Stroke Recovery Association of BC


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UBC/GF Strong Research Study

Research Study: Perceptions of Telerehabilitation in Stroke Recovery

Research Investigators: Dr. Janice Eng, Dr. Brodie Sakakibara, Jen Waring, Josina Rhebergen, Mary Edgar, Sarah Monsees, & Todd Van der Star

Researchers from G.F. Strong & UBC are studying the potential uses of telerehabilitation in people who have had a stroke.

Telerehabilitation is the use of communication technologies (e.g. the internet, cell phone, computers, tablets) to deliver rehabilitation services from a distance. It is important because it has the potential to increase access to rehabilitation and improve quality of care.

The purpose of this study is to learn from people who have had a stroke about the communication technologies they use, and their interest in using them to receive rehabilitation services. This study aims to guide future research and development of telerehabilitation programs.

Who can participate?

  • Those who have experienced a stroke
  • 19 years and older
  • Live in the community
  • Able to understand English

What do I need to do?

  • Participants will complete a written, phone, or online survey (preference determined by the participant) that is approximately 10-15 minutes in length

Participants will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card for completing the survey.

Please contact the research investigators if you are interested in participating in this study or if you would like more information 


Phone: 604-714-4109.



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Photovoice Study

Exploring the lived experience of stroke survivors








“At an extremely expensive restaurant the waiter ignored me and asked my wife if I needed  a straw for my Martini. He also would not arrange for my meat to be cut up in the kitchen”

Linh Huynh and Marie Maratos, Master of Occupational Therapy students at the University of British Columbia, along with Jordan Lui and Julia Tan, Doctor of Medicine Students, are conducting a research study titled, Picture This: Exploring the lived experience of stroke survivors, under the supervision of Dr. Tal Jarus, PhD. Given that the incidence of stroke is on the rise and high functioning stroke survivors are more likely to return home, providing community services that meet their needs is critical. Often these individuals have invisible impacts from their stroke that prevent them from receiving appropriate supports and services within the community. Picture This uses the methodology of photovoice as a collaborative approach in which the participants are the experts of their experience and the research team is a facilitator of the inquiry process. Participants are asked to photo-document as a means of capturing their lived experience. A community exhibition will be held for participants to present their pictures and stories. Findings from this study will inform the disciplines of occupational therapy and medicine of the barriers that high functioning stroke survivors experience on a daily basis and may help to guide future development of supports and services for this population.

Five Shaughnessy Branch members have been participants in the above study. They have showed terrific attention to detail in their photos and in discussions with the students afterwards. Starting with meetings last September and a one hour assessment and weekly one hour meetings since January they are to be congratulated for all their diligence.

The results of the study will an exhibition of their photos on March 24th @1:00pm at the Shaughnessy Stroke Recovery Branch, 1550 West 33 Ave. Vancouver. Please come and join us. Thank you to students from UBC, Department of Occupational Therapy & Faculty of Medicine, and the Shaughnessy Branch members, Greg McKinstry, Dannielle Hayes, Doug Napier, Doug Scattergood and Vaughan Weber.

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SRABC in the news!

SRABC ran a media campaign for National Stroke Awareness Month to promote the release of our new ‘7 Steps to Stroke Recovery’ video. The 7 steps video can be found on Vancouver Sun site – Click here:

On July 2 2014 we had an interview on the Global TV Six O’clock News which featured Shaughnessy Branch member, stroke survivor and member of SRABC Communications Committee, Dannielle Hayes; SRABC Professional Advisory Committee member and physiotherapist Heather Branscombe as well as SRABC Executive Director Tim Readman.
Please see below a link to the interview on the Global TV Six O’clock News with Dannielle Hayes.
This 6 pm newscast is watched by 600,000 people every night. You can see the link here:

Tammy Kivi,  a stroke survivor and SRABC Burnaby South member, had an interview on Tuesday’s Breakfast Television on CTV, this Tuesday, June ‎24th. Here is the link to the segment:.

Stroke Recovery Interview on Global TV June 30th 2014 Noon News : Stroke survivor Tammy Kivi and  Stroke Recovery Association of BC Executive Director, Tim Readman discuss stroke recovery with Global TV’s Lynn Colliar.

Click on this link to view the interview:

Our Executive Director, Tim Readman, wrote about stroke recovery for the Vancouver Sun that was published on Wed July 9th, as an Op Ed (a piece featured opposite the editorial). Click on this link to read the article:

Also on July 9 2014, the Vancouver Courier published an interview with renowned photographer and writer, Dannielle Hayes; stroke survivor, Shaughnessy Branch member and member of the SRABC Communications Committee. Click on this link to read the article:


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We will be loading each section of the DVD separately in the coming days.

