Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Rehabilitation for Stroke

Stroke - Rehabilitation for Stroke

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is the process of helping an individual achieve the highest level of independence and quality of life possible - physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Rehabilitation does not reverse or undo the damage caused by a stroke, but rather helps restore the individual to optimal health, functioning, and well-being. Rehabilitate (from the Latin "habilitas") means "to make able again."

The stroke rehabilitation team:

The stroke rehabilitation team revolves around the patient and family. The team helps set short- and long-term treatment goals for recovery and is made up of many skilled professionals, including the following:

The stroke rehabilitation program:

The outlook for stroke patients today is more hopeful than ever due to advances in both stroke treatment and rehabilitation. Stroke rehabilitation works best when the patient, family, and rehabilitation staff works together as a team. Family members must learn about impairments and disabilities caused by the stroke and how to help the patient achieve optimal function again.

Rehabilitation medicine is designed to meet each person's specific needs; thus, each program is different. Some general treatment components for stroke rehabilitation programs include the following:

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke(NINDS), in general, there are five types of disabilities that stroke can cause: paralysis or problems controlling movement such as walking or balance and/or swallowing; sensory (ability to feel touch, pain, temperature, or position) disturbances; difficulty using or understanding language; thinking and memory problems, and emotional disturbances. Stroke rehabilitation can help you recover from the effects of stroke, relearn skills, and new ways to perform tasks and depends on many variables, including the following:

Areas covered in stroke rehabilitation programs may include the following:

Patient need: Example:
Self-care skills, including activities of daily living (ADLs) Feeding, grooming, bathing, dressing, toileting, and sexual functioning
Mobility skills Walking, transfers, and self-propelling in a wheelchair
Communication skills Speech, writing, and alternative methods of communication
Cognitive skills Memory, concentration, judgment, problem solving, and organizational skills
Socialization skills Interacting with others at home and within the community
Vocational training Work-related skills
Pain management Medicines and alternative methods of managing pain
Psychological testing Identifying problems and solutions with thinking, behavioral, and emotional issues
Family support Assistance with adapting to life styles changes, financial concerns, and discharge planning
Education Patient and family education and training about stroke, medical care, and adaptive techniques

Choosing a rehabilitation facility:

Rehabilitation services are provided in many different settings, including the following:

When investigating rehabilitation facilities and services, some general questions to ask include the following:

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