Life After Stroke

Over four million Americans have survived a stroke and are living with its effects. Recovery from stroke is a long and challenging process, for patients and their families. The after effects can vary widely, depending on the following:

  • Severity of the stroke
  • Area of the brain affected
  • Speed of emergency medical response
  • Stroke patient's health

Recovery time and success

Recovery from stroke may take weeks, months or even years. Some patients may have lifelong disabilities, while others may recover completely. For all patients, your stroke recovery process involves making changes in the physical, social and emotional aspects of your life. These lifestyle changes can help to prevent additional strokes and facilitate lifelong recovery.

Recovery facts

Statistics show that following stroke:

  • 10 percent of patients recover almost completely
  • 25 percent of patients recover with only minor impairments
  • 40 percent of patients experience moderate-to-severe impairments that require special care
  • 10 percent of patients require long-term care
  • 15 percent of patients die shortly after

Stroke prevention

Stroke prevention is particularly important for stroke survivors. As many as 5 to 14 percent of stroke survivors have a second stroke within one year. And this risk goes up over time. This makes active lifestyle changes more important for survivors of stroke or for anyone who has had a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

If you or someone you love is living with the after effects of a stroke, know that the leading-edge care and rehabilitation you need is close by at Northwestern Medicine. We're home to highly-trained physicians1, nurses and therapists specializing in stroke, along with the latest technology, and advanced research and clinical trials.

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In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, some of the physician(s) and/or individual(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliate organizations. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.