Stroke Recovery Canada’s local chapter is staying very active

For 25 years, Stroke Re-cov­ery has been supporting stroke survivors in Guelph and Wellington County.
In the early years, it was known as the Stroke Recovery Association. In 2003, Ontario March of Dimes broadened its mandate to include Stroke Recovery chapters and became March of Dimes Canada. That was launched in Vancouver when the World Conference on Stroke was held there.
The Guelph Wellington Chap­ter attempts to meet new stroke survivors soon after their strokes. Survivors visit new stroke patients to encourage them, offer hope, and to make survivors aware of services available to them in the com­munity.
Depending on how ill they are, sometimes a visit of encouragement will suffice at that time.
An excellent stroke kit and uplifting articles are written by local stroke survivors. As well, professionals have written val­u­able information on stroke topics, including What is a Stroke?; You are not Alone; Depression; CCAC services, and many others. New sur­vivors often know those who have written about their rehabi­litation experiences and how they have worked hard to get on with their lives.
No two strokes are alike and the outcomes are all different. If people in our community wish us to visit loved ones in the hospital, please contact Jane Geerlinks at 519-638-2423 or email in North Wellington, or Marj Brooks at 519-824-1628 or for Guelph and the surrounding area.
From hospital visitation, a one on one service is provided for survivors. University stud­ents are trained by the group’s volun­teer nurses and medical volunteers on best procedures to help with aphasia home­work, physiotherapy-type exer­cises, reading, walking, and befriending. Goals are set by the caregiver, survivor, and with the student. Survivors and students derive a great deal from those visits and long term friendships are common.
If there are survivors who wish to have one on one assis­tance, contact Carol Martin at 519-836-3202 or kenmartin­; or Judy Murphy at 519 836 4419 or murphy­ to arrange for an interview.
The Guelph Wellington Chapter of Stroke Recovery has a broad and inclusive pro­gram for all stroke survivors who wish ongoing support and information. There are peer support programs in Guelph on the third Tuesday of each month at Harcourt Church, on Dean Avenue. They includes speakers and sometimes enter­tainment. Contact Alvin Mc­Nally at 519-824-1186 or Tony Wagner at 519-822-1441 or email
In Palmerston, peer support meetings are held on the second Friday of September, November, January, March, and May. Contact Geerlinks for information on meetings that are held in the Palmerston Hos­pital board room.
The group’s bi-monthly Newsletters include information on pending functions of interest to stroke survivors as well as Dr. Ruth Tatham’s Research Corner. All research items are very much up to date. If anyone wishes to be put onto the mailing list, contact Brooks.
At least two public meet­ings are arranged each year and the next event will be held on May 21 when Dr. Sherri Lynn Kane, geriatrist, will speak on stroke and another related topic.
That will be a free lecture and all are welcome.
In October, Dr. Robert Tea­sell, who has a 38 bed stroke unit at London Hospital associ­ated with the University of Western Ontario, spoke on the necessity of starting rehabili­tation within hours or days to improve the outcome and to save long term care beds in the future.
He said the stay in hospital will be shorter and more are sent home to continue rehabili­tation. He stressed that this will save dollars. His research is recognized worldwide.
A celebration of the 70th anniversary of Benny Good­man’s Carnegie Hall concert that defined forever the sound of Big Band Jazz, will be held on May 2 at War Memorial Hall on Guelph University cam­pus.
Local all star musi­cian, Peter Appleyard, will be fronting an 18 piece band of outstanding musicians. Tickets are available through Jim Mac­Kinnon at 519 8221 3541 email, or Ron Hearnden at 519 826 0848 or email bigtributecon­cert­
Last year Stroke Recovery presented a Gospel Jazz con­cert to a sell-out hall and peo­ple walked away singing, and saying that they had the best time of their lives. That could happen again this year.
Two of the executive are giving of their time on a LHIN committee to better serve health care in Waterloo Well­ington counties.
The Stroke Recovery Guelph Wellington Chapter is totally volunteer, and no mem­bers are paid for their services. Much enthusiasm exists within the organization throughout the peer support groups.
Stroke Recovery Guelph Wellington has an office in a member’s home and is cur­rently looking for an office, either gratis or low cost, for more visibility and accessi­bility. Anyone with knowledge of available space is encourag­ed to call 519-824- 1628.