In a recent seminar I was talking about how, in a general sense, the more complex the environment after stroke, the better. The idea is that "environmental complexity" leads to further recovery.
Hospitals are the real problem. In the hospital survivors are not much engaged after their stroke. Compared to prior to their stroke survivors have less conversations, less time to play, learn and socialize. And the brain hates this comparative social isolation. The brain hates it so much that the brain ends up learning movement less than if the survivor was engaged. Bottom line, have the survivor involved in conversations (as best they can) play with objects (tinker), play games, etc.
But. There may be a limit.
I was talking to a therapist at one of my seminars and she was saying that she agreed that increasing environmental complexity was a good thing. But, she said, often caregiver descend on the survivors room but are so engaged with their cells and iPads that the survivor gets a lot of cacophony and little engagement. Folks visit but they don't necessarily help.