Occupational Therapy for Brain Injury Recovery
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Any person who has recently endured a brain injury may be apprehensive about the recovery process, as such a condition can take months or even years to overcome. The patient may be treated by various medical health professionals, based on what stage he or she is in recovery. An occupational therapist (OT) may step in once a patient need helps performing everyday tasks related to home life, work and school. An occupational therapist may also collaborate with family members, teachers, friends and employers, to support the patient in learning how to complete certain activities.
Here we have talked about various topics related to struggles and potential solutions for a patient who is recovering from a brain injury:
Emotional Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Depending on what part of the brain was injured, a person recovering from an accident or illness may experience emotional as well as physical symptoms. The patient may have frequent headaches, become quickly confused, and have trouble controlling his or her emotions. An occupational therapist can make adjustments to the patient’s environment, to lessen feelings of irritation and helplessness. For example, an OT may recommend carrying around a small memory notepad, so the patient can do more things independently without needing reminders from others.
New Skills, Equipment and Environmental Changes
People healing from a brain injury may need to learn coping strategies, strengthen skills, or make changes to their environment. Materials that an occupational therapist may suggest a patient utilizes can include planners, organizers, alarms, timers, and computer software. An occupational therapist can evaluate the patient’s condition, to determine which of the following may need to be implemented as part of the treatment plan:
- The patient creates his or her own daily schedule, to pace the flow of the day
- The patient learns new strategies to help with memory or other cognitive skills
- The patient is educated about anger management and how to work through disagreements with family members, coworkers, classmates or partners
- The patient practices new ways of getting dressed, cooking or grooming that is safe even when experiencing muscle weakness, decreased sensation or uncontrollable movements
- The patient and occupational therapist work together to incorporate hobbies into the treatment plan, to promote living a life that is personally rewarding
Communicating About the Injury
It can be upsetting for a person recovering from a brain injury to hear that they are different than they used to be, from friends or family members. A brain injury can temporarily or permanently change a person’s personality. However, do not be discouraged as a trauma therapist Palatine, IL offers can help you address these issues where you desire improvement. Things that you can do to decrease becoming emotionally charged is through:
- Reducing noise and sights that cause you to become distracted or irritable
- Create ways to keep yourself organized, to minimize frustration from forgetting or losing things of importance
- Joining a support group to share your experiences and feelings, while talking with those who are going through something similar
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into occupational therapy and brain injury.