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   A stroke is a blockage in blood flow to a part of the brain. A stroke is also called a "cerebrovascular accident" or a "brain attack". Symptoms of stroke can include severe headache, fainting, weakness or paralysis, loss of feeling, disturbance of vision, blindness in one eye, problems with speaking, problems with swallowing, and a loss of balance. Because a stroke can lead to the loss of use of the part of the brain that is affected, it should be treated with the same urgency as a
heart attack and the person experiencing the symptoms should obtain medical help immediately.

These are some of the changes that may occur following a stroke:


Rehabilitation Following A Stroke

Most stroke survivors can benefit from some level of rehabilitation. The goal of rehabilitation
following a stroke is to help the stroke survivor achieve the best possible recovery and maximize
function. Patients relearn skills they had before the stroke, such as walking and speaking, and also
learn new ways to do things that can no longer be done the old way.

The rehabilitation process often begins while the patient is still in the acute care hospital and, for
many patients, continues after the patient goes home.

Rehabilitation can take place in many settings including rehabilitation hospitals. A program such as
this is generally very intensive, requiring patients to participate in many different types of therapy for
several hours each day. Other settings in which rehabilitation can be provided include nursing homes,
outpatient therapy centers and in the home.

Rehabilitation services can be provided by any of a number of professionals:

Rehabilitation offers stroke survivors a chance to regain function lost as a result of a stroke.


Here are some tips for lowering your risk for stroke:


Advice For Caregivers Of Stroke Survivors

Stroke can be a devastating illness that affects not only the patient but also a patient's family and
friends. Caregivers often go through stages in learning to cope with the fact that their loved one has
suffered a stroke and to deal with the responsibilities of caregiving. These stages usually begin with
feelings of alarm, such as fear, anger and resentment. Caregivers then move into feelings of denial,
exhaustion, acceptance, and finally mobilization.

When caregivers do become ready to mobilize, they will find that resources are available to assist
them. Stroke Support Groups are available and bring stroke survivors and caregivers together.
Through support groups individuals can receive information, counseling and support. To obtain a list
of stroke support groups in your area visit the American Heart Association WebPage at
http://www.americanheart.org/affili/ or call their toll free number at 1-800-553-6321.

Your county's Area Agency on Aging may be able to help you obtain services such as home health
aides, Meals on Wheels, transportation services, limited home modifications, and counseling for
caregivers.

Specialized transportation services for the disabled are available through Paratransit. Your local
Health and Human Services Agency can provide you with the telephone number of the regional
service provider. These and other helpful telephone numbers can be found in the Guide to Human
Services section of your local White and Yellow Pages.


Thanks to the clinicians and supervisors of the MossRehab Stroke Center for providing this information.
Stroke Center leaders: Ruth Lefton and Dr. Arthur Gershkoff


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