The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association released new guidelines for Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery. These have recently been released in the professional journal “Stroke” (May 2016). The joint organizational guidelines recommend that, for the best outcome, stroke patients who require rehabilitation following a hospital stay should receive these services in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility.
Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities are considered acute rehabilitation care and are not nursing homes.
As I mentioned in my post Do You Have A Choice?, you have the right to know treatment options and to take part in decisions about your care for yourself or a family member.
The Resource: Making the Right Decision For Rehabilitation Care is an excellent resource describing the difference in settings for rehab services and care.
The American Heart Association and The American Stroke Association also recommended that stroke patients not be discharged from the hospital until they have taken part in a structured fall-prevention program. It should include home safety measures like removing throw rugs and improving lighting, minimizing the fall risk that results from the side effects of medication and training in the safe use of wheelchairs, walkers and canes.
While families may not find that these recommendations may be acted upon by rehabilitation hospitals prior to discharge (depending on the resources available to complete home evaluations with the patient prior to discharged), a home health agency providing stroke rehabilitation should complete a home safety evaluation as part of the home rehabilitation program.
The National Institute of Health offers home safety tips to prevent falls.These general guidelines are customized to the unique needs of someone who has had a stroke to prevent falls and other injuries by the home health agency providing at-home stroke rehabilitation following an inpatient treatment program.