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Stroke recovery advice needed.

Bill Walker wwalker at public.compusult.nf.ca
Sun Jun 1 19:14:01 EST 1997

My father had a severe stroke over 2 months that has left him paralysed on
the right side and unable to communicate. He is presently in a general
hospital. This hospital applied to have him moved to a special
rehabilitation hospital that deals in stroke and other brain injury. The
rehab hospital assessed my father but turned him down because they felt he
had limited potential to benefit from their program. In particular, they
felt he wouldn't be able to understand their instructions, and would
therefore be unable to carry them out. As well, their seemed to be concerns
as to the extra workload that would be placed on rehab center nursing staff
because my father is unable to care for himself with regrad to basic needs
(e.g. eating, mobility, sanitation, etc.)

We are presently trying to have my father remain at the general hospital in
hopes there will be enough improvement in a month or two so that he can be
successfully re-assessed. Unfortunately, there is limited therapy at this
hopsital - 1/2hr physio per day and 2, 1/4hr speech therapy sessions per

We would like to do everything we can to increase my father's chances of
passing the assessment the next time. Is there anything that a family can
do to increase the chances of recovery in a stroke patient? Are there any
aternate therapies that conventional hospitals might not try? I'm looking
for anything that might make his time their beneficial to his recovery.
Presently, I see most of the stroke victims at this hospital just lying
around with vacant stare when they aren't in their brief physio sessions.
There must be simple ways that their time can be put to good use at little
expense to the hospital. For example, when I see Dad in his wheelchair, I
always position the chair, so that its position encourages my father to
turn towards his affected side as people enter or leave the room. I'm not
sure if this is effective but it causes him to do more exercise with the
paralysed side of his neck. Anybody have any other simple techniques such
as this?

Anybody ever try laughter therapy on a stroke patient? If so, how did it
work? What did you do? Other therapies???

It may not be possible to accelerate recovery from a stroke? The stroke
victim may not be capable of going beyond a certain point regardless of
what therapies are applied? Timing of therapy may be crucial, similar to
learning in early childhood development. I don't know the answer to any of
these questions, but would appreciate any practical advice.

Yes, we are asking our doctors these questions, too; but would appreciate
other opinions.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.


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