Aging in Place Home Modifications for Victims of Spasticity
According to the National Stroke Association, spacity occurs when a stroke victim suffers damage to the brain that blocks messages between muscles and the brain causing arm and leg muscles to cramp or spasm. This will limit their coordination and muscle movement. This post-stroke condition makes daily activities such as bathing, eating and dressing more difficult.
Spasticity can cause long periods of strong contractions in major muscle groups, causing painful muscle spasms. These spasms can produce:
A tight fist
Arm pressed against the chest
Stiffness in the arms, fingers or legs
Managing spasticity with assistive devices and home modifications can help improve safety and reduce the risk of spasticity-related falls. Physical and occupational therapists will recommend the appropriate aid(s) as well as safety procedures, maintenance and proper fit. A Certified Aging-in-Home Specialist (CAPS) can help with home modifications.
Some modifications in the home to improve safety for victims of spasticity include:
Raised toilet seats
Shower or tub bench
Plastic adhesive strips on the floor of the bathtub or shower
Braces, canes, walkers and wheelchairs may help with movement as the victim gains strength.