Positioning Tips and Advice for Stroke Patients

The most important part of recovery after a stroke is rehabilitation. It will help build strength, co-ordination and improve confidence. The main goal for a stroke survivor is to be as independent and self productive as possible. Maintaining and improving the person’s physical condition is vital for this goal.

The early goals of rehabilitation start with the nurses and other hospital staff as they work to prevent many of the secondary problems associated with post stroke patients. Things like stiff joints, falls, bedsores and infections. These can result from being bed ridden for a long time. The proper positioning of the patient is one of the first and most important considerations in early rehab care to prevent these problems. The foundations laid at the begin by the specialist rehabilitation team enhance the functioning of the patient at the later stage.

Positioning Tips and Advice

Positioning Tips and Advice

The room may need to be arranged a certain way for patients with loss of movement or hemiplegia on one side of the body. The bed positioned with the hemiplegic side towards the larger part of the room, door and main seating area will encourage the patient to turn towards and engage the affected side.

It is vitally important to position the patient out of undesirable postures (e.g those that may be painful, reduce circulation or lead to bed sores or postural deformities). Correct positions can help encourage proper joint position and alignment, symmetry and comfort. This is vitally important as patients may initially spend a considerable amount of downtime in their room either in a bed or in a chair.

Some tips to help maximise position variation can be achieved through the use of a positioning schedule. Static prolonged postures in any position must be avoided. Emphasis should be placed on increasing out-of-bed time and upright posturing in a armchair or wheelchair.