Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Life after a stroke

Managing life after a stroke

Resuming work

How soon a person can return to work after a stroke depends partly on their level of disability, the type of work involved and any feelings about returning to work they might have. Some people feel quite tired after a stroke, and have difficulty carrying out any kind of physical activity for any length of time. Part-time work, at least in the early stages, may be a good idea. Unless the stroke has reduced their awareness of impairment, the person who has had the stroke is the best judge of when to return to work or other regular activities.

Driving

Even someone who appears to have made a full recovery after a stroke should not drive a car for at least a month, since the risk of another stroke is greatest during this time. First, they will need clearance by a doctor, who will be aware of the relevant government regulations. The stroke may have left subtle impairments, not always apparent, such as poor co-ordination, lack of awareness on one side, difficulties in judging distance, changes in vision, difficulties in concentration and confusion between left and right.

Sexual activity

People who have had a stroke are encouraged to resume sexual activity. Most couples experience some difficulty in their sex life, but this is usually due to psychological factors rather than any disability caused by the stroke. A doctor can advise on getting help with psychological problems and other difficulties, such as erectile problems in men.

Sport and exercise

Physical activity and hobbies are an important part of rehabilitation - normal activity should be resumed as soon as physically possible.

Drinking alcohol

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol should be avoided after a stroke because it may trigger a bad reaction with medication and might raise blood pressure or affect judgement resulting in injury. Moderate consumption (2 standard drinks per day) should not cause any problems.

Nikki - a personal story

Watch this video about a patient’s experience after recovering from a stroke. Visit the Stroke Foundation website for more personal stories.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about stroke, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self-care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: September 2015

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 36 results

Early treatment after a stroke Stroke Foundation - Australia

Information about stroke

Read more on Stroke Foundation website

Depression and anxiety after stroke

Having a stroke can result in many changes. On a physical level, it can lead to people finding it difficult to move and swallow. Having a stroke can also cause stress, worry and sadness, and affect the way in which people think and feel. There is a strong link between depression, anxiety and stroke.

Read more on beyondblue website

Treatment for stroke Stroke Foundation - Australia

Information about stroke

Read more on Stroke Foundation website

Childhood stroke Stroke Foundation - Australia

Information about stroke

Read more on Stroke Foundation website

Ischaemic stroke blocked artery Stroke Foundation - Australia

Information about stroke

Read more on Stroke Foundation website

Effects of stroke Stroke Foundation - Australia

Information about stroke

Read more on Stroke Foundation website

What to do while you wait for an ambulance Stroke Foundation - Australia

Information about stroke

Read more on Stroke Foundation website

Post-Stroke Upper Limb Spasticity | myVMC

Post-stroke upper limb spasticity is a movement disorder characterised rigidity and spasms of the arm muscles. This impedes physical movements.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Brain Foundation | Stroke

Stroke Stroke Stroke is a medical emergency

Read more on Brain Foundation website

Medication and surgery Stroke Foundation - Australia

Information about stroke

Read more on Stroke Foundation website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback