Stroke can happen to anyone, at any age, and the consequences can be severe. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and one of the leading causes of long-term adult disability.
Complications from stroke can rob you of your independence and make it difficult to perform daily tasks of living. But with the help of a stroke rehabilitation program, you can improve your quality of life, regain lost function, and maximize your independence.
The significant health effects of stroke
There are many health conditions that can arise in the wake of a stroke. Depending on which area of the brain suffers the most damage, stroke result in a range of disabilities with varying degrees of severity.
Some of the most common post-stroke issues include:
Paralysis, often affecting one side of the body more severely than the other
Intense pain or loss of sensation
Urinary incontinence or loss of bowel control
Inability to process language or communicate effectively
Memory loss and confusion
Emotional disturbances, including depression or personality changes
What is stroke rehabilitation?
While stroke rehabilitation cannot reverse brain damage, it can help stroke survivors relearn skills they lost and develop compensating methods for persistent disabilities. The goal of stroke rehabilitation is to achieve stability, maximize independence, and prevent another stroke from occurring.
A stroke rehabilitation team consists of a number of medical professionals working together to address all areas of recovery. In addition to doctors and nurses, members of the team usually include:
Physical therapists to help with balance, movement, coordination, and mobility.
Occupational therapists to teach strategies for completing everyday tasks, such as eating, bathing, and getting dressed.
Speech-language pathologists to assist with language problems and, if necessary, improve problems with swallowing.
Psychologists and psychiatrists to help develop healthy coping strategies.
Recreation therapists to aid participation in leisure activities that help maximize quality of life.
Nutritionists and dietitians to encourage healthy eating, which can reduce the risk of another stroke.
Social workers to act as an advocate for patients and families, and to help coordinate continuity of care following discharge.
The importance of stroke rehabilitation for recovery
The sooner stroke rehabilitation begins, the higher the likelihood of a successful recovery. Patients who are stable may begin their rehabilitation while still in the hospital, as early as 48 hours after the stroke has occurred. Once discharged, some stroke survivors may return home, while those who are severely impacted may transition to an inpatient stroke rehabilitation program at a skilled nursing facility for long-term care.
The duration of stroke rehab varies depending on the severity of the stroke and subsequent symptoms; in some cases, rehabilitation can take months or even years. While this can be a lengthy and sometimes frustrating process, keeping a positive attitude and staying committed to the rehabilitation program is crucial to recovery.
Stroke rehabilitation at Bella Vista Health Center
Stroke recovery is a process, and the best way to optimize your recovery is with strong team to guide and support you every step of the way. Bella Vista Health Center can give you a head start toward independence. Our inpatient stroke rehabilitation program offers daily, individualized treatments in a caring, comfortable environment. As a 5-star nursing facility, we prioritize the wellbeing of our patients and their loved ones, providing every resident with top-notch medical care and a positive, nurturing experience to support their recovery and get them back to living their best lives as quickly as possible.
For more information on our stroke rehabilitation program, call us at (619) 644-1000.