Pictured: Airedale staff Pam Beaumont and Liz Dawson with members of the life after stroke support group. Includes speakers Grace Summersgill who runs a stroke support group in Silsden, representatives from Carers’ Resource, Cerin Rees who leads a stroke rehab class and Jean Roberts from the Goldies UK charity.
Stroke care staff at Airedale hospital have had a successful pilot of a stroke education group. The group ran for seven weeks and invited those who had suffered a stroke, along with their relatives and carers, to a weekly session.
Each week, information was given about various aspects of life after stroke, including healthy eating, exercise, memory, medication management and psychological aspects. For the final week, different speakers were invited to give details on local groups and services available. This included exercise classes, arts and crafts, and singing groups. Participants heard from the speakers, then there was chance to socialise over a cup of tea.
Stroke coordinator Pam Beaumont, said “This seven week pilot scheme has offered stroke survivors and their families the opportunity to gain more information about how to cope with the challenges a stroke can bring, and we hope this knowledge will give them confidence to move forward in life. Peer support is really important and we are lucky in this area that there are many excellent groups.”
Liz Dawson from the hospital’s nutrition and dietetics department, who helped to run the sessions, adds “Some patients were in hospital at the same time, so it’s been great for them to spend time together outside of a ward environment. Many of the participants I have spoken to say they’ve got a lot out of attending these sessions.”
A patient who attended the support group, Michael Wright, from Haworth, said, “I’m very nearly 91 so some of my problems are age related rather than my stroke. I do struggle with my speech and sometimes can’t get my words out, or my legs don’t do what I want them to do, but now I’ve learnt how to relax. Overall I’m able to cope, and these sessions have been very informative and helpful.”