Heart and Stroke Foundation report emphasizes there is life after stroke
Recovery can continue for years, with survivor family and friends
playing essential role
OTTAWA, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ – More Canadians are surviving strokes due
to advances in awareness and medical services but a new report by the
Heart and Stroke Foundation reveals that more than one-third of
Canadians mistakenly believe that the recovery period is limited to a
Stroke recovery is a journey that can continue for years or a lifetime,
according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation 2013 Stroke Report, which
outlines the importance of family caregivers in the process. A poll* carried out for the report reveals that half of Canadians are directly
touched by stroke and even more striking, that one in five Canadians
have been involved in the support and care of a stroke survivor.
“Our poll confirmed what we have long suspected – that stroke touches the lives
of many Canadians, and family members and friends play an important
role in the recovery journey,” says Ian Joiner, Director, Stroke, Heart
and Stroke Foundation. “Obviously the best story is when a stroke is
prevented, but we need to pay more attention to every aspect of stroke
– prevention, recognition, treatment, and rehabilitation and recovery.”
315,000 Canadians are currently living with the effects of stroke and
this will increase
Fifty thousand strokes occur in Canada each year and 315,000 Canadians
are living with the effects of stroke. As the population continues to
age this number will increase – as will the number of Canadians caring
for loved ones post-stroke. Now, 60 per cent of people who have a
stroke report that they need help afterwards and 80 per cent have
restrictions to their daily activities.
The economic cost is also high; stroke costs the Canadian economy $3.6
billion a year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages, and
“Combine these factors and a complete story of stroke emerges,” says
Joiner, adding that advances in awareness and treatment mean deaths
from stroke are actually declining. “More Canadians will be living with
the effects of stroke. Recovery can continue for years, and many
Canadians find themselves supporting stroke survivors through that
recovery journey. The urgency and need for action is clear.”
Rehabilitation and caregiver support are essential in the stroke
Rehabilitation is a key part of the stroke recovery journey and
rehabilitation research and enhancements to services and access will be
more important than ever.
“We need rehabilitation research to better understand the difficulties
someone is having after a stroke and then develop the treatments to
help them get better,” says Dr. Sean Dukelow, a physiatrist at the
Hotchkiss Brain Institute Faculty of Medicine, an assistant professor
at the University of Calgary and a Heart and Stroke Foundation-funded
researcher who uses robotics to help stroke survivors recover. “We use
a robotic model – a large robotic chair – that helps measure a
patient’s improvement over time and helps deliver therapy. It can
require tens of thousands of repetitions of a particular movement to
relearn how to do it after stroke and the robot can help us determine
the type and intensity of the rehabilitation needed for a patient to
relearn how to use his arm. We can use this information and turn that
into a plan to treat the patient more effectively.”
The role that relatives or close friends of stroke survivors carry out
is essential to the recovery journey. They help survivors relearn
routine activities, regain abilities, cope with challenges and
frustrations and do things the survivors cannot do for themselves. They
also become navigators of the healthcare system and advocates for
services and follow-up.
“After my stroke, my mom was my rock,” says Janel Nadeau, a stroke
survivor who suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at 19 and has gone on to
become a doctor. “She was my advocate. She was my communicator. I knew
that I did not have to worry about what was going on outside of my
little bubble, because my mom would take care of it so I could focus
simply on recovering.”
Other results from the Heart and Stroke Foundation poll reveal that not
all Canadians have a clear picture of how strokes can be prevented.
According to the poll, less than two-thirds of Canadians are aware that
most strokes can be prevented and nearly one in six believe that once a
person has recovered from a stroke there is nothing they can do to
prevent another one. And the fact is that up to 80 per cent of
premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented.
Canadians are optimistic about the outlook for stroke survivors and the
possibilities of life after stroke. In the Heart and Stroke Foundation
poll, more than four in five respondents said they believe that people
who survive a stroke can be treated, recover and live meaningful lives.
Advances mean hope
The story of stroke is not over. Stroke is preventable. Stroke is
treatable. And recovery from stroke is possible. For stroke survivors
and their loved ones, continued advances in rehabilitation and recovery
mean real hope for a better future. There is life after stroke.
For the full report, videos of researchers and survivors, resources for
stroke survivors and caregivers, and calls to action for Canadians,
government and healthcare professionals visit heartandstroke.ca/strokereport2013.
Heart and Stroke Foundation poll
According to a new poll* by the Heart and Stroke Foundation:
-- One in two Canadians report having a close friend or family member who is a stroke survivor. -- One in five Canadians report being directly involved in the support and care of a stroke survivor. -- Fewer than two in three Canadians believe that most strokes can be prevented. -- Nearly one in five believe that most strokes are fatal. -- More than four in five believe that people who survive a stroke can be treated, recover and live meaningful lives. -- Nearly one in six Canadians believe that once a person has recovered from a stroke there is nothing they can do to prevent another one. -- One in three Canadians believe that once a person survives a stroke there is an initial period of a few months of recovery. After than they are unlikely to recover any further.
*Heart and Stroke Foundation public opinion polling conducted by
Environics by telephone between April 4 and 14, 2013 with a total of
2,002 respondents. Results of a survey of this size can be considered
accurate to within plus or minus 2.19 percent, 19 times out of 20.]
The vital stats on stroke
-- There are an estimated 50,000 strokes in Canada each year. That is one stroke every 10 minutes. -- About 315,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke. -- Every seven minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke. -- Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Canada. Six per cent of all deaths in Canada are due to stroke. -- Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability among adults.
About the Heart and Stroke Foundation
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads
in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through
initiatives to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery.
Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make
it happen. Heartandstroke.ca
The Foundation is asking all Canadians to make health last by taking
action today to give themselves, their friends and families longer,
healthier, fuller lives. Take the Heart&Stroke Risk Assessment at makehealthlast.ca.
SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation
Video with caption: “Video: There is life after stroke. Janel’s recovery story.”. Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130610_C6474_VIDEO_EN_27739.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130610_C6474_PHOTO_EN_27739.jpg&clientName=Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation&caption=Video%3A%20There%20is%20life%20after%20stroke%2E%20Janel%27s%20recovery%20story%2E&title=HEART%20AND%20STROKE%20FOUNDATION%20%2D%20Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%20report%20emphasizes%20there%20is%20life%20after%20stroke&headline=Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%20report%20emphasizes%20there%20is%20life%20after%20stroke
Video with caption: “Video: There is life after stroke. Using robotics to help rehabilitation.”. Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130610_C6474_VIDEO_EN_27741.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130610_C6474_PHOTO_EN_27741.jpg&clientName=Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation&caption=Video%3A%20%20There%20is%20life%20after%20stroke%2E%20Using%20robotics%20to%20help%20rehabilitation%2E&title=HEART%20AND%20STROKE%20FOUNDATION%20%2D%20Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%20report%20emphasizes%20there%20is%20life%20after%20stroke&headline=Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%20report%20emphasizes%20there%20is%20life%20after%20stroke
Image with caption: “HSF Stroke Report Highlights (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130610_C6474_PHOTO_EN_27738.jpg