II. Stroke Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation offers means by which persons disabled after a stroke can be returned to patterns of daily living as close to normal as possible. Often simple and readily available restorative techniques suffice, but sophisticated methods and facilities may be needed in many cases. Certain complex problems require specialized attention by persons with detailed knowledge and specific training. Among these are rehabilitation of language and the management of incontinence, sensory loss, pain, spasticity, and psychosocial problems. High-quality rehabilitation is best delivered by a closely cooperating team, including the family physician, medical specialists, nurses, allied health professionals (physical therapist, occupational therapist, social worker, dietitian, rehabilitation counselor, speech therapist, psychologist), the patient's family, and also the patient. To accomplish these ends, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities, and nursing homes should give specific attention to the special needs of stroke patients. Careful discharge planning and follow-up are necessary in all cases. The home environment and the family attitudes may require considerable revision to meet the patient's individual needs. The family physician can offer many rehabilitation services in his office, and additional education in medical school and on a postgraduate level will belp him to reach his full potential in aiding both the acutely ill and the chronically disabled stroke patient.
- © 1972 American Heart Association, Inc.