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December 3, 2018

What Kinds of Activities Does Stroke Rehab Involve?

Recovering from a stroke requires some work on the part of the stroke victim. Usually, the doctor will recommend that they attend stroke rehabilitation. What the rehab entails can vary depending on the severity of the stroke and which systems have been affected. However, having some idea what to expect can help family caregivers to prepare for the journey.

Rehab Begins in the Hospital

The objective of stroke rehab is to help the brain relearn functions lost because of damage to the brain. Rehab may not be able to ensure the older adult regains full function, but it can allow them to be more independent.

Once the doctor has determined that the patient is in stable condition, stroke rehab can begin. It usually starts within 24 to 48 hours, so it often begins while the senior is still in the hospital. Some activities that may occur in the hospital are:

  • Learning how to sit up in bed.
  • Walking to the bathroom.
  • Bathing.
  • Getting dressed.
  • Eating.

Before leaving the hospital, social workers and medical staff will collaborate with family members to create a plan that takes into account the type of rehab needed, financial resources available, and convenience.

Examples of Rehab Activities

There are many kinds of rehab activities that your aging relative may be involved in as part of their rehab program. Some examples are:

Mobility Training: Therapists will work with the patient to teach them to get around safely. Often there are mobility aids involved, such as wheelchairs, walkers, or canes.

Forced-Use Therapy: This therapy may also be referred to as constraint-induced therapy. It involves immobilizing an unaffected limb while the patient practices using the damaged one.

Technology-Assisted Therapy: The rehab team may use technology to help with recovery, such as electrical stimulation to strengthen muscles, robotics to assist damaged limbs, wireless activity monitors, and virtual reality or computer games.

Cognitive Therapy: Occupational and speech therapists will help the senior to relearn how to improve memory, relearn problem-solving skills, and regain other cognitive abilities.

Communication Therapy: Speech therapists will assist with speaking, writing, listening, and other communication skills.

In addition to rehab activities, the doctor may also prescribe medications that help with depression, movement, alertness, and agitation.

Home health care can be a wonderful benefit to an older adult who is recovering from a stroke or who may be suffering from dementia. The rehab team is likely to recommend that the patient does some exercises at home. A home health care provider can assist them with the exercises and activities suggested by the team. Home health care can also drive your family member to their rehab appointments, so they never have to miss one when family caregivers are unavailable. Home health care can also assist with regular daily activities, like housecleaning and cooking, until the older adult is able to be more independent.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Elgin IL, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today! 

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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