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What does stroke rehabilitation involve?

This won’t be so relevant if you have had a transient event, but if you have had a stroke and you have come through a stroke service, your therapy team and medical team will decide whether you need immediate rehabilitation and your rehabilitation starts on day one.  On the hyperacute stroke unit you will be seen by an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a speech therapist if you need that and maybe a psychologist if there are problems with memory and thinking. From the hyperacute unit, you will be moved to an acute stroke unit. That may be within the same hospital, but often it is in another hospital nearer your locality.  That is because we want to put you in your locality so you can engage with services in your community. Those community services are the community rehabilitation services, which might be a rehabilitation hospital, so still a hospital environment but with more focus on therapy.  

This therapy will focus on your disability for example if you have weakness in your arm, meaning you can’t make a cup of tea, you can’t write, you can’t brush your teeth, it will focus more on these task related activities.  Everything at the beginning is about your treatment in that acute stroke unit, but later on we are focusing on how do we get you back home and functioning. It might be about wanting help going back to work and there are vocational rehab services that we offer at Queen Square.  It might be that you cannot really see on one side and there is a specialist hemianopia clinic which we run at Queen Square. There are rehabilitation services in the community hospitals, but also once you go back home. These services in the early stages are called ESD, the early supported discharge teams and they will offer therapy in the form of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.  Your therapy should be tailored to the disabilities you have left.