Rehabilitation of all kinds is vital for stroke victims and OT is part of the picture.
It’s sometimes called a brain attack—the blockage of oxygen to the brain that kills cells and can lead to brain damage, physical disability, or death. Most of us know this sudden, severe, medical condition as a stroke, and according to the National Stroke Foundation, some 133,000 Americans will die from one this year.
Fortunately, hundreds of thousands of others who suffer a stroke will survive, though many face new challenges as they struggle with the aftermath. To recover from a stroke, victims rely on the skills of a number of medical professionals, including occupational therapists.
The Role of the OT
April is Occupational Therapy Month, so it’s a good time to explore how OTs help. According to the American Occupational Therapist Association, OTs usually spend more time with recovering stroke victims than any other medical practitioner. Ideally, Easter Seals says, that work will begin while the patient is still in the hospital. The initial assessment tasks of OT include:
Observing the patient’s ability to carry out daily tasks, such as
- Using the toilet
- Screening the patient’s memory and cognition
- Testing motor skills
- Watching the patient’s ability to function in the home environment
Tools for Better Living
With assessments done, the OT begins mapping out specific changes in a patient’s daily routine and environment that will make life easier. These may include:
- Exercises designed to improve physical strength and endurance
- Physical changes in or the introduction of adaptive equipment to the home or work environment
- Introduction of assistive devices to restore a patient’s independence
- Mental exercises to strengthen memory and cognition
- Activities that help rebuild self confidence
Here to Help
At HCA East Florida, we’re ready to help stroke survivors restore as much of their old lives as possible. To find out which of our hospitals can provide the best rehabilitation services for you or a loved one or to ask a question about stroke, use our free Consult-A-Nurse® service by calling 1-877-442-2362.