We at ADA Extended Home Care know how challenging simple movement can be after a stroke. Our caregivers are trained to support you in regaining movement in a paralyzed arm or leg after a stroke. There are five types of exercises that we recommended at ADA Extended Home Care as a part of caregiving services for post stroke care for the elderly.
Do you feel numbness, tingling or you have trouble feeling different temperatures like hot or cold?
If a stroke damaged the right side of the brain, then you may develop problems with sensation that can be improved with sensory reeducation exercises. These simply reteach your brain how to interpret your senses.
Our experienced caregivers will guide you in these 5 simple exercises. Repeat each exercise at least 10 times and practice for about 10-15 minutes a day.
1. Tabletop Touch Therapy
Gather together objects with different textures ( soft scarves, rough sandpaper, fluffy cotton balls, rough Velcro, and cool silverware) and place them onto a table in front of you. Then, without looking at the objects, pick them up and feel them. Try to distinguish the difference between textures.
2. Texture Hunting
Fill a bowl with uncooked rice and bury different textured objects in it, like marbles, coins, Velcro strips, cotton balls, etc. Then, reach your hand into the bowl and try to find the objects without looking.
3. Texture Handling
Let your caregiver to put different objects in your hand with your eyes open. Sense how these objects feel.
Once you’ve gone through all the objects and observed how they feel, perform the exercise again with your eyes closed.
4. Temperature Differentiation
Your caregiver will prepare two bottles of water, one filled with warm water and the other one with cold water. Then, the caregiver will put the cold bottle on your affected arm. Try to sense what that feels like. After 30 seconds, the caregiver will switch the cold bottle with the warm one. Try to sense the difference in temperature.
Then, close your eyes. Have your caregiver place one bottle on your arm and try to determine if you’re feeling heat or cold. Repeat this exercise back and forth alternating from hot to cold.
5. Sensory Locating
Close your eyes and have a caregiver place her hand somewhere on your affected arm. Then, point to the area that you think she touched.
If you don’t point to the correct area, have your caregiver move your hand. Then, open your eyes to visually absorb the information.
Feedback like this helps retrain your brain. It’s like telling your brain, “I was not touched here, I was touched there.”
Repeat this exercise at least 10 times, preferably more!
Once you master this exercise, switch it up by having your caregiver touch you with different textured objects, like a Q-tip or metal spoon.
Always keep your eyes closed during the exercise, and if you perform the exercise incorrectly, open your eyes once your caregiver moves your finger to absorb the feedback.