Living well after Stroke
Stroke, is a scary word, but it is amazing just how many Australians are living well after a Stroke
According to the figures of the National Stroke Foundation there are almost 440 thousand in Australia today, with approximately fifty thousand new Strokes per year.
Countless more are affected indirectly when a friend or family member is impacted by a Stroke. Sometimes Strokes are minor and followed by a complete recovery, but frequently they are a life changing event, with impacts on work and leisure activities, relationships, self-care independence and quality of life.
In the early months, focus on rehabilitation and neurological improvement dominate recovery. While still a hospital inpatient there is intense input from a multi-disciplinary team, and an enormous effort focused on getting someone back home. Rehabilitation may continue as an outpatient, and depending on location and access to services, the amount can vary greatly. Goals shift to higher level mobility, community access, return to driving or even work.
Motivation of the Stroke-affected person to address any ongoing issues using exercise and other therapies fluctuates over the years following Stroke. It becomes part of the journey of adjustment. Life continues with all its challenges and rewards. It is often the Stroke survivor and the carer who are left to seek further sources of information about what other services and treatments may be available to assist.
Living well with a Stroke is all about your individual goals. A healthy Stroke recovery journey moves towards acceptance of the things that won’t ever be back to normal, whilst keeping the drive to hit new goals alive. Some maintain the will to resume some of the activities they love albeit in a different way. Many find new enjoyable activities, and most eventually find the grace to feel gratitude for life as it is now.