Written by Elaine O'Connor, Senior Consultant, Communications and Public Affairs

Community REDi clinical supervisor Adam Fletcher shares his tips for how to help stroke survivor patients succeed on their long road to recovery. Hint: they can’t do it without their community.

Across Canada, more than 740,000 adults are living with the after-effects of stroke, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. That’s nearly the population of New Brunswick. And it’s expected to increase in future.

That’s because right now, nine out of 10 Canadians have at least one lifestyle or genetic risk factor for developing stroke or heart disease, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. And yet 80 per cent of premature stroke and heart disease can be prevented through healthy habits, such as not smoking, eating a balanced diet, and getting regular exercise.

Prevention is not the only factor that can be influenced by lifestyle – so can stroke rehabilitation and recovery. We continue to learn about the brain’s surprising ability to improve the body’s physical progress in stroke survivors over time.

“Recovery for most people is a life-long process,” says Occupational Therapist and Community REDi Clinical Supervisor Adam Fletcher. “We now know with the discovery of neuroplasticity that our clients continue to make progress and change their brains throughout their lives.

In his latest article, Fletcher explains that given potential long-term gains, maintaining rehabilitation – and social connection – at home over time is more important than ever for stroke survivors

“Making the jump from a supportive outpatient rehab program to continuing recovery at home can be a difficult transition for some of our clients. A common concern from stroke survivors is that they often feel isolated after they leave the hospital and they have a desire to connect with others in their community who have experienced a stroke.”

Read the full story to see Adam’s Top 10 tips for optimal stroke recovery, plus pick up tips on three community programs you can refer patients to in “Life after stroke: Secrets of a Successful Recovery” on our Newsroom.

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