The month of February is Heart month in Canada and a time to raise awareness for cardiovascular health. Many times a stroke is caused by an embolus that is formed in the heart or legs and travels to the brain, so it is considered a cardiovascular disease.
A stroke happens when blood stops flowing to any part of your brain, damaging brain cells. The effects of your stroke depend on the type of stroke, the part of the brain that was damaged and the amount of damage. There are three types of stroke:
• Ischemic stroke; caused by a blockage or clot in a blood vessel in your brain. The blockage can be caused when a substance called plaque builds up on the inside wall of an artery.
• Hemorrhagic stroke; caused when an artery in the brain breaks open. The interrupted blood flow causes damage to your brain. High blood pressure weakens arteries over time and is a major cause of hemorrhagic stroke.
• Transient ischemic attack (TIA); caused by a small clot that briefly blocks an artery. It is sometimes called a mini-stroke or warning stroke. TIAs are an important warning that a more serious stroke may occur soon.
The Impact of Stroke in Ontario
• Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability.
• More women than men die from stroke.
• More women die of stroke than breast cancer.
• There are an estimated 25,500 new stroke events in Ontario 15,500 hospital inpatient admissions, every year.
• At least every 30 minutes, there is one new stroke victim in Ontario.
• More than 5,500 (22 percent) of Ontarians die within one year of their stroke.
• The annual cost of stroke for new patients admitted to inpatients is over $1.1 billion annually.
• One in five residents in long-term care has had a stroke.
The Impact of Stroke in Canada
• Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in Canada and the third leading cause of death. Every year, nearly 14,000 Canadians die from stroke.
• Every year in Canada, there are over 50,000 new strokes – that’s one stroke every 10 minutes.
• About 426,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke.
• Canadians spend a total of three million days in hospital because of stroke every year.
• Stroke costs the Canadian economy more than $3.6 billion a year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages, and decreased productivity.
With these types of statistics in mind, I wanted to share some information about some valuable community resources for stroke survivors and the folks that care for them. Living with Stroke™ is a community-based support and educational program designed for stroke survivors and their care partners. The 6-8 week program will help you gain confidence to manage the challenges of living with stroke, and to meet others going through a similar journey.
The sessions are led by a trained professional, trained peers or a combination of both. They are highly interactive, focused on building skills, sharing experiences and supporting one another. The Living with Stroke™ curriculum includes the following topics: understanding stroke, physical changes and challenges, swallowing and nutrition, cognition, perception and communication, emotions; focusing on depression, activities and relationships, reducing the risk of stroke, and moving forward after a stroke. Call Lorraine at 613-969-0130 ext. 5207 for more information about the next education session and our other stroke support services.