Mercy Stroke Center
Studies have shown that rehabilitation is responsible for most of the recovery experienced by patients after a stroke, and that without it, little or no improvement can be accomplished. Rehabilitation can help you recover physically from the effects of a stroke and regain function that may have been impaired as a result of brain damage from a stroke. The scope of physical impairment is determined by where your stroke occurred (i.e. within the left or right side of your brain) and how much brain tissue was damaged before treatment could be administered. Your physician will take several factors into consideration when prescribing a rehabilitation program, including:
- your age
- the physical extent of your stroke damage
- your physical health
- your family and loved ones’ ability to support your rehabilitation work
Your rehabilitation will likely begin before you leave the hospital. You may move from your room to an inpatient rehabilitation unit or acute rehabilitation unit before being discharged. Once you no longer require in-hospital care your rehabilitation will continue at one of several possible places depending on your age, ability, physical needs, and insurance coverage. Those possible rehabilitation sites can include:
- skilled care nursing facility
- an outpatient rehabilitation center (that you go to one or more days per week)
- at home (with rehabilitation providers coming to deliver services)
Acute Rehabilitation Services at Mercy St Charles Hospital provide a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses and therapists committed to meeting the needs of patients with functional impairments. The acute rehabilitation inpatient program has earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), a distinction reserved only for an elite group of rehabilitation facilities that are recognized for delivering exceptional service and quality.
Mercy Acute Rehabilitation Services offers 24-hour physician coverage and rehabilitation nursing care, a minimum of 15 hours of therapy per week, per patient, 18 private rooms with large private bathrooms and an activity area where patients can meet and interact with other patients who face many of the same challenges. Depending upon a patient’s needs, the rehab team may include:
- physical therapist
- occupational therapist
- recreational therapist
- speech/language pathologist
- registered dietician
- pastoral care provider
- case manager
Before discharge from the Mercy Stroke Center or the Acute Rehabilitation Center at Mercy St. Charles, you will receive assistance in creating a discharge plan. Part of that plan may include receiving rehabilitation services at home through Mercy Homecare. With Mercy Homecare patients can receive medical care following a hospital discharge in the comfort of their home. Being in one’s environment can significantly promote a rapid recovery when supported by home health care professionals who focus on the physical and spiritual needs of the stroke survivor.
The goal of stroke rehabilitation is to help you recover as much of your previous abilities and function as possible so that you can enjoy the best possible quality of life. Rehabilitation cannot reverse any permanent brain damage but it can help you to relearn abilities and skills that were lost due to stroke-related brain damage.
Rehabilitation can be a long, difficult and emotional process. While nobody can predict how much of your previous skills and abilities you will be able to recover, it is true that recovery normally happens more quickly during the first 12 months following a stroke. However the brain can continue to form new pathways as part of the healing process even after a year. Recovery will ebb and flow and it’s important to have a team of people who can encourage and support you through this critical work of rehabilitation.