In July 2016, Lynn Sammuli became part of the statistic of the more than 795,000 people who experience a stroke each year. The 80-year-old retired computer engineer came to HealthSouth at Martin Health following a stroke that impaired function and mobility in addition to his ability to speak. He was not able to sit up without falling over, stand or walk and required a mechanical lift to perform the most basic tasks including getting in and out of bed and using the restroom.
With weeks of intense rehabilitation and dedication, Lynn began showing significant improvement in his physical and verbal functions. He started walking with the assistance of a walker, managing his personal care and voicing his feelings and therapists’ names. Therapists also found a technology application for his portable computer to help him with communication that he could use in the hospital and upon his return home.
According to the recent adult stroke rehabilitation guidelines released by the American Heart Association, whenever possible, stroke patients should be treated at an in-patient rehabilitation facility rather than a skilled nursing facility. While at an in-patient rehabilitation facility, a patient participates in at least three hours of rehabilitation a day from physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Nurses are continuously available and doctors typically visit daily. An in-patient rehabilitation facility may be a free-standing facility or a separate unit of a hospital.