We've launched a new Online Stroke Activities Hub, which can help support you in your recovery no matter how long you've been living with stroke.
From support groups to social quizzes, our online activities are a great way to meet new people, feel more supported and increase your confidence.
Graham had a TIA (transient ischaemic attack or mini-stroke) and a stroke in April 2020, a few weeks into the first Covid-19 lockdown.
'I was taken to hospital quickly,' says Graham, 'But my CT scan showed that I had spider veins, so they couldn't give me the clot busting drugs because I was likely to bleed out. And I couldn't have a thrombectomy.
'I lost the use of my right side. I couldn't swallow properly, I couldn't move my fingers, arm, legs or toes. The consultant said I should have been having physio in hospital for three months. But because of Covid, I was released after eight days.'
The stroke had a huge impact on Graham's wife, Kay, too. 'Initially he couldn't do anything for himself,' remembers Kay. 'It was an exhausting time. But the community stroke rehabilitation team were amazing. I learned a lot from them about Graham's care, and with their help he progressed quite quickly and became more mobile.'
Lockdown and the stroke left Graham and Kay feeling quite isolated, so their Stroke Association Support Coordinator suggested they try some of our online activities. These included weekly quizzes and Me and My Stroke - sessions to help participants to understand stroke and learn more about living well with the effects of stroke.
'You get to meet other people who've had a stroke and realise you're not the only one in this situation,' says Graham. 'Hearing their perspectives and recovery hints and tips gives you something else you can look into to help with your recovery.'
The online activities have supported Kay too. 'The stroke couldn't have happened at a worse time,' says Kay. 'But the online activities have helped us see the light at the end of the tunnel. You get support from people who know what you're going through. And have a laugh with them. If we were closer, we'd go and meet them.
'There are activities on every day,' she continues. 'I did some of the genealogy sessions and we both did the Me and My Stroke sessions, which were really informative. The way they're delivered worked for us because they're light-hearted. Although it's a serious subject, you can also have a joke - you can take more in when you're relaxed.'
'We enjoy the Friday quizzes the most - they're always a laugh,' says Graham. 'We do the quizzes in different rooms. We started off doing it together, but between us we get most of it right, which is a bit unfair as there's two of us! Also, I find it easier to concentrate on my own, so we split ourselves up. Kay still stays with me for the music quizzes though because I'm better at them!
'I'd say to other stroke survivors and carers to join in!' he adds. 'They've got a session for young people and an exercise group too now. You get a lot of understanding of where you are in your recovery journey. People will listen and help with a lot of information. They're a very friendly bunch, very accepting and welcoming.'
Find out more
Get more information and sign up to the Online Stroke Activities Hub.
Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the spring 2023 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.