SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – Clinicians now specialize in the rehabilitation guidelines of stroke patients.
Rick Martin is currently learning to re-walk. His wife Lynn says after his stroke, her husband was unable to walk or even sit on the side of the bed without collapsing.
“I couldn’t pick him up or move him,” Lynn says. “He needed to progress before he could go home.”
Previous guidelines focused on medical issues with the initial management of stroke. Now, The American Stroke Association has shifted their focus on the rehabilitation of stroke patients. The ASA strongly recommends stroke patients to be treated at an inpatient rehabilitation facility rather than a skilled nursing facility.
Izabela Polivachak, with Sarasota HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, says there is a difference in the outcome of the two facility treatments. Clinicians at rehabilitation facilities now specialize in the therapy of stroke patients. Therefore, patients are able to go home much faster.
“At the beginning of (Rick’s) journey he was not able to stand up,” says Polivachak. “He was scared. He was not able to do any physical activities. He was dependent with absolutely everything like getting in and out of bed. He couldn’t do it.”
Today, Rick Martin is getting strong with the help of the inpatient rehabilitation faculty and staff.
“It starts out slow at first,” says Rick. “But then it picks right up. Before you know it, it is working.”
Without their help, Lynn worries her husband would still be in his wheelchair.