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CNA Training & Classes | December 18, 2017

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Paralysis

Paralysis is a term used when a part or the whole body can not move properly. It often affects residents who have had a stroke, but not only. There are different names for paralysis, depending on which part of the body is affected.

The condition is called paraplegia when the lower half of the body is paralyzed  while hemiplegia is the term for paralysis of half of the body; whether it is the right side or the left side of the body.

Quadriplegia on the other hand is paralysis which involves both the arms and legs. Paralysis is the after-effect of a stroke where cells die making different body parts unable to function. Signs and symptoms of stroke differ depending on where the damage takes place.

Strokes are caused by blood clots. Once the clot starts to block or narrow a blood vessel, pain can be felt by the resident in that area. It is advisable not to massage that area because it might fasten the blockage but instead make the resident walk or even let him bend the toes upward in order to dislodge the clot.

If one side of the brain is affected by stroke, the opposite side of the body is expected to be affected as a result. This is because the left side of the brain is the one that has control over the right side of the body while the other side of the brain is in charge of what happens in the left side of the body.

Symptoms felt by residents after a stroke might include inability to speak, sagging of the face and inability to move legs, feet and arms. Any area where paralysis is present can give problems of mobility and functioning of the resident and special care should be taken in these areas.

Exercising paralysed muscles prevents contractures or shortening of muscles and also keeps blood circulation going so the area wont be so prone to bedsores, incontinence or muscle spasms.

Special care prevents further complications, maintains normal bodily functions and also aims to bring back the normal functions of the resident.

Always maintain a calm environment in order for residents to be as stress-free as possible and promote rest. However keep in mind that residents should be motivated to be independent in their daily activities to bring back their autonomy and self-confidence. Approach the resident in a way that you can show that you actually care about them.

Perform range of motion exercises to the paralyzed body parts in order to maintain the integrity of the muscles in that area. Passive ROM exercises are intended for paralyzed areas while weak areas should be exercised with assistance.