Returning to work is an important goal for most people who were working before their stroke. What this looks like, the pathway and eventual destination, is different for everyone. Good planning and support is important to ensure a successful return to work.
A successful return to work begins with understanding how the effects of your stroke will impact you at work. This includes considering any physical limitations, as well as thinking, sensory and communication and personality changes.
Difficulty walking or moving around, reduced hand and arm function may need to be considered. You may have difficulties with memory, concentration and planning. You may have vision loss, or difficulties speaking, reading or writing. Personality changes and fatigue can also impact your ability to work.
If returning to work is one of your goals, talk with your doctor and rehabilitation team. Obtaining medical clearance from a doctor is recommended to ensure you are able to perform the requirements of your role safely. Rehabilitation is your opportunity to review your strengths and compare this to what is needed for your work. You can focus on relearning or practicing the key skills needed for your work. You can also learn compensatory strategies to help with things such as memory or concentration.
Your rehabilitation team may recommend changes to the hours or duties you have at work. They can also advise on specialised equipment and adaptations. They may also be able to educate your employer and colleagues about the support you need to return to work successfully.
There are different sources of assistance and services that can assist you to return to work depending on your situation. These include Centrelink, your employer’s human resources or occupational health and safety department and specialist private services. There are also services to help if you cannot return to paid work.
Getting back to work
Everyone’s goals are different but returning to work is important for many young stroke survivors. In this video we talk about the challenges of getting back to work and how to make a plan to return to work that won’t wipe you out.
- Return to work after stroke fact sheet
- Find out how the NDIS can help with employment
- Learn about Disability Employment Services
- Get help from Work Assist if you already have a job and are at risk of losing it due to illness, injury or disability
Being at work
Being at work can be very rewarding, but it’s important to make sure that you don’t burn yourself out with fatigue. In this video we talk about finding work-life balance and keeping it sustainable.
If you worked before your stroke, you might want to get back to your job.
This can be a good goal to help you get better.
Planning to go back to work
You need a plan and good support to get back to work.
Your stroke might affect your work.
This includes physical limitations.
It also includes changes in your thinking, feeling and personality.
Talk to your doctor.
Get medical clearance to do your job safely.
You might need to change your hours.
You might need to change the things you do at work.
You might need special equipment.
Rehabilitation means getting better after a stroke.
It helps you get back to normal.
It helps you learn to do different things.
Practice doing the things you need to do at work.
Learn ways to help with things like memory and concentration.
Going back to work after a stroke
You might want to go back to work.
Going back to work can be hard.
You can make a plan to go back to work.
Watch the video about going back to work.
Find out more about going back to work from:
The government can help you get back to work.
Disability Employment Services help you find a job.
Work Assist helps you keep a job.
Working after a stroke
Working can make you feel very good.
Working can make you feel very tired.
Fatigue is when you are very tired.
Watch the video about working.