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A stroke occurs when a clot blocks blood supply to part of the brain (ischemic stroke) or a blood vessel in or around the brain ruptures (hemorrhagic stroke). As a result, parts of the brain become damaged or die.

Each year more than 700,000 people in the United States endure a stroke. More than six million people in America are stroke survivors, according to the National Stroke Association.

The abilities lost or affected by a stroke depend on the extent of the brain damage and where in the brain the stroke occurred. Some brain cells may be only temporarily damaged and may resume functioning.

The brain is also capable of reorganizing its own functions or reassigning a different region of the brain to “take over” for the damaged area. Stroke survivors sometimes experience remarkable recoveries and can show signs of improvement for the rest of their lives.

As a stroke survivor, you may face emotional, physical and cognitive challenges. Salem Health’s stroke rehabilitation therapists are dedicated to helping you return to independent living.

Depending on the severity of your stroke, you may work with one or a multitude of stroke specialists, who are determined to help you relearn skills that the stroke may have taken away–skills like eating, conversing, dressing and walking.

    Questions about our stroke services? Call today: 503-561-5986

    Rehabilitation training

    What you do in rehabilitation will depend on your stroke symptoms and personal needs. Under your doctor’s directions, rehabilitation activities may include:

    • Physical therapy to help you with functional motor skills such as walking, transferring or maneuvering a wheelchair.
    • Speech-language pathology to improve communication skills and cognitive abilities.
    • Occupation therapy for relearning daily tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing and writing.
    • Swallowing and voice therapy.
    • Psychology for providing emotional support and counseling.
    • Education on diet and exercise to improve recovery and decrease your risk of a future stroke.
    • Aquatic therapy for patients who have arthritis, weight bearing, walking or other neuromuscular issues that benefit from pool therapy.

    In America, stroke is the No. 1 cause of adult disability and the No. 3 cause of death. Each year 750,000 people will be stricken.

    Understanding strokes – what they are and what causes them – may help you prevent a stroke or reduce your risk of having another one. Strokes are caused by blocked or ruptured blood vessels in the brain. This starves brain cells of life-giving oxygen. If the blockage or rupture lasts long enough, the oxygen-starved part of the brain dies, and capabilities are lost. Fortunately, many strokes can be stopped if caught quickly. The brain also has a remarkable ability to re-learn lost abilities.

    Watch for warning signs

    If you have already had a stroke, the most important fact you should know is that your chances of having another one are nine times greater, so know the warning signs. When a stroke begins, time is important. A blood clot in the brain kills about 32,000 brain cells every second, so act fast.

    Call 911 and get to a hospital as quickly as possible. With prompt treatment, brain damage can be slowed, and even stopped.