A stroke can cause devastating damage, and the quicker he is stabilized and starts rehab, the higher the likelihood that he’ll do better. After the initial, intense rehabilitation efforts, the patient continues at a much slower pace. But even after he comes home from a rehab facility, such as Hudson View Rehab, he continues outpatient stroke rehab to gain as much progress as he can.
Transitioning from inpatient to outpatient stroke rehab
The first transition the patient makes is from the hospital to an inpatient facility. This happens as soon as the patient is stabilized, often very quickly – as soon as the patient is out of danger and ready for intense rehab, which may even begin in the hospital. Once the bulk of the rehab is finished, the patient then returns home. The typical stroke rehab stay is about two weeks, but can be longer or shorter. Once the patient returns home, however, it’s important to keep up the rehab.
What happens as an outpatient?
There are two ways to get outpatient stroke rehab: either a therapist comes to the patient’s house, or the patient comes to get outpatient care at a facility. Sometimes, there are stages. A patient may be sent home from an inpatient facility and not be in any shape to come back for rehab sessions, and therefore has all rehab done in his home with mobile therapists. When he is stronger, he might come to a facility instead.
If the therapist comes to the home, she might show up with an arsenal of equipment depending on the type of therapies she’s using for the patient. Sessions will be similar length to ones at the facility, about 45 minutes, and will probably take place twice a week. The patient might have several therapists come – speech, physical, and occupational.
He might come in as an outpatient when he feels stronger and the level of progress has slowed down. He also might need to come for more differentiated or specialized treatments, or therapy that shows more improvement in a group setting.
There’s also a new initiative called day rehabilitation, for patient’s whose needs are less severe than an inpatient but could use a higher level of rehab than standard outpatient care. In day rehabilitation, the patiens will typically come into a facility and receive somewhere between 3 and 6 hours of therapy 3 to 5 times a week. Different facilities have different day rehabilitation programs.
Benefits of continued stroke rehabilitation
Although the progress in outpatient stroke rehab is usually fairly slow, it’s still important. The brain, in its proven plasticity, is always changing, and the patient can make continual progress in his recovery. He can take advantage of this with persistent efforts at as much therapy as he can get.
Each time he has a therapy session he’s training his brain and his body to do activities that he was able to accomplish before the stroke, bringing his level of functionality up several notches. Some stroke survivors get completely back to normal, but even for the other ones, they can continue to see progress with every attempt at effort.
Even when the patient is mostly recovered, a weekly therapy session can keep him climbing up.