Stroke affects approximately 795,000 people in the United States each year.
The severity of a stroke can vary depending on a number of factors. They can result in permanent or temporary disability. One thing that can happen is the loss of use of one hand. When this happens, therapy following a stroke will include helping the person to regain as much of their manual dexterity as possible. Although your aging relative will probably work with medical professionals during their recovery, there are ways you can help them to regain fine motor skills at home.
Repetition is Key
Loss of hand control occurs after stroke because the brain isn’t able to properly communicate with the muscles in the hand. Getting hands to work again involves retraining the brain and forming new pathways. Creating these new pathways requires repetition to reinforce the use of pathways formed when the new ability is learned.
Because repetition is key, the older adult will need to work on their motor skills often. Building hand strength and relearning motor skills can be difficult and frustrating. Family caregivers and elderly care providers can improve the experience by being encouraging and trying to make therapy exercises fun, even if it’s just through companionship and conversation.
There are many exercises the older adult can do at home that will help to rebuild fine motor skills. Some things to try are:
-Moving small items, such as beans, from one container to another one at a time.
-Placing pegs into a pegboard.
-Stretching rubber bands between fingers to build strength.
-Using a stress ball.
-Turning cards over. This activity could be turned into a game of memory, which can also be a good exercise for the brain.
-Write notes or cards to friends or relatives.
-Type emails or play typing games online.
-String beads. This activity can be fun to do with grandchildren who enjoy making chunky bead necklaces or bracelets.
-Do a jigsaw puzzle. Start with puzzles that have larger pieces until the senior is capable of handling the smaller ones.
Elderly care providers can practice these exercises with your aging relative.
An elderly care provider can make them more fun by turning them into games, such as by timing how long something takes and then seeing if the senior can improve their time. An elderly care provider can also just sit and talk with the older adult while they do the exercises.
Are you or a loved one considering Homecare in Herriman, UT? Please talk to the friendly staff at December Rose Senior Care at Home. Providing Home Care in Highland, Utah and Surrounding Communities. 801-427-ROSE (7673)
In their spare time, Alan and Stephanie are all about family and enjoy So. California beach vacations, watching their children’s sporting events, reading, participating in church and community activities, watching favorite shows together, participating in Boy Scouts, running and yoga.
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