Smart Heart: Having friends help with stroke recovery

By: Chris Curry Email
By: Chris Curry Email

Friday, April 22, 2011

AUGUSTA -- In this Smart Heart report, we're teaming up with University Hospital to talk about stroke and how important it is to surround yourself with family and friends during the recovery.

It's especially important for older people. Researchers at the University of Minnesota studied more than 5,700 elderly patients.

They found having a close knit community decreases the risk of dying from a stroke by 53%.

Brandon Wilde is one facility in Augusta where stroke survivors can take rehab classes with others like them.

We talked with one patient about how it's helping.

Captain Cornell Angleman says "It's commradarie. We laugh a lot. It's the best medicine."

Captain Angleman survived a stroke several years ago. He moved to Augusta for treatment and rehab.

Courtney Clanton is an occupational therapist who works at Brandon Wilde. She says, "Anybody who has suffered a life-changing event, they're going to through depression and things like that. They're gonna be out of their element. They're not gonna know what to do. So they need as much support as possible."

And remember the "FAST" way to tell if you are having or have had a stroke:
-Face: Does one side of the face droop?
-Arms: Can you lift both arms or does one side fall?
-Speech: Can a person repeat words without slurring?
-Time: What time did the symptoms start? Remember, medications given within in the first 3 hours can reduce long-term disability.

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