Stroke Recovery Association of BC


Archive for May, 2013

Stroke Recovery Education Days

Diversity File #5829436Stroke Recovery Association of BC will be launching its ‘Community Stroke Recovery Education Days’ in five B.C. communities in June, in Vancouver, White Rock, Nanaimo, Kelowna and throughout the Northern Region via teleconference/webinar. The sessions will include education in health promotion after a stroke, secondary stroke prevention and stroke recovery. The emphasis will be on ‘Life after Stroke’ and we will be answering the main question facing stroke survivors and caregivers after the hospital stay is over – “now what?” We’ll be explaining why there is reason for hope, and the possibility of regaining further independence and enjoying life after stroke. We’ll be supplying tips and strategies and giving hands-on opportunities to try new ideas and products for life after stroke. There’ll be the chance to meet other stroke survivors and caregivers too. You’ll leave with knowledge, tools, skills and information that will help you in your journey in life after stroke.

Dates, Times and Locations of SRABC 2013 Stroke Recovery Education Days

Please contact us if you need more information

Vancouver Region

Date: Saturday June 8
Time: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Alma Van Dusen and Peter Kaye Room
Library Square Conference Centre @ Vancouver Public Library
350 West Georgia St., Vancouver, BC

Fraser Region

Date: Saturday June 8
Time: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Fitness Studio 2
White Rock Centre for Active Living
1475 Anderson Street, White Rock, BC

Interior Region

Date: Saturday June 15
Time: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Centre for Learning Atrium (next to Library)
Okanagan College
1000 K.L.O. Road Kelowna, BC

Vancouver Island Region

Date: Saturday June 8
Time: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Christ Community Church
2221 Bowen Road, Nanaimo, BC V9S 5J3

Northern Region

Date and Time: Thurs June 6: 12 pm to 1 pm
Thurs June 13: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Webinar / Teleconference – provided via ‘Care-Ring Voice Network’ – access via phone or computer
Details TBA


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My Life After Stroke

Personal Stories of Stroke Recovery

galg-13When Stroke Recovery Association of BC was founded in 1976, Phyllis Delaney was entrusted with organizing the provincial association. Every year at our Annual General Meeting we hold the Phyllis Delaney Life After Stroke Awards luncheon. The awards are given to people whose courage, determination and achievement deserves public recognition, as a testament to Phyllis’s achievements. They recognize individuals who have overcome adversity following a stroke.

This year’s Achievement in Arts went to an individual who has shown exceptional artistic talent in the visual and performing arts, Ladner BC’s Rosemarie Hurst.

Rosemarie Hurst – Artist and Musician

Rosemarie is an avid photographer who has had her work shown in galleries and museums. She has sold many framed photographs and photo cards. She is presently working on a book of poetry with photos inspired by BC’s natural beauty. “I love nature and what it says to me. I am more at peace in the woods or a garden or by the ocean, and BC offers the most beautiful vistas I have ever seen.”

In June 2009 Rosemarie had a stroke followed by a ruptured brain aneurysm in November of that same year. It did not deter her from continuing her passion and because of having that near-death experience she decided it was time to release her long-awaited, unique, limited edition CD, entitled “Faithfully Yours: Ballads of E. Pauline Johnson”.

Rosemarie grew up in Ontario, and remembers visiting Chiefswood, Johnson’s home and birthplace, when she was a teenager.  She has remained inspired by Johnson’s work to this day. “Writing music for the poems wasn’t easy. Johnson’s poems don’t follow a traditional song structure, so there isn’t a chorus to work with but through the process of writing and recording the album I believe the music helped me in my ongoing recovery from the strokes. I focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t. Music helps the brain rewire itself after it’s been damaged. Also music therapy is an increasingly common treatment for neurological disorders”.

2013 is the 100th anniversary of Johnson’s death, and Rosemarie has been asked to perform her music by the museum dedicated to preserving and sharing Johnson’s legacy, the Chiefswood National Historic Site in Ohsweken, Ontario.  “Part of my vision as an artist is to use imagery, poetry and music as a form of self-expression. It is necessary for me to stand within my own truth, and to follow my heart towards my passion.  Some people have kindly said that my work is very spiritual. This is indeed an honour. However, I also want others to see the beauty, truth and spirit of themselves and nature, and to find their own creative voice. Song writing is a mystery and a gift to me. The tunes and words come to me at the strangest of times, usually in the solitude of late night or early morning. It comes from a place deep within me. There is definitely a spiritual component to my songs as well as a romantic theme.”

Rosemarie Hurst’s albums, Faithfully Yours – Ballads of E. Pauline Johnson and Eyes of the Angels are available on iTunes and CDBaby. Please go here for all information and links:

Her website is here:

She is also on Facebook and YouTube

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Are You A Caregiver?

“There are only four kinds of people in the world -those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” – Rosalyn Carter

Are You A Caregiver For A Stroke Survivor?

