ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
The name of this company is ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
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by Richard Acree of ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC

Aging in Place Home Modifications for Victims of Hemiparesis



According to the National Stroke Association, about 80% of stroke victims suffer from hemiparesis, which is weakness on one side of the body. One-sided weakness can affect your arms, hands, legs and facial muscles. Stroke victims with one-sided weakness may have trouble performing everyday activities such as eating, dressing, and using the bathroom. Rehabilitation treatments, home modifications, exercises at home, and assistive devices can help with mobility and recovery. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) consultant can help with home modifications for victims of hemiparesis.

Note that one-sided paralysis is known as hemiplegia. One-sided weakness or paralysis in the arms, hands, face, chest, legs or feet can cause:

  • Loss of balance

  • Difficulty walking

  • Impaired ability to grasp objects

  • Decrease in movement precision

  • Muscle fatigue

  • Lack of coordination

Frequently a stroke victim with hemiparesis or hemiplegia will need to use a device to assist with everyday activities. Home modifications that may help victims with hemiparesis include:

  • Ramps

  • Raised toilet seats

  • Tub or shower bench

  • Hand-held shower head

  • Plastic adhesive strips on the floor of the bathtub or shower

  • Long-handled brushes, washing mitts with pockets for soap

  • Electric toothbrushes and razors

  • Grab bars

Grab bar locations and installations are very specific. The diagram below is an example of recommended rear wall grab bar installations at a toilet. A complete discussion of grab bar installations will follow in another article.

Rear Wall Grab Bar Installation for a Toilet

Rear Wall Grab Bar Installation for a Toilet

Most homes have common trip/fall hazards caused by uneven floor surfaces or loose carpeting. Sometimes home modifications can be as simple as replacing door thresholds or removing loose carpets or rugs.

Objects on the floor that are more than 1/4 inch in vertical height can be a source of tripping and falling. Victims of Hemiparesis need flooring that is smooth and consistent in elevation as much as possible. Floor elevation changes, such as door thresholds, should not be more than 1/2 inch in vertical height increase and the top 1/4 inch should be sloped no less than 1:2. See the diagram below for a representation of this installation.

Change in Floor Level

Change in Floor Level

Carpet to Tile Connection

Carpet to Tile Connection

Exposed edges of carpet should be fastened to floor surfaces and should have trim on the entire length of the exposed edge. Carpet installed adjacent to tile should be connected to the tile as shown in the diagram on the left.

If you or someone you know suffers from hemiparesis or hemiplegia, please call Richard at 615-752-0060 to discuss your needs for a home safety inspection and home modification. For more information about the services Richard provides please see Residential Accessibility.

Thank you.