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What’s the Right Inpatient Rehab for Mom after Stroke?

“The medical team saves lives; the rehab team restores lives.”

A WakeMed Rehab occupational therapist uses this phrase to help patients and their family members understand the difference between what providers in WakeMed’s acute care hospital and providers in the WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital do for patients who have suffered a stroke.

Making Difficult Decisions About Rehab After Stroke

Once a patient is medically stable, it is often up to the patient’s adult children to decide what type of inpatient rehab is best for Mom or Dad.  This is not an easy decision, but it is critically important.

The type of inpatient rehab care your parent receives directly impacts his or her quality of life.

Fortunately, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and WakeMed are working to make this decision easier, particularly if your parent’s condition and rehabilitation needs meet the criteria for a stay in an inpatient rehab facility (IRF) like the 98-bed WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital.  IRFs are also referred to as acute rehab facilities.

Inpatient Rehab vs. Skilled Nursing Facilities

First, click here for the recommendations from the American Heart Association Stroke Council for patients who are medically able to participate in an inpatient rehab program instead of going to a skilled nursing facility (SNF).  Research shows that patients who have had a stroke and qualify for a stay in an IRF have better outcomes (more likely to regain mobility, speech, brain function, etc. depending on their deficits after stroke) than those who go to a SNF.

Next, click here for information about the differences between the care your parent will receive in an IRF vs. the care he/she will receive in a SNF.  In these situations, it is a comfort to speak to a professional who understands the differences and can help you with your questions.

Contact WakeMed Stroke Rehabilitation

I welcome you to call the WakeMed Stroke Rehabilitation Admissions Department at 919-350-7876 with your questions.  It’s important to know that in order to determine qualification for an IRF stay more paperwork is required on the part of the referring provider and patient/family than a SNF stay.  If your parent does qualify for a stay in an IRF like the WakeMed Rehab Hospital, the WakeMed Admissions team can help streamline this process.

If you are reading this blog, it’s clear that you want to make an educated decision about the best inpatient rehab facility for stroke rehabilitation. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 919-350-7876 or e-mail the Admissions Department at

About Beth Rudisill

Beth Rudisill is Director of WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital in Raleigh, NC.