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The disabilities caused by stroke can be mild or severe. The recovery process involves rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy. A physical therapist helps the stroke patient strengthen weakened muscles and teaches the patient to walk again, if needed. An occupational therapist teaches a recovering stroke patient how to cope with living with a disability.
Occupational therapists may work with a patient to teach him or her how to eat again, how to dress, and how to manage other daily living activities. The stroke recovery patient may not have forgotten how to do these things, but may have to learn how to do them in a different way because of weakness in the upper or lower extremities or in his or her dominant side caused by the stroke.
Recovery may also include a change of diet, blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, and diabetic medication. Once a person has had a stroke, the risk of another stroke is high, so definite lifestyle changes must be made. The patient should also have his or her heart function checked on a regular basis.