Acute rehabilitation is a crucial part of continuing care for a patient who has suffered a stroke. Receiving individualized therapy in a safe, specially designed setting can help patients achieve a more complete recovery. Neurosurgeon Kamran Parsa, DO, explains what a quality program should include.
Q: Why do patients need rehabilitation after a stroke?
After a stroke, patients may experience issues with impaired balance, gait, motor control, perception, vision, speech, memory and thinking, especially in the first months. As a result, daily activities like getting dressed, brushing teeth, cooking, cleaning, speaking and walking may be more difficult. Rehabilitation allows patients to regain and strengthen skills that have been affected by stroke.
Q: How does rehabilitation help stroke recovery?
Rehabilitation programs provide physical, speech and occupational therapy to address all of the possible impairments a patient may be experiencing in an individualized recovery plan. Patients can begin in an inpatient rehabilitation setting, staying in a specially designed apartment with access 24/7 to staff before transitioning to outpatient rehab. Along with comprehensive therapy, patients will receive prevention education to reduce the risk of falls and other complications.
Q: Who is involved in a patient’s recovery?
A well-organized and coordinated team of inter-professional healthcare members collaborate on stroke recovery, including physical therapists, occupational and speech therapists, nurses, the unit director, medical director and pain management specialist. In addition, it is crucial for loved ones to be included in the recovery process to enhance and support a patient’s post-stroke rehabilitation outcome that continues at home during and after the program.
Q: What amenities are important to have in a rehab program?
Programs that provide access to functional spaces like a kitchen, laundry room, apartment and private bathroom give patients the opportunity to regain skills for their daily living that may have been affected by stroke. A specialized gym with equipment designed to help patients safely regain balance and strength, like a gait training system, can enable patients to work on their mobility without fear of falling.
Learn more about the acute Rehabilitation Institute at Palmdale Regional >