A stroke is not only the number 3 cause of death worldwide, it can also lead to serious and long-term disability for survivors. Many of these survivors are left with physical and mental life-altering disabilities. The first 30 days following a stroke are the most critical, which is why stroke recovery rehabilitation is so important.
Stroke recovery has made great strides over the past few decades, in large part due to widespread education on how to identify a stroke as it is happening, and specialty stroke recovery rehabilitation. More people now know how to recognize the signs of a stroke to get help faster. Because of this, more than 7 million people now survive a stroke every year.
The level of recovery an individual can expect depends on several factors: what part of the brain the stroke occurred in, how much of the brain was affected, the health of the person prior to the stroke, how much they actively participate in rehabilitation, and the level of support the stroke victim receives from loved ones.
A majority of stroke survivors will see the biggest improvements three to four months following the stroke, especially in a short term rehabilitation environment. It’s also not uncommon to see a continuation in recovery for up to two years.
Post-stroke rehabilitation is vital for successful recovery. No two strokes are the same. Each individual will require different levels of recovery care to regain their quality of life.
Post-stroke rehabilitation can include:
– Occupational therapy: helps the individual to relearn motor skills and how to do day-to-day activities again.
– Physical therapy: helps to regain strength and mobility.
– Speech therapy services: assists the individual with the ability to speak more clearly.
– Nutritional care: creates an individualized nutrition plan to keep the patient healthy through recovery.
– Education: gives detailed information to the family and patient on the care plan for recovery to help make the most of the recovery journey.
Caring For a Loved After a Stroke
As your loved one is regaining their independence, it’s important that you be an advocate for their recovery. After all, no one knows what’s “normal” for them better than you. Watch out for any negative changes in their behavior or abilities and notify their care team right away if you notice any warning signs like:
– Mood swings or problems controlling emotions.
– Depression, which can affect the success of rehabilitation, occurs in 30-50% of patients in recovery.
– Difficulty with activities they used to enjoy or problems with daily activities.
– Imbalance or dizziness that leads to falls
– Change in abilities that appear to be a setback.
Experiencing a stroke can leave your loved one feeling isolated or alone. Speak with their case manager, social worker, or discharge manager about support groups and other community resources that can help your loved one to feel like they aren’t alone in their journey.
The most important goal of stroke recovery rehabilitation is to help stroke survivors regain their independence and live as productive a life as possible. Life skills are often lost during a stroke, which is why a large part of rehabilitation is improving physical abilities. Old skills will have to be relearned, or new skills taught, to help the stroke survivor adapt to life with new disabilities. Stroke rehabilitation should begin while the survivor is still in the hospital, and continue recovery rehabilitation thereafter.
At Margate Health & Rehab, our goal is to return patients to their homes as quickly as possible. With rehabilitation services available 7 days a week, patients get the intensive treatment they need to return to their prior level of independence as quickly as possible. Contact us today to learn more.