Rehabilitation helps stroke survivors relearn skills that are lost when part of the brain is damaged. The types and degrees of disability that follow a stroke depend upon which area of the brain is damaged. Generally, stroke can cause five types of disabilities: Paralysis or problems controlling movement; sensory disturbances including pain; problems using or understanding language; problems with thinking and memory; and emotional disturbances.
For a stroke survivor, the rehabilitation goal is to be as independent and productive as possible. That may mean improving physical abilities. Often old skills have been lost and new ones are needed. It's also important to maintain and improve a person's physical condition when possible. Rehabilitation can mean the difference between returning home or staying in an institution.
Although a majority of functional abilities may be restored soon after a stroke, recovery is an ongoing process.