Life After Stroke
Nearly 800,000 individuals in the United States have a stroke each year, and there are nearly 8 million survivors of stroke in the United States alone. With increased awareness of stroke symptoms, fast response in calling 911, and new medications, more and more individuals are surviving a stroke each year.
Following a stroke, a person will typically recover in the hospital and then progress to other rehabilitation options, with the optimal goal to return home. Once home, there may be more therapy and/or assistance required. Eventually the therapy may stop as progress slows down, but recovery does not have an expiration date and will continue for the individual. As such, there is the continued need for support and services.
Explore options with the hospital and rehabilitation staff regarding the types of programs and services offered in your community post stroke. Ask the following:
1. Are there support groups in the community for the survivor of stroke? For family members, caregivers/care partners?
2. Are there community based wellness programs to help continue the improvement and independence being regained by the survivor of stroke? Look for programs that address physical and cognitive wellness, along with social and emotional well-being.
Stroke can happen to anyone at any time. So BE FAST in identifying a stroke and call 911. “Time is brain.” The acronym BE FAST relates to the following indicators of a stroke.
Balance = Sudden onset of dizziness or balance issues.
Eyesight = Sudden changes, blurred vision or trouble with eyesight in one or both eyes.
Face = Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, with one side appearing droopy.
Arm = Sudden weakness or numbness of one arm.
Speech = Sudden inability to speak or slurred/garbled/strange speech.
Time = Call 911 immediately if you observe any of these signs.
This article submitted by Jeanette Boucher, OTR/L. Jeanette is a Program Coordinator at the American Stroke Foundation and may be reached at 913.649.1776 or by email at email@example.com
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The American Stroke Foundation provides a unique, post-rehabilitation experience for stroke survivors. We offer classes and wellness programs that are designed to address survivors physical, cognitive, social and emotional well-beingin a comfortable, welcoming, non-clinical environment. Caregivers also find us to be a valuable resource where they participate in classes and support groups that are designed to address their specific concerns.We opened our doors at the ASF in 1997 and since then, weve served over 4,000 stroke survivors and their families, regardless of their ability to pay. Through our fitness programs, classes, life skills development, community outings and support groups, the ASF continues its mission of supporting stroke survivors and their families through their ongoing journeys of life after stroke.The ASF staff partners with community health care professionals, volunteers and student interns to provide our many and varied programs. Under the guidance of these individuals, survivors apply and practice skills to overcome their disabilities and get on with their lives. We do not duplicate other services but complement them, providing the missing link in the continuum of stroke recovery.For more information or to schedule a visit at one of our Next Step sites, please call 913-649-1776