Saturday, November 9, 2013

Acute stroke care, environmental complexity, and the damned cell phone

In a recent seminar I was talking about how, in a general sense, the more complex the environment after stroke, the better. The idea is that "environmental complexity" leads to further recovery.

Hospitals are the real problem. In the hospital survivors are not much engaged after their stroke. Compared to prior to their stroke survivors have less conversations, less time to play, learn and socialize. And the brain hates this comparative social isolation. The brain hates it so much that the brain ends up learning movement less than if the survivor was engaged. Bottom line, have the survivor involved in conversations (as best they can) play with objects (tinker), play games, etc.

But. There may be a limit.

I was talking to a therapist at one of my seminars and she was saying that she agreed that increasing environmental complexity was a good thing. But, she said, often caregiver descend on the survivors room but are so engaged with their cells and iPads that the survivor gets a lot of cacophony and little engagement. Folks visit but they don't necessarily help.

Just sayin'.


oc1dean said...

That's why I think all beds should have mobiles above them just like babies do.
Remove the stupid TV.

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

My cognition was greatly impacted initially. I have always hated games, but when I got home we selected a few games to help with my recovery. Blokus was an interesting, fun way to build cognition and fine motor skills. I was only allowed to use my affected hand. As my son has gotten older, he has become interested in legos which are also good for my hand recovery.

Tamara said...

I never had a speech problem, but in the first few months after my stroke I was just too depressed to have conversations.

Scott Gallagher said...

I volunteer as a support group visitor at our local hospital. I sometimes take my Nerf guns and zombie targets with me. There aren't many advantages to stroke, but an excuse to access your inner child is one of them.

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