One of the most important facts to learn during May’s American Stroke Month is that someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. Three-quarters of those strokes are first-time strokes. Your mom had a stroke. What is going to happen now? This is a great time to start thinking about the benefits of occupational therapy.
She’ll Enter Rehab
In the hospital, your mom gets treatments to stabilize her condition and make sure she can breathe on her own. From here, she may enter a rehabilitation program where she lives in a hospital wing or nursing home while regaining vital skills like swallowing.
She may be allowed to go home and do this instead. If she returns home, an assessment of her safety is important. She may use a wheelchair for several months. Otherwise, it’s likely a cane or walker will be used. Her home needs to be adapted to make sure there is room for her to safely move around.
Your mom’s bathroom should be equipped with grab bars and a shower seat. It’s unlikely that your mom will be able to stand for extended periods without tiring or losing her balance. A hand-held shower head is also helpful and isn’t hard to install as a DIY project.
Therapeutic Treatments Are Essential
Your mom will have many appointments with therapists. Speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy are each important. Occupational therapy is the one that will help your mom regain her ability to handle activities of daily living independently.
Activities of daily living are the essential tasks your mom needs to do to maintain her health and well-being. They include being able to eat, being able to use the toilet, and being able to stand up, sit down, and move around.
An occupational therapist helps your mom regain the range of motion and strength needed to do things like control the levers on a walker, put on clothing, and wash herself in a shower. Occupational therapists can also help assess your mom’s mental wellness and notify doctors if there are signs she’s depressed, which often occurs after a stroke.
If you worry about having to get your mom into your car and to these appointments on time, talk to her medical team. There are at-home occupational therapy options that make it possible for her to get the essential services she needs without struggling to get there.
Arrange Occupational Therapy as Part of Her Recovery
Make sure your mom works with an occupational therapist. The sooner she regains the skills she needs to maintain her independence, the better it is for her. Depression is a strong possibility after a stroke, and the best way to avoid depression is by heightening her independence ASAP.
Call a specialist in occupational therapy after you talk to your mom’s medical team. You’ll want to know what the prognosis is and what her doctors feel should be the first steps as soon as she gets home.