Once the crisis has passed, the road to recovery lies ahead. Recovering from a stroke can be a lengthy process that requires patience, hard work and commitment. In most cases, recovery can begin after doctors have treated any life-threatening conditions and taken steps toward preventing further complications and another stroke. This means that rehabilitation may start during your initial hospital stay. Starting the recovery process as early as possible can increase your chances of regaining lost brain and body function.
Early evaluation and treatment by and entire rehabilitation team is critical to achieving maximum quality of life after a stroke. The team should include physical therapists who work to help the patient achieve maximal motor control and strength for walking and balance. Occupational therapists help the patient regain hand and arm functionality to manage daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, writing or cooking. They can also address safety issues in the home by suggesting changes or proper home equipment. Finally, speech-language pathologists assess cognitive and communication difficulties and help the patient regain speaking, listening and writing abilities as well as comprehension. They also assist patients who may have difficulty swallowing after a stroke.