Every stroke is unique. The impact of your stroke depends upon the area of the brain that was injured and the severity of the damage. The types of disabilities a stroke can cause range from mild to severe paralysis; problems with walking, balance and swallowing; inability to feel pain or temperature; difficulty speaking or understanding language; and/or problems with thinking, memory and emotions.
Most stroke survivors begin a rehabilitation program after the emergency treatment phase of care to facilitate recovery. While rehabilitation does not reverse the damage caused by your stroke, it can help you in many ways:
- Attain optimal health
- Regain as much function as possible
- Learn adaptive techniques to compensate for diminished mobility, memory and/or communication
- Adjust to mental impairments
- Achieve the highest level of independence and quality of life possible
Your doctor will carefully evaluate the cause and severity of your stroke, along with factors such as your age and other medical conditions to tailor a rehabilitation program to your specific needs, lifestyle and availability of caregivers. Your family and caregivers are important to your rehabilitation process. We encourage them to participate in counseling and instruction to understand the medical, physical and emotional effects of your condition.
Rehabilitation programs are offered in a variety of settings. Where you go will depend upon the type of treatment you need.
Outpatient rehabilitation: If you are able to go home directly from the hospital but still require rehabilitation, you may receive outpatient therapeutic care at our Rehabilitation Services Center, located right in NWCH. Some patients may be well enough to receive in-home care provided by a Home Care Agency. Both outpatient options provide physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Inpatient rehabilitation: Patients who are not well enough to leave the hospital begin an
inpatient rehabilitation program at NWCH. If you require long-term care, you may be transferred to our skilled-nursing facility, the DeMay Living Center.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
We assist you in developing the skills required to manage personal needs and participate in the workplace and community. Skill development may be as basic as bathing, dressing and eating, or more advanced as the operation of an electronic wheelchair. Our therapists are professionally trained to help you develop strength, eye-hand coordination or independence in home or vocational activities. A certified hand therapist is also available for rehabilitation of the hand, wrist, elbow and customized splinting.
This service provides therapy for speech and language impairments that are beneficial if you experience problems like the inability to use or understand words. Our speech pathologists also can play a significant role in video fluoroscopy used for identifying swallowing disorders.