After the immediate management of a stroke, the focus of care shifts to helping you regain as much strength and function as possible. A stroke can affect your life in many ways; its effects will be different depending on how severe the stroke was and what area of the brain was affected.

After your stroke, your doctor and other health care professionals will assess how the stroke has affected your brain function and will develop a rehabilitation program to suit your needs and your lifestyle. Rehabilitation usually starts in the hospital and continues at a rehabilitation centre or at home.

Several health care professionals will be part of your rehabilitation team. You may work with a doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, psychologist, dietitian, or psychiatrist.

After your stroke you may have difficulty with movement on one side of your body. You may also have difficulty speaking, swallowing, hearing, seeing, or going to the bathroom. Your rehabilitation team will work with you to help make things easier. They may suggest that you:

  • wear clothes that are easy for you to get on and off, such as shoes and shirts with Velcro
  • modify your personal hygiene routines
  • develop a plan with family, friends, and community resources to help with household chores
  • engage in suitable activities and do exercises to regain strength

A stroke can also affect your mental health. You may have anxiety or experience depression after a stroke. If you think you might be experiencing depression, contact your doctor. Some of the symptoms of depression include feeling sad, guilty, or hopeless; eating too much or not enough; sleeping a lot or having trouble sleeping; having difficulty concentrating; and losing interest in friends or activities. Strokes can also affect your memory, ability to learn, and thinking. Your rehabilitation team will help with this too.

Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team