Recovery from stroke and adapting to a new way of life is a gradual and demanding process. Rehabilitation may be an important part of your recovery, as it can help you to adapt to any physical problems that you may have developed as a result of the stroke.
Many people with stroke may make a full recovery, but others can be left with permanent disabilities. How quickly or the extent of recovery is probably the question most people want an answer to after a stroke, and rightly so. Unfortunately, this is very difficult to predict. Recovery depends on many factors, of which the most important are the extent and location of brain damage, and how quick and effective treatment was. Early rehabilitation is very important, and the amount of recovery and progress someone makes in the first few weeks can be a valuable indicator of their long-term potential to recover. You will get the best answer to this question from the medical specialists who treated the stroke.
The purpose of rehabilitation is to regain as much independence and confidence as possible. You might not be able to do exactly what you did before the stroke, as rehabilitation cannot cure damage to the brain, but it can help you to relearn how to make the best possible use of your body.
Stroke can affect movement, the senses, feeding, emotions, other body functions and energy levels. Rehabilitation should be personalised to the individual and may include various professionals, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, speech therapists, psychologists, and social workers.
Learn more about how people can be affected by a stroke, about recovery and adapting to life after stroke by reading our booklet MY STROKE: a practical manual for stroke patients
Aphasia is a communication problem where your ability to use and understand language is affected. It results from damage to the language areas in your brain. If you have aphasia you may have problems with understanding others when they talk, expressing your thoughts into the right words, reading or writing. Download a booklet about aphasia from the South African Aphasia Group.
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If you have had a stroke, you are at risk of having another stroke in the future. But remember, you can do a lot to stop it from happening again. You can reduce the risk of having another stroke or TIA if you make some changes to your lifestyle and take the medicines that your doctor prescribes. Even small changes can make a big difference! Find out more about healthy living.