Ask the Expert November 21, 2016

As seen in the Tri Town News.

Paul D. from Freehold asks:
“My brother recently had a stroke and is in the hospital. I was wondering, is rehabilitation always needed after a stroke?”

Hi Paul, first off I’d like to thank you for your question. Rehabilitation is a crucial part of stroke care and recovery. The type and length of time for rehab varies of course from several factors including the degree of impact the stroke has had on the individual, the risk of a subsequent stroke occurring and the overall health of the individual.

According to the CDC, a stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States. That said it is very important that an individual participate in some form of rehabilitation in order to avoid an array of health complications, including weakness, blood clots in the legs, bowel and bladder management issues, pneumonia brought about by incorrect swallowing that can enable food and liquid to enter the lungs, and more. Many stroke patients also experience difficulty understanding or expressing themselves through language, trouble thinking clearly, and challenges performing daily living activities that are critical to maintaining one’s independence. Rehabilitation addresses all of this.

Most individuals participate in a combination of physical therapy, occupational therapy and cognitive therapy after suffering a stroke. Depending on the severity of the condition and the effect the stroke has had on the individual will dictate the therapy regimen given. Some examples of physical therapy a stroke survivor may see could be basic movements of arms and legs or walking with assistance. Occupational therapy may also be a part of a stroke survivor’s rehabilitation depending on the goals the individual and family members have. Some examples of occupational therapy may include training on various activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.). If cognitive therapy is a part of a stroke survivor’s rehabilitation you may see a speech therapist working with the individual on various speech exercises along with memory exercises. Technologies have enhanced the therapy experience for stroke survivors which may improve the individual’s experience and overall health. Allaire rehab and nursing has cutting edge technology in their therapy gym including a therapeutic virtual reality instrument that assists in several physical therapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive therapy exercises. We also have a zero gravity system which aids in mobility.

Every individual is different Paul, and I would strongly encourage you and your family to talk with your brother’s doctor to find out what is best for him. If I can be of any assistance in this process for you please feel free to reach out to me anytime. Thank you again for your question Paul!

Brie Gallo is the Director of Case Management and Physician Relations for Allaire Rehab and nursing center. Please submit all questions to