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Stroke Awareness Month

May is American Stroke Awareness Month. A stroke is a term utilized when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or ruptures. Millions of brain cells die every minute during a stroke, increasing the risk of permanent brain damage, disability, or death. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the US and are the LEADING cause of serious long-term disability in adults. Approximately 2/3 of those who have had a stroke are over the age of 65, with almost 800,000 strokes happening every year in the US. Physical and Occupational Therapist play a vital role in the rehabilitation process with stroke patients. Call the clinic today to see how we can help!

Signs of a stroke include:

F: Face drooping A: Arm weakness S: Speech difficulties T: Time to call 911

If you notice any of these signs call 911 right away.

There two types of strokes: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

  • Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, occurs when a blood vessel is blocked.

  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is a “mini-stroke” that produces stroke like symptoms but doesn’t cause permanent damage due to blood flow only being altered for a short period of time.

  • Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel leaks or ruptures.

Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, with an estimated 7 million stroke survivors. Stroke survivors face multiple challenges, such as weakness on one side of the body, decline in cognitive and emotional functioning, social disability, inability to walk and care for themselves, and a decrease in community participation. Many stroke survivors have changes in their physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities that impede them from independently performing their daily activities related to work, school, parenting, or leisure. The focus of occupational therapy is to help individuals achieve health, well-being, and participation in life through engagement in occupations. Occupational therapy goals and services may include, but are not limited to, the following:

· Retraining in self-care skills and adapting tasks or environments including the appropriate use of adaptive equipment and techniques.

· Addressing ongoing deficits such as weakness, sensory loss, and cognitive or visual impairments that limit engagement in ADLs.

· Training in community reintegration and modifying tasks or environments,

· Performing work-related task analysis and work site evaluations to recommend modifications to the workplace and educational facilities.

· Evaluating and treating swallowing difficulties.

· Developing coping strategies to support psychosocial health and well-being.

· Teaching and promoting healthy lifestyle habits and routines to minimize risk of secondary stroke.

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