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Tips For Living Alone After Head Injury With Hemiparesis And Avoiding Falls And Injuries
Hemiparesis Living is difficult even when you may have close family support or caretaker close by. However as we who have been injured indirectly, or previously experienced head injury brain damage resulting in hemiparesis, as we age, or children grow up, spouses may move apart find ourselves living alone. The detrimental effects of hemiparesis do not go away and with aging even exhibit stronger effects where the need for safety and extra care by one self is increased. Myself. I used to be shot in the pinnacle in my early twenties followed by a coma and much rehabilitation in trauma unit and hospital. I was fortunate to be able to check engineering earning my degree, but most of the 2 decades that followed have had me coping with implications of living with hemiparesis and to be honest as an engineer, found myself analyzing issues that took place and finding or developing best practices or methods. I hope these insights can be used or adapted to help others going through life after head injury or hemiparesis.
Safety Risks and Minimizing
Starting with safety. typically I can inform you that for myself and lots of spoken with in person or in online groups too, the worse effects that occur are when the body is tired. A detailed second is within the cold, freezing temperatures and inclement weather as snow sleet, etc.
By tired I say early in morning or especially late within the day. Arising in the night for whatever reason, can find legs extra wobbly and rather easy to lose one’s balance. Having halls where light can go on easily, possibly a motion detector switch and uncluttered walkways are a couple basics that might help prevent a sudden slip or poor footing. This may really prevent serious further injury. Trust me, one shoe or slipper on a dark walkway can transform a violent fall. It doesn’t necessarily must be a poor balance issue. Sometimes the weaker foot from say for example left hemiparesis or right touch sensitive switch hemiparesis will turn sideways and instead of landing on flat bottom part of foot., will actually land on the side of foot even at an angle sometimes. This could cause a quick fall and when this happens, a primary reaction is to use the strong hand to grab onto something to catch balance. If there isn’t anything on the strong side, then a fall is admittedly likely or partial fall likely. Keep this in mind when keeping the hall and bath safe. Railings are great, but easy to grab handles, even small ledges may also help give a person’s balance back. They have suction cup handles, lights that may be added economically for safety. Check a neighborhood large hardware store as Lowes.
Besides having something available on good side, simply walking slower, smaller steps will help. Walking in socks alone on some surfaces may be like walking on ice to a person with hemiparesis. For instance. I can walk OK on most carpets which can be wall to wall but after i approach tile or ceramic flooring or a throw rug, slow way down for safety. A common issue in people with either left hemiparesis or right hemiparesis is tripping forward when their weaker toe drags and often is close enough to floor to catch it on a carpet or even have the toes roll over. Not having proper control of those toes will look to others as not picking up the foot enough. This effect can happen so fast and somewhat unpredictable. However, going back to the first premise, this can occur more often when the body is tired or weakened indirectly possibly even from extreme weather changes. It is obviously more of a possibility when walking faster. Walking faster increases the danger. Note that there are items available in stores or online to adhere throw rugs to the floors surface. This easy action generally is a life saver.
Regarding Assistive Devices
Some therapists and caretakers recommend canes either a quad cane or straight cane but I can inform you after a couple decades with hemiparesis, canes do not always work, they will actually offer you a false sense of security causing people to move faster but not able to guard oneself in an accident. More often than not almost always it is the weak side that has the foot dragging or catching on something, maybe a rug or object or just twisting in order that it lands on the side. And what happens next is either I might fall straight ahead and to the left very fast or tip sideways again to the left. I am using left here because the weaker side or left hemiparesis. Now the cane can be in the stronger hand, on the fitting side on this case and isn’t much help on the left. The left arm in many of left hemiparesis wont do much good either as it is just too weak to forestall the fall and possibly too slow to do anything in time
If a walker is recommended and one may be modified to use with one weakened side, then use it. After all, you will want to learn to walk without it but for some it’s best to maintain using. Check with your individual health professional.
In the early days after a head injury or accident, wheelchairs are commonly use and effectively safe. Myself, I’ve used one after the coma for nearly two years before graduating to a quad cane after which later using just he regular cane and now years later without the cane in the course of the warmer months.
This last point is important as regards to wheel chairs. I had lived within the snow belt up in the Northeast when I was first injured and the use of the wheelchair was indeed a life saver with the snow and ice. It isn’t feasible for most to depart their home areas but if in any respect possible as people with hemiparesis age, a move to the southern climate or even out west is well advised.
Living with hemiparesis and living alone might be safer in the warmer climates, freed from ice and snow. That may be obvious for walking but there are other benefits as well. The sunshine daily may even help your thinking and overall attitude positively, Sure you may still get a month or two of weather where it reaches freezing but it surely doesn’t stay there for long. Aches and Pains can virtually disappear. People’s old injuries are often painful in cold moist weather. This is not different for head injuries, but on this case it could very be the brain that suffers pain. Additionally it is the control center for emotions and that too may be better within the warmer climate. Lessons learned.
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