In the United States, every year nearly 800,000 people suffer from a stroke and approximately two-thirds of those people require some form of rehabilitation. At Metro Health, the goals of stroke rehabilitation are to help survivors become as independent as possible and attain the best possible quality of life. Rehabilitation may not “cure” the effects of stroke, in that it does not reverse the brain damage already done. However, it can substantially help someone achieve the best possible long-term outcome.
Following a stroke, our patients work closely with a team of therapy specialists in our Center for Restorative Care to relearn skills that were lost when part of the brain was damaged. Common issues may include problems with walking, speaking, swallowing, seeing or feeling. Physical therapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and nurses work together to teach survivors the skills they need to live with their disability. Our approach to rehabilitation is immediate and aggressive. Sometimes a consultation with a physiatrist is also helpful.
Our discharge planning team, consisting of nurse case managers and social workers, helps patients/families determine a safe plan for after release from the acute hospital setting. Some stroke survivors may be discharged directly home from the hospital, while others may require additional recuperation time in another inpatient setting. Additional therapy sessions are often highly recommended.
For many stroke survivors, rehabilitation will become an ongoing part of their lives to maintain and refine skills. Survivors may work with specialists for months or years after the initial stroke event.
A stroke is an emergency! Every minute counts! If you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 9-1-1. The earlier treatment is given, the more effective it can be.