Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    How to Make Your Home Accessible
    Richard C Senelick, MD posted:
    An accessible environment is one that is structurally sound, safe, and barrier free for a stroke survivor who might have trouble walking, who is confined to a wheelchair, or who is weak or paralyzed on one side of his body.

    A therapist from the rehabilitation facility may make a house call to determine what needs to be done; she can also offer suggestions based on your description of your home. But, here are some things that you can check and do yourself. These include the following:

    • Doorways should be at least thirty-two inches wide to allow wheelchair access. If this a problem in your home, molding, hinges, and even the door itself can be removed.
    • Keep electrical cords and telephone wires tucked away in corners so that they can't be tripped over.
    • Remove all throw rugs. They are the number-one cause of falls among the elderly.
    • Keep night-lights on in all rooms so that you and your loved one can move around more easily in the dark.
    • Before buying any equipment check with your therapists. Make sure that the devices that you want to purchase are necessary. Shop around for the best price. The Internet is a great way to comparison shop.
    • A ramp might be necessary if you have steps leading up to your front and back doors. The ramp should be one foot in length for every one inch in vertical rise.
    • Telephones should be easily reached; emergency telephone numbers should be written in large print and placed at each extension. Speed dialing on cell phones have made a huge difference in the last few years.
    • Counter heights in the kitchen might need to be adjusted or additional space built. Kitchen appliances, the washer and dryer, microwave ovens these, too, will need to be placed at an accessible level. Sometimes it is easiest to lower just one section that you will use.
    • Keep kitchen utensils, plates, silverware, and glasses in easy reach. Condiments and canned foods should be on the lowest shelf of cabinets that should be at arm height.
    • The bathroom might need modification to ease movement between toilet, bath, and wheelchair. Some of the equipment might include a shower chair, grab bars, a hand-held shower, and safety rails. Soap on a rope is convenient for showers.
    • If possible, use a downstairs room for the stroke survivor's bedroom. Keep a bell or buzzer nearby on the night table. Lifeline call systems that are worn around the neck for contacting 911 can usually be obtained through your local hospital.
    • Bed height and width will need to be checked. Transferring to and from the bed to the wheelchair must be comfortably and easily performed.
    • Rearrange furniture so that a wheelchair can easily maneuver around chairs, sofas, and tables. Remove deep pile carpeting.

    WebMD also has some excellent references about home modification:

    Good Luck.
    After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.

    Helpful Tips

    I also have experienced the numbing sensation in the back of the head or neck area. It only happens when I am laying down awkwardly with a ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 1 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.