What to Expect After a Stroke. Rehabilitation after a stroke begins in the hospital, often within a day or two after the stroke. Rehab helps ease the transition from hospital to home and can help prevent another stroke. Recovery time after a stroke is different for everyone—it can take weeks, months, or even years. Some people recover fully, but others have long-term or lifelong disabilities. If you have had a stroke, you can make great progress in regaining your independence. However, some problems may continue.