Three Types Of Rehabilitation Services For Seniors Following A Stroke


Every year, nearly 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke. Nearly 75 percent of these strokes are suffered by seniors over the age of 65. Having a stroke can be detrimental to one's health, as it can result in loss of limb function, paralysis on one side of the body, speech and language problems, and memory loss. For seniors who have had a stroke, rehabilitation services can be very successful when it comes to recovery. Here are three types of rehabilitation services for seniors following a stroke.

Physical Therapy

This type of rehabilitative service helps stroke victims regain movement, balance, and coordination. Before beginning the rehabilitative process, a physical therapist will first assess the patient's level of strength, endurance, range of motion, and any abnormalities in their gait or the way they walk. Once this assessment has been completed, the therapist can recommend exercises to strengthen the stroke victim's muscles. They can also help them do passive range of motion exercises in which they help the patient move their limbs. The therapist can also show them active exercises which are done without any assistance (if the patient is able).

Aquatic Therapy

This type of therapy is especially advantageous for stroke victims who lack the strength to bear their weight with active physical therapy exercises. Since water is more resistive than air, it can help to strengthen weakened muscles more quickly than by doing the exercises out of the water. The warm water in an aquatic therapy pool which is normally between 82 and 96 degrees, offers the following benefits:

  • Helps reduce increased tone that sometimes occurs with stroke
  • Helps increase blood supply to muscles while decreasing pain levels

The water also offers buoyancy that provides support so that seniors can engage in exercises without falling or worrying about getting hurt.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help seniors who have suffered a stroke to regain motor and sensory abilities. They also help patients relearn self-care skills such as getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves. If the patient has lost a certain ability, for instance they can no longer use one of their hands, the occupational therapist can devise ways for them to adapt to do things differently. Occupational therapists can also help the patient when there is memory loss or confusion. A few examples include:

  • Coming up with a daily routine
  • Making lists
  • Putting things away in designated places

When seniors are able to implement these three types of rehabilitative services following a stroke, it can help immensely to increase their chances of recovery.

For more information, contact Hillcrest Nursing Center or a similar location.


2 November 2015

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