Moving and staying active after a stroke can help with your recovery and boost your mood and overall wellbeing. But many people have concerns about returning to exercising or aren't sure what to do or how to get started.
Rachel Cafferty from our Stroke Helpline shares some guidance:
What happens when NHS physiotherapy comes to an end?
The amount of therapy you get can vary and often people feel disappointed when it comes to an end. If you feel that you need more therapy, talk to your GP as they may be able to make a referral for more physio. However, this isn’t always available. If you find it hard to get the support you need, call our Helpline for information.
Sometimes people choose to pay privately for physio. Your GP may be able to tell you about local private services. You can also search for private physios in your area through an organisation called Physio First (physiofirst.org.uk), who have a search option on their website.
How can I keep active and carry on my recovery?
Your GP can advise you about resuming exercise safely, and might be able to refer you to specialist exercise or rehabilitation groups. You can also:
Look locally – There may be chair-based exercise groups or classes aimed at people with long-term health conditions in your area. A good place to start can be to ask your local leisure centre if they offer any suitable classes. Often they’ll have staff who are trained in supporting people with health conditions to exercise safely.
Join our online exercise programme – We have a four-week and a 12-week online stroke recovery exercise programme on mystrokeguide.com. These are exercise videos you can do at own home. There are exercises for different mobility levels, so you can choose which is right for you.
Move more at home – You can also find ways to add movement into your daily life. For example, gardening tasks like weeding and digging can build strength, stamina and improve skills using your hands.
How can I help my loved one to keep active?
If your loved one is still having physiotherapy it can be helpful to have a chat with the therapist and ask for a list of exercises or tasks you can do at home to keep their recovery going.
Set goals - Often people find it helpful to set daily goals for activity. For example, sitting up in a chair, walking around the garden or taking part in an exercise group. Be patient with your loved one, and gently encourage them to keep working towards their goal.
Make it fun - It’s easy to feel as a carer you should be doing more. But it’s ok to keep things simple and do things that you and your loved one find enjoyable.
Get more information and support
Contact our Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100 or by email.
Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the summer 2022 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.