There is no doubt: Keeping good personal hygiene after a stroke takes more effort than it once did. If your loved one is not wanting to keep her hygiene up to a normal standard, you may want to have her evaluated by an occupational therapist. This can help both you and your loved one to have a better idea of what their deficits are, post stroke.

Some of the post-stroke effects that can affect hygiene include:

  • Sensory perception
  • Motor skills
  • Visual perception
  • Coordination
  • Spasticity – where the muscles get tight and hard to move

Remember that your loved one could have cognitive impairment after the stroke. She might be afraid of getting into the bathtub. Or, she might find the water hitting her skin in the shower is actually painful.

accent ring

Showering after a stroke can be made easier a product such as the Accent Ring with Integrated Handrail.

A stroke survivor who cannot feel part of her body could need help cleaning parts of the body she can’t reach.

Some helpful tips that can make hygiene easier for your loved one:

  • Taking a shower/bath: If your stroke survivor is afraid of the water, she could have a sensory deficit. It is recommended that she shower with some of her clothes on. You can leave her shirt on while cleaning the bottom half. Also try using no-rinse shampoo. Bathing wipes are another good option if getting her in the shower or bath is not possible. A handheld shower head can really make it easier for your loved one to get clean, too – try the Handheld Portable Shower. Some stroke survivors also buy a long handled brush such as, to help them to wash easier – the Back Spa Back Rubber is a good option.
  • Hard to clean areas: If your loved one has a hand or arm that will not easily move, you may need to provide more assistance to clean her. If her hand is experiencing spasticity, you can try to soak the hand in warm water and then dry it.

Over time, your loved one will find it easier to stay clean, as she recovers. She also will find it is easier to stay clean when using some of our affordable bathing products.