For many stroke survivors, rehabilitation is a key way to maintain your independence and ability to manage your daily activities. Medical rehabilitation does not reverse the effects of a stroke. It is designed to build your strength, capability and confidence so that you can continue your daily activities, despite the effects of your stroke. This may mean changing how you do things, relearning certain activities or redefining how you live.

The types of activities you do in rehabilitation depend on your condition and what parts of your brain were affected by the stroke. Some of the activities that might be covered in rehabilitation include:

  • Skills for caring for yourself, such as eating, grooming, bathing and dressing
  • Movement 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

As soon as your doctor decides that you are medically stable and able to benefit from rehabilitation, he or she will issue an order for you to receive it. At Shands at the University of Florida, rehabilitation may be provided while you are in the Medical Center or at the Shands Healthcare Outpatient Rehabilitation Services.

A variety of rehabilitation specialists will work together to develop a treatment program that suits your personal needs. Services may include:

  • Rehabilitation nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Audiology
  • Recreational therapy
  • Nutritional care
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Social work
  • Psychiatry/psychology
  • Patient/family education
  • Support groups

Vocational evaluation, driver’s training and programs to improve your physical and emotional stamina so you can go back to work also may be part of your rehabilitation program.