Stroke Recovery: How long does it take?

A common question people ask when a loved one survives a stroke is, “how long until they recover?”  This can be difficult to answer, since so many variables come into play, such as what brain functions were affected, what is the age of the patient, and what health were they in when the stroke event occurred?  Even with all of these questions answered there is no simple answer, however through extensive research, scientists have a better understanding of the typical recovery process and timeline.

So…How Long?

While full recovery may or may not be in the cards, typically one can expect to see the most aggressive improvement in the first 3 to 4 months of meaningful stroke rehabilitation.  This may involve a variety of therapies including physical, occupational, and speech, to name a few.  A patient may continue to see progress at a slower pace in the coming one to two years.

What To Expect

During the recovery period, it’s common for the patient to experience falls and bumps and bruises due to the new limitations, however caretakers should be mindful to check the patient for more severe injuries, and of course, attempt to mitigate risk of injury by pacing the therapies with trained physical and occupational therapists.

Note The Progress

Post-stroke patients will generally receive acute rehabilitation therapies, and continuation of the acute care will depend on the rate the patient continues to improve based on the Functional Independence Measure Score (FIMS).  Caretakers should keep in touch with therapists to be aware of the running patient score.  This helps the caretaker better understand what to expect in coming months.  A faster progression and the level of care required may decrease, but if they plateau, continued in-home care may be a reality.

Share The Load

Since stroke recovery is generally not a swift recovery, as a caretaker, be ready to pass the baton to other family members or trained in-home nurses from time to time to rest and enjoy some self-care.  Remember, stroke recovery may take time and it doesn’t have to be a lonely road; be sure you have a network you and the patient can lean on for support and brief help in the journey.

If you or a loved one need assistance from a trained live-in stroke recovery facility, we’re happy to help.  You can schedule a tour of our facility online today!

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