Stroke recovery is going to be different for everyone based on their age, where the stroke occurred, what type of stroke they had as well as the stroke survivors health before the stroke. Based on how one is affected by the stroke will determine their stages of rehab. Not everyone will go through all 5 stages depending on the level of severity.
5 Stages of Your Stroke Rehab Progress
Stage 1. The Acute Hospital Stay:
Anyone who shows any signs of stroke should be brought to the emergency room immediately. Tests will be done to determine what type of stroke it is and that will determine how the doctors choose to treat the stroke. After a stroke one will usually be in the hospital for a few days to a few weeks based on the severity of the stroke.
Stage 2. Inpatient Rehabilitation or Skilled Nursing Facility:
A stroke survivor who can tolerate/ requires 3 hours of therapy a day will be transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Someone who requires rehabilitation daily however can not tolerate 3 hours of therapy or does not require that much therapy will be discharged to a skilled nursing facility.
At the inpatient rehabilitation hospital or skilled nursing facility one will usually work with an occupational therapist, physical therapist and a speech therapist. These therapist will work with a stroke survivor in order to increase their independence in hopes to send them back home. Research shows that the first 90 days post stroke is when patients exhibit the most rapid healing. (1) Therefore it is important to work very hard with the therapist.
While in inpatient rehabilitation the therapist will work with the patient as well as with their families to set up a safe discharge plan. The therapist will determine what the best equipment needed for that patient and will order it for them before they go home. The therapist will also arrange for further therapy.
Stage 3. Home Health:
During this stage the occupational therapist, physical therapist and speech therapist will come work with the client in their home setting. Working in a home setting can be very helpful to make sure the client can be as independent as possible in their own environment. Once the therapist determines that the client has met their goals in the home setting they will then refer them to outpatient therapy services.
Stage 4. Outpatient Rehabilitation Services:
Most stroke survivors will complete their last stent of therapy in an outpatient clinic. Outpatient therapy will work on goals to get the client to be as independent as they can be inside the home as well as in the community. Once the client has reached all their goals they will be discharged from therapy.
Stage 5. Self Motivating Home Exercise Program:
It is important for a stroke survivor to stay motivated even after they have been discharged from all therapy programs. Research shows that people can continue to recover from a stroke for years after the original stroke. One way to continue to make progress is by using either the Neofect Smart Glove or Smart Board. These products will help increase the brain's ability to rewire itself and increase ones range of motion and strength in the upper extremities. To learn more about the Smart Board or Smart Glove Please call us at 888-623-8947 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) Wade D, Wood V, Langton H. . Recovery After Stroke- The first 3 Months. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 1985;48:7-13.
A Vietnam Veteran who had 3 strokes: Michael Eustace
I went to move and I couldn’t. I moved forward and slid right onto the floor. Started to get a little bit better and then I had another stroke. And then had problems with the heart and wound up having 3 strokes and 1 heart attack.
I couldn’t move my arm, I couldn’t move my hand, I couldn’t do anything. At that point I started to try to get better.
They kept saying, “What is your goal?”
I said my goal is to get up and walk again.
My goal is to get up and use my hand.
For me it was like it opened up a world of things that I could do with my hand, and get more mobility, because it motivates you to do more. You don’t appreciate things that you do before that you can’t do now.
"If it wasn’t for Neofect, I’d probably never bend my hand the way it is now."
- Becky Alter, OTR/LBecky is an occupational therapist and healthcare content writer based out of Denver, CO.