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Six proven ways to heal after a stroke

Someone suffers a stroke in the United States every 40 seconds, according to the Center for Disease Control. Strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. These blood vessels carry nutrients and oxygen to the brain, so when a blood vessel bursts, the neurons in the brain begin to starve and die triggering physical and mental changes in the body.

In recent years, scientists have found that damaged brain cells are not beyond repair. Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health have found that when brain tissue is not receiving oxygen and nutrients repair mechanisms are activated to try to overcome the damage. Healthy neurons send out new projections or sprouts that establish some of the connections lost during the stroke or make new connections to replace those that were damaged. Scientists have identified a key protein that starts this process and are hopeful that this new knowledge will lead to new therapies for treating strokes and other damage to the brain.

The process
When the brain regenerates cells, it is called neurogenesis. The most rapid recovery following a stroke is in the first three to four months after the stroke. Recovery can continue for longer times following the stroke but recovery is improved significantly by early intervention. It takes a combination of physical, recreational and occupational therapy along with awareness, sensitivity and patience to help a stroke patient recover.

Here are six ways to help stimulate the brain to start recovery from damage.

Be meticulous with medications – It is important to take medications as prescribed during a time of recovery. Some medications are important for reducing the chance of another stroke and others are to help relieve pain often felt after a stroke. Report any interactions or side effects to your doctor so adjustments can be made.

Pay attention to diet – Eating a healthy balanced diet is important during recovery. Avoid processed sugar and follow the doctor’s recommendations about nutrition. Even if a person doesn’t feel like eating, it is important to encourage eating to have enough nutrients to stay healthy.

Move as often as possible – Simply walking is an important part of stroke recovery but should be done with supervision, especially if there is reduced mobility issues from the stroke. If walking is impossible, try legs lifts and arm stretches from a chair.

Encourage interaction – Engaging with others is important during recovery. Although a person may feel like just staying alone in bed, talking and listening to others can help stimulate parts of the brain and encourage repairs.

Engage the brain – Try crossword puzzles, board games, card games or other fun activities to get the brain working. The fastest way to strengthen the brain is to use it as much as possible.

Try a musical approach – Music has been shown to help with balance, gait, memory, attention and focus during stroke recovery. Singing and speech share a similar mechanism in the brain, so singing a song can help strength lost speech skills. Moving to music has also helped with recovering lost skills connected to walking.

Time is crucial
Starting therapy as soon as possible is the key to an effective recovery, according to the American Stroke Association. Therapy needs to be consistent and constant for the best results. This can be challenging for family caregivers. Many stroke patients choose to recover in a short-term care facility because they can get an effective mix of therapy and care for the quickest recovery possible.

An effective choice
The Stroke and Neurological Rehabilitation Program at Glenview Terrace, under the guidance of a board-certified physician, provides comprehensive and holistic care for people recovering from a stroke or other neurological condition.

Upon admission, a customized rehabilitation plan is created based on each guest’s needs using X-rays, Doppler and video fluoroscopy studies performed on-site. Physical, occupational and speech therapies are administered one-on-one with experienced therapists up to seven days a week. A rehabilitation gym outfitted with the latest equipment is available for an effective therapy experience. Staff dietitians provide meals that are healthy and appealing to help in the recovery process. Nurses are available at all hours to address any medical concerns along with dedicated staff to help with personal care. Neuropsychological and psychiatric services are also available.

This support and therapy is offered in Glenview Terrace’s upscale environment where each guest is pampered. The tastefully decorated rooms are designed for ease of movement. Daily delivery of coffee and newspaper is a perk that post-stroke rehabilitation guests enjoy. Nutritious meals can also be enjoyed in an elegant dining area or in the privacy of your room. Beautifully landscaped grounds with a tranquil fountain add to the welcoming setting. Other amenities include concierge service, an executive business center, in-room televisions with dozens of cable channels and wireless high-speed Internet. With all their needs taken care of, guests can focus on recovery and enjoy a little pampering too.

When it is time to go home, the discharge planning experts at Glenview Terrace will assess needs, provide crucial education and arrange for the proper services, resources and equipment for a safe and successful transition.

Let the experienced team of doctors, nursing staff, therapists, nurse practitioners and dietitians help with stroke recovery in a quick and effective manner. Contact Glenview Terrace today to see why it is the preferred choice for stroke rehabilitation. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.