Top 8 ways to maximise your stroke rehab
Rehab after stroke can be challenging. Sometimes things don’t progress as fast as you might like. However, it is important to maintain a positive attitude if you want to maximise your stroke rehabiliation, remember: improvements are always possible after a stroke. So, put the effort in and dive into your stroke rehab journey. Often when people start to see their hard work paying off they realise that it has all been worthwhile
Having worked in stroke rehabilitation for more than 15 years, over the years I have learnt a few things! So, here are my top tips for maximizing your stroke rehab results:
You need to decide that now is your time to recover and give it your all. By fully committing to your stroke rehab you can participate fully, give it your time and energy and then see the best rewards.
- DREAM BIG AND STAY POSITIVE
Try and create your vision of the end goal of rehabilitation.
What do you want to be able to do?
What would you like to get back to?
I can only imagine the feelings of grief and loss immediately after you experience the stroke. Try your best to turn this around and create a positive vision of your life moving forward.
- SET GOALS
Once you have your big dream in mind, it helps to break this up into smaller, achievable goals. This can be challenging, so the therapists you are working with can help you to state smaller goals. These will provide great evidence that you are improving and working towards your bigger dreams.
- FIND YOUR TEAM
Throughout your stroke rehab, you need to have a good team around you. A team that is focused on helping you achieve your goals and offering a treatment plan that is effective in getting you there. You should always feel that you are the central team member and everyone is clearly communicating with you.
- START EARLY
There is no better time to start your stroke rehab than immediately!! In most cases, your rehab should start in the first days after the stroke and then continue on an ongoing basis. There is good evidence that starting soon after the stroke produces the best results.
If your stroke was some time ago, don’t worry! We also know that improvements are possible at any time after stroke. So as above, start your stroke rehab journey today.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
The more intense the stroke rehab the better! So, to get good results you need to practice and keep practicing!!
Completing your scheduled rehab sessions may not be enough, you need to consider what else you can do.
The challenge can be finding the right way to get enough practice. For everybody, this can be different. Some people like to complete additional exercises at home, some need the support of family and friends and some need to exercise with professionals. Talk to your rehab team to help you develop a plan to get all the practice you need.
Your physiotherapists should have a number of options to support your program; including exercise videos that they can recommend for you if you think this will help you exercise at home. In addition, they should be able to write you a clear home or gym exercise program. Furthermore, your rehab team should also be happy to support you with extra sessions in the clinic to get your practice up.
- IGNORE QUICK FIXES
Many people may promise things that will quickly ‘FIX’ your problems. Be wary of this.
Stroke rehabilitation is hard work and ongoing. You need to work with a team that knows the latest evidence about what really works and what doesn’t. This way you know you are investing your time and money into rehab that will get results.
Hopefully, your stroke rehab will be a positive experience in which despite working hard you are achieving your goals. However, you are going to have challenging days and weeks. Times where you feel your goals are very far away.
Keep at it! Work through it and keep implementing your program. It may be helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling whether it be your rehab team or a family member.
Most importantly don’t give up! Take a little step forward each day by doing your exercises and attending your appointments.
These are my top 8 tips for maximizing your stroke rehab. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.