The Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin’s Stroke Rehabilitation Program is implemented by a stroke rehab team directed by a physiatrist.  We have trained Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech/cognitive Therapists, and Certified Rehabilitation Nurses that specialize in the treatment of patients after suffering from a stroke.  Our goal is to tailor an intensive therapeutic and educational program for each patient to help motivate and strengthen physically and mentally with plans to return to the community.  Common functional problems treated are: 

  • The inability to walk, weakness or loss of joint movement
  • Weakness or loss of joint movement
  • Difficulty with coordination and balance
  • Difficulty with daily activities such as eating, grooming. dressing, and bathing
  • The inability to swallow
  • Problems with memory and thought processes
  • Difficulty communicating with others

 Early Recovery

There’s still so much we don’t know about how the brain compensates for the damage caused by stroke or brain attack. Some brain cells may be only temporarily damaged, not killed, and may resume functioning. In some cases, the brain can reorganize its own functioning. Sometimes, a region of the brain “takes over” for a region damaged by the stroke. Stroke survivors sometimes experience remarkable and unanticipated recoveries that can’t be explained. 

The RHOW stroke rehab treatment team works closely together to help each patient reach his or her full potential.  This team meets regularly to evaluate and help the patients achieve their short and long-term goals.  Family and friends are encouraged to participate in the rehabilitation process.  


Rehabilitation actually starts in the hospital as soon as possible after the stroke. In patients who are stable, rehabilitation may begin within two days after the stroke has occurred, and should be continued as necessary after release from the hospital. 

The goal in rehabilitation is to improve function so that the stroke survivor can become as independent as possible. This must be accomplished in a way that preserves dignity and motivates the survivor to relearn basic skills that the stroke may have taken away – skills like eating, dressing and walking. 

-Information received from the National Stroke Association 

Education & Discharge Planning

It is important for the patient and family to receive instruction in many areas to help facilitate the readjustment to a fullfilling lifestyle.  The Discharge Planner will assist with the needs of the patient after the rehabilitation journey has been completed with making the necessary arrangements for equipment, outpatient services, and home services.  A few topics of discussion  for should include: 

  • Understanding the medical, physical, and emotional effects of stroke
  • Nutrition
  • The adjustment to disability
  • The availability and use of adaptive equipment
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Community resources
  • Community reintegration
  • Prosthetics and orthotics use and practice


Please visit our local support group: Waukesha County Stroke Support Group

Print Friendly Print Get a PDF version of this webpage PDF

Inpatient Services

Our rehab team provides highly specialized treatment for:


Brain Injury

Other Neuro



View our Outpatient Services