SANDWICH GENERATION: Life never the same after a stroke

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in Canada, with 6,500 strokes occurring in B.C. every year.

Whether you’ve had a stroke or know someone recovering from stroke, it becomes quickly apparent that life will never be the same.

After my dad had his stroke, he couldn’t practise law again. He wasn’t able to drive for almost a year. He couldn’t button up his shirt or tie his shoelaces. He slurred his words and had a ‘funny’ gait. At times, people assumed he was drunk (ironically so, considering my dad had about one drink per year).

For many stroke survivors life doesn’t have to be worse.  In fact, many people affected by stroke continue to enjoy fulfilling and meaningful lives.  Some would argue that their lives are better in some ways — they look after themselves more; they have a deeper appreciation for the simple pleasures of life, like a grandchild’s smile or a beautiful sunset; they are more understanding of the problems faced by others and they value the things they still enjoy even more.

Although my dad continued to face daily challenges post-stroke, as he entered the phase of long term recovery, he was able to reinvent certain parts of his life.

He started cooking more. He walked more and farther. He enjoyed a cigar a day (much better than his cigarette habit!). Although he couldn’t hold a gun, he still went up north to hunt with his friends and sons. He still went to work but in a much different capacity. He spent more time writing and he took more time to enjoy his children and grandchildren.

One of the most difficult transitions for stroke survivors and families is the transition from hospital to home. Research shows the first year post-stroke is the most important in getting back into meaningful activities and engaging in social and community activities.

Stroke survivors who experience obstacles in finding ways to find purpose in their lives, are at a much higher risk of depression and social isolation as well as physical and cognitive decline.

The Stroke Recovery Association of BC (SRABC), a non-profit organization, helps stroke survivors and their caregivers throughout B.C. to promote their independence and improve their overall quality of life.  Their new Seven Steps to Stroke Recovery educational video is a tool for anyone wishing to learn about stroke recovery.

The seven steps that assist stroke survivors and caregivers in knowing how to continue the process of stroke recovery in the community are exercise and mobility, communication, social and recreation interaction, memory, support, leading a healthy lifestyle and navigating the health-care system.

The 12-minute video features interviews from stroke rehabilitation professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech language pathologists. They speak directly about each step of recovery according to their expertise.

You can view the video online on YouTube at http://youtu.be/GHJL42xFuz8.  You can also call SRABC toll-free at 1-888-313-3377 or in the Lower Mainland at 604-688-3603 and have a DVD sent to you in the mail.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

SPRING IN THE GARDEN: The fragrant, beautiful lilac is an asset to any garden

Ellen Presley Special to The Record I have been thinking a lot… Continue reading

Comox Valley Community Foundation announces second round of emergency funding

$57,400 in grants distributed to 12 local non-profits

LUSH Valley comes to the aid of Washington Inn tenants

Submitted by BC Housing The reality of the COVID-19 pandemic descended on… Continue reading

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Chairs are for more than just sitting on

Raida heads outdoors for today’s routine

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

CVRD testing Shawnigan water after complaints of metallic taste, odour

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past”

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read