Rehabilitation is the therapy and activities you do that drive your recovery. It helps you to re-learn or find new ways of doing things that were affected by your stroke.

It aims to stimulate your brain’s ability to change and adapt, which is called neuroplasticity. By creating new brain pathways, you may learn to use other parts of your brain to recover the functions of those parts that were affected by your stroke.

What to expect

Everyone’s stroke is different, so it’s hard to predict how much you will recover. Some people return to 100 per cent or very close, while others may continue to have impairments.

Improvement can continue for years after a stroke, but for many people it’s quickest in the first six months. This is why it’s important for health professionals like physiotherapists and speech pathologists to start working with you as soon as possible after your stroke.

You can begin your rehabilitation while still in a stroke unit or on an acute ward. After that, you may be transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation unit, or you might go home with centre-based or visiting rehabilitation (see the options under Getting good healthcare, on EnableMe).

To decide how much and what type of rehabilitation therapy you get, the stroke team will consider whether you’re able to:

  • improve enough to make a difference to your daily life
  • manage the time spent in a therapy session
  • work with the team to set goals and be prepared to reach them.

You and your family or carers should be actively involved in making these choices and in your ongoing rehabilitation.

More information

Find resources and support services under Help after stroke.

Visit our stroke recovery website, EnableMe.

Call StrokeLine on 1800 787 653.