(NAPSI)—Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability—in fact, it’s even more disabling than it is fatal. The period following a stroke can be difficult for patients and their loved ones, as they grapple with the uncertainties of recovery.
For example, Sabrina Warren-White was a busy professional when a stroke in left her unable to speak or use her right side. She quickly began a rigorous rehabilitation program and can now speak, walk and use her right arm.
Once acute medical issues are resolved, focusing on rehabilitation is paramount to helping people build their strength, capabilities and confidence, said Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, the Ruth L. Works Professor and Chairman for the Department of Neurology and Co-director for the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute and KY Clinic at the University of Kentucky.
“Most patients will recover to some degree, but a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation is crucial because it has been shown to result in better outcomes for patients,” Dr. Goldstein added.
Access to coordinated and intense therapies after a stroke is important because the greatest amount of recovery tends to occur in the first 30 days, Dr. Goldstein said.
“Intensity of rehabilitation therapy matters,” he pointed out. “Patients need access to good rehabilitation services and should continue to work at it, even after that initial recovery period.”
Where To Turn
To help, the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, nationally sponsored by Kindred Rehabilitation Services, raises awareness that stroke is largely beatable through high-quality rehabilitation, patient support, and implementation of Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Guidelines.
Patients and caregivers can access more information about recovery and how to make informed decisions at www.StrokeAssociation.org/recovery.