What is it?
Being less aware of the body and environment on the side affected by the stroke despite having no change in your vision.
How can it affect you?
- You may bump into things on the affected side or may not notice food in front of you on the affected side
- You can be at risk for falls and injury
- You may forget to dress the affected arm or wash the affected side of your face
- You may forget to take care of the affected limb and be at risk for injury
Strategies for caregivers
- Arrange the environment to provide stimulation on the side affected by the stroke. This helps the person become more aware of the whole environment.
- Use visual cues: Place fluorescent or bright-colored tape at the edge of a table on the affected side, then encourage the person to scan across to the tape when looking for items on that side of the table.
- Encourage the person to scan their whole environment. For example, use the ’lighthouse’ strategy – imagine the eyes as beams of light slowly sweeping from side to side.
- Approach the person from the unaffected side then move over to the affected side after you get their attention
- Remind the person to look over or turn their head to the affected side
- Decrease stimulation on the unaffected side
Encourage them to use the affected arm or leg in daily activities as much as possible
Position the affected arm or leg so that the person can see it
Encourage the person to help position the affected limb
Use cues to draw attention to the affected side. For example, ask the person “Where is your arm?”; wear brightly coloured nail polish or a watch on the affected side.