Senior woman and caregiver talking drinking coffee File #19529675With an increasingly aging population in all developed societies, the role of family caregiver has been increasingly recognized as an important one, both functionally and economically

Caregivers are referred to as Family Caregivers, Informal Caregivers, Carers and many other names … but they are all doing the same thing:

Providing unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner.

You are a Caregiver if you are….

  • Performing tasks to help with shopping, cooking, errands, making or receiving telephone calls, transportation to medical appointments, paying bills, medication management, or home maintenance and repairs.
  • Providing personal care such as bathing, dressing, toileting, feeding or laundry.
  • Changing roles and beginning to think of a stroke survivor as depending on you for making decisions for them regarding health care, finances, etc.
  • Seeking assistance and formal services of others to stay with or provide care for a stroke survivor.
  • Arranging/coordinating outside services.
  • Considering changes in your work or living arrangements such as relocating or adjusting your work schedule to allow you more time with a stroke survivor.
  • Considering long term care placement such as trying to make a decision about a nursing home and how involved you can be day-by-day.
  • Coping with loss and dealing with difficult adjustments in your relationship.

Caregivers Have Rights Too!

Caregivers’ Bill of Rights

This powerful message first appeared in Jo Horne’s book “Caregiving: Helping an Aging Loved One”  (AARP Books, 1985), but has been adapted by many organizations and people over the years. Wendy Lustbader – a social worker, mental health counselor, author, and caregiver advocate in Seattle – is often cited as its originator. Whoever came up with it, these points can be a source of reassurance for caregivers.

I have the right:

  • To take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capability of taking better care of my loved one.
  • To seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
  • To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the stroke survivor I provide care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything I reasonably can for this person and I have the right to do some things just for myself.
  • To get angry, be depressed and express other difficult feelings occasionally.
  • To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance for what I do for my loved one for as long as I offer these qualities in return.
  • To take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has sometimes taken to meet the needs of my loved one.
  • To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my loved one no longer needs my full time help.
  • To expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid persons living with illness, physical or mental challenges in our country, similar strides will be made toward aiding and supporting caregivers.

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Get Mobile!

Physical Exercise Promotes Health and Mobility

Movement and Exercise

Many stroke survivors have trouble moving around due to problems with balance and paralysis. The most common physical effect of stroke is muscle weakness and reduced control of the paralysed arm or leg. Rehabilitation and therapy can improve balance and movement. A physiotherapist can help to restore strength and control.


  • Any exercise session should be scheduled for a time of day when you feel alert and well.
  • If the exercises are too tiring, divide them into two sessions – perhaps once in the morning and again in the afternoon.

Click here to read the full article

  • Walking, bending and stretching are forms of exercise that can help strengthen your body and keep it flexible.
  • Mild exercise, which should be undertaken every day, can take the form of a short walk or a simple activity like sweeping the floor.
  • Stretching exercises, such as extending the arms or bending the torso, should be done regularly.
  • Moving weakened or paralyzed body parts can be done while seated or lying down. Swimming is another beneficial exercise if the pool is accessible and a helper is available.


  • Fatigue while exercising is to be expected. Like everyone else, you will have good and bad days.
  • You can modify these programs to accommodate for fatigue or other conditions.
  • Avoid over-doing it and exercising in pain.

Sample Exercise Programs

  • Use an exercise program that is written down, with illustrations and guidelines for a helper if necessary.
  • There are two exercise programs provided by the USA National Stroke Association on the internet here:

The first is for the person whose physical abilities have been mildly affected by the stroke. The second is for those with greater limitations. If you are not sure which one is appropriate, ask your physiotherapist. He/she can help in selecting the specific exercises that will benefit you, and can provide instruction for both you and your caregiver.

  • Exercises may be performed alone if you are able to do so safely. However, for many stroke survivors, it is advisable for someone to stand nearby while an exercise session is in progress.
  • As with any exercise program, consult with your doctor and/or therapist before beginning this program.
  •  If any exercises are too difficult and cause pain or increased stiffness in your limbs, do not do them.

Important Safety Advice

Any of these signs and symptoms means YOU MUST STOP EXERCISING RIGHT AWAY:

  • Chest pain, tightness, heaviness &/or radiation of discomfort towards jaw or arm
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Excessive or unusual shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Nausea, vomiting or severe headache

Community Exercise Programs

Established community-based programs for people with stroke are available for your reference. You can find more information on the internet or by asking your physiotherapist.

  • Fitness and Mobility Exercise (FAME) program (Eng et al 2006),
  • Together In Movement and Exercise (TIME) (Howe et al 2010),
  • Keep Moving with Stroke (French et al 2008),
  • Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging-Post Rehabilitation Exercise for Stroke (2008).

Many community/recreation centres and gymnasiums offer exercise programs that are adapted for people with a disability and seniors. Some run programs specially designed for people who have had a stroke, such TIME.

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