A F T E R S T R O K E T H E R A P Y "A N D"
W H A T H A P P E N S W H E N Y O U G O H O M E ?
The therapy a stroke survivor requires after stroke depends on a
variety of factors. Their team of professionals work together to
set up the type of after stroke therapy needed, how often they'll
have the therapy, and the goals that will be set. As the goals are
met the stroke survivor will be re-evaluated. Hopefully, new goals
will continue to help them stroke forward after their stroke.
The time frame here, again depends on many factors which can
include the degree of the stroke, whether the team of therapists
and doctors feel there is anything further that can be done, the
insurance company if there is one and of course, the stroke
survivor themselves. What happens when they go home? What
about self therapy? What about mental therapy? Also pain
therapy which will be another page of it's own.
Moving forward with team members, there may be a physical
therapist. Some survivors may have the loss of all limbs. Others
may have the use of all their limbs, while others may just have
partial use of a limb. For example . . . moving their left side, but
unable to move their right side. The physical therapy is very
important and the sooner it can be started the better and quicker
the outcome, whatever that may be. Because of the different
degrees of paralysis, there are different degrees of physical
The occupational therapist helps the stroke survivor with daily
living skills such as dressing, washing, shaving, cooking for
themselves, and laundry, among other skills and chores.
Remember the stroke survivor can have minor disabilities to
major disabilities, but they need to be able to do whatever they
can on their own when leaving the hospital. This will help give
the stroke survivor a sense of independence. Family caregivers
will also benefit from skills or chores the stroke survivor is able
to do on their own. It not only lessens the work, but also the
stress that the caregiver has been engaged in. When they are
able to see their loved one show their independence, it's awesome.
It's a stress . . . less moment!
When there is slurred speech or possibly no speech , then the
speech therapist is part of the team. Now, if you are told the
stroke survivor will never talk again . . . DON'T GIVE UP . . . keep
stroking forward and be positive with your loved one. My son
fooled everybody. His speech therapist was so excited when she
returned to work after a weekend and heard he had spoken the
word "yes". . . she was gung-ho to get him to say more . . . when
leaving the hospital 3 months later, he was able to say yes and no.
He came a long way from not being able to speak at all. We were
all so proud of him. He worked very hard!
There are two type of therapies that I feel should be addressed,
along with the normal ones that are needed. The first is a
mental therapist such as a psychiatrist or a psychologist. It's
common sense if one loses daily functions that are taken for
granted like walking, talking, reading or as simple as lifting a
fork to feed oneself, they need help "mentally" to accept this.
Mental therapy is just as important as the physical therapies
taking into consideration the depression that may not settle
in until after you are home and may have been there before
being discharged so help could've been given at that time.
Depression can be another whole subject in itself and it's not
something to be thrown to the side. Many have committed
suicide because of depression.
The second type is self-therapy after stroke. The survivor
and caregiver is sent home with very little knowledge of what
to expect and quite often told there is nothing more that can be
done. In some instances "everything" that is done on a daily
basis by the survivor is self therapy after stroke. It may take
some time for the caregiver to realize this because they are so
overwhelmed with it all, especially in the beginning. When that
lightbulb turns on in their head though, it's a bright one.
WOW . . . the calendar is helping him count (speech) . . . his
computer is helping him read (speech) . . . tv is helping him with
listening skills & grasping of conversations (speech) . . . and the
camera helps with physical therapy when maneuvering it. Very
soon you'll learn that whatever he does is therapy of some sort
and there are always DOUBLE benefits.
. . . TELL ME WHAT I DO NOT KNOW . . .
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