Before diving into the home modifications for accessibility, it's important to understand what Subarachnoid Hemorrhage is. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, or SAH, is a type of stroke that occurs when there is bleeding in the space surrounding the brain. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, including aneurysms, head injury, or blood thinners. Symptoms can include sudden and severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light, and loss of consciousness. The severity and effects of SAH can vary significantly from person to person.
When someone experiences a SAH, modifying the home for safety is a top priority. This might include removing rugs and other trip hazards, installing non-slip mats in the bathroom, and ensuring all walkways are well lit. Additionally, safety rails may be necessary in certain areas, such as the bathroom and stairs. It's also important to keep essential items within easy reach to minimize the need for bending or stretching.
Bathrooms can be particularly dangerous for those recovering from a SAH. The combination of hard surfaces, water, and the need for balance and mobility can lead to accidents. Therefore, creating an accessible bathroom is crucial. This could involve installing grab bars, using a shower chair, raising the height of the toilet, and possibly even remodeling the bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair if necessary.
The bedroom is another space that requires attention. A hospital bed might be necessary, especially in the early stages of recovery. It's also beneficial to have a bedside table that can hold essentials like medications, water, and a phone. If the bedroom is upstairs, it may be necessary to create a sleeping area on the ground floor to avoid the need for stairs.
The kitchen can also pose challenges for those recovering from a SAH. Again, keeping items within easy reach is important. This might mean reorganizing cupboards and drawers so that frequently used items are at waist level. It could also be beneficial to use a stool or chair while preparing meals to avoid fatigue. Lastly, consider investing in kitchen appliances with automatic shut-off features for added safety.
The living room should be a place of comfort and relaxation. Ensuring there is plenty of space to move around is key. This might involve rearranging furniture or even removing some pieces. It can also be helpful to have supportive seating with arms to assist with sitting and standing. Also, consider the use of remote controls for lights and electronics to minimize the need for movement.
Access to the outdoors can greatly improve quality of life. However, it also presents its own set of challenges. Installing ramps instead of stairs, ensuring paths are well lit and free from trip hazards, and having sturdy railings can all help to make the outdoors more accessible. It might also be beneficial to have seating available so the person can rest as needed.
Finally, it's important to not overlook the mental and emotional impact of a SAH. Creating a calm and peaceful environment can help to reduce stress and anxiety. This might involve using calming colors, reducing noise, and keeping the home tidy. Also, make sure there is a space for the person to engage in activities they enjoy, whether that's reading, listening to music, or watching their favorite show.