The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends rehabilitation following a stroke, and has identified two components of rehabilitation programs that offer the greatest likelihood for success:
- Rehab programs that use a team approach, including the patient, their family, and a wide range of doctors, nurses, and therapists
- Communication and coordination between all members of the team
This “sustained and coordinated effort” is essential for success. “Without communication and coordination, isolated efforts to rehabilitate the stroke survivor are unlikely to achieve their full potential,” the AHA states in their guidelines.
Because the severity of a stroke is highly variable, as is the variety of abilities affected by the stroke, a stroke rehab program must be able to administer a variety of therapies.
Physical therapy might include motor skill exercise for muscle strength and coordination, and mobility training to enable the patient to relearn to walk, possibly using a mobility aid such as a walker, brace, or cane.
Occupational therapy can help a stroke survivor re-learn such daily activities as eating, grooming, and writing.
Speech Therapy not only helps with language skills, but also addresses the swallowing problems that often result from strokes.
Recreation therapy is not just fun and games. Recreational therapists help the stroke survivor return to the activities that gave them joy and allowed them to be part of their community before their stroke.
Emotional therapy includes the help of neuropsychologists and social workers. The neuropsychologist addresses the changes in memory and behavior following a stroke. Social workers help stroke survivors and their families make decisions about support services after rehab.
Case managers are an important part of the team, making sure that therapies and general care are coordinated, and that communication between members of the team, the patient, and their family is always up-to-date.
A stroke is a devastating experience, but recovery is possible.
Finding a rehab program that can provide the highest levels of communication and coordination of care, like Hamilton Grove Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, is a crucial part of achieving the best possible recovery. For information about Hamilton Grove’s stroke rehab or other programs, call 609-588-5800, or click here.