Rehabilitation plays a big part in your healing. It may last months to years after the stroke. You may need to learn new ways to daily tasks. Many assistive technologies and adaptive tools can help. You will do best in programs that use repetition to relearn skills and tasks.

You will need help with:

Speech Problems

It may be hard for you to speak or understand words after a stroke. You may also have recall problems and find it hard to put words together. Speech therapy will help. It may take a lot of time and effort.

Swallowing Problems

This problem is common. It can get in the way of eating well and staying hydrated. It may also cause you to choke or cough while eating, or cough up food after eating. Breathing food and liquid into the lungs raises your risk of aspiration pneumonia .

Speech therapists can help. You may need to make short or long term changes to the kinds of foods you eat or how you eat them.

Problems Walking or Other Movement Problems

You may have problems walking. You may also need to relearn how to sit up. You may need to use walking aids, such as a cane or braces, to help support weakened muscles. Physical therapy will play a big role in your care. The therapist can teach you how to move about after a stroke that has caused lack of strength in your legs or body.

Occupational therapy can also help with the tasks that you do each day, such as eating, dressing, bathing, and going to the bathroom. You will need to work with therapists.

Fine Motor Problems

Hands and arms may also suffer from a stroke. You may have to relearn how to do things that you once felt were easy, such as writing or feeding yourself. Occupational therapists can tell you how to use assistive devices that will help.

Spatial Neglect

You may have problems processing stimuli from the world around you. Cognitive behavioral therapy may help.


You may have to depend on others to feed you, move you, dress you, and get you to the bathroom. This is the hardest part of a stroke for most people.

Your family and friends can help. There are also professional caregivers who can help with daily tasks. Your doctor and others on your health care team will get you the help you will need.

It may take days or months for you to make progress. Set realistic goals and put your best effort in to reach them.


Depression is feeling profoundly sad and not wanting to do things that you once enjoyed. It is common after a stroke. It can be treated by working with a therapist and taking medicine. Antidepressants may help the brain heal after a stroke and help you get back mental and motor functioning.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review BoardRimas Lukas, MD
  • Review Date: 12/2018 -
  • Update Date: 01/16/2019 -