Patient education in occupational therapy
The occupational therapist will educate the patient for the most important daily areas, starting with the following examples and tips:
- The patient is taught to use clothes with a front opening, with a larger size if necessary;
- Replacing buttons with hangers or zippers;
- Removing classic laces and replacement with velcro;
- When wearing the shirt the patient will always start with a sick hand, and when undressing with a healthy hand;
- Pants will be worn putting the healthy foot at the midline of the body with the knee bent, and the diseased foot will be placed with the help of the hands over the healthy foot; also start dressing with the diseased limb and undressing with the healthy limb;
- The patient is taught to use aids to wear socks and shoes.
- Fix the plate to prevent it from slipping off the table;
- Use deep dishes or bowls to prevent food from spreading;
- Thicken the cutlery handles so that the patient can grasp them to eat alone or fix the cutlery in the palm, through a cuff;
- Use cups with a T-shaped handle or two handles; straw can be used;
- Storage of dishes and food in the kitchen at a lower level, adapted to each patient.
- Patients are taught to use the bathroom adapted to their needs;
- Shower is preferred, not bathtub; in the shower there should be a non-slip mat and a chair;
- The soap should be put in the container with the pump for easier use;
- The electric toothbrush will be used; >
- Non-slip mats will be placed on the bathroom tiles, and fixed supports and handles will be mounted on the walls.
- The toilet will be adapted with an elevator.
The patient is taught to make all transfers, in bed from side to side, from bed to chair and vice versa, from chair to toilet and from lying to sitting and then to orthostatism.
For fine motor skills, different activities and games are used that require complex hand movements. It can range from simply stringing beads on a thread to modeling plasticine, crocheting, embroidering, weaving or other activities that require the patient’s skill.
Proprioception is recovered through occupational therapy with the help of various structures and surfaces that the patient will initially touch with open eyes with both hands, progressively closing with the eyes closed and excepting the healthy hand, until he recognizes a certain structure with hemiplegic hand, without using his sight. The uneven structures are very practical for the uneven structures and those that create an unequal pressure in the sole when pressed, recruiting proprioceptors.
Occupational therapy proves its importance in rehabilitating the patient after a stroke, once the maximum level of independence is obtained. The ultimate goal of occupational therapy is to increase the patient’s quality of life.