If you are caring for someone who has had a stroke, or a mini-stroke (Transient Ischaemic Attack), it is very likely that you became a carer very suddenly. Strokes happen without warning and life for the person affected, and for their carer, can change literally ‘overnight’.
Most people who have experienced a stroke have to spend a period of time in hospital, and this may be followed by a long period of rehabilitation. In hospital there will have been help on hand from specialists in the Stroke team (doctors, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists), and many people and their carers are anxious about going home with reduced support.
Community or district nurses may visit at home in the short term, and occupational therapists and speech therapists may continue to have some input, but inevitably their resources are limited, so it is important that you use them whilst their help is available.
Some useful contacts:
Stroke Association – National
The Stroke Association provides an excellent and informative helpline for people who have experienced stroke, and their carers. The Association also has a comprehensive website and you can download or order factsheets from the information library.
If you would like information about stroke or sources of support available after a stroke, contact the Stroke Helpline on 0303 303 3100. The helpline is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm and Thursday between 9.00am and 3.30pm.
Examples from the extensive factsheet list available on www.stroke.org.uk/shop/information-leaflets or via the shop on 01604 687724
- Life after stroke
- How to prevent a stroke
- Communication problems after stroke
- Emotional change after stroke
- All about stroke: information for children
- Stroke: a carer’s guide
- Healthy eating and stroke
- Driving after stroke
If you want information on a particular subject and you do not have access to the internet, the Stroke Association would welcome your calls on the Stroke Helpline 0303 3033 100
The Stroke Association also has an online discussion forum for people who have experienced stroke, and their carers.
Local Support for people with stroke and their carers
Stroke Association – Sheffield Re-ablement Service
Part of the national charity The Stroke Association, the Sheffield Re-ablement Service aims to provide a support service for stroke survivors of any age living in Sheffield. The coordinator offers one to one support, workshops, group projects and activities to enable stroke survivors to have a greater understanding of stroke and how to manage their condition to maximise their independence and quality of life.
The service works towards the individual’s own goals which might include:
- Returning to work
- Accessing appropriate retraining and voluntary opportunities
- Accessing a return to education
- Returning to hobbies and leisure activities
- Opportunities to attend activities to improve confidence and self esteem
- Developing new skills
The service is free in Sheffield and is run by the Stroke Association.
Different Strokes – for younger stroke survivors
A registered charity that offers support, information and advice to younger stroke survivors (I.e. those of working age) and their families. Offers a “serious approach to stroke rehabilitation – run by survivors”.
Runs sessions which involve exercise and fitness to improve balance and suppleness with qualified neuro-physiotherapists as well as tailored one to one programmes. Professional updates are provided by psychologist, occupational therapists, mental health professionals and health researchers – as requested by group members. Offers the chance to share, talk and listen on a range of topics you would like to talk about such as relationships, memory, concentration, in safe and supportive environment. Also plans socials, meals out, trips to concerts, countryside and comedy nights.
Different Strokes can offer free access to resources, information and signpost to other stroke services across the city. Donations are welcome towards the shared costs of the physiotherapy.
Sessions are held at ‘ZEST’ 18 Upperthorpe, S6 (Saturday, 1 – 3.30pm).
For more information please contact the Sheffield group Volunteer Co-ordinators
Alan Lindley on 0114 348 3189 or Chris Allsopp on 0114 288 0727, 07577 974007
Carers Stroke Support Group
This carers’ group is organised by Amanda Jones, Stroke Nurse Consultant. It meets twice a month at Sheffield Carers Centre, Concept House, 5 Young St, Sheffield S1 4UP.