All stroke rehabilitation is the same, right? Wrong. Here’s why.
A stroke doesn’t just come and go. The repercussions of the event can stay with a person both mentally and physically for a lifetime. Each year, roughly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke, and many of those must then begin the recovery process.
“Stroke is one of the most common causes for disability in America and is certainly a leading reason for needing rehab,” said Darryl Kaelin, MD, medical director at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health and associate professor of the division of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Louisville. “After a stroke, survivors can lose a lot of physical and mental function and must work to get back what they can. That’s where rehab comes in.”
In or Out?
The primary mission of all rehabilitation facilities is to help patients improve their quality of life by working on:
- Skills such as walking, talking and eating
- Physical strength and flexibility
- Living an independent lifestyle
“Stroke patients must carefully consider where they will seek rehab,” Dr. Kaelin said. “Not all hospitals and clinics offer the same services.”
Recently the American Stroke Association recommended stroke survivors utilize acute, inpatient rehab instead of skilled nursing facilities. This decision was based on several studies that revealed numerous advantages to inpatient rehabilitation programs compared with those in skilled nursing facilities.
Some of the most notable benefits of inpatient rehabilitation include:
- Daily visits from a rehab doctor
- Longer therapy sessions
- Higher nurse-to-patient ratios
These added benefits can lead to quicker recovery times as well as longer life expectancy for those who participate in acute inpatient rehab.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health Magazine. Want more health and rehabilitation news like this? Subscribe to One Health Magazine and receive the latest news straight to your inbox.