Activities of daily living (ADL) become the focus of rehabilitation after a stroke. ADL typically include tasks like bathing or preparing food. But you should also talk with your care team about activities important to you, such as performing a work-related skill or a hobby, to help set your recovery goals. While therapy is vital, it is equally important to practice on your own.
Beyond affecting ADL, a stroke can have serious cognitive and emotional impacts for both patients and caregivers. Rehabilitation psychologists and neuropsychologists can screen for these kinds of challenges and create a plan to improve cognitive function and develop resilience in the face of what could be permanent lifestyle changes.
Commit to performing most of your regular daily activities in your home environment and/or you have family support to assist with these activities to speed your recovery.
1–3 Months Post-Stroke
The first three months after a stroke are the most important for recovery and when patients will see the most improvement. During this time, most patients will enter and complete an inpatient rehabilitation program, or make progress in their outpatient therapy sessions.
The goal of rehabilitation is to restore function as close as possible to pre-stroke levels or develop compensation strategies to work around a functional impairment. An example of a compensation strategy is learning to hold a toothpaste tube so the strong hand can unscrew the cap.