If you like this video please donate to SRABC at – thank you!


• The main question facing stroke survivors and caregivers after discharge from hospital is — “now what?”

• Not knowing where to go for help in the community, not knowing what is available and not knowing how to access programs is tremendously confusing and frustrating.

• Stroke survivors and family caregivers need relevant education and practical guidance on living life after stroke

• This educational DVD is a tool for anyone wishing to learn about stroke recovery.

• It outlines 7 Steps that will assist stroke survivors and caregivers in knowing how to continue the process of stroke recovery in the community after hospital discharge.

• It features interviews from stroke rehabilitation professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech language pathologists. They speak directly about each step of recovery according to their expertise.

• It is also featured on the Stroke Recovery Association of BC website, SRABC’s YouTube channel and via social media.


• This DVD can be used as a whole or it can be shown in sections.

• The sections are as follows:

o Exercise and mobility

o Communication and language

o Social interaction and recreation

o Thinking, memory and perception

o Support

o Healthy lifestyle

o System navigation

• The presenter can stop the video in between sections and review the content with the audience/individual and answer any questions.

• The DVD can be used to promote group discussion.

• The DVD can be used to assist stroke survivors and caregivers to set goals for stroke recovery.

• The DVD can also be used as a promotional tool to explain the services we offer and as a resource for use in fund raising activities for SRABC.


• Vision – Every stroke survivor in BC has respect, inclusion, and support in their home community.

• Mission Statement – Through its local Stroke Recovery Branches, SRABC is committed to assisting stroke survivors and their caregivers throughout the province to improve their overall quality of life.

• The purposes of SRABC are:

o To assist stroke survivors and their caregivers throughout BC to improve their overall quality of life and remain living independently.

o To increase awareness within the community of the impact of stroke.

o To raise awareness in the community of the services offered throughout the Province to stroke survivors and their caregivers.

o To act as a resource for hospitals and for people concerned with the effect of

o strokes on individuals and their families.

o To plan and promote programs of education and of assistance to stroke survivors in BC.

o To disseminate information on stroke prevention.

• Programs and Services

o SRABC provides support and information to anyone whose life has been affected by stroke, and to other stakeholders in the field of stroke recovery, such as healthcare professionals. Our services offer support to stroke survivors which allows them to live independently in the community, thus alleviating the pressure on community health services. The inclusion and empowerment of stroke survivors and their caregivers in our communities enriches their diversity, and helps overcome the barriers to people with disabilities in accessing community services and resources.

o We have around 30 Branches throughout BC which offer a range of programs and services to assist stroke survivors and their caregivers. They provide a friendly social environment where stroke survivors and caregivers can get support and help in coping with life after stroke. Branches offer activities such as social events, exercise, communication and cognitive stimulation. In some Branches programs are run by professionals, such as physiotherapists, and in others they are volunteer-driven. Approximately one thousand individuals attend these programs. Recruitment of new members occurs through hospital visits, liaising with health services in hospitals and the community and connecting with social workers during discharge planning.

o Our educational materials are distributed regularly to health authorities, hospitals and rehabilitation centres throughout BC. We also respond daily to requests for information and referral by phone (1-800 number), email and from our website.

o SRABC also conducts research into community-based stroke recovery, supported by the University of BC, the Ministry of Health, Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Provincial Health Services Authority, Regional Health Authorities and grants and sponsorship from the private sector.

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Give DiceHaving a stroke is devastating. One minute you are a fully functioning person, the next, you can’t think, speak or feel and can hardly move. There are 6,500 strokes in BC every year. Hospitals do a great job of saving people who survive a stroke but sooner or later those survivors go back home. What then?

When you decide to donate to Stroke Recovery Association of BC, you help build a world where every stroke survivor has respect, inclusion, and support in their home community. Please help to bring stroke survivors in BC back to life by making a donation today.

Cheques to Stroke Recovery Association of BC can be mailed to us at:

301-1212 West Broadway Vancouver, BC, V6H 3V1

You can also donate using your credit card through our website at by clicking on the DONATE NOW button.

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2014 Canadian Stroke Congress Coming to Vancouver

This is another reminder that the 5th Canadian Stroke Congress in is coming to Vancouver, British Columbia from October 4 – 7, 2014. It will be a forum where we can exchange ideas, collaborate, and learn about innovation in stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery. SRABC is planning to be there and is providing input about Stroke Recovery in our communities. For more information please go to:

2014 canadian stroke congress 2

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Ten Top Tips for Talking with People with Aphasia

Pencil With ChecklistAphasia is a communication disability which occurs when the communication centres of the brain are damaged. It is usually caused by stroke, but can also be caused by brain haemorrhage, head injury or tumours.

