5 Ways to Rehabilitate After a Stroke

1. Count on Acute Care Rehabilitation First

Immediately after a stroke, a patient’s hospital team will help with initial recovery. This covers a basic physical therapy assessment of the patient’s ability to move and function physically, as well as a speech therapy assessment to determine the extent of any speech loss or comprehension.

2. Continue at an Inpatient Facility Designed for Rehabilitation

These less-acute inpatient rehab centers are found most often in larger cities. Like a hospital setting, doctor supervision is present, but a typical stay might be 2 to 3 weeks rather than the 2 to 3 days in an acute setting. Services available usually cover physical, speech and occupational therapy, as well as full nursing care.

3. Move to a Skilled Nursing Facility

Depending on the extent of the residual deficits in movement and speech, some stroke survivors are recommended to a skilled nursing facility following the hospital or inpatient facility program. These longer-term rehab centers allow for constant nursing care, as well as follow-up therapies from the appropriate therapists. These facilities may often be found in smaller population centers where “inpatient rehab centers” cannot be found.

4. Use an Outpatient Facility if Possible

Those stroke victims with more limited impairments may be able to rehabilitate from the stroke through the services of an outpatient facility. In addition, those moving on from a skilled nursing facility can often continue rehab through an outpatient clinic. Patients can expect to spend several hours two to three times a week at these facilities to receive the services of all the therapists whose help they require. Here you may find recreational and vocational therapists in addition to the physical, speech and occupational therapists.

5. Stay at Home in Some Cases and Still Receive Appropriate Care

For those who qualify, home-based stroke recovery services are an option when a patient has enough abilities or support to be back in the home setting. If just a speech therapist is needed, for instance, this type of home care can work effectively. However, when specific equipment is necessary, such as in the case of physical therapy, a home-based therapy program may not be possible.

About this Author

Robert Mac is a certified caregiver who has worked with seniors in assisted living, including a memory-care unit for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia states. His interests extend to hearing problems, stroke recovery and bone/joint conditions endemic to senior populations.