What is life like after a stroke? You might imagine, from the way strokes are portrayed in movies and on television, that the only possible outcomes of a stroke are death or living in an almost vegetative state. However, even though the brain damage that occurs during a stroke can not be undone, occupational therapy can help stroke survivors live their best lives possible, by increasing their quality of life. Two-thirds of stroke victims survive their strokes, and occupational therapy is an essential part of their recovery from the very beginning.
Sometimes rehabilitation from a stroke means re-learning basic skills, because the brain damage from a stroke impacted a patient’s memory or coordination. Other times, stroke rehabilitation can mean learning a new, adaptive way of accomplishing tasks that used to be simpler before the damage from a stroke made them more complicated. Don’t assume that limitations a stroke victim faces immediately after a stroke will be permanent. Often times, repeated practice or creative adaptations can give stroke patients skills they thought were lost.
According to stroke.nih.gov,
“In general, physical therapy emphasizes practicing isolated movements, repeatedly changing from one kind of movement to another, and rehearsing complex movements that require a great deal of coordination and balance, such as walking up or down stairs or moving safely between obstacles. People too weak to bear their own weight can still practice repetitive movements during hydrotherapy.”
When a stroke damages a patient’s coordination, strength, balance, speech, memory or any other skills that are necessary for maintaining independence, an occupational therapist can help them regain the skills they need to move forward in the best way possible.
If you or someone you love has experienced a stroke, don’t put off the expert care that can help them regain areas of independence. Please contact us to learn how our expert occupational therapists can offer compassionate care for anyone recovering from a stroke.