Stroke may cause temporary or permanent weakness or paralysis on either side of the body. A person who has had a stroke may face challenges caring for him or herself, such as bathing, dressing, managing a household or a job. A stroke can affect a person’s vision, memory, speech, and muscle strength, as well as his or her ability to drive a car safely and participate in typical leisure activities.
Occupational Therapists are trained in helping people lead a life as independent as possible. Occupational Therapists can help stroke survivors regain their strength to again engage in daily activities.
What can an Occupational Therapist do?
- Recommend specialized equipment for the home that can assist a person in tasks such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals, and driving.
- Fabricate a customized splint to improve hand abilities.
- Evaluate the home for safety hazards and adapt the home by removing hazards that have the potential to cause additional injuries.
- Provide training that will improve ability to complete common tasks.
- Build physical strength and endurance.
- Help compensate for vision and memory loss.
- Provide self-confidence and self-esteem boosting activities.
What can family and friends do?
- Participate in stroke education classes to become more aware of how a stroke affects a person.
- Encourage a stroke survivor to practice activities to increase strength and endurance and reduce recovery time.
- Consult an Occupational Therapist for ways to help a person who has suffered a stroke to engage in meaningful daily activities and tasks.
Need more information?
A person who has suffered a stroke may take months or even years to recover depending on the severity of the stroke. The stroke survivor benefits greatly from his or her family being as involved as possible in the recovery and rehabilitation process. If you would like to consult an Occupational Therapist, practitioners are available through most hospitals, medical centers, and clinics.
Occupational Therapists and occupational therapy assistants are trained in helping adults and children with a broad range of issues, such as arthritis, traumatic brain injury, and mood disorders. Practitioners also help clients in wellness techniques that may prevent injury and disease.