Rehab After a Stroke: What to Expect

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 40 seconds, an American has a stroke, and nearly 800,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke every year. These are disturbing statistics, particularly considering the range of potentially devastating effects that strokes can cause, including death and irreparable brain damage. Strokes can also result in number of disabilities, including: paralysis, sensory disturbances, language and cognitive problems, and emotional troubles. Early recovery and rehabilitation, however, can have a significant impact, helping stroke survivors relearn skills and regain functioning.  

What is post-stroke rehabilitation?

Post-stroke rehabilitation is a goal-oriented treatment plan designed to help patients regain their independence and live their best lives. For some, this may mean restoring lost skills and making a full recovery. For others, it may mean learning new ways to perform tasks and manage disabilities.

Stroke affects different parts of the brain, each one responsible for different duties. For example, damage to the motor cortex in the right frontal lobe can result in weakness on the left side of the body. Or when stroke affects the parietal lobe on the left side, it can cause numbness or vision loss on the right side of the body. This means one person’s stroke may look nothing like a stroke suffered by another person.  The same is true for stroke rehabilitation.  

Although each treatment plan is different for each patient, most stroke rehabilitation teams will include some combination of the following: 

  • Physicians – to manage and coordinate long-term care

  • Rehabilitation nurses – to help manage personal care, such as bathing and dressing

  • Physical therapists – to address disabilities related to motor and sensory impairment

  • Occupational therapists – to help survivors relearn the skills needed to perform the tasks of daily living; to provide environmental modifications and teach the use of assistive devices

  • Speech therapists – to help restore language skills or teach alternative means of communication; to improve patient ability to swallow

Of course, the duties and skills of each team member are far more extensive than described above, but the general idea is that stroke rehabilitation is a highly customized treatment plan that is different for each patient. 

What to expect from inpatient stroke rehabilitation at Bella Vista

The period after a stroke can be a particularly scary time. Strokes come on unexpectedly, leaving patients and their families on edge and uncertain about what the future may bring. Stroke rehabilitation facilities offer not only a complete rehab team under one roof, but also the peace of mind provided by 24-hour skilled nursing care and medical monitoring. 

At Bella Vista Health Center, residents in our inpatient stroke rehab program receive a minimum of 1.5 to 2 hours of therapy per day, as many as six days a week.  The goal of each treatment plan is optimal health and maximum independence. Key areas of focus include, but are not limited to: 

  • Mobility training

  • Range-of-motion therapy

  • Motor skills exercises

  • Balance and coordination

  • Muscle strengthening

  • Communication

  • Cognition

  • Memory retention

  • Problem-solving

  • Safety

  • Health management

  • Quality of life

Full recovery may take years, and some patients do not regain every skill lost to stroke. Stroke rehabilitation is not a guarantee of return to your previous skills and activities, but it can help optimize your independence and live your best life possible. Sometimes this will mean learning to adapt to new limitations or expanding your support system. At Bella Vista, we know stroke recovery is not an easy road, but we’ll be there for you every step of the way. 

Post-stroke rehabilitation in San Diego

At Bella Vista Health Center, our 5-star skilled nursing facility can be your home away from home. In fact, we can be even more than that. While you’re here with us, you won’t need to worry about cooking, laundry, or the many daily tasks you’re responsible for at home.  You can focus on recovery—we’ll do the rest. Our medical providers, rehabilitation therapists, and support staff are committed to doing everything we can to help you live your best life after stroke.