Keep your room uncluttered. Your home may need to be evaluated. And you may need to have safety modifications made for your particular needs. This may include handrails, a hospital bed, or a taller toilet seat.
  • Take medicine to prevent seizures, if you have had seizures.
  • Be extra careful if you take medicine that makes you feel dizzy or sleepy.

The following are some other tips to help prevent falls:

  • Whenever possible, push or roll items. Don't carry them.
  • Clean up spills quickly. Even small spills can cause you to fall.
  • Lay a rubber floor mat in front of the sink to avoid slipping.
  • Wear shoes with nonslip rubber soles and strong, solid, low heels.
  • Remove loose rugs, and make sure all carpets and rugs will not slip.
  • Do not leave electrical cords where you could trip over them.
  • If you use a walker or cane, put rubber tips on it.
  • If you use crutches, make sure the bottoms are in good shape.

Many falls occur during bathing. To prevent falling in the bathroom:

  • Have grab bars installed to make getting into and out of the shower or tub easier.
  • Put nonskid tape on the floor of the tub or shower. A shower is safer than a tub, because you are less likely to fall when getting in and out of a shower.
  • Put a chair in the shower or tub if standing makes you tired. Be sure to put suction cups on the legs so that the chair will not slip.
  • Get into a tub or shower by putting the weaker leg in first. Get out of a tub or shower with your stronger side first.
  • Use a long-handled brush or mittens with straps to help with bathing.

Last Updated: June 30, 2009

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