Your care team
The stroke treatment team develops a plan of care that best meets the needs of each patient. Patients and those who support them are encouraged to contribute by expressing their preferences.
Your stroke care team can help you regain skills and compensate for skills you might not get back. This can make you better able to participate in previous life roles, such as driving, parenting, socializing or working.
- Physiatrists are doctors who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation. They coordinate overall medical care by leading the stroke care team.
- Psychologists can help you cope with emotional, behavioral and intellectual changes caused by stroke.
- Rehabilitation nurses plan and implement 24-hour care. They focus on personal care and education for you and your family.
- Care navigators guide patients through the rehabilitation process. They help you choose the right resources at the right time.
- Social workers help patients and their families cope with personal, family or social situations. They also coordinate discharge planning.
- Physical therapists address problems with balance, coordination, strength, walking and transfers (getting in and out of a chair, bed or car). They can help you learn to use a cane, walker or wheelchair.
- Occupational therapists help you regain daily living skills (eating, grooming, dressing, bathing, doing housework and going to the bathroom). They also look at home and work environments and activities to make it easier to participate.
- Speech / language pathologists treat language and speech problems. They may help you regain thinking, reasoning and remembering skills.
- Therapeutic recreational specialists help people continue leisure interests and community life.
Other rehabilitation care team members
Nurse practitioners, dietitians, nutritionists, pharmacists, integrative health practitioners, respiratory therapists, chaplains and other health professionals may also participate in your rehabilitation and recovery.