15 Tips for CVA Rehabilitation

CVA rehabilitation is crucial for anyone who has had a CVA (cerebrovascular accident). When a CVA happens, it’s not always so clear what’s going on or how to deal with it – there’s often a lot of chaos, and it happens very quickly. Fortunately, if you’re prepared and you know what to expect, you have a much greater chance of preventing considerable brain damage. Here are fifteen tips anyone everyone should know when dealing with a CVA:

  1. It’s all about neuroplasticity. The brain has an amazing quality to make up for its own losses – that means if there’s damage in one area, the brain can actually use another area to re-learn what was lost. The key is to keep the brain active and moving through cva rehabilitation.
  2. Repetition is key. The way to retrain brain activity is to constantly repeat, repeat, repeat. This goes for all types of brain activity, from memory to motion – repeating physical exercises, repeating tasks, repeating words.
  3. There are all kinds of side effects, and you need to learn them up so you know what to expect and what the timelines are.
  4. The left side and right side of the brain have different functions, so where the stroke happened will determine the kind of loss that occurs. The left side is associated with language, so if that side was affected, the language center will be more severely affected and the patient is likely to have trouble with speech.
  5. Keep going, even when the progress seems painstakingly slow. CVA rehabilitation is a long and arduous process, and you just need to keep moving, repeating and staying motivated. Chance will happen, it just might take some time. Even with a minor cva, rehab will take months. With a massive cva, it could take years.
  6. As fast as everyone wants it to go, don’t overdo it – allow it to proceed at a natural pace. It’s great if the patient is motivated, that’s exactly what we want. However, pushing beyond the natural capacity can throw in a setback.
  7. Don’t give up even when you’re in front of a brick wall. You can push through! Doctors don’t always give a hopeful prognosis because they can’t legally give false hopes. It’s often up to the patients and his will to drive success.
  8. Don’t be afraid of alternative treatments. Acupuncture has helped many patients undergoing classical cva rehabilitation.
  9. Keep trying different therapies, or go for a multidisciplinary program. Each individual responds differently to forms of therapy, so find the cocktail that works in your patient’s case.
  10. Proper nutrition is vital for staying healthy, and a healthy diet will aid in cva rehabilitation. Any licensed facility has a nutritionist on staff to create the best diet for each patient. Make sure you’re taking advantage of that. And don’t let “nice” visitors pump up the patient with junk. It will only hurt recovery time.
  11. If you notice any strange side effects, find a cure! You don’t have to believe that it’s just part of the process. Deal with each part of the recovery as it comes.
  12. Go for the gold – statistically, only a small fraction pf CVA rehabilitation patients achieve a full recovery. Don’t be daunted by that number – try to be a part of it, and you’re more likely to succeed.
  13. Community and religion are important to recovery. Whether it’s friends, family, or religion that can provide the extra support the patient needs to stay motivated and feel comfortable, it should be a significant part of the rehabilitation process.
  14. If the patient stagnates with one therapy, move on to the next. Have clear communication with the patient’s case manage and monitor care so you see what’s moving and what’s not.
  15. Finally, stay positive. It can be very challenging when something like this occurs, but have faith; CVA rehabilitation really works.

At Sinai Post Acute Care, we have an excellent CVA rehabilitation program. See how we can help.