What does having aphasia mean?

Each person with aphasia experiences it differently. Some people cannot speak at all; some people have just a few words. Others can no longer read, write or use numbers.

Everyday activities such as having a conversation, answering the phone, watching television, may suddenly become a source of profound frustration and anxiety both for the person with aphasia and for their families, friends and carers.

Ten Top Tips for Talking with People with Aphasia

  1. Use pen and paper
  2. Write down key words
  3. Draw pictures or diagrams
  4. Relax – don’t rush
  5. Be natural
  6. Say one thing at a time
  7. Don’t pretend you understand
  8. Recap to check that everyone got
  9. Ask what helps
  10. Reduce background noise

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“7 Steps to Stroke Recovery” – SRABC’s new educational video and DVD

Dr. Jennifer Yao 1Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, including a $2,500 grant from March of Dimes Canada, SRABC has been able to produce a new educational video and DVD called 7 Steps to Stroke Recovery.

It is being used as a centre-piece and educational tool for Stroke Recovery Education Day events that will be organized by our Regional Branches in each health region of BC during National Stroke Awareness Month (June 2014). It is also being launched and featured on the Stroke Recovery Association of BC website, SRABC’s YouTube channel and via Facebook and Twitter.

This short video will answer an important question – You’ve had a stroke and survived- now what?

Stroke survivors and family caregivers need relevant education and practical guidance on living life after stroke. That’s why Stroke Recovery Association of BC is here.

Every stroke and every person is different so this video won’t answer all of your questions.

What it will do is to give you a starting point on your journey to recovery.

Many stroke survivors go on to have successful and enjoyable lives.

They learn to make the most of the abilities they have.

There is life after stroke.

The video is approximately 10 minutes in length. Its contents are as follows:

– A clear outline of “7 Steps to Recovery” that will assist stroke survivors and caregivers in knowing what steps to take in stroke recovery in the community after hospital discharge.

– The 7 Steps to Stroke Recovery are.

  • Exercise and mobility
  • Communication and language
  • Social interaction and recreation
  • Thinking, memory and perception
  • Support
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • System navigation

– Interviews with professional presenters who speak directly about each step of recovery, according to their expertise.

The presenters are:

• Dr. Jennifer Yao – Medical Manager, Acquired Brain Injury Program and the Adolescent Young Adult Program at GF Strong Rehab Centre / Clinical Assistant Professor Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Residency Program Director

• Dr. John Millar – specialist in population and public health (community medicine). Clinical Professor Emeritus at the School for Population and Public Health at UBC and Vice President of the Public Health Association of BC

• Heather Branscombe – Physiotherapist and Clinic Director/Owner at Abilities Neurological Rehabilitation, author of ‘Stroke of Hope: Creating the program you need to discover the results you want’

• Jenna Beaumont – Speech-Language Pathologist, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre

• Tim Readman, Executive Director, Stroke Recovery Association of BC, Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Graduate of the Occupational Therapy program at the University of Northumbria, England.

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Stroke Survivor on Mount Everest!

At a StrokeUntil 2008, Gary George led what he terms an “ordinary life”. He was an electrical engineer and a healthy, athletic man. On December 31st, 2008 during one of his many work-related trips abroad, he suffered a massive stroke. He was in a remote part of Ethiopia and it occurred during a management meeting. George was 35.

“I had become motionless and was unable to sit, speak, eat and understand speech,” he remembers. “Prior to this incident, I had no health problem whatsoever. I played a lot of sport and I was medically deemed a fit and healthy person. During the first 48 hours after my stroke, I was semi-conscious and I can’t remember a great deal of what happened. Doctors said that I was drifting in and out of consciousness,” said George. “The recovery was a long and gradual process that consisted of intensive physiotherapy and physical training.”

The years that followed were both trying and rewarding for George as he underwent a rigorous rehabilitation process that helped him on to many achievements including a 5km charity run in 40 minutes; scaling three of the tallest peaks in the United Kingdom and a charity trek to the Great Wall of China. Perhaps his most astonishing feat is his climb up to the Mount Everest Base Camp – something which only a select few people will ever experience.

“I eventually documented everything that was happening around my head at that time. I compiled my story into a book — ‘At a Stroke, A New Direction: New Horizons’ — which has a vivid description of the challenges I faced.”

At a Stroke, A New Direction: New Horizons by Gary A. George – an inspirational story of a 35yr old man’s rehabilitative journey following stroke is available from:

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