What is Stroke Rehabilitation?
Stroke rehabilitation is the process of adjusting to the damage caused by a stroke and finding ways to keep as much independence as possible. This may mean re-learning lost skills, finding alternative ways of doing things, or adapting your situation.
Common areas that are considered are:
- Limb movement and strength
- Thinking skills
- Bladder /bowel control
Rehabilitation cannot be done for you. Your body needs to recover and you have to be motivated. It is often hard work and it takes practise and time. Being ill and in hospital leads to a loss of your fitness, and your treatment needs to be paced for you. Stroke can affect your mood and confidence. Setting goals to work for can help to keep you motivated.
Progress depends on the severity and type of stroke you have had, but also your previous health, your ability to engage with the rehabilitation process and your own determination. It is an individual process.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to regain your independence. Progress can be restricted if you have had a large stroke, if you become unwell or due to side effects of a stroke such as fatigue.
You may need specialist equipment to help you, or adaptations to your environment. The therapists will advise on this.
How can my family be involved?
We encourage your family to be involved. Your family can play an important role helping your awareness of your usual life. You may like them to bring photographs from home, keep you-up-to date with news at home and tell us about your lifestyle.
They are invited to progress meetings so they can support you, help plan your discharge and for your future.
They are welcome to attend some of your therapy sessions. It can help them understand how the stroke has affected you.
How long will I need to stay in hospital?
Your individual discharge plan will depend on how independent you become and your own social circumstances. Everyone is different.
Preparing for discharge begins as soon as you arrive. We use our expertise to predict the likely course of your progress and your future requirements. It is usually possible to make this judgement based on the severity of a person’s illness. However, plans may alter to reflect changes in conditions.
For discharge from hospital you will need to be medically well enough to be safe and have reached a point when you don’t require inpatient treatment.
What Will Happen After Hospital?
Change after a stroke can take a long time and you may have goals that still require therapy after you leave hospital. If you need personal help at home or you require a care home, your Social Worker will plan this with you and your family. Services available after leaving hospital will be explained at your meetings and planned before discharge.
Your GP will be responsible for your medical care after discharge and will receive a letter from the hospital. You will get a new prescription. It is important that you continue to take your prescribed medications and follow any advice you have been given.
You will be given a stroke information pack at your progress meeting. It has useful information about stroke and useful contacts following discharge. We are always happy to for you to call us for advice.