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Managing Getting Dressed After a Stroke

A stroke often affects movement and use of one side of the body, so getting dressed is often difficult for people after a stroke.

Getting dressed may be easier if you use stocking/sock spreaders, rings or strings attached to zipper pulls, and buttonhooks. Talk with a nurse or physical therapist about assistive devices that may help you get dressed. Clothing may be easier to put on if it has features such as:

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  • Velcro closures.
  • Elastic waistbands and shoelaces.
  • Snaps and grippers.

To make getting dressed easier:

  • Lay out your clothes in the order that you will put them on, with those you will put on first on top of the pile.
  • Sit down while you dress.
  • Put your affected arm or leg into the piece of clothing first, before the unaffected arm or leg.

Removing clothing that has to go over your head may be difficult. To undress after a stroke has affected an arm or leg, remove the stronger arm or leg from the clothing first, then slip out your affected arm or leg.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Last Revised June 28, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 28, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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