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Stroke Rehabilitation - Adapting After a Stroke

After a stroke, rehabilitation will not only focus on helping you recover from disabilities but also on making changes in your lifestyle, at home, at work, and in relationships. Changes will depend on the type of disabilities, which are determined by the part of your brain that was affected by the stroke.

A stroke in the right side of the brain can cause difficulty with doing everyday tasks. This type of stroke affects the ability to judge distance, size, position, rate of movement, form, and the way parts relate to the whole.

Perception problems may include:

  • Not noticing people or things on the affected side and turning your head or eyes to the unaffected side. Someone with these types of problems may not be able to steer a wheelchair through a large doorway without bumping the door frame.
  • Not being aware of body parts on the affected side.
  • Having difficulty forming numbers and letters, confusing similar numbers, or not being able to add numbers.
  • Having trouble spelling words and reading.
  • Confusing the inside and outside of clothing or the right and left sides of clothing.
  • Having a hard time perceiving whether you are sitting or standing.

People with perception problems—even minor ones—should not drive a car. A stroke can also affect mobility, communication, vision, and decision making, all skills that are needed for driving.

Some tips for working with someone who has perception problems include the following:

  • Cut down on clutter to prevent a fall. Also, make sure that rooms are well lit. Put night lights in the bedroom and bathroom.
  • Mark lines on door frames or full-length mirrors so that the person can see what is vertical.
  • Do not overestimate the person's abilities. Watch to see what can be done safely.
  • If your loved one has trouble performing a task, be patient, and walk him or her through the steps.

People who have had a stroke tend to be slow, cautious, and disorganized when they are doing unfamiliar tasks. They appear anxious and hesitant, which is often quite different from the way they were before the stroke.

Depending on the amount of disability, many people may need help at home with a variety of daily activities. For more information, see:

actionset.gif Stroke Recovery: Coping With Eating Problems.

Also see:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 26, 2012
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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