Tips For Approaching A Stroke Rehab

About 700,000 Americans each year will experience some type of stroke. Of that group, two-thirds are expected to survive and require some degree of stroke rehab care. If you're worried about your own well-being or that of someone you care about, it's a good idea to learn a bit about the process and what it entails. Here's what you should know when trying to bounce back from a stroke.

The Odds of Full Recovery

Only about 10% of patients will achieve complete recoveries. A further 25% will have limited issues, and 40% will experience mild to severe impairments. About 10% will require long-term treatment plans to address major day-to-day quality of life requirements.

What to Expect

A stroke can impact a wide range of different functions. It is common for people to have trouble with balance and fine motor skills. Speech difficulties are also common, and many people will struggle with attention and memory, too. A patient may also experience vision issues. Pain and numbness are common.

Not surprisingly, emotional issues can happen following a stroke. Depression and anxiety can hit during this period, especially as a patient adjusts to the new reality they face.

Building a Support Network

Friends and family members are frequently called upon to help when someone is recovering from a stroke. It's a good idea to set up a schedule, especially when there are concerns about motor problems that could lead to falls.

These helpers can often feel obligated to assist someone. It's a good idea, in addition to building a good social support network, to consult with a stroke rehab services provider. This will ensure that expert advice is available. It also will allow helpers some predictable time off from assisting, something that can make a big difference.

Physical Therapy

Depending on the nature of the stroke, it may take months or even years for a significant return of functionality. For example, damage in or near the brain stem can significantly impact motor function.

Re-acclimating the body and the brain to working in unison can be a major challenge following a stroke. Physical therapy is one approach that is used to address these concerns. Notably, even if you're highly motivated, it's wise to deal with this part of recovery in a steady and structured manner. Getting exercise and working toward goals are important, but you don't want to create new risks in the process.