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Stroke Rehabilitation

How can Therapy First help?

An Occupational Therapist can work with you to solve the problems that interfere with activities that are important to you.

Therapy First can work with individuals with any severity of stroke. The Occupational Therapist may work with a person who has hemiplegia to help them regain function in their arm/hand or to teach them one handed activities so that they can be more independent with their other hand. Also, the therapist can help someone with memory difficulties to develop strategies to remain independent and safe in their daily activities.

We can come into your home to give you recommendations about techniques or equipment that can help you to do the activities that you need to and want to do. For example, we could recommend a bath seat and bars in the bath tub, a one handed cutting board for preparing supper, a wheelchair to allow you to be independently mobile or computer techniques for one handed typing.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is caused by the interruption of the blood flow to the brain or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain. Lack of blood flow causes poor oxygen supply to the brain and this causes brain cells to die in that particular area. The extent and type of symptoms depend on the amount of brain tissue damage and part of the brain where the injury occurred.

For more information on the Anatomy of the Brain, refer to:

For More information on the Anatomy of the Brain, please visit:


How can a stroke affect a person's function?

How the individual will be affected by a stroke is determined by the area of the brain that was damaged and the severity of damage.

Stroke can cause:

1. Motor Loss: Paralysis or difficulty controlling movements. Hemiplegia is when one side of the body is partially or completely paralyzed. Difficulty with coordination and balance as well as difficulty with swallowing are other movement problems that may occur. These may cause difficulty with walking or managing their daily activities.

2. Sensory Loss: People who have a stroke may have difficulty feeling touch, pain, temperature or position in space. This may make it difficult for the individual to feel if the bath water is too hot or cold, cause them to injure themselves if they cannot feel a sharp object or have an odd sensation of tingling. Also, long term pain may occur for various reasons.

3. Language Difficulties: A stroke can make it difficult for people to express or understand language. This includes speaking, reading and writing, depending on the area of the brain that was damaged.

4. Thinking Difficulties: Some parts of the brain are responsible for memory, learning and awareness. If these areas are affected by a stroke, the individual may have difficulty with paying attention, remembering recent information, making plans and learning new tasks. This can be dangerous if an individual lives alone because they may forget that they left the stove on or not be able to plan to purchase groceries or pay a bill.

The ability to understand what is being seen or heard is called perception. A stroke can impair a person's ability to understand what they are seeing or feeling and they may neglect or ignore one side of their body or misunderstand what they are seeing. This could cause difficulties with wheeling their wheelchair, dressing, preparing meals, driving and more.

5. Emotional Changes: If you have a stroke, it is natural to be anxious, fearful, sad or angry about your physical or mental changes. A stroke may affect your emotions in other ways such as making it easy for you to cry or laugh or making you feel a sense of hopelessness. If you feel large changes in your emotions, it is important to speak with your doctor or therapist to ensure that it is not a sign of a clinical depression. Depression can often be treated by your physician or psychological counseling.

Information for this section of the website was partially used from:
1. http://www.ninds.nih.gov
2. http://www.heartandstroke.com

For more information or to book an appointment contact us by phone at 204-612-0399 or by email at ot@therapyfirst.ca