16 Innovative Health - Summer 2016 How to Move Forward After LIFE CHANGES IN ONE STROKE They did not choose the health condition they were dealt or the varying severity of its effects. Their stories are as different as their names, ages and backgrounds. Different strokes for different folks literally applies to them. Stroke patients’ deficits can range from mild to severe, they can be physical, cognitive or language related. An opportunity to continue moving forward in the healing process is available for those stroke survivors and their family members seeking out information, and others who can relate to their challenges. As part of McLaren Flint’s continuum of stroke care, the McLaren Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute offers a free stroke education and support series two times each month. During the first half of each session clinicians discuss a variety of topics on a rotational basis. The second half of each session is set aside as support time for survivors and their caregivers. Attendees are discovering they can survive a stroke. Two devoted attendees are Frank and Mabel Price. Frank suffered a severe ischemic stroke in which an artery in his brain was blocked, in the fall of 2012. “My wife and I really like the education and support sessions,” states Frank. “We get to ask questions, do arts and crafts, and strike up friendships. It’s always good to be able to talk to the experts. Now that I have had a stroke I am at higher risk for having another one. Attending the group sessions helps me worry less. I highly recommend that other stroke survivors and their caregivers participate.” Kellie Stites, Recreation Therapist, has been the coordinator of the Stroke Education and Support Group for the past few years. Kellie states, “We have had several people share with us that they had not wanted to participate in the group because they did not want to go to a ‘touchy feely’ support group, where people come to complain, but they realized right away that our group is positive and not just about support but also about the varied education topics. The group has really evolved over time. Some of the group members are even getting together in addition to our twice monthly meetings. It is very rewarding to me, and the other clinicians who spend time with those who attend, to see the physical and mental health benefits they receive from taking part.” Some of the topics and activities planned for the group over the course of the year include adaptive golf, driving after stroke, yoga and Tai Chi, health issues related to stroke and social outings.
Innovative Health Care Magazine
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