If you’ve had a stroke, early treatment and rehabilitation is vitally important so you can make the most of your life and abilities and to help you regain a lot of function. For the six months after a stroke, it’s crucial to have treatment and rehabilitation since that’s when most improvements are made, but improvements can continue for years.
Why is Rehabilitation So Important?
Recent figures(1) show slightly more than a third of Australian have a disability after a stroke and this affects their daily activities. Depending on which area of the brain has been affected by the stroke, the rehabilitation will vary. The brain area that has been damaged by the stroke will determine which functions have been impaired and by how much. But with rehabilitation, the following results are sought:
- Skills lost through damage to the brain after a stroke are worked on
- New ways of performing tasks are taught
When Does Rehabilitation Begin?
As soon as a person is stable in a medical ward or stroke unit rehabilitation can begin. This can be 24 hours after the stroke and the rehabilitation. The patient might be transferred to a rehabilitation facility or they may return to the community where healthcare professionals can continue the treatment in an outpatients unit. Stroke rehabilitation activities can vary as skill levels and the patient’s needs change over time. If you are a stroke survivor, types of rehabilitation approaches chosen should be based on your needs. Your family and your carers will also be able to participate in your rehabilitation activities if you so choose.
Therapies and Clinicians Used in Stroke Rehabilitation
Your doctor and other health care professionals will usually be involved in your rehabilitation – these other professionals can include:
- occupational therapists
- social workers
- clinical psychologists
- rehabilitation nurses
- speech pathologists
The activities and areas treated as part of your rehabilitation might include the following:
- Mobility – using leg braces, walking aids or canes
- Muscle strength and coordination exercises
- Tension in affected joints
- Range of motion
- Communication – regaining speech, reading and writing
- Using affected limbs
- Thought processes and memory
- Mental health
Rehabilitation can also involve technologies such as functional electrical stimulation, video games and robotics to improve various skills.
Where Can I Get Help
- In an emergency, always call triple zero (000)
- See your doctor, go to an Emergency Department at your closest hospital
- For expert health information and advice (24 hours, 7 days) call NURSE-ON-CALL Telephone: 1300 60 60 24
- StrokeLine Telephone: 1800 787 653 – for information on stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery.
For stroke aftercare in Melbourne, Tilegne (pronounced ‘Tilliney’ a Norwegian word that means to learn or acquire) is a therapy that empowers you in the rehabilitation process through collaborative partnerships with your therapists. We offer both mobile and clinic based services. We can come to you at your place of residence or work, or you are welcome to attend one of our clinics in Hawthorne or Maribyrnong. Call us for an appointment on 0422 716 889 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our hours are Mon – Fri: 8am – 6pm and Sat: 9am – 1pm.
Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for PK Simpson.