A stroke occurs when a clot blocks blood supply to part of the brain (ischemic stroke) or a blood vessel in or around the brain ruptures (hemorrhagic stroke). As a result, parts of the brain become damaged or die.
Each year more than 700,000 people in the United States endure a stroke. More than six million people in America are stroke survivors, according to the National Stroke Association.
The abilities lost or affected by a stroke depend on the extent of the brain damage and where in the brain the stroke occurred. Some brain cells may be only temporarily damaged and may resume functioning.
The brain is also capable of reorganizing its own functions or reassigning a different region of the brain to “take over” for the damaged area. Stroke survivors sometimes experience remarkable recoveries and can show signs of improvement for the rest of their lives.
As a stroke survivor, you may face emotional, physical and cognitive challenges. Salem Health’s stroke rehabilitation therapists are dedicated to helping you return to independent living.
Depending on the severity of your stroke, you may work with one or a multitude of stroke specialists, who are determined to help you relearn skills that the stroke may have taken away–skills like eating, conversing, dressing and walking.
What you do in rehabilitation will depend on your stroke symptoms and personal needs. Under your doctor’s directions, rehabilitation activities may include:
- Physical therapy to help you with functional motor skills such as walking, transferring or maneuvering a wheelchair.
- Speech-language pathology to improve communication skills and cognitive abilities.
- Occupation therapy for relearning daily tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing and writing.
- Swallowing and voice therapy.
- Psychology for providing emotional support and counseling.
- Education on diet and exercise to improve recovery and decrease your risk of a future stroke.
- Aquatic therapy for patients who have arthritis, weight bearing, walking or other neuromuscular issues that benefit from pool therapy.