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Home exercise programs


It is possible for many stroke survivors to get their exercise at home under the supervision of a trained therapist. Talk to your health care team about whether any of the following programs are right for you.

Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP)

What is this program?

  • Designed to improve the function of your arms and hands.
  • Not meant to replace your existing therapy, but to add more practice time at home. Complements the regular therapy that you receive in the hospital.
  • Participants carry out exercises independently (or with their family if possible). If you have family, friends or a caregiver to assist you, the outcomes are better.
  • Supervised by a therapist. A physiotherapist or occupational therapist instructs the patient through the GRASP program, but the patient does the program independently at home.

Who is appropriate for the program?

People with:

  • chronic stroke (more than one year after their stroke)
  • sub-acute stroke who were admitted for rehabilitation (usually within 2 weeks of their stroke)
  • the ability to pay attention, follow instructions and mimic exercises for one hour
  • awareness of their safe bounds of ability and ability to report pain or fatigue so that the exercises can be adjusted as necessary.

Consult with your healthcare team about whether GRASP is right for you. The specific physical abilities required to participate safely and effectively are outlined in the program materials.

Who developed the program?

The University of British Columbia, Neurorehabilitation Research Program

Hope: A stroke recovery guide

What is this program?

There are two different strengthening and stretching exercise programs focused on walking and bending on pages 50-65 of this stroke recovery guide:

Who is appropriate for the program?

  • The strengthening program is for people who are mildly affected by stroke.
  • The stretching program is designed for people with more limitations.

Speak to your health care team about which of the two programs is right for you.

Who developed the program?

The National Stroke Association.

Other Resources