Stroke Specialty Program

The Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit Stroke Specialty Program provides patients, families, and other stakeholders with assessment and intervention to stroke and its complications. 

The Stroke Specialty Program:

  • Defines its assessment and intervention to the prevention, recognition, assessment, and treatment of conditions related to stroke and its complications
  • Promotes lifestyle changes that focus on reducing risk factors for recurrent stroke
  • Increases functional independence to maximal functional potential in this setting
  • Provides psychological and social coping and adaptation skills
  • Iintegrates patients back into the community and to participate in life roles
  • Offers services for families and/or support systems

Stroke Conditions

Conditions related to stroke and its complications may include:

  • Angina
  • Anxiety
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Central post-stroke pain syndrome
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Contracture
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Dehydration
  • Deconditioning
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Dysphagia
  • Emotional lability
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Falls and injuries
  • Fatigue
  • Hypertension
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Pneumonia
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Recurrent stroke
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Seizure
  • Shoulder dysfunction
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Spasticity/abnormal muscle tone
  • Thromboembolic disease
  • Urinary tract infection

Risk Factors

Risk factors for recurrent stroke may include:

  • Hypertension
  • Coronary disease
  • Obesity
  • Thromboembolic disease
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • High alcohol intake
  • High cholesterol


Lifestyle changes to reduce these risks might include:

  • Promoting exercise and increased activity levels
  • Smoking cessation
  • Improved control of blood glucose levels
  • diet modifications

Interventions to address functional independence may address impairments in

  • Cognitive, memory, and language skills
  • Balance
  • Motor function


Interventions may include counseling, support groups, or individual approaches to specific situations. For example, a social coping and adaptation skill may be practicing how to ask others to speak more slowly or repeat instructions to allow the person who has had a stroke increased time to process information.

Interventions will occur to facilitate and simulate community reintegration and participation in post-discharge life roles.

Interventions might include:

  • Arranging for transportation for the person served to attend services at his or her usual place of worship
  • Training to play golf with modified equipment

Another example is to simulate going to a restaurant with the person served and working with him/her to order food that fits in the person’s dietary parameters.

Support Services

Families/support systems are integral to assisting the persons served to attain maximal function and quality of life. Services for families/support systems may include support groups and Stroke Patient/Family sessions.