Engaging activities for stroke recovery

July 16, 2023 Stroke care

Engaging activities for stroke recovery

What is a stroke?

The NHS has described a stroke as a life-threatening medical condition that is caused when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut-off. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of a stroke can be remembered with the words FAST:

Face – the face may have dropped on one side and the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them up due to weakness or numbness in one arm.

Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

A stroke can occasionally cause different symptoms. This can include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Sudden loss or blurring of vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Side effects of a stroke

The most common effects of a stroke include:

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

Engaging activities for stroke recovery

After suffering a stroke, the patient will come up against numerous barriers when trying to be physically active again such as restricted movement, fatigue, or depression. While the journey may have to start slowly, there are ways to work around the physical barriers. Physical exercise is important to help recover and prevent a second stroke.

Reading and writing

Reading and writing are important as it helps to improve dexterity. Writing letters, stories and memoirs or reading a book are several productive and enjoyable activities to do whilst recovering from a stroke.


Cooking is a good activity to do individually alternatively with family and friends, always keeping safety in mind. This also works towards enhancing the understanding of nutritional intake. In addition, it enables the adoption of a diet that’s beneficial for stroke rehabilitation.


Learning to play a new instrument is one way of improving coordination. For instance, listening to music and possibly combining the activity with a light dance routine can improve the mood as well as introduce an element of exercise.

Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts engage the brain as well as improves hand and eye coordination. Some activities include paper crafts, flower arranging, scrapbooking, or woodwork.

Board and Card Games


Playing Jenga requires mental and physical coordination when stacking blocks and trying to keep the tower from collapsing.


Scrabble involves a range of skills that you can work on, such as using simple math to add up the scores. Cognitive flexibility is necessary to come up with words and the mechanics of the game include simple control-and-release tasks.


Sequencing and categorization are cognitive skills that are needed when playing Poker, and therefore beneficial when you’re recovering  from stroke.

Gentle exercise/physiotherapy

Gentle exercise or physiotherapy assists in regaining muscle and movement capacity. However, it is important to follow the medical teams’ advice and engage in the exercise or physiotherapy recommended by them.


Knitting as a relaxing activity may be helpful to take your mind off of recovery. Moreover, there are also knitting aids available for those with limited function in their hands.


Meditating is an effective way to reduce stress and approach life with added positivity, two aspects that are very important in stroke recovery. This can be as easy as setting aside some time to sit quietly each day, to focus on breathing and collecting thoughts.


A great way to practice creative expression with low physical effort. Additionally, there is also the added bonus of being outdoors and enjoy the surroundings.

Brain training

Brain training includes fun activities suitable for people at most stages of stroke recovery. This could be attempting a jigsaw puzzle, crossword, sudoku, memory game, board game, or a spot of mental arithmetic depending on the patient’s preferences.

Days out

At a more advanced stage of recovery, planning local days out could be an option. This could give a change of scenery and an opportunity to interact with friends and people in the community. Start with short, local trips and build up to longer trips as the recovery continues.

How can Cavendish Homecare help?

 A stroke can have life-changing effects on a person, as well as their family. At Cavendish Homecare, we are experts in providing private home care for individuals who have suffered a stroke and want to remain in their own homes whilst they recover. We work to support the patient and their family with private care to reduce pain, improve comfort and quality of life.

Our services are homecare services wide-ranging, and we tailor our care to each unique person. It is never a ‘one size fits all’ solution or pre-determined care offering. We will discuss individual needs and requirements, so you receive the best care possible. From mental health homecare and companion homecare to post-operative care at home, we can cater to a wide range of needs after a stroke.

If you would like to enquire about a specialist care package, contact us on, 02030085210 or email us at info@cavendishhomecare.com 

About the Author…

Esnart Namakando

Deputy Nurse Manager RN, DNE, BSc, MSc

Esnart Namakando is a highly accomplished nurse with over 30 years of nursing experience. She dedicated 23 years to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, where she rose to the role of Clinical Ward Manager, thriving in a fast-paced and challenging environment. Esnart has worked in various NHS and private hospitals in London as well as providing complex care to clients in their homes.

As the Deputy Nurse Manager at Cavendish Homecare, Esnart draws on her extensive expertise in neurological rehabilitation, stroke care, palliative & end-of-life care, Parkinson’s care and Dementia support. Esnart also specialises in delivering comprehensive training on subjects such as PEG feeding, stroke care, and falls prevention.

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