Almost 12 years ago, Dick Judy had a massive stroke that left him speechless, unable to walk, unable to use his right arm, and unable to care for himself.
“We spent many occupational therapy sessions learning how to use Project Mobility—Dayton’s public transportation for people with disabilities—independently, maneuvering through the store in his new power chair, and communicating his needs to store employees,” reports Shelly Janning, an occupational therapist who worked with Dick toward his rehabilitation.
Through years of work with occupational, physical, and speech therapies at the NeuroRehab and Balance Center at Southview Medical Center, Dick now lives on his own. He can cook for himself, do all of his own self-care, grocery shop with transportation through Project Mobility, and carry on conversations.
“After years of depending on others, Dick is now shopping independently and is able to be a part of his community,” says Shelly.
At the NeuroRehab and Balance Center, a team of therapists, including occupational therapists, physical therapists, vestibular certified therapists, and speech-language pathologists, work along with a case manager to meet each patient’s diverse needs for recovery.
The road to recovery continues for months or even years beyond a life altering stroke. Through rehabilitation, Dick can once again participate in the activities that fill his life with joy and meaning.
Heading Home After a Stroke
Safely managing life at home is an important part of your recovery. You may need to make a few changes around the house to minimize your risk of falling or injury. Here are some safety suggestions to try. Ask your doctor or therapist for additional tips.
In the bathroom
- Install grab bars in the tub or shower. Also consider adding a bench and adjustable showerhead.
- Use a cane, walker, wheelchair, or grab bars to steady yourself whenever you get on or off the toilet.
- Look for toothpaste with a flip-top lid and a toothbrush with a large handle.
In the kitchen
- Install automatic shut-off controls on the stove in case you forget to turn it off.
- Make sure you have oven mitts or hot pads near the stove or oven—especially if you now have less feeling in your hands and have a hard time detecting temperature changes.
- Stock your refrigerator with prewashed, precut fruits and vegetables.
In the bedroom
- Reorganize items so they’re easy to reach. Consider lowering rods and shelves in your closet.
- Use a night-light so that you can safely see your way to the toilet at night. Be sure the path to the toilet is clear, too.
- Keep a telephone and light source near the bed.
Throughout the house
- Move extra furniture out of the way to reduce the risk of falling. Roughly 40 percent of stroke survivors have a serious fall within a year after having a stroke.
- Add lighting to help you see better in dimmer areas.
- Wear non-skid shoes.