Occupational Therapy: An Important Part of Stroke Recovery

Did you know that strokes are still the number one cause of disability for adults? Going through this frightening and difficult setback impacts not only the patient but the patient’s loved ones as well. Figuring out how to manage your needs after a stroke becomes the primary focus of your life, with trips to the doctor, pharmacy and other treatments. After a stroke, it is best to also involve your occupational therapist in order to greatly improve your quality of life.

Occupational therapists work with people to help them live their lives to the fullest, given their new circumstances. Occupational therapy can address cognitive or physical difficulties brought on by a stroke. Occupational therapists address new environmental needs, the person’s goals and desires, and help design a holistic therapy plan. Therapy can even help maximize the benefits of your other treatments, making the healing process speedier. Strokes can sometimes create temporary set backs – but the effects could also be permanent. It is important to address the effects as quickly as possible.

Every member of your family and every caregiver should be involved in the occupational therapy process if you have suffered a stroke. Therapy is not just about the physical things you would like to be able to do again. Therapy is also about having the highest quality of life you can achieve in whatever “occupations” – another term for activities of daily living – you would like to continue to do. There is plenty of research to suggest that people who have suffered a stroke and receive occupational therapy return to their desired activities and have less setbacks than those who do not have an occupational therapist.

Specific occupational therapy goals might include assessing the environment for new hazards or safety concerns, recommending equipment that may help a person complete or manage certain tasks in the home, build physical strength and endurance or even creating activities to rebuild confidence and esteem. Ultimately, this is about increasing your quality of life after a stroke, and occupational therapy can deliver great results.