Post-Stroke Rehabilitation

Young woman physiotherapist working with a senior in a wheelchair

Rehabilitation is a key part of stroke recovery. Though it doesn’t reverse the effects of a stroke, it builds your strength, capability and confidence to help you return to independent living.

What is a rehabilitation program?

Under your doctor’s direction, rehabilitation specialists provide a treatment program suited to your needs. Physicians who specialize in rehabilitation are called physiatrists.

Services may include:

  • Rehabilitation nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Audiology Recreational therapy
  • Nutritional care
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Social work
  • Psychiatry/Psychology Chaplaincy Patient/Family education
  • Support groups
  • Vocational evaluation, driver’s training and programs to improve your physical and emotional stamina may also be part of your rehabilitation program.

What will I do in rehabilitation?

It depends on what you need. You may improve your independence in many areas:

  • Self-care skills such as feeding, grooming, bathing, toileting and dressing
  • Mobility skills such as transferring, walking or self-propelling a wheelchair
  • Communication skills in speech and language
  • Cognitive skills such as memory or problem solving
  • Social skills for interacting with other people

When does rehabilitation begin?

Your doctor determines when you’re medically stable and able to benefit from rehab. Most rehabilitation services require a doctor’s order.

Where do I get rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation services are provided in different places:

  • Acute care and rehabilitation hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • At home, through home health agencies
  • Outpatient facilities

You may be involved in rehabilitation in some or all of these settings. It depends on your needs and what type of rehabilitation program is best for you.

Life After Stroke: Our Path Forward

There is life – and hope – after stroke. With time, new routines will become second nature. Rehabilitation can build your strength, capability and confidence. It can help you continue your daily activities despite the effects of your stroke.

View the Life After Stroke Guide for Patients and Caregivers

The Life After Stroke Guide is also available in Spanish. Guía De La Vida Tras Un Ataque Cerebral

Rehab doctor helping older male patient
human ladder to climb a wall

Support That Lifts You Up

Our online community of survivors and caregivers is here to keep you going no matter the obstacles. We’ve been there, and we won’t let you go it alone.

Together to End Stroke®

Together is how we work—the AHA/ASA, healthcare professionals, stroke survivors, caregivers, sponsors, supporters and caring individuals. Stay informed on the latest stroke news and resources. As a thank-you, you’ll get instant access to a FREE mini cookbook!

Making Rehabilitation Decisions 

We understand that stroke can change the rest of your life in an instant. High-quality rehab will help ensure that you reach your full-potential recovery.