RECOVERING FROM STROKE
STRENGTHENING TIPS FOR STROKE SURVIVORS
Stroke may cause temporary or permanent weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. A person who has suffered a stroke may have difficulty caring for himself or herself, such as bathing, dressing and managing a household or job. Stroke can affect a person’s vision, memory, speech and muscle strength, as well as his or her ability to drive a car safely and engage in typical leisure activities.
Occupational and physical therapists are trained in helping people lead as independent a life a possible. Occupational and physical therapists can help stroke survivors regain their strength to again engage in daily activities.
What can a physical or occupational therapist do?
- Recommend equipment for the home that can aid a person in completing tasks, such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals and driving.
- Fabricate a customized splint to improve hand function.
- Evaluate the home for safety hazards and adapt the home by removing hazards that could cause further injury.
- Provide training that improves the ability to complete daily tasks.
- Build a person’s physical endurance and strength.
- Help a person compensate for vision and memory loss.
- Provide activities that rebuild self-confidence and self-esteem.
What can family and friends do?
- Participate in stroke education classes to become better aware of how a stroke affects a person.
- Encourage a stroke survivor to practice tasks to increase strength and endurance and to speed recovery.
- Consult a physical or occupational therapist about how to help a person who has suffered a stroke to participate in meaningful daily activities and tasks.
Need More Information?
A person who has suffered a stroke may take months or even years to recover, depending on the severity of the stroke. Both the stroke survivor and his or her family should be involved in the recovery and rehabilitation. If you would like to consult a physical and/or occupational therapist, practitioners are available through most hospitals, community clinics and medical centers.