More than 700,000 people experience a stroke each year in the United States. This means that thousands of people live with varying degrees of obstacles after their stroke, ranging from speech impediments to fine motor skill loss. And while there are many types of therapists that can improve the quality of life for post stroke patients, some forget the value of occupational therapy. What can occupational therapists do to help a post-stroke patient?
Here's three key ways their work can become powerful and life-changing.
- They bring back routine to a post-stoke life. Occupational therapists not only improve motor and sensory skills, but they can also bring a sense of normalcy for which many stroke patients yearn. They do this by reteaching patients how to do some of their favorite, routine tasks. From using a cellphone to cooking, cleaning, or personal grooming, occupational therapists focus on day-to-day activities.
- They make living back at home safer. Occupational therapists want you to live your life as smoothly as possible, and at home. These therapists can make recommendations to make sure that a post-stroke patient will stay safe at home, and what changes can best serve their patients. For example, they can help you install grab bars at doorways or in the bathroom to help you move around, recommend changes to the living layout for better movement, or remove and repair doorways or halls for smoother mobility in a wheelchair.
- They have strategies to facilitate ease in functioning and work. Occupational therapists can look at something and say, "I can make this easier for you," to their patients. From changing buttons on clothing to velcro to make dressing easier with one hand, to finding utensils that are more comfortable to hold and use, occupational therapists help build back strength and skill in an easier way.
Overall, occupational therapists are important for helping patients build confidence in themselves and their abilities by supporting their efforts. Contact us to learn about occupational therapists, and how they can help you or someone you care about.
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