What is After Stroke?
Stroke survivors and their families often find their lives severely and permanently changed by stroke, with few places to turn for respite once beyond the hospital door. Isolation and caregiver burnout are commonly the result.
Since 1975 Stroke Recovery Canada (now After Stroke) has provided support and information to stroke survivors and their families. It exists to:
Provide an environment in which stroke survivors and their families can meet, without being self- conscious, for social and educational programs. Peer support of both survivors and caregivers is the cornerstone of After Stroke philosophy.
Further community awareness of stroke and its prevention, treatment, and effects, both short and long-term, on stroke survivors and their families.
Promote continuing rehabilitation and education of stroke survivors as contributing and productive members of society.
Ensure that there is adequate funding, both public and private, to further this mission.
Although there are many active chapters of After Stroke across Canada providing services to members and the community at large, only a small fraction of stroke survivors and their families are being served. Many more could benefit if After Stroke's message, there is life after a stroke, could reach a larger audience.
Our members know the support and fellowship After Stroke represents in their lives. Let us share it with you!
Who are After Stroke's Members?
Stroke affects every segment of the population. Our members span the age spectrum from young adults to seniors. They are themselves stroke survivors, family members and friends of stroke survivors, or interested volunteers.
As members of After Stroke, they are part of an organization dedicated to the well-being of stroke survivors and their families. All member families can receive the Phoenix, the After Stroke's bimonthly newsletter, containing information on provincial issues, recreation, medicine, individual member profiles, chapter information and more.
The Role of After Stroke
Stroke is, by its very nature, socially isolating. On returning home from the hospital, stroke survivors are often cut off from the world they were once part of: the world of work, recreation, and fellowship. The inability to think, move, and communicate in a fluid way means that they cease to be part of that world. They have lost their independence and may feel ashamed of their situation.
After Stroke is dedicated to such individuals and families. Consider yourself in this situation. You have recently been discharged from hospital after surviving a stroke. You are invited to a meeting at your local chapter of After Stroke, but you're nervous about this encounter with the world. You muster your courage and go. There are people and families like you and yours there a few in wheelchairs, some sitting, some standing talking, listening, and laughing. You feel comfortable, you relax, you smile, you feel good you're not alone. This is the After Stroke experience.
If you or a member of your family have had a stroke and don't know what to do, we can help. Just call our Provincial Office toll free at 1-888-540-6666 for the name of an After Stroke Chapter nearest you.
After Stroke - A Brief History
In January 1975, three Toronto health care workers, Marion Oliver, a Public Health nurse, Rosemary Surtees, a speech therapist at Hillcrest Hospital, and Margaret Smith, a social worker at Riverdale Hospital, saw the need for a self-help group for those recovering from stroke. They organized the first public meeting of what later became, on April 2, 1975, Stroke Recovery Canada, incorporated as a charitable organization to assist stroke survivors and their families in the recovery process and beyond. By 1980, SRC operated with 17 chapters in southern Ontario, ranging from Windsor in the west to Ottawa in the east. With the assistance of government funding, the SRC reached its peak between 1985 and 1987 with 45 chapters and a newsletter (the Phoenix) published 12 times a year.
SRC (now After Stroke) has had an affiliation with the March of Dimes since September 1991, a quarterly newsletter, and optimism as we build for the future. Ongoing plans are under way for the reconstitution of lapsed chapters, and further plans for the establishment of new chapters adds to a renewed sense of After Stroke's vitality.