by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Lifestyle changes can help people who have had a stroke adapt to the future. Options are:

Adapting to Changes After a Stroke

A stroke can result in many life changes. Extra care may be needed in the short or long term. Family and friends can help.

Home Changes

Some changes may need to be made to improve function. It depends on the problems a person has after a stroke. Examples are:

  • Keeping items within easy reach
  • Replacing knobs and handles with levers
  • Installing grab bars in hallways, stairwells, and the bathroom
  • Widening doorways
  • Having doors open out instead of in
  • Keeping rugs and carpets in place to prevent falls
  • Keeping a keeping a fully-charged phone nearby in case of an emergency

Preventing Other Strokes

Changes will need to be made to lower the risk of having other strokes:

Quit Smoking

Smoking can raise the amount of fatty buildup in the arteries. This can block blood flow to the brain. Nicotine can narrow blood vessels and raise heart rate and blood pressure. It can also decrease the oxygen in the blood. People who keep smoking are at higher risk for another stroke.

Secondhand smoke also raises the risk and should be avoided.

Eat a Healthful Diet

Obesity puts a person at a higher risk for stroke. Losing even 10 pounds can lower that risk by a lot.

A dietlow in saturated fat , trans fat, and cholesterol, and rich in whole grains , fruits, and veggies will help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight. These are three stroke risk factors.


Adults should talk to their doctors about how much exercise is right for them based on their stroke history. Most adults should aim for 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. A certified athletic trainer can help make an exercise program.

Limit Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol raises blood pressure and the risk of stroke. Limiting alcohol can lower the risk.


Home modifications. American Stroke Association website. Available at: Accessed March 11, 2022.

Life after stroke. American Stroke Association website. Available at: Accessed March 11, 2022.

Primary prevention of stroke. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed March 11, 2022.

Stroke. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Accessed March 11, 2022.

Winstein CJ, Stein J, Arena R, et al, American Heart Association Stroke Council, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, Council on Clinical Cardiology, and Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research.. Guidelines for Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery: A Guideline for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2016 Jun;47(6):e98-e169 full-text, corrections can be found in Stroke 2017 Feb;48(2):e78 and Stroke 2017 Dec;48(12):e369.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review BoardRimas Lukas, MD
  • Review Date: 11/2021
  • Update Date: 03/11/2022