Each stroke is unique, and requires different levels of rehabilitation and support. Your care team may include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers, plus other specialists. This is often called a multidisciplinary stroke team.
Over the next few week's we'll look at each of these roles, and give you a bit of insight into what each team member will help you with on your journey to becoming a #StrokeThriver!
We're starting with the role of an Occupational Therapist.
To gain a closer look at this area of the rehabilitation journey, I asked the newest team member at EnableUs, Dr. Carolyn Brown to share some of her insights.
I have worked with the stroke population for the past 26 years and find it to be the most fulfilling part of my job as an occupational therapist. I believe that setting small daily and weekly goals is the key to improving your physical health and quality of life. Joining the EnableUs team allows me to reach a personal and professional goal to assist people who have been impacted by stroke and offer a long-term guide for the self-management of your stroke.
What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?
Think about occupational therapy as the foundation of your day and night. Be it taking a shower, reading a book, paying your bills, playing music, driving to the store, or sleeping, you are engaging in occupation. The role of an occupational therapist is diverse because they focus on all the parts of YOU that engage in occupation.
How can an Occupational Therapist help?
Your occupational therapist can help you develop your skills and confidence to manage activities that are important to your health and wellbeing. After your stroke, you may be facing a range of difficulties that make it hard for you to do the things you would like. These difficulties can include physical problems, problems with memory and thinking, problems with your vision, changes in sensation and emotional problems such as anxiety or depression.
Your therapist will help you set goals that are important to you. Your goals can be broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Your goal may be to prepare a meal for your family, but you might start by helping someone else in the kitchen, then preparing a snack for yourself, gradually building your confidence and abilities.
Your occupational therapist will work with you to find ways of overcoming any difficulties. They might give you therapeutic activities to practice, help you find new ways of doing things or suggest equipment that could help. To give you an example of this in practice, here is a short video of Carolyn demonstrating how to put on a jacket with one hand.
If you'd like to see more of Carolyn's work - visit her website: StrokeOT
Carolyn will be working to develop e-learning and care modules that will accessible through the EnableUs platform in the coming months.
Have a great week and remember, together you have the power to become #StrokeThrivers