According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. It can take months – or even years – to recover from one. However, with dedication and hard work, coupled with appropriate care, you can recover and get back to what matters most in life.
The side effects and complications of a stroke depend on where in the body it occurred. Think of it like a car needing repair after an accident – the repairs needed will depend on where the impact occurred. Depending on its location, a stroke might affect your vision, swallowing, speech, sensation, strength, cognition, balance or overall ability to take care of yourself.
Stroke rehabilitation can help with all of these elements. And the sooner you begin, the better. The most rapid improvement in your physical health and abilities usually occurs within the first few months after the stroke, so patients should begin working on rebuilding strength and learning how to compensate for limitations as soon as possible.
Working with a rehabilitation therapist can help you achieve the best outcome and quality of life after stroke. A therapist can teach you the correct method for doing a task and help you practice. They can also help you rebuild strength. Often, people who’ve suffered a stroke experience weakness on one side of the body. A therapist might have you do reaching exercises and weight training to help your weaker side regain strength.
Family support and encouragement also plays an important role in recovery. At Main Line Health, patients’ families are included in training and therapy sessions at Bryn Mawr Rehab so they can learn how to help their loved one meet their goals. We also offer caregiver support groups and offer on-site family accommodations, if needed.
Main Line Health’s Stroke Recovery Program helps patients and their families create programs that meet their rehabilitation goals. Patients complete both inpatient and outpatient programs at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital that focus on regaining strength and mobility as well as practice skills and tasks they’ll use to complete everyday activities. Our multidisciplinary approach to care includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, cognitive retraining, nutrition management, horticulture therapy, aquatic therapy and recreational therapy. We also coordinate vision clinics, driver rehab and community outings.
Our goal is to help patients feel secure and capable while doing their everyday tasks. Although life may not be what you want at this moment, tomorrow is a whole new day – and we’ll keep pushing for progress.