Personal Care for Stroke Survivors

brushing teeth

Your personal care can be a major step in recovering from stroke. These tips can help you get started:

Hair Grooming

  • Mount an extension mirror near a mirror in the bathroom or on a dresser.
  • By using both mirrors together, you can see the back of your head.
  • Use a wall-mounted hair dryer or buy a wall mount for a hand-held dryer.
  • Use a curling brush to eliminate the need for rollers.
  • To clean your hairbrush, hold it between your knees, and then pull a comb through it to get the hair out.
  • Change to a “wash-and-wear” hairstyle to avoid the need for hair dryers and curling irons.

Care of Teeth

Toothpaste tubes with flip tops are easiest to use for applying toothpaste:

  • Use your strong hand to squeeze it onto your tongue, and then pick up the toothbrush.
  • Hold the toothbrush in your teeth and apply the toothpaste with your strong hand.
  • Hold the toothbrush between the thumb and forefinger of your weak hand, applying the toothpaste with the strong hand.

Special Cleaning Aids

  • To floss, try disposable flossing toothpicks or a floss threader.
  • To clean dentures, try using a suction brush or denture soak.



  • Use an electric shaver if you have to shave with one hand. Or, if you prefer using blades, puff out your cheeks when you shave.
  • Use a disposable razor so you don’t have to change blades.
  • To apply shaving cream, squeeze the cream onto the back of your weak hand or onto the edge of the sink.
  • Then apply the cream with your strong hand.
  • To trim a mustache, use a single-edge razor. For safety, sit while doing this task.


  • To shave your legs, use an electric shaver. If you lie on a bed, you may be able to reach your lower legs more easily.

Nail Care

  • If your hand is clenched (in a claw-like manner) as a result of a stroke, keep your fingernails short and smooth.
  • Special nail clippers designed to be used with only one hand are available. Also, depending on the strength in your affected hand, you might want to try foot-operated clippers.
  • To file fingernails, tape a nail file to a table and run your fingers over it.
  • Cut and file toenails after soaking them in warm water. The water helps soften the nail.

Support That Empowers

Recovery becomes so much more manageable when you have the right kind of emotional support. Our online community of patients, survivors and caregivers is here to keep you going no matter the obstacles. We’ve been there, and we won’t let you go it alone.
graphic of man on laptop with super hero shadow