The goal of stroke rehabilitation (also known as stroke rehab) is to enable stroke survivors to reach the highest possible level of independence and be as productive as possible. For most survivors, rehab involves physical therapy; however, rehab may also include occupational therapy, speech therapy, and talk therapy. Specialists involved in rehab may include physicians, rehab nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language therapists.
Rehabilitation is usually an important aspect of stroke recovery. People who have had a stroke often need to relearn skills affected by the brain damage they have experienced. In addition, stroke survivors may need to learn how to best cope with any permanent disabilities caused by the effects of stroke.
More than 700,000 people suffer a stroke each year in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of these people survive and require rehabilitation.
Successful stroke rehabilitation (or stroke rehab for short) will depend on the:
- Amount of damage to the brain
- Skill on the part of the rehabilitation team
- Cooperation of family and friends
- Timing of rehabilitation -- the earlier it begins, the more likely survivors are to regain lost abilities and skills.
The goal of rehabilitation after a stroke is to enable an individual who has experienced a stroke to reach the highest possible level of independence and be as productive as possible. Although a majority of functional abilities may be restored soon after a stroke, recovery is an ongoing process.
Types of rehab programs for a stroke can include:
- Hospital programs (in an acute-care facility or a rehabilitation hospital)
- Long-term care facility with therapy and skilled nursing care
- Outpatient programs
- Home-based programs.