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.


La vida después de un accidente cerebrovascular: nuestro camino hacia delante

Hay vida y esperanza después de un accidente cerebrovascular. Con el tiempo, las nuevas rutinas se convertirán en algo natural. La rehabilitación puede aumentar su fuerza, habilidad y seguridad. Puede ayudarlo a continuar con sus actividades diarias, a pesar de los efectos de un accidente cerebrovascular.

View the Life After Stroke Guide for Patients and Caregivers.

El documento The Life After Stroke Guide también está disponible en español. Consulte el documento Guía De La Vida Tras Un Ataque Cerebral.

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

Apoyo que lo eleva

Nuestra comunidad en línea de sobrevivientes y cuidadores está aquí para ayudarlo a seguir adelante sin importar los obstáculos. Hemos pasado por ello, y no dejaremos que lo haga sola.

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.