Stroke experts at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) suggest that stroke patients use a combination of physical therapy and speech therapy to help them recover from the effects of their stroke. The physical therapy team can help stroke patients regain movement and flexibility in the affected side of their body. The speech therapy team can help stroke patients develop new ways of speaking. These strategies are often referred to as “expressive therapies” because they help patients improve their ability to communicate.
“The most important thing we do is work on balance,” says RIC Speech-Language Pathologist Shana R. Tuck. “We work on things like walking, balance, and getting up and down the stairs.” Tuck and her colleagues at the hospital encourage patients to use wheelchairs to get around.
In addition to using physical therapy and expressive therapies, stroke patients can take part in rehabilitation programs that focus on improving their mental health. “We have to get them into a positive frame of mind,” says Tuck. “That’s the most important thing.”
The RIC stroke rehabilitation program includes:
- Cognitive training: Patients learn how to use their brain to think and speak more effectively.
- Social skills training: A nurse or volunteer teaches patients how to interact with family members and friends.
- Cognitive rehabilitation: Patients learn strategies to help them process information and make sense of the world.
- Physical therapy: Patients learn how to move their arms and legs, use stairs, and get around safely.
- Speech therapy: Patients learn how to talk and speak more clearly.
Stroke recovery: How long does it take?
Many stroke patients recover in a matter of weeks or months. However, recovery varies from person to person. It depends on the type of stroke and the location of the injury. For example, some stroke patients recover completely while others have lingering problems.
“Some patients have partial recovery,” says Tuck. “Others will have a lot of residual disability.”
In general, stroke recovery is a gradual process that takes place over time. Recovery can also be interrupted by complications, like infection or pneumonia.
How long does it take to recover?
Recovery is a gradual process. Many stroke patients begin to regain movement and mobility within six months of a stroke. However, some stroke patients may take longer to recover.
“The average recovery from stroke is about 30 to 40 percent,” says Tuck. However, some people recover completely while others may have lingering problems.
What’s the best way to recover from stroke?
To help stroke patients recover from the effects of their stroke, physical and speech-language therapists work with them to develop strategies for improving their communication. “We develop strategies to help them talk and speak more effectively,” says Tuck.
How much does it cost to recover from stroke?
The cost of recovery varies from person to person. One study found that the total cost of stroke care was $12,092 per patient and $23,934 per patient for inpatient rehabilitation.
Costs for rehabilitation can include:
- Physician fees
- Rehabilitation facility fees
- Equipment fees
- Equipment rental
- Occupational therapy fees
- Speech therapy fees
- Other therapy fees
For stroke patients who want to stay at home and care for themselves, it can be especially expensive. “The cost of a home care worker is at least $18 an hour,” says Tuck. “So, to provide care for a stroke patient, a home health aide can be a significant expense.”
How can I learn more about stroke recovery?
If you have experienced a stroke, you probably want to know how quickly you can recover from the effects of a stroke. The rehabilitation process can take time, but there are treatment options that can help you recover faster.
One of the best ways to learn more about stroke recovery is by talking to a physical and speech-language therapist. They can provide you with information about:
- The types of recovery exercises and therapies that can help you recover from a stroke.
- The specific types of therapy that you can expect to have.
- The benefits and side effects of each therapy.
- How to find a therapist who is a good fit for you.
- How to find a therapist who specializes in stroke rehabilitation.
- How to find a therapist who has experience with stroke.
To get the most out of your care, you can also talk to other stroke survivors. These people may have some tips for you.
For example, here are some tips from the American Stroke Association:
- Practice using the telephone to communicate with family and friends.
- Learn to use a walker or wheelchair.
- Talk to the nurse or social worker who is caring for you.
- Ask the therapist about medications that may be helpful for you.
- Talk to the rehab staff about the types of exercises and therapies that may be best for you.
- Ask the doctor who is treating you for advice about the best type of therapy for you.
How can I find a therapist who specializes in stroke rehabilitation?
If you want to learn more about stroke recovery, the Internet is a good place to start. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) has a directory of speech, occupational, and physical therapists who specialize in stroke rehabilitation.
To find a speech, occupational, or physical therapist who specializes in stroke rehabilitation, you can also ask your primary care doctor, who can refer you to a doctor in your area.
The American Speech-Language Hearing Association also has a free online Stroke Rehabilitation Guide that you can use to find a speech, occupational, or physical therapist who specializes in stroke rehabilitation.
The ASHA also has a directory of stroke rehabilitation providers.
What kinds of therapies help stroke patients recover from stroke?
Several different types of therapy work together to help stroke patients recover from a stroke. These therapies include:
- Physical therapy: This therapy teaches stroke patients how to use their arms and legs, use stairs, and get around safely.
- Speech therapy: This therapy teaches stroke patients how to talk and talk more effectively.
- Occupational therapy: This therapy teaches stroke patients how to perform personal care or household tasks more safely.
- Vestibular therapy: This therapy helps improve the use of the eyes.
What is the outlook for stroke recovery?
The outlook for stroke recovery depends on the type of stroke and the location of the injury. For example, some stroke patients recover completely while others have lingering problems.
According to the American Stroke Association, about one-third of people who have a stroke will regain some or most of their function. However, the recovery rate for some stroke patients may be as low as 20 percent.
Stroke Recovery: How To Get Back On Your Feet
If you’ve experienced a stroke, you probably want to know how to improve your chances of recovering from stroke. There are a number of treatment options that can help you recover from stroke and improve your quality of life.
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