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How to move safely around at home

 

After a stroke, it may be harder to move around.  

Your physiotherapist will work with you to strengthen your muscles. They may recommend equipment to help you move around and plan for a safe return home. Learn more about preventing falls here.

Use and move your weak arm and leg as much as you can. This can help to maintain the strength and movement you have.

 

How can I move around safely inside my house?

Walking aids can help you walk further and more safely.

Examples of common walking aids: 

Cane

Cane

Quad cane

Quad cane

Rollator walker

Rollator walker

Folding walker with wheels

Folding walker with wheels

Braces can help make walking safer and easier.

Examples of common braces: 

Ankle brace

Ankle brace

Ankle foot orthosis

Ankle foot orthosis

An ankle foot orthosis (AFO) helps to lift your foot while you take a step if you have a weak foot and ankle. AFOs are custom made.

Watch this video about how to walk with an AFO:

Video credit: Stroke 4 Carers

Your physiotherapist can help you choose the best walking aid or brace.

If it is not safe for you to walk, you may need a wheelchair.

Some wheelchairs have special functions such as:

  • A support cushion
  • A back rest to help you sit straight
  • An arm tray to support your weaker arm
Wheelchair with backrest

Wheelchair with backrest

Wheelchair with arm tray

Wheelchair with arm tray

Your occupational therapist can help you choose the best one for your needs. 

Manual wheelchair

Manual wheelchair

 

Watch a video about how to position yourself in a chair or bed:

Video credit: Stroke 4 Carers

Sit up straight in the wheelchair

Do not slouch in the wheelchair

 

What if I have trouble on stairs?

It is always a good idea to have a sturdy handrail on one or both sides to hold.  

Stair rail

Stair rail

Your physiotherapist can teach you a safe way to get up and down the stairs.

Watch a video about how to go up the stairs safely:

Video credit: Stroke 4 Carers

If you have trouble on stairs, you may need to make changes to your stairs.

Ramp

Stair glide

 

I do not have a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. Where can I get advice about moving around safely?

Call the Community Care Access Centre at 310-CCAC (2222). Ask the coordinator for an in-home assessment from their team. They can connect you to the right support to help you move around safely.  

 

Where to learn more about this topic:

Bridgepoint

Seating Clinic

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, UHN

Rocket Family Upper Extremity Clinic