Services provided by stroke rehab centers include physical therapy, counseling for emotional and cognitive issues, and meal plans created by dietitians. Services vary depending on the rehab center and the needs of the patient.
Physical therapy includes exercises designed to strengthen muscles, build balance and coordination, and increase range of motion. In constraint-induced therapy, the patient has an unaffected limb restricted, which forces him to use and develop his affected limbs. Physical therapy also includes mobility training, where the patient learns how to use walking aids, and then uses those aids to learn how to walk again.
Counseling involves meetings and evaluations with psychologists and neuropsychologists. Rehab centers also typically offer support groups to help with emotional issues. If the patient is depressed, his doctor may prescribe medication.
Dietitians develop meal plans that meet the patient's nutritional needs. Nurses attend to patients at the rehab center and offer them advice. Rehab centers also have case managers who plan the length of time the patient spends there and what happens when they discharge the patient.
Stroke rehabilitation works more effectively the sooner it begins after the stroke. Other factors that affect the patient's rehabilitation include the severity of his stroke, his motivation, support from people he knows and the skill of his rehabilitation team.