Steps of Rehabilitation – The Process of Recovering From a Stroke
Recovering from a stroke varies greatly upon the individual, type of stroke, and the severity of the damage it has caused to the brain. For many patients this is typically a long process and involves many different forms of treatment including rehabilitation.
While some individuals may experience a certain degree of spontaneous recovery, others will need a great deal of therapy to regain the abilities that they have lost and the type of rehabilitation varies depending upon the area of the brain that was damaged and the severity.
The First Steps of Rehabilitation
After the patient has been treated for the immediate medical concerns following a stroke and examined for any other underlying medical conditions and the severity of the damage has been determined, the first step for treatment is typically to have the patient get out of bed as soon as possible and begin moving around and performing everyday self-care tasks such as eating.
The next step involves deciding upon the type of rehabilitation program. While some patients may not require rehabilitation due to a full recovery and others may have disabilities that are too severe for rehabilitation, many individuals benefit significantly from rehabilitation programs specifically designed for stroke patients.
Types of Rehabilitation Programs
There are several types of rehabilitation programs including those that are done within the hospital. Hospital rehabilitation programs typically provide full rehabilitation services while the patient remains in the hospital and is performed by an organized team that specializes in rehabilitation therapy.
This type of therapy is typically more intense than other forms of therapy and generally requires a great amount of effort on the part of the patient. Many nursing homes or nursing facilities also provide rehabilitation programs for stroke patients who stay in the facility, however, these types of programs vary greatly from one facility to another with some providing full rehabilitation programs while others only provide a limited amount of services.
There are many types of outpatient rehabilitation programs where the patient can remain at home while receiving rehabilitation therapy by visiting a hospital outpatient facility through scheduled appointments. In home rehabilitation services are also available in which a therapist visits the patient’s home.
This type of rehabilitation can be particularly beneficial for some patients as they are able to regain the skills normally used in their own home. There are also many types of specific therapy such as speech therapy that can be obtained on an outpatient basis or within the home.
The process of recovering from a stroke also involves the support of friends and family members as well as certain modifications that can be made to the home for mobility and safety precautions. Medical professionals that specialize in the treatment of stroke patients can advise the patient and family members in the best way to optimize the home based upon the specific needs of the individual.