Stroke Connection - January/February 2007 - (Page 31)
dressing and undressing • When getting dressed, lay out clothes in the order they will be put on. Those to be put on ﬁrst go on top of the pile. • Putting on clothes is easier when sitting than when lying down. • Always put clothing on the affected side ﬁrst. When undressing, always take clothes off the affected side last. • To put on blouses, jackets and cardigan sweaters, lay the garment on a ﬂat surface with the collar furthest away from you and the back side of the garment facing the ceiling. Bend over and put your arms into the armholes and lift the garment up and over your head. • To remove blouses, jackets and sweaters, unbutton and ease garment off shoulders. Reach behind your back and gently tug the garment off. If your balance is unsteady, sit on the edge of the bed or on a chair to put on your clothing. • To avoid getting buttons in the wrong holes, begin with the ones at the bottom that you can see and work from there to the top. • If your arms are weak, rest your elbows on a table, chest of drawers or chair armrests while fastening buttons. • If you are a woman who doesn’t have a bra that hooks in front, consider getting one. (Frontfastening bras are available up to sizes E and F.) Sleep bras are normally front-fastening and give soft support and are useful while dressed in nightwear. They usually have a high back with wide straps. • Crop tops give little support but usually have wide straps and no fastenings. They can be put on over the head or held by the shoulder straps and pulled on over feet and legs, like pants. Getting dressed every day promotes self-esteem and a positive attitude. • Sports bras give different levels of support with full freedom of movement, and are often T-back or racer back. They are often put on over the head or over the feet and legs and pulled upwards, but are also available with front- and back-fastening. • Dress in front of a mirror. It will help you ﬁnd the sleeves and match up buttons with buttonholes. • Allow plenty of time for dressing. • Ask for help. If necessary, a caregiver or family member should be able and willing to help. • Use a reacher, buttonhook or dressing stick for putting on clothing and reaching items in a closet. (You may want to buy a size larger than normal. They go on easier. Or buy thigh-high nylons that use an elastic band to hold them in place. Be sure the band is not too tight – you don’t want it to interfere with the blood ﬂow to your legs.) socks and shoes • Socks can be put on with one hand, but if you need help putting on socks, buy a sock stretcher. Using a larger sock also helps. • Socks will go on easier if you sprinkle a little cornstarch on the bottom of your feet ﬁrst. • Wear shoes or slippers that ﬁt snugly. Don’t walk around in stocking feet. • Several products are available for tying shoes, including elastic shoelaces. • Have a shoe repair shop alter the shoes by installing Velcro closures. • If using a brace, put the brace in the shoe ﬁrst. Pick up the shoe by the toe and lay it down on the back of the brace. Step into the trough of the brace and slide the foot forward into the shoe. Hold the tongue out of the way. • Use a long-handle shoehorn. belts and pants • Put the belt on the skirt, slacks or dress before putting it on. • Rather than trying to pull pants on holding the waist in weak ﬁngers, thrust the affected hand deep into the side pocket and pull up the pants. This allows the arm to hold the weight of the pants rather than the ﬁngers. • Use the unaffected hand to tuck in the shirttails. • To close the waist, put the affected thumb through the last belt loop, then push against that to draw the waist closer together. (continued) putting on pantyhose • While seated, cross the affected leg over the unaffected leg. Gather up the stocking for the affected leg in the unaffected hand all the way to the toe. Put the stocking over the toes and foot. Uncross the legs and pull the stocking to the knee. Gather the other stocking leg to the toes and put it over the toes of the unaffected leg and start pulling up the stocking. Stand up to pull pantyhose completely up or lie on the bed and roll side-to-side. January/February 2007
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