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The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation (rehab). The goal of stroke rehab is to help you recover, prevent problems, and regain skills you may have lost and to make the most of what abilities you have.
Stroke rehab can help you to:
In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain skills you lost as the result of a stroke. Your rehab will be based on how the stroke affected you. It also is based on your general health and your ability to participate.
A key part of rehab is taking steps to prevent a future stroke. To stay in good health, you may need to take medicines and make some lifestyle changes. Work with your rehab team to decide what type of exercise, diet, or other lifestyle choices are best for you.
You and your family, loved ones, and caregivers are the most important part of the stroke rehab team. A team of health professionals will work with you and your caregivers to help you recover from a stroke. A rehab team may include doctors and nurses who specialize in stroke rehab. It may also include:
A social worker or case manager may help you and your caregivers arrange for the help and equipment you may need at home.
The problems you have after a stroke depend on what part of your brain was affected and how much damage the stroke caused. They may include problems with:
How long you will be in a stroke rehab program depends on what kind of help you need. Rehab starts while you are still in the hospital. After you leave the hospital, you may continue treatment at a rehab centre or at home.
You may recover the most in the first few weeks or months after your stroke. But you can keep getting better for years. It just may happen more slowly. And it may take a lot of time and hard work. Don't give up hope.
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Effects may include:
Speech and language problems (such as aphasia) may occur when a stroke damages the area of the brain responsible for language. Some people who have aphasia may not be able to understand written or spoken language, read or write, or express their own thoughts. A speech problem called apraxia can happen if a stroke affects the muscles used for speech.
A stroke may damage parts of your brain that control awareness, learning, and memory. You may have trouble:
It's common to feel:
Stroke rehabilitation (rehab) is training and therapy to help you recover and prevent problems after a stroke. The team may help you learn new ways to do daily activities. The focus of rehab will depend on how the stroke has affected your ability to do the things you want and need to do.
Rehab may begin in the hospital. It starts as soon as you are able. You will have a team of doctors, nurses, and therapists. The team can help you in many ways. For example, the team may help you learn new ways to do daily activities such as eating, bathing, or dressing. They can teach you to prevent problems like falls or burns. Some people need help to learn how to walk or talk again. If the stroke affected your memory, you will learn ways to improve it.
You may recover the most in the first few weeks or months after your stroke. But even with rehab, you may not be able to do all the things you could before the stroke. But you can continue to get better even after the first few months.
After the hospital, you may go to a different facility for a while. Or you may go home. Wherever you go, keep working on your rehab and do a little every day.
It's going to be important for you to get the support you need. Your friends and family can help you. Involve them in your treatment. They can be part of your rehab team. Talk to others who have had a stroke, and find out how they handled ups and downs.
Taking care of someone who has had a stroke can be hard for many reasons. Some concerns may include:
If you have concerns, the stroke rehab team can help. The team can:
Even if you can't provide physical help, your support is still key to their recovery.
Here are some ways to help.
You are an important part of their recovery after a stroke.
After you've had a stroke, you're at risk for having another one. But you can help reduce your risk. Things you can do include:
Your doctor may prescribe medicines after you've had a stroke. These medicines can help lower your risk of another stroke. The types of medicines can depend on what type of stroke you had and what other health problems you have.
If you had an ischemic stroke, you will likely take medicines to prevent blood clots. Blood clots can cause an ischemic stroke. The types of medicines that prevent clotting are:
Certain cholesterol medicines, including statins, can also lower the risk of another ischemic stroke.
Blood pressure medicines can lower the risk of another ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.
Adaptation Date: 6/15/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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