Not enough people have stroke on their radar, or realise the different ways stroke devastates people’s lives. At the Stroke Association, we’re working to change this. We're running a second wave of our Rebuilding Lives campaign this October, building on the success of the last wave. The campaign includes TV and digital adverts, case studies and PR activity.
Having a stroke is bad enough. But nobody should have to live in fear. We asked survivors about how they were feeling and what they were worried about after their stroke.
What did we find?
Our survey of over 1,000 stroke survivors from across the UK showed that fear is a hidden barrier to recovery. We found that in the aftermath of their stroke, over one million stroke survivors live in fear of having another stroke and are scared to go out alone.
Stroke survivors also told us that after their stroke:
Fear prevents people from getting out and about and meeting others, two of the key factors that stroke survivors have said are integral to their recovery.
On top of dealing with these fears and concerns, we found that many people are facing their recovery alone and that stroke survivors are keeping their fears to themselves and not talking to anyone about what was on their mind. 20% of stroke survivors said they kept their fears to themselves and didn’t talk to anyone because:
This leads to a bleak attitude to recovery, which makes stroke survivors afraid they won’t get better A quarter of strokes happen to people of working age, and it is sad to think that even young people fear a loss of independence like this. Stroke survivors told us that after their stroke:
What can I do?
It takes a team to rebuild lives after stroke. Recovery is tough, but with the right specialist support, the brain can adapt after stroke. There are countless stories of people who, after many years, continue to make remarkable recoveries. Like the real stroke survivors in our Rebuilding Lives advert.
The first step to eliminating fear is to ask for help and support. If you are a stroke survivor, this could mean speaking to your doctor or social worker to get some answers. If you know a stroke survivor, reach out, ask them how they’re feeling. No one should have to live their life in constant fear.
The Stroke Association has over 600 affiliated clubs and groups across the UK, where people affected by stroke get together to meet new people, go on outings and do activities. Find your nearest club or group.
Health professionals also have a crucial role to play in ensuring people don’t end up struggling alone. We know that up and down the UK, there are incredible people helping stroke survivors access the support and treatment they need, and giving them vital help to rebuild their lives. But you, too, are being stretched to capacity. Let survivors know that the Stroke Association is here for them. Every stroke survivor deserves this kind of support throughout their recovery.
My Stroke Guide is an online self-management tool that we created to support people who have been affected by stroke. It gives you free access to trusted information about different types of stroke, risk factors and secondary conditions, as well as advice on prevention and improving your own health. It also has a dedicated section for family and friends which provides information on the impact of stroke and advice about supporting your loved ones.
The Stroke Association’s Helpline is for everyone affected by stroke. There are no stupid questions. If you are worried about anything, call 0303 3033 100 and get support from one of our trained helpline staff.
Find out more about our Rebuilding Lives campaign.