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. 

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