Stroke Rehabilitation

No one expects stroke to happen, especially in young adults. But when it does, Shepherd Center is more prepared to treat it than any other place in the nation. In fact, we specialize in stroke rehabilitation for people who may be in college, raising a family or in the prime of their career. This is why we provide a full continuum of services – from inpatient rehabilitation to outpatient care. And with Shepherd Center’s talented staff, comprehensive treatment plans and expertise in treating young strokes, patients get their best chance for returning to what they love to do.

Call our admissions department at 404-350-7345 to initiate a referral to Shepherd Center.

Shepherd Center’s rehabilitation program for people age 12 and above who have experienced a stroke focuses on helping people relearn skills that are lost when part of the brain is injured. Shepherd Center’s stroke rehabilitation program also places emphasis on recovery and treatment for young stroke patients.

The program also provides education and training for their families. Staff members develop individualized blueprints for each patient’s stroke rehabilitation program, tapping into state-of-the-art medical care and comprehensive educational services.

Download our brochure and patient testimonials.

Why Shepherd for Stroke Rehabilitation?

Shepherd Center has consistently been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top 10 rehabilitation hospital since 2008. Our stroke program focuses on individualized and specialized services, including treatment for young stroke patients under 40. As part of our Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program, each patient is assigned to a multidisciplinary treatment team. With the patient and family's involvement, these healthcare providers work together to deliver high-quality clinical care.

Testimonials from Young Stroke Patients and Their Families

Wes Varda thought strokes only happened to people twice his age, but at 31 he experienced a stroke and underwent rehabilitation at Shepherd Center. LISTEN NOW

After the birth of her second child at the age of 39, Sivi Odister began having severe headaches and then had a stroke, which caused bleeding in her brain. She underwent rehabilitation at Shepherd Center. LISTEN NOW

Hear Ann Nicolopulos talk about the recovery of her son Jake, who had just received a full scholarship to play football at Clemson University and a few days later had a stroke. He underwent inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation at Shepherd Center. LISTEN NOW

Person-Centered Care
Shepherd takes a team approach to rehabilitation. Staff members understand that after a stroke, people are going through more than just recovery; they are learning a new way of life. Rehabilitation at Shepherd is designed to meet the physical, cognitive, medical and emotional needs of each individual, while working toward independence with activities such as school, work, driving, parenting and community involvement.

People who enter the program may be admitted to Inpatient Rehabilitation, the Shepherd Pathways Day Program or Pathways Outpatient Program, depending on the severity of illness and medical needs. The following services may be provided:

Individualized Services
• Medical Management
• Rehabilitation Nursing
• Physical Therapy
• Occupational Therapy
• Speech-Language-Cognitive Therapy
• Swallowing Therapy
• Nutritional Counseling
• Respiratory Therapy
• Recreational Therapy
• Neuropsychological Assessment and Counseling
• Vocational Services

Specialized Services
Shepherd also provides specialized services such as:
• Assistive Technology (computerized assistive devices)
• Specialized Seating Clinic (wheelchair adaptations)
• Adaptive Driving
• Upper Extremity Clinic
• Pain Management Clinic
• Aquatics
• Hippotherapy
• Transitional Living Apartment

Advanced Technologies
In addition, clients have access to the newest technology:

  • Vital Stim
  • sEMG biofeedback
  • Bioness, Lokomat, Saeboflex, Lite Gait and Balance Master
  • FES bike for arms and legs
  • Zero G
  • Armeo Spring
  • Robotics and computer-assisted therapy
  • Virtual reality and gaming technology 

Our Goals For Each Person
• Provide intensive, individualized rehabilitation
• Maximize each person’s functional abilities and level of independence
• Provide extensive training and education for the person and their family
• Rebuild the person’s quality of life
• Organize activities that facilitate a smooth transition back to their home, community, school and/or work.

Rehabilitation therapy at Shepherd Center involves promoting independent movement because many patients are paralyzed or seriously weakened. Our team of nurses and therapists help patients perform progressively more complex and demanding tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and using a toilet, and they encourage patients to begin using their stroke-impaired limbs while engaging in those tasks. Beginning to reacquire the ability to carry out these basic activities of daily living represents the first stage in a stroke survivor's return to functional independence.

For some stroke survivors, rehabilitation will be an ongoing process to maintain and refine skills and could involve working with specialists for months or years after the stroke.


Shepherd Center has created “outcomes scorecards” and posted them online so that you easily access our outcomes data.

Our hope is that this data will help families, referral sources and the medical community make more informed decisions about the care of their loved ones and patients. Click on the images below to view our outcomes scorecard, or simply click here for our overall outcomes for stroke and here for our outcomes for young strokes patients.


Shepherd Center's Stroke Committee has created several resources about stroke awareness and learning to manage life after stroke.

Click here to visit our educational website,

Click here for our FAST card that educates about the signs of stroke.

Click here for our iTunes book Living with Stroke: Strategies to Live a Healthy Life.

Click here for our stroke awareness infographic.

Click here for our stroke risk infographic.

Stroke-Related News and Feature Articles at

Stroke Volunteers Needed for Research
Have you had a stroke within the past year? If so, you may qualify for a research study to test the possible benefits of brain stimulation on hand and arm function. Click here for more details.

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