Recovering from a stroke

The months and years following a stroke can be quite an adjustment. You may notice changes in the way you think, move and speak. Our hope at Gundersen Health System is to help you regain as much independence as we can while also adjusting to those limitations you may face. Our experts provide you with all the knowledge you need to make healthy choices and prevent future strokes.

Stroke rehabilitation

The goal of inpatient stroke rehabilitation at Gundersen is to work with you to restore function and quality of life after a stroke. Patients choose Gundersen for stroke rehabilitation because our nationally accredited Inpatient Rehabilitation program consistently ranks higher in overall patients outcomes than other rehabilitation centers across the nation.

We help you adapt to any limitations that you may face and increase your independence, safety and quality of life. We hope to help you continue your recovery at home or in our Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation department. Most gains occur in the first few months, so the sooner you start stroke rehabilitation, the more likely you are to regain lost skills and abilities.

What you may re-learn

  • Self-care skills like eating and cooking food, grooming, bathing, dressing and going to the bathroom
  • Mobility skills like walking, transfers and getting around in a wheelchair
  • Communication skills such as speech, writing and alternative methods of communication
  • Cognitive skills like memory, concentration, problem solving and organizational skills
  • Work-related skills that will help you succeed at your job
  • Methods of managing pain such as medicines and other therapies
  • Psychological testing to identify problems and solutions with thinking, behavioral and emotional issues
  • Family support such as assistance with adapting to lifestyle changes, financial concerns and discharge planning
  • Education for the patient and family about stroke, medical care and adaptive techniques

Preventing a second stroke

For someone who has had a stroke, the chance of a second stroke within five years is as much as 30 to 40 percent. The stroke risk is similarly high for someone who has had a transient ischemic attack—TIA or “mini-stroke” is a serious stroke warning sign. Research suggests that management of modifiable stroke risk factors can decrease the risk of a secondary stroke by as much as 80 percent! Our Secondary Stroke Prevention team can work with you to help you reduce your risk.

Risk factors that can lead to an additional stroke

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition
  • Sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise
  • Heart and vascular conditions such as plaque in the arteries or heart arrhythmia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stress
Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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