June 29, 2008

Report Highlights Lack of Awarness of Devastating Condition

This week, the Stroke Association's Long Eaton Communication Support Service celebrated the launch of the association's new campaign based on its report Lost Without Words.

The report looks at the devastating effects of aphasia for stroke survivors.

These can include loss of confidence and independence and can lead to depression.

The report highlights the alarmingly low levels of awareness among the public, health professionals and key decision-makers in health and social care policy. According to new figures from the charity, a staggering nine out of 10 stroke survivors in England are left unsupported and isolated in the community.

Aphasia is one of the most common disabilities following a stroke, affecting one's ability to speak and understand language.

The charity estimates that at least a third of stroke survivors are currently living with aphasia: literally "living in a silence" - frightened, frustrated and isolated, unable to speak or understand language.

Tracey Barker, of the Stroke Association, said: "We all need to communicate. Whether it's through speaking, a hand gesture or the blink of an eye, the ability to interact with others is crucial. The loss of these basic skills can leave stroke survivors feeling imprisoned and depressed."

The study also found that stroke survivors who received long- term communication support via a group setting reported a better recovery and huge personal achievements.

Derbyshire has three groups - in Derby, Belper and Long Eaton.

According to Tracey, these groups enable stroke survivors to develop new ways of replacing lost communication skills, to continue to improve and maintain these skills and make social interaction easier, preventing depression and isolation.

The groups also provide respite for carers.

To find out more, call the stroke helpline on 0845 3033100, or visit www.stroke.org.uk

(c) 2008 Derby Evening Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.