How often can I come back for physiotherapy/speech/occupational therapy?
There is no fixed ration of rehabilitation that is right for everyone – how long your rehabilitation continues will depend on the problems you have and the progress you are making as well as the resources available in your area. Therapy is a process which involves goal setting between you and your therapist. As time goes by after your stroke, your situation may change. New problems may arise or old ones resurface. If this happens to you, you may ask your GP to refer you back to the appropriate therapist for a reassessment of your problems for further treatment or advice.
I need special shoes to walk where do I get them?
A Physiotherapist or your Public Health Nurse can refer you to an appropriate service.
Will I get the use of my arm again?
The likelihood of improvement of function in the arm after stroke varies considerably. Some patients will demonstrate complete recovery of their arm. It is very important to listen to the advice of your therapist and nurse about what will help movement to return and about positioning of the arm. Sometimes due to the severity of the stroke and the area of the brain affected, you may need to use adaptive devices to help you eat, wash yourself, prepare foods or dress. The Occupational Therapist will advise you on what adaptive devices you need.
Why do I have pain in my shoulder?
Pain in the shoulder of the affected arm is not uncommon. In most people, pain is a sign that the body is being harmed in some way. With a stroke, that is not always the case. Sometimes stroke damage to the brain can make even normal touch feel painful. In other cases, pain is felt as a result of muscle tightness or weakness. Your weak shoulder is prone to injury if it is pulled strongly and should be supported.
Will I walk again?
Independent walking is a primary goal and a reasonable expectation for most patients. If you have achieved sufficient standing balance and leg activity, walking may be an option for mobility. Your Physiotherapist will advise whether an assistive device such as a walking stick or frame is necessary. A walking stick or frame does not compensate for standing balance but it does take some weight off your weak limb, which makes it easier to walk. In some cases other devices such as ankle braces or splints may help you to walk better. Again, your therapist needs to assess and advise you.
Why does he / she not read the paper anymore?
There are a number of reasons as to why someone who has suffered a stroke may not read as they did before their stroke. It could be due to tiredness, visual processing difficulties or cognitive problems. A Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist can assess someone to determine why they are not reading and treat as appropriate.
Can she get help for his/her speech?
Communication impairment known as Aphasia occurs in many people who have had a stroke. Speech and Language Therapists help people with aphasia find the best method to communicate while they are trying to improve their communication abilities. Contact your local health centre for information about speech and language therapy services in your area. If you are living in limerick city and west limerick area there is an adult speech and language therapy service available for inpatients and outpatients located in St Camillus Hospital.
What happens after physiotherapy is over?
The time will come when your ‘formal’ rehabilitation ends and you will no longer have therapy sessions with professionals. This does not mean the professionals concerned do not expect you to make any further recovery. Progress does not necessarily stop just because therapy sessions have finished. Continue to set yourself realistic goals and work towards them by continuing to use the knowledge and skills which you have learned during your rehabilitation.
How often can I come back for occupational therapy?
This will be based on the amount of benefit being gained from having occupational therapy and the availability of occupational therapy services. As every stroke is different there is no set amount of therapy for everyone. Each person should discuss this and set goals with their Occupational Therapist.
Why can’t I get speech and language therapy and occupational therapy in the Mid Western Regional hospital?
There is currently no speech and Language therapy or occupational therapy post in Limerick Regional Hospital.
How do I access private therapy?
Your GP may refer you to a private therapist.
Please follow the link to private Physiotherapists in the Mid-West Region. Private Occupational Therapists can be found on www.privateot.ieand www.aoti.ie. Private speech and Language therapy can be difficult to obtain in the mid west. Contact the Speech and Language Therapist in your local health centre.
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If he / she has a PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) inserted, will it get infected?
As in all surgical procedures there is a risk of infection. This can be reduced by maintaining good hygiene. If an infection occurs, the area is swabbed and a specimen is sent to the laboratory so that the appropriate treatment can be commenced. Signs of infection may be redness, swelling and tenderness on the skin around the tube site. Infections often resolve rapidly with local skin care and an antibiotic. Visitors / caregivers should clean their hands thoroughly and use the alcohol gel provided.
Why can he/she not eat?
After a stroke many people have difficulty swallowing, a condition called dysphagia. When the throat muscles are weak they may not be able to prevent fluids or food from entering the airway or lungs which cause pneumonia.
Will I feel hungry when on a tube feed?
Sometimes you can still get sensations of feeling hungry at the start until the dietician prescribes the best nutritional feed that suits you. Some people miss the taste of food in their mouth but generally people adjust quite quickly. The nurse will show you how to keep your mouth moist and clean.
Can she have a normal diet and swallow properly again?
Many people with dysphagia may be able to swallow some modified texture of food and drink. Most dysphagia recovers within a few weeks but in some cases it may persist.
Why is he drooling?
Drooling occurs when the muscles in the face become weak. The lips are unable to remain closed which causes saliva to seep out of the mouth.