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Having a stroke can leave a person seriously debilitated and leave them physically and mentally weak.
According to figures from the NHS, around 150,000 people experience a stroke in England every year and it is the third largest cause of death with only heart disease and cancer topping it. However, even for survivors it is still a long road to recovery and they will have to go through various treatments to ensure that they get back to full health. One of the most important aspects of this process is occupational therapy.
The role of an occupational therapist can be instrumental to a person's recovery and will put them on the track back to normality. There are numerous different techniques which these professionals can introduce to the patient's life. There is a strong likelihood that the person will have difficulties with their physical abilities and with their memory or attention. Occupational therapists can be on hand to find ways in which they can overcome these problems.
With any stroke there will be series of medication that the patient will have to take. These can include drugs which prevent and remove blood clots, reduce blood pressure and ease cholesterol levels. This level of medication can be intensive so the role of the occupational therapist can counter that with a series of exercises and activities that will make them feel they are returning to their regular routine.
Stroke Association explains that an occupational therapist will tend to specific needs of the patient and tailor the service to suit them. It notes that a professional in this role will assess the difficulties the person is experiencing and then relay this information to them and their family. They are on hand to suggest ways in which a person's abilities and independence can be bettered in the future.
The main goal of an occupational therapist is to return a stroke patient back to a way of life they were accustomed to prior to their illness. By allowing them to regain their independence it will go a long way to improving their state of mind while the medication takes effect by repairing their body. With the right treatment it could help reduce the risk of the person having another stroke in the future.
Stroke Association recommends that patients see an occupational therapist as early as possible in their treatment process. It states that people should have a goal in mind of what they would like to achieve with their therapist. As with all levels of care and treatment it is up to the patient when to stop their course but the organisation believes that they should discuss their options once they have requested to stop.
The role of an occupational therapist is a highly important one for a person that has just had a stroke but they can provide major benefits. While a course of medication is good for a person's recovery it will not ready them for everyday tasks or even facing up to the prospect of going back to work. An occupational therapist can assist in this process and ensure that the person in question is eased back into normality.
Search for occupational therapy jobs at JustOT, a genuine specialist providing recruitment opportunities in the NHS and private sector.
written by Megan Smith