Stroke survivors and their caregivers gathered on May 27 at The Memorial Hospital at Easton’s Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Shore Health System’s stroke support group. Twenty-five guests attended the luncheon, where they met many of the healthcare professionals skilled in stroke care. Following lunch, guests toured the Requard Center and its state of the art rehabilitation facilities.
“We started the stroke support group a year ago with only eight people,” said Christina Ball, RN, CNRN, coordinator of the Primary Stroke Center at Memorial Hospital. “Today, we have 35 survivors and caregivers from around the region coming to the monthly meetings. The group is a way for them to support one another and to embrace life after a stroke.”
While the monthly support group meetings generally feature a guest speaker, many participants come for a sense of hope and a reminder that they are not alone. Survivors have the opportunity to speak about their experiences. The caregivers, especially those who have had more time and experience helping a loved one recover, give the group’s newcomers meaningful advice and help.
“Stroke recovery is about ‘we,’ not ‘I’,” comments Ball. “Caregivers often find themselves in shock after a loved one goes through this health crisis. Participating in the support group helps them understand that they are not alone, that everyone else is going through the same adjustments.”
Bill Roth, senior director of Shore Health System’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services, welcomed guests to the Requard Center. In his remarks, he emphasized Shore Health System’s commitment to listening to patient and caregiver needs while helping stroke survivors with “re-participation in life.”
Andrew McCarthy, MD, medical director of the Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation, added,
“This center is about improving lives. We’re helping people here, and it’s personal. How do we do that? We get to know the person and the family. We work with them to learn how to make things better. In the long term we want to be a part of that silver lining of a better life.’
In her comments, Kate Mills, PT, a physical therapist who works on the neuroscience and intensive care units at Memorial Hospital, said, “Stroke patients hold a special place in my heart. Rehab can really bring you back from the effects of a stroke.” Mills commented that neuro-therapists are passionate about their jobs. “With our team approach with every patient, from the emergency room to the Requard Center, consistency in stroke patient care is notable.”
The stroke support group meets the fourth Wednesday of the month from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the St. Michaels Library, 106 Fremont Street. For more information about the support group and about stroke education programs offered by Shore Health System, call Christina Ball, 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, extension 5068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.