Occupational Therapy Fort Lauderdale FL

Occupational Therapy: is it Necessary After a Stroke?

Close to 800,000 Americans have a stroke each year. It breaks down to three strokes every two minutes and about 75% of these strokes are first-time strokes. Your dad just had a stroke, and your family is still trying to figure out what happens next. His medical team is warning you that he’s going to be working with a lot of specialists and therapists for several weeks or even months. Occupational therapy is one of the recommendations, but what does it actually help with? Is it necessary?

Changes Within the Home

Before your dad leaves the hospital, his home may need some changes to make his environment as safe as possible. If he’s going to need a wheelchair or walker, clutter needs to be moved to make sure he has plenty of room.

He might need grab bars and a transfer chair installed in the bathtub. He might need to have throw rugs removed, voice-activated light fixtures, or a bedroom set up on the main floor of the house. Occupational therapy will help you understand what needs to change and why.

Improves Motor Control

Following a stroke, your dad will lose some motor control in the affected arm and leg. Typically, a stroke that occurs in the left side of the brain will affect the right leg and arm. If the stroke was in the right side of the brain, it impacts the left leg and arm.

Depending on the severity of the stroke, he may have a lot of difficulty grasping items like a fork, knife, or spoon. He might not be able to dress, wash his body, or walk around his home without a cane or walker. He may need a wheelchair.

Help With the Behavioral Changes

Your dad’s stroke may also impact his behavior. If he’s struggling with behavioral changes and finds himself struggling to maintain emotional control in situations, an occupational therapist can help him.

After a stroke, your dad may find it incredibly hard to stay focused and on task. This cognitive shift is normal, but it’s also frustrating. Occupational therapy can help him find ways to redirect his attention and get back on track. Loss of impulses is another issue. If he’s having a hard time with impulse control, his occupational therapist can suggest ways to maintain control or learn how to manage impulsive behaviors.

Arrange Occupational Therapy Sessions As Soon As Possible

His occupational therapist will help him strengthen his muscles and regain the muscle control that he’s lost. His motor skills may never return to what they used to be, but every little bit helps.

Do everything that your dad’s doctors recommend. The harder he works on his recovery, the easier it will be for him to maintain as much independence as possible. Occupational therapy is key to him learning how to take care of himself again.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Occupational Therapy in Fort Lauderdale, FL please contact the caring staff at Specialized Nursing Services today. (305) 652-2799 


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