After a stroke, daily tasks such as getting around, cooking and bathing may be more difficult than before.
Many people benefit from using special equipment. There are many products available, some of which your local authority may be able to provide.
New technology makes it possible to operate equipment in your home using a remote control or a mobile phone. For example, starting a dishwasher, switching on lights and locking doors
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Types of equipment
There is a huge range of equipment and technology available to make everyday life easier. Some examples are:
- Bathing aids - grab rails, non-slip mats, bath and shower seats.
- Dressing - long-handled devices to help you do up your buttons, specialist clothing with easy-to-use fastenings.
- Furniture - electric beds and chairs to help you sit up or stand up.
- Kitchen aids - easy-to-use tin openers, kettle tippers, non-slip mats and cutlery with large handles for easy grip.
- Mobility aids - walking sticks and frames, wheelchairs, electric scooters, stairlifts.
- Making life at home safer - personal alarms, grab rails, sensor mats, movement sensory lights.
- Telephones - landline phones are available with large displays and flashing lights.
- Mobile phones, tablets - most mobile phones and tablets offer accessibility features like voice-activated internet searches. Apps can do things like read text, such as a menu, aloud or identify products in supermarkets. AbilityNet provides impartial advice to disabled people about assistive technology to suit individual needs including telephone support. .
- Digital assistants or smart speakers - examples of voice-activated smart speakers include the Amazon Echo and Google Home. You give instructions verbally for functions like playing music or searching the internet. It can be linked to the radio and TV or other devices in the house. Some apps let you control the heating, answer a door, or open curtains via a smart speaker.
Help with buying equipment
If you need help and support at home after a stroke, contact your local authority. They can arrange for you to have a support and care needs assessment.
This assessment is usually done by an occupational therapist or social worker who will visit you at home. As part of the assessment they will look at whether you need any equipment or adaptations in your home.
The help you can get from your local authority is means-tested. This means that the amount of money you get depends on your income and other circumstances, so you may have to pay for some of the help you need yourself. There may also be some types of equipment that your local authority will not provide for free.
Where can I get advice?
The Disabled Living Foundation has a range of resources to help you decide which pieces of equipment could help you, and where you can buy them from.
There are also Disabled Living Centres in the UK where you can get advice on aids and equipment. Most of them have products on show, so you can try them out before you buy them.
Aids and equipment can vary in price so it's worth contacting a few different suppliers before buying a product. Some suppliers will let you try things out before you buy them, or you may be able to hire equipment if you only need it for a short time.
Personal alarm systems (sometimes called community alarms) can help you to stay independent in your own home. They usually include a pendant button that you wear around your wrist or neck. In an emergency, you press the button to call for help. Some systems include a base unit that connects to your telephone,but landline-free-options are also available. Modern alarms use GPS technology, protecting you outside the home too.
For stroke survivors, a personal alarm can be a life-saving piece of equipment. Your local authority may be able to provide one or suggest a suitable alarm system for you. Alternatively, there are many affordable personal alarm providers in the UK.
We've teamed up with Careline365, a national provider of personal alarms. They help thousands of elderly and disabled people to stay safe and independent in their own homes. Careline365 is an accredited member of the Telecare Services Association (TSA), providing a life-saving service throughout the UK.
If you purchase an alarm for a stroke survivor via this link, Careline365 offers a £15 discount as well as a £40 donation to the Stroke Association.