Stroke Rehabilitation Settings

Different stroke survivors will receive care in different settings, with some offering more intensive services than others. You and your health care team will collaborate to determine which environments will be most effective in meeting your stroke rehabilitation needs.

Options For Stroke Rehabilitation

Stroke rehabilitation services, including physical, occupational and speech therapy, along with medical care may be provided in:

  • Acute Rehabilitation Center: Intensive services for patients with the greatest impairments and the most significant needs
  • Skilled Nursing Facility: Closely supervised services for patients with significant needs, but not as intensive as those provided in acute rehabilitation facilities
  • Home Health: Therapies and other services delivered in the stroke survivor’s home setting
  • Outpatient: Services provided in an outpatient clinic, which may include therapy or ongoing medical care

Most stroke survivors will transition from inpatient to home health to outpatient settings over the course of their stroke rehabilitation. However, patients who are appropriate for an inpatient level of care typically will be in either acute rehabilitation or skilled nursing, not both, depending on the initial effects of the stroke.

Which Setting Is Right For Me?

The setting that will be most appropriate and effective for each patient is determined by the treating physician and is based on severity of the stroke’s effects, along with the patient’s care needs. Not all stroke survivors necessarily need to receive care in an inpatient setting, and some may actually do better in familiar home environments where they feel more relaxed. Your health insurance provider can also play a role in determining the most appropriate level of care for you. This may be dictated by certain clinical measures of impairment. If you feel that your health insurance provider is standing in the way of your getting needed care, work with your doctor to navigate the appeals process. Getting the right level of post-stroke care in the right environment makes all of the difference in stroke recovery outcomes. Look to your providers for direction on which rehabilitation settings make sense at different points in your post-stroke journey.