Occupational therapists often work with other members of the stroke team such as: physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, doctors, nurse and social workers.
How can an occupational therapist help?
. An occupational therapist will help a stroke patient with daily acts of independence, like learning again how to wash, get dressed, and brush their teeth. Occupational therapy focuses on two main things: restoring independence and quality of life.
Key areas occupational therapists focus on:
Early therapy. Occupational therapy usually begins right after the stroke, while the patient is still in the hospital. Therapist helping them to cope with the fact that they had a stroke, how their brain has to recover, how their body is responding to this problem in their brain. Occupational therapists focus on helping stroke patients to do the daily basics, like toileting and getting in and out of bed.
After the hospital. Occupational therapy continues when the patient is transferred to a rehabilitation centre or skilled nursing facility. Once these skills — activities of daily living and functional activities have been re-learned in those environments, it's time to make sure the stroke patient can do these same things at home, as independently as possible.
Individual sessions. It's hard to pin down what a therapy session will consist of, because every session for every person is different. That's because occupational therapists design an individual therapy program for each individual stroke patient.
Keeping the small motor skills working after a stroke is a challenge for both patients and therapist. Occupational therapists' treatment contributes to both the quality of life for survivors of stroke and their families and to timely evaluation of clinical outcomes for the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team.