Residential Stroke Rehab centres?

Looking at Care Options, post hostpitalisation with Stroke.
Most likely option is a Care/Residential home, but the concern here is the prevalence of very old residents, and a lack of rehab attention for Stroke injury recover (which takes time, as we know).

So, are there any specialist Stroke Rehab facilities in the UK ? Like ‘the Priory’ for drug rehab, but geared for physiotherapy and activies for stroke rehab… both physical and mental.

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For Doncaster area we have to use Mexborough hospital’s wing for stroke patients but when my husband was there, over Christmas 2018 there were no physios and occupational therapists available for more than a cursory attention to my husband. The NHS is obviously understaffed. The physio and occupational therapists were on holiday and sick over that Christmas New year period well into January. He came home in February, apparently with the right for further therapy sessions but only for 6 weeks once a week. We managed to get them to extend it by a few weeks if they could squeeze him in. It didn’t last. 2 years later he was still stuck with all the impairments to life that the strokes of 2016 and 2018 and we attempted to get a charity called Paces to help. We stuck with that for over 18 months; some small progress was made by zoom contact during the pandemic I think but when in-person sessions were offered, now at a cost of £35 a session, and as my husband hates or is fearful of having to travel due to his brain wiring/ sight issues, we have had to stop. He was not well enough motivated nor did we have the means to help him exercise at home; parallel bars are not available at home! Walkers were not possible. He can barely stand for 30 seconds. I think if the physio had been far more intensive in the weeks at Mexborough he would have had a better chance of improvement. Now is too late.
Centres of help have to be within visiting distance and even now with the pandemic a friend of ours cannot visit his wife in Mexborough at all. She is getting physio treatment apparently and is making some progress. Maybe things have improved?

Sorry to hear your experience. It doesn’t sound much different now. My brother has been in Stroke Rehab ward for 4 months. Says the nurses are wonderful but he really has had minimal OT and PT (partly due to shortages) and although he still has the will to push on, is in bed or a chair for too long.
We feel that in a home, he will be further sidelined due to the demands of dementia care all around. Hence looking for a specialist rehab facility.
They do advertise such attention abroad. Hence that option is interesting. Just such a shame there is no such private or NHS facility in the UK. He is coming up to being ejected from the NHS ward, but with very little guidance as to where he can go, even self funding. Care home is the default.

I was at Walkergate park Newcastle for my rehabilitation for 6 months, excellent service, the staff, and facilities are outstanding. Physio and O.T daily and everything timetabled so you can see what’s coming,
extremely professional.

Great for you. Good to know they can do it well somewhere!

That would be expensive and how would family visit? At least my husband’s stroke was pre-pandemic by over a year. We have a care package to help me with him twice a day but while our first trial at having him in a residential home while I could go away a few days, it was disastrous when I had to put him there for 2 days while we moved home into a bungalow. He refuses to ever go back. Any respite time I get has to be figured into the 28 days I’m allocated in the Care package and the carers have to come in 4 times a day, not two.
I hope you manage to find a suitable place that you can manage and that it does provide real opportunities for improvement.

I found a good centre, in Thailand, that comes across as more of a resort and less of a hospital, but has assistance and care full time.
I won’t name it yet. I just wanted to update.
My brother is liking the idea, but it’s a big step and we want to get more used to his capabilities first. We need to get to a point where he can transfer from bed to chair to chair to car maybe, and is more comfortable with his continence.

Still happy to hear if anyone else did this. It’s a form of medical tourism.

I bet that’s not cheap either! But compared to a home in UK for £1300+ per week it may be cheap! I can speak some Thai but my husband has forgotten his -30 years since we returned from 12 years there. Where about in Thailand is this resort?
Mind you we’re in our own home and still have carers coming in 2 times as I do the rest. Enjoy Thailand!

Its 4x cheaper that in the UK, and frankly feels like you get more attention and opportunity (for therapy etc).
This one is in ChiangMai region. So many of the Thai hospitals are modern looking and clinical style, which probably appeals if you are considering true medical tourism and an op. But for a prolonged care stay, for rehab, and just to travel a bit, I liked the fact this was more of a cabin/apartment living and not a highrise.
Being fit to fly is a big step, and being able to manage continence on such a long journey. And being comfortable in an airplane seat for hours. There’s a lot of things that make this is huge undertaking.

have you got anywhere with this in the UK? or are you now in Thailand? I am shocked by how the UK system treats stroke victims - there is little advice and no NHS help and yet it is SO important…something needs to be done.

