Return to Work After Stroke - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Return to Work After Stroke

Returning to work is an important and worthy goal after stroke. Working again after such a life altering event can be a milestone in recovery and contribute greatly to self-esteem and life satisfaction. Although stroke often affects those at or beyond retirement age, about one-third of stroke survivors are under 65 years of age. In addition, workers are retiring later in life, due to both financial and life satisfaction reasons.

In 2012-13, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, with support from the National Institute on Rehabilitation and Disability Related Research, conducted a survey of survivors regarding their thoughts and feelings about returning to work after their stroke. The project was led by Robert J. Hartke, PhD, psychologist, and Robert Trierweiler, MS, certified rehabilitation counselor.

The survey had been constructed over the prior three years through in-depth interviews with survivors and consultation with employers and rehabilitation professionals. From this survey we have developed recommendations for stroke survivors, families of stroke survivors, health care professionals, and employers on how to approach the process of returning to work. The recommendations are available below for download along with a copy of the original survey.

This research is supported by the US Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Grant Number H133B080031.