The Valley Hospital’s Rehabilitation Medicine Department is dedicated to helping patients regain their highest level of functioning following a stroke. As members of the Primary Stroke Center, our inpatient rehabilitation team is comprised of licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and a physiatrist. They work closely with the stroke units, case managers, social workers and advanced practice nurses to transition patients to the next phase of their rehabilitation which could include services by Valley Home Care and/or Valley’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Medicine Department.
Rehabilitation assessments can start as early as a patient’s time in the Emergency Department. For all patients, the rehabilitation therapy of all patients who have experienced a stroke starts at the bedside as they are recovering in our Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit or the step-down inpatient unit. Patients are assessed as soon as appropriate for their rehabilitation needs, including:
- physical therapy,
- occupational therapy,
- swallowing therapy,
- speech-language therapy.
A personalized plan of care is developed for each patient’s individual needs. Inpatient therapy is available 7 days a week, but is provided on a customized schedule as determined by the patient’s medical status and ability to participate in therapy. Each patient’s own plan of care determines what therapy is appropriate for their level of function.
Every stroke patient is evaluated for their overall functional ability. This includes range of motion, muscular strength, sensation, and cognition (the ability to understand, follow directions, and speak). The therapist also assesses sitting and standing balance, coordination, movement from the bed to a chair and the ability to walk. Treatment sessions may include motor relearning, functional activities, e.g. sitting, standing, balance training and walking with assistance, if appropriate.
An occupational therapy evaluation consists of an assessment of functional abilities in the areas of fine and gross motor arm function, sensation, cognition, visual perception and activities of daily living. Therapy will include a customized treatment program possibly consisting of strengthening and coordination exercises, activities to increase visual and thinking skills, compensatory strategies for dressing and recommendations for adaptive equipment.
Speech-Language and/or Swallowing therapy
Our speech-language pathologists assess the patient's ability to swallow as well as speech abilities, including forming words, articulation, aphasia, apraxia, and cognitive deficiencies. Therapy is individualized and may include swallowing therapy, facial exercises, tongue exercises, speech therapy, and the use of communication boards, alternative language devices, and computer programs.
A board-certified physiatrist (a physician specializing in rehabilitation medicine) is available for consultations, if requested by the attending physician or neurologist.
For more information
To learn more about the Inpatient therapy available for stroke patients at Valley, please call 201-447-8028.