Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)



Positioning for people affected by stroke

This chart suggests possible positioning options for people affected by stroke. After a stroke people can experience differing physical problems, and therefore careful positioning and placement of pillows can be made to achieve safe and comfortable postures for any individual.

Illustrations – Side affected by stroke is shown in blue. Pictures do not depict bed rails.

CHSS position chart - see view text alternative button for details

The careful positioning and placement of pillows can be used to achieve safe and comfortable postures. Affected stroke side is in blue. Pictures do not depict bed rails. These positioning suggestions apply after 72 hours of having a stroke.

LYING ON UNAFFECTED SIDE

• One or two pillows for head
• Affected shoulder forward with arm supported on pillow
• Place affected leg backwards on one or two pillows
• Place a pillow behind

LYING ON BACK (if desired)

• Place three pillows supporting both shoulders and head
• Place affected arm on pillow
• Optional pillow beneath affected hip
• Ensure feet in neutral position

SITTING IN BED

• Sitting in bed is desirable for short periods only
• Sitting upright well supported by pillows
• Place both arms on pillows
• Legs supported for comfort

SITTING UP

• Sitting well back in the centre of chair or wheelchair
• Place arms well forward onto two pillows on table
• Feet flat on floor or footrests
• Knees directly above feet

 

CHSS Stroke positioning chart

 

Page last reviewed: 21 Jan 2020