Kent & Queen Anne's Hospital
Recent News

July 19, 2001

FOR RELEASE: Immediately

Stroke Support Group Organized at Hospital

Recovering from a stroke can be a long, hard road, with help needed every step of the way. Sharing emotions and problems with others facing similar challenges can provide strength as well as numerous practical solutions. Talking about the effects of a stroke helps stroke survivors feel less alone and may even be therapeutic.

A support group for stroke survivors has been organized by Molly Mulligan, a physical therapy assistant with Chestertown Physical Therapy. The Stroke Survivors Club will meet the first Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Chestertown Physical Therapy office located in the Medical Services Building of Kent & Queen Anne's Hospital. Mulligan holds an associate degree from Chesapeake College and has worked at Chestertown Physical Therapy for over three years.

Stroke survivors and their family members are invited to attend the monthly meetings; there is no charge to attend. The stroke need not have occurred recently.

The goal of the group is to enable survivors to increase their strength, capability and confidence to continue daily activities despite the effects of the stroke and to offer a forum to share feelings, frustrations and coping skills. One survivor described his experience of attending support group meetings like this: "Other people actually knew what I was experiencing and that inspired me and gave me confidence."

Giving care to a disabled family member also brings stress into the family or a relationship; thus family members and friends are encouraged to participate to develop a better understanding of their role and to gain additional support.
"A stroke is usually an unexpected event, one perceived as causing a breakdown in everyday life," notes Mulligan. "But getting information plus learning how to deal with problems that arise and interacting with others who have had a stroke can help survivors adapt better to their circumstances and develop a more positive attitude."

For more information, call Molly Mulligan at (410) 778-6565.

The effects of stroke may mean changing, relearning or redefining how you live. Some self-care skills such as feeding, grooming, bathing and dressing must be relearned or new ways to accomplish them must be created. New mobility skills and communication skills in speech and language are sometimes needed as are cognitive skills areas like memory or problem-solving. And some new social skills for interacting with other people must be developed.