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The vital role hope plays in rebuilding lives after a stroke

Claire Upton, support coordinator at Stroke Association (SA) Fylde Coast, discusses the importance of hope in a stroke survivors recovery.

Despite many stroke survivors being told that their recovery would be limited to within the first year, I know and have seen first-hand that many people can and do make amazing recoveries.

As a Stroke Support Coordinator at the Stroke Association, I work on the front line directly supporting people whose lives have been affected by stroke.

When entering our services some stroke survivors reported being told that ‘this is the best it’s going to get’ or ‘your recovery has plateaued’ or ‘you don’t have the potential for rehabilitation.’

Every stroke is different and every stroke survivor has different needs, but what they all share is the need for hope. Hope is the driving force that gets stroke survivors on to their recovery journey and keeps them on course as they rebuild their lives after stroke.

I’ve seen progress among stroke survivors who were discharged into care homes or who had the words ‘no rehab potential’ on their notes. I’ve supported many people who were told they wouldn’t walk or talk again, but have gone on to defy these odds and make remarkable recoveries.

It takes a ton of courage and determination, but recovery for stroke survivors is possible with the right support and hope in their hearts. The pandemic has undoubtedly put extra strain on health and social care systems, and face-to-face rehabilitation and support has not been available for many as a result.

Our recent Stroke Recoveries at Risk report shows how widely Covid-19 and lockdown have impacted stroke survivors at all stages of their recoveries. I’ve recently carried out some of my first six month reviews for stroke survivors who had their stroke just before and during lockdown.

Many people are despairing for their future, feeling hopeless and depressed, all at a time when they’re coming to terms with the impact of stroke. Our Hope After Stroke Campaign highlights the importance of hope in recoveries and I’m asking everyone to get behind it.

We can all play a role in being hopeful and encouraging stroke survivors during their recoveries, whether you’re a stroke survivor, or you care for or work with stroke survivors, get behind them too.

Remind them how far they’ve come and encourage them to keep going. It’s equally important that we don’t put time limits on recovery, because we know that recovery is possible even months and years after a stroke.

For more information about stroke and the vital role hope plays in rebuilding lives click here.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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