How a stroke affects a person depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much of the brain is damaged. The impact of the stroke also depends on how quickly it is treated.

A stroke can occur in any area of the brain and may affect different parts of the body depending on where it occurs. If a stroke occurs in the right side of the brain, you may see symptoms on the left side of the body. Similarly, if a stroke occurs in the left side of the brain, you may see symptoms on the right side of the body.

Disability After Stroke

When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. Generally, stroke can cause such disabilities as:

  • Issues with movement and motor functions: paralysis, balance issues, pain and numbness
  • Changes in thinking and behavior: memory loss, poor judgment and loss of sensory functions, including sight, hearing, smell, touch or taste
  • Difficulty communicating: aphasia (inability to use the right words) and dysarthria (inability to form words with your facial muscles)
  • Emotional disturbances: depression, anxiety and difficulties with intimacy and relationships

The degree of disability depends on the size of the stroke, part of the brain that is affected and time to treatment.

Stroke Rehabilitation

Stroke rehabilitation is important to help you regain as much function and quality of life after a stroke as possible. It’s important to begin rehabilitation right away. It is also important to work with your care team to find out the reasons for your stroke and take steps to prevent another stroke from happening.

Before you are discharged from the hospital, social workers can help you find services to continue your long-term recovery.