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8 engaging stroke recovery activities

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Stroke recovery activities are an important part of regaining your abilities as far as possible following a stroke. 

Recovering after a stroke is a challenging process. Everyone who has a stroke is affected differently, which means it’s hard to predict how long or successful the rehabilitation process might be.

The most common effects of a stroke include:

  • Partial paralysis (usually on one side of your body)
  • Visual problems
  • Altered mood
  • Memory loss

Your doctor will recommend a programme of occupational therapy and physiotherapy adapted to your specific needs. These exercises and activities are designed to help you regain as much of your physical and cognitive ability as is feasible.

However, depending on your condition, you may also want to supplement these with some additional options that fit with your hobbies and interests.

Ideas for additional stroke recovery activities

This list contains a range of ideas for people of differing abilities that can supplement the stroke rehabilitation process.

Remember, this process is different for everyone; you should only attempt stroke recovery activities you feel comfortable and sufficiently supported in engaging with. And, you should always follow the recommendations of your doctor.

1) Writing and reading

Penning letters to friends or relatives, writing stories and memoirs, or just getting lost in the pages of a good book; these are all productive and enjoyable things to do while recovering from a stroke.

Writing and reading are great ways to stay occupied and develop a sense of accomplishment, even when you're not able to live as you did before. They can also help to improve your dexterity.

2) Cooking

With safety in mind, you could try improving your cooking skills during stroke recovery.

Cooking is a great independent or shared activity, with a tasty outcome that you can enjoy with loved ones. It'll also enhance your understanding of your nutritional intake, enabling you to adopt a diet that's beneficial for stroke rehabilitation.

3) Music

Playing an instrument, or simply listening to your favourite music, are relaxing activities that are known to have a positive effect on mood.

Handling an instrument is one way of improving your coordination. Or, you could combine listening to music with a spot of light dancing to introduce an element of exercise.

4) Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts will engage your brain as well as your hands, helping you become more precise with your movements.

Choose your creative outlet; it could be woodwork, paper crafts, glass/ceramic work – even flower arranging. Each has its own unique benefits and appeal.

5) Gentle exercise/physiotherapy

Gentle exercise and physiotherapy will help you regain muscle and movement capacity, as well as aiding your overall health.

Follow your doctor's advice (they're likely to recommend different activities for different stages of your recovery). But, also look for other opportunities to get active, such as going for a walk in a local park.

6) Meditation

Meditation is an effective way to reduce stress and approach life with added positivity; both of which are immensely important during stroke recovery.

This doesn't have to be a formal process. Just remember to set aside some time to sit quietly each day, focus on your breathing and collect your thoughts.

7) Brain training

Whichever technique you choose, brain training includes low-impact yet fun activities suitable for people at most stages of stroke recovery.

You could try a puzzle, jigsaw, crossword, sudoku, memory game, board game, or a spot of mental arithmetic depending on your preferences.

8) Days out

At a more advanced stage of recovery, you can start to think about planning some local days out.

This could give you a change of scenery and an opportunity to interact with friends in your community.

Start with short, local trips and build up from there. Make sure you only do as much as you feel comfortable with and have access to the support you need.

Getting back on your feet following a stroke can be difficult, but these stroke recovery activities can help make this process more engaging. Speak to our friendly team to find out how.

I'm a Carer, Not a Cleaner! Care Sector News Review: April 2018
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