My bro is self funding in a care home. They are all expensive but right now he’s not mobile or robust enough to travel far.
As soon as he is, he is up for a ‘care vacation’ and the Thailand option still looks good. Maybe towards the end of 2022 while he still has some funds. In the meantime we are going to have to step up the physio and hope that it, and rest, brings increasing recovery.

So sounds like our situation - no NHS rehab unit for him to go to (which is what I expected) or NHS physio?

He’s getting NHS Physio about 4-5 times a week, even on weekends, but this will end soon (why?).
I’ve not been there or seen what they do. It feels like he is a guinea pig and a training excercise, BUT it all helps and grateful for it.
What is self funding PT going to be like? Its going to be a big chunk of money, sadly.

Ok. An update.
Brother is very up for ‘a holiday’ which we know translates to a care/rehab break in the sun. It’s booked for September and at least 3 months, maybe more if it helps and is not too strange or remote for him.
We are frankly daunted by the transfer and flight arrangements which have cost a fortune, but think the change of scenery and care assistance is needed. He is currently staring at 4 walls of a small room for far too long each day.
Family will travel with him to settle him in. It will be a bit tough, but an adventure too and we all need a bit of that.
Still no left side improvement to mention I’m afraid but getting an elec wheelchair soon. Controlling that is going to take some time and need a chaperone for a while - I hope it will have a very slow mode.

Thanks for reading. Just sharing his journey.


What a journey. Bro is now in Thailand.
I don’t quite know how they managed 1.5 days of travel on airlines that got delayed (overnight in Munich), messed up the booking, got bureaucratic about his wheelchair etc Having a daughter who is ex-travel agent definitely helped.
So, what a change (so far). Huge room with space for electric wheelchair. Very well staffed centre. Excellent menu and dining. Very adequate facilities, including 2 pools when the time comes.
Day 1 with the resident physio, and they have him standing at a rail. Almost never done at home in the UK - the carers never had the time to help with more than basic personal care. With only slight left side recovery it already feels like the best thing ever. I hope he feels the same - it must be a lot to take in and must be a draining time.

It just feels right to us (fam) at the moment. Let’s see if he adjusts and feels the same.

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October update.
So pleased with the Thailand Care/Rehab. Its obviously a big change. Anywhere is a challenge when you have severe Stroke and mobility effects.
But, Brother has had more attention in just 4 weeks that 9 months in the UK. 2 Hospitals, specialists, dedicated carer in the day, facilities for rehab, huge space etc etc.
What really impresses is the access to (affordable) extras such as physiotherapy and massage (for those aches). The hospitals offer real attention… tilt tables, scans, exercise equipment. Makes you want to cry really that this is not accessible in the UK.
Yes, the medical sector there is keen to offer any treatment because you are paying, but there is so much saved on the care costs that it all seems worth it.

Maybe not for everyone, but as Rehab opportunity goes, its been an excellent choice…and its not forever. I think the concern about missing loved ones and friends needs to be balanced, because the reality is that even at home you are pretty isolated when your mobility needs so much recovery.

Keep surviving.

December 2022 update.
Bro still doing ‘rehab’ in Thailand Care facility. I was able to visit him for 3 days this month and really see the progress and the setup. I stayed in a guest room there.
Its still incredibly hard for him… no left-side at all and some left vision limitation, but he has an electric chair and provided he is accompanied can get around the site/resort and to and from his hospital appointments for treatment (physio).
He is definitely more able to transfer from seat to seat and learning to accept the limitations he has and work on them.
Writing this helps us note the small but definite improvements. Still in the hope that one day he will be able to lock the muscles in his left leg and take steps.
Still suffering from regret that maybe, just maybe if hospital had been quicker it may not have been as bad.
But then on the other hand - as a survivor he still has most of his faculties and is learning to enjoy those and make the best of it. He would not have been where he is now without the unfortunate event but make the best you can.

There will come a time when he is ready to come back ‘home’. We just don’t want that to be sooner because 90% of his frustration will be the same back here, without the sun, the space, the dedicated care, and the affordable treatments. Maybe the summer. Maybe later. Its up to him ultimately. Having a chat in good english is one of the bigger problems - but there are other residents there for that, if he can get out of his bubble, which is too easy to sink into.

There is scope for more of these facilities, or for similar in the UK - they would be more expensive, but with NHS backing it would be pros and cons. Respite Care type places.

Hope you are all progressing too, as I know now that every stroke is unique.

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