My 88 year-old Father turning hopefully 89 in June 2011 had a massive stroke right side of brain and is therefore paralyzed entirely on his left side and also prostrate cancer in all of his bones.
First of all, at the hospital he wasn't accepted to rehab. The horrible doctors gave him no chance whatsoever (Eugene Oregon) and said to give him all he wants and to seek out hospice. Just two weeks later he got into rehab and is back at his home for elderly.
Yes, this is what to expect: It is crucial that your Father is motivated to do all the therapy he is given. He is probably like My Father and tires easily and may be in pain. There are lyacaine patches and radiation for pain. My Father was very motivated to "get home" but he has no feeling in his left leg from paralysis. Also his arm (I don't know if your Father's shoulder has separated shoulder joints as is typical after stroke then your father may complain of pain constantly. watch for this and get him lydacaine). Also a typical problem for bed ridden stroke patients is back sores. This is also very painful. Again, the lydacaine patch. Always, always always sit and have everyone sit on side of paralysis because of "neglect". This is the paralyzed side you will be told which is neglected. Your father must not neglect that side and he will get help from therapists. As long as he is motivated and co-operates with the therapists, he will be able to stay at rehabilitation. The minute he doesn't cooperate (not because of less cooperation because of pain) he will soon be sent home.
There is a lot more that I can tell you every massive stroke is different. Every individual has different problems and I don't know if there is a difference also if your father's brain was effected on the right side or left side.
You can write me more and I will try to help as best I can. After being with him every day for three months I learned a lot. But sadly because there is no feeling in my Father's left leg at all he was sent home. No more the therapists can do and My Mother isn't even allowed to move his wheelchair because she has bad heart and it is heavy for her even though she doesn't lift it.
Oh, be sure to ask for a wheelchair that goes all the way back because your father will complain of back pain.This enables him to be in a position that keeps the pressure off the back.
I'm here if you'd like more info. I know the grief you're in and it helps to hear from other people what they know, and how they can help. Just don't ever forget that everyone has different problems associated with the stroke and different levels. For instance, your father may see better than my father, or speak better or worse etc. The most important is to have family around him as much as possible and to get him to become as independent as possible. My Father for instance liked to try to brush him teeth in the bathroom from his wheelchair instead of having someone hold that plastic container under his chin for him to spit into. Any independence makes a whole lot of difference. Learning to push buttons is also one of those motor skills he needs to learn. The most important therapy if your father obtains feeling in his paralyzed side(?) is to regain the feeling in the leg so that he will be able to walk.
Laurie Yair (story)