Life After Stroke
Patients who survive and recover from stroke find a number of challenges present themselves. There are over 4 million Americans who have survived a stroke and are living with the effects of it. In addition to the patients, their families are also greatly affected by stroke.
The effects of stroke are widely varied, depending on the:
Recovery is as varied as the effects of stroke. In some cases, brain cells may be only temporarily damaged, and may resume function.
In others, the brain may reorganize itself, “taking over” a region that was damaged by stroke. Some patients can recover remarkably well, while others may require long-term care.
In general, the effects of stroke are divided as follows:
Your Stroke Rehabilitation Team
A team of healthcare specialists will work with your doctor to help you reach all of your stroke recovery goals. Depending on the severity of your stroke, your rehabilitation team may include:
Rehabilitation for a stroke survivor begins as soon as possible in the hospital, once the patient’s condition is stabilized.
Some of the rehabilitation options may include:
Much depends on the severity of the stroke. Rehabilitation is generally divided into three types:
This form of therapy is intended to restore your physical functioning. Impairments that it is particularly well-suited for include:
This form of therapy concentrates on helping you relearn everyday life skills such as:
Speech pathologists can help stroke survivors deal with aphasia (inability to get the right words out or process incoming words). These experts can also help with memory loss and other related problems.
Vision problems are common with stroke survivors. A survivor may have partial or complete loss of sight, and may experience the following:
If you have survived a stroke, you should get an eye examination as soon as possible afterward, so your doctor can determine if your eyes are healthy.
An optometrist or an ophthalmologist may be a vital part of your recovery and rehabilitation team, depending on the areas of your brain impacted by the stroke.
These specialists can diagnose specific problems and come up with an effective treatment plan for you.
What is Discharge Planning?
Discharge planning prepares you to live independently at home, after recovery from a stroke.
It is intended to help you maintain the benefits of rehabilitation. It may include: