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Sheltering Arms Blog

Continuing Stroke Recovery at Home


Posted on: July 27, 2020 by Jenny Lankford

By: Sarah Kane, OTL/R

Are you recovering from a stroke at home? Staying home doesn’t have to mean a standstill in your rehab progress! There are plenty of activities you can do in your home to maintain and continue your recovery.

Incorporating your affected arm into functional tasks is so important! Use your affected arm for as many daily tasks as you can, in any way you can. Here are some examples of daily activities to engage your arm/hand:

  • Self feeding (Try finger foods if you can’t manage utensils yet)
  • Turning a doorknob
  • Opening a cabinet or drawer
  • Turning the faucet on and off
  • Picking items up from the floor or a table
  • Folding laundry
  • Applying toothpaste to a toothbrush
  • Wiping down a counter top, table or window
  • …The list is endless!

If you’re looking for more exercise-based activities, there are many household objects you can use in place of gym equipment:

  • Canned goods and water bottles can serve as light dumbbells.
  • Need something a little heavier? When you’re finished with a jug of milk or juice, refill it with water! A full jug will weigh around 8.5 pounds, but you can control how much weight by how much you fill it.
  • Roll up a pair of thick socks to squeeze to improve your grip strength.
  • Use tweezers or clothespins to strengthen your fingers.
  • Twist a towel/washcloth (as if wringing out) to strengthen your forearm.
  • Use a hammer or a rubber mallet and lift your wrist up/down to improve your wrist mobility and grip strength.
  • Slide a towel front to back and in circles on a table top to stretch and strengthen your arm or complete up/down a wall for more of a challenge.

To challenge your coordination:

  • Practice your handwriting
  • Cutting with scissors
  • Picking up coins
  • Buttoning
  • Counting out or shuffling cards

Be creative, and most importantly, keep that arm engaged!

If you or your loved one needs help recovering from a stroke, Sheltering Arms offers speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, fitness programs/memberships, and community-recreation services both in-person and virtually to meet your individual needs. Click here or call (804) 764-1000 to schedule an evaluation today.