Stroke: Your Rehabilitation Team
Rehabilitation after a Reference stroke Opens New Window usually involves a number of health professionals. These may include the following people.
Doctors and nurses
- Rehabilitation doctor. The rehabilitation doctor is in charge of your medical care after a stroke. This may be a Reference physiatrist Opens New Window (a doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation), a Reference neurologist Opens New Window, or a primary care doctor.
- Rehabilitation nurse. A rehabilitation nurse specializes in nursing care for people with disabilities. He or she can provide nursing care and helps doctors coordinate medical care. A rehabilitation nurse can also educate both you and your family about recovering from a stroke.
- Physical therapist. A Reference physical therapist Opens New Window evaluates and treats problems with movement, balance, and coordination. The physical therapist can provide you with training and exercises to improve walking, getting into and out of bed or a chair, and moving around without losing your balance. The physical therapist also teaches your family members how to help with exercises and how to help you move or walk, if needed.
- Occupational therapist. An Reference occupational therapist Opens New Window helps you relearn skills that you lost as a result of your stroke. He or she may have you do exercises and practice activities so that you can learn to do the things you could before, such as eating, bathing, dressing, writing, or cooking. You may not be able to do these activities the same way as before, so the therapist may teach you new ways to do them.
- Speech-language therapist. A Reference speech-language therapist Opens New Window can help you get back your language skills and learn other ways to communicate. The speech-language therapist may teach your family members how to improve communication with you as well. Speech-language therapists also work with people who have swallowing problems caused by a stroke.
- Recreational therapist. A Reference recreational therapist Opens New Window can help you return to activities that you enjoyed before the stroke, such as playing cards, gardening, bowling, or doing church and community activities. Recreational therapy can help you practice and relearn physical activities and thinking skills needed for activities you like.
- Social worker. A Reference social worker Opens New Window can help you and your family make decisions about rehabilitation and plan your return home or to a new living place. He or she can help you and your family answer questions about insurance and other financial issues and can help you with a variety of support services. Social workers also provide or arrange for counseling to help cope with emotional adjustments after a stroke.
- Licensed counselor or psychologist. A Reference professional counselor Opens New Window or a Reference psychologist Opens New Window can provide Reference counseling Opens New Window to help you or your family members adjust and cope after a stroke. Counselors may use interviews and tests to identify and understand where you are having trouble. They may help you with thinking or memory problems or may work with other professionals to help you.
Other health professionals
- Orthotist. An orthotist can fit you with special braces, splints, or footwear that help with movement, correct deformity, and relieve pain.
- Dietitian. A Reference dietitian Opens New Window can help you plan a balanced diet during rehabilitation. You may need a special diet if you have swallowing problems. The dietitian may also educate your family about helping you stay on a healthy diet after you leave the rehab program.
- Vocational counselor. A vocational counselor can help you find a job or get back to work after a stroke.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 28, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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