Early Winter 2009
Stroke Rehabilitation and Support
Stroke Rehabilitation and Support


After a stroke, survivors may need to adjust their routine or find new ways to do everyday things, such as writing, holding a fork, dressing, walking or speaking clearly.

Bridgeport Hospital’s stroke rehabilitation programs can help stroke survivors regain their independence. Offered in the hospital and at outpatient facilities, stroke rehabilitation programs are designed to build strength, increase coordination and boost confidence so stroke survivors feel comfortable with daily activities, such as

  • Fine motor skills (holding a fork, buttoning, writing, picking up small objects).
  • Grooming skills (bathing, dressing, using the bathroom).
  • Home care skills (cooking, laundry, ironing, cleaning).
  • Walking, using a wheelchair independently, getting in and out of a vehicle, bed or chair.
  • Speech and conversation skills.
  • Memory or problem-solving skills.

A Bridgeport Hospital rehabilitation team may include a physiatrist (a physician who specializes in rehabilitation), a case manager/social worker, a rehabilitation nurse, as well as physical, occupational and/or speech therapists.

Ahlbin Centers
Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Bridgeport Hospital
The inpatient program offers three hours of therapy each day, seven days a week in one of the specially designed therapy rooms or the William H. Baird, MD, Gym. A simulation room has a real kitchen to practice home skills such as preparing a meal, making coffee, carrying dishes, doing laundry, ironing and other daily household tasks. Therapists can help improve thinking skills, swallowing and speech. Some patients use the Wii-hab video game system to increase their balance and coordination. ( Click to see the Wii-hab in action) “Our therapy is goal-driven,” says Medical Director Lisa Webb, MD, who is dually certified in neurology and physiology. “We help our patients rebuild their skills, gain confidence in their abilities and get back home to where they want to be. Then, the rehab continues in the home or outpatient setting, and the patients’ progress continues to be monitored via follow-up office visits.”

All patients are prescreened for their ability to participate in and benefit from the intensive rehabilitation offered by our interdisciplinary team. A stroke therapist then develops an individual treatment plan, which is revised daily based on skills and progress. “Our team will work one-on-one with you to help you reach your goals,” says Nurse Manager Patti Strasburger, RN. “We’ll also celebrate every milestone achieved along the way!”

For more information about inpatient stroke rehabilitation programs, please call 203-384-3708.

Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers
Outpatient Therapy

Outpatient therapy can target relearning a specific skill over a longer period of time. At Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers in Bridgeport, Shelton, Southport, Stratford and Trumbull, therapists work one-on-one with stroke survivors to build confidence, and increase strength and coordination to regain independence.

The therapists at Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers specialize in helping recent stroke patients, as well as those who experienced a stroke decades ago.

“We don’t believe there is an end to learning techniques or improving function,” says Registered Physical Therapist Vikki Winks. “We have patients who have regained use of their hands after having a stroke as long as 20 years ago. They’ve learned how to dress and eat on their own, and brush their own teeth. It’s such a liberating feeling, after having to depend on someone else for so long.”

Patients may use specialized equipment including SaeboFlex, SaeboReach, SaeboStretch, Constraint- Induced Therapy and Bioness H200 to help regain skills. “Frequent repetition of a skill can help restore functional motion,” says Occupational Therapist Sue Rhode, OTR/L, who is certified in SaeboFlex and Bioness H200. Depending on a patient’s progress, most sessions are 30 to 45 minutes, at least two times a week for about six weeks.

For more information about outpatient stroke rehabilitation programs, please call 203-380-4672.

Stroke Support Group

Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers’ free support group for recovering stroke patients and their caregivers meets the first Tuesday of the month, 6:00–7:00 p.m., at Ahlbin Centers’ Shelton location, 4 Corporate Drive. Upcoming dates: Tuesday, January 5, and Tuesday, February 2, 2010.

For more information, please call 203-925-4201.