First, you received treatment to prevent further damage to the brain, and to help the heart, lungs, and other important organs heal.
After you were stable, doctors did testing and started treatment to help you recover from the stroke and prevent a future stroke. You may have stayed in a special unit that helps people recover after a stroke.
Keep distractions and noise down. Keep your voice lower. Move to a quieter room. DO NOT shout.
Allow plenty of time for the person to answer questions and understand instructions. After a stroke, it takes longer to process what has been said.
Use simple words and sentences, speak slowly. Ask questions in a way that can be answered with a yes or no. When possible, give clear choices. DO NOT give too many options.
Break down instructions into small and simple steps.
Repeat if needed. Use familiar names and places. Announce when you are going to change the subject.
Make eye contact before touching or speaking if possible.
Use props or visual prompts when possible. DO NOT give too many options. You may be able to use pointing or hand gestures or drawings. Use an electronic device, such as a tablet computer or cell phone, to show pictures to help with communication.
Have all of your prescriptions filled before you go home. It is very important that you take your medicines the way your provider told you to. DO NOT take any other drugs, supplements, vitamins, or herbs without asking your provider about them first.
You may be given one or more of the following medicines. These are meant to control your blood pressure or cholesterol, and to keep your blood from clotting. They may help prevent another stroke:
Antiplatelet medicines (aspirin or clopidogrel) help keep your blood from clotting.
Beta blockers, diuretics (water pills), and ACE inhibitor medicines control your blood pressure and protect your heart.
Statins lower your cholesterol.
If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar at the level your provider recommends.
DO NOT stop taking any of these medicines.
If you are taking a blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin), you may need to have extra blood tests done.
If you have problems with swallowing, you must learn to follow a special diet that makes eating safer. The signs of swallowing problems are choking or coughing when eating. Learn tips to make feeding and swallowing easier and safer.
Swallowing easier and safer
Difficulty with swallowing is the feeling that food or liquid is stuck in the throat or at any point before the food enters the stomach. This proble...
Dobkin BH. Rehabilitation and recovery of the patient with stroke. In: Grotta JC, Albers GW, Broderick JP, et al, eds. Stroke: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 58.
Kernan WN, Ovbiagele B, Black HR, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(7):2160-2236. PMID: 24788967 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24788967.
National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Post-stroke rehabilitation. stroke.nih.gov/materials/rehabilitation.htm. Updated September 2014. Accessed September 5, 2018.
Winstein CJ, Stein J, Arena R, et al. Guidelines for adult stroke rehabilitation and recovery: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2016;47(6):e98-e169. PMID: 27145936 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27145936.
Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist & Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.