Recovering from stroke or brain injury can often be isolating, and being on your own waiting for improvement to happen can be intensely discouraging. Sometimes the best therapy is what other people with the same issues can offer – their advice, their empathy, and their unique position being able to understand exactly what you’re going through.
Support groups are not only for people recovering from stroke or brain injury, but their caregivers as well.
Support groups are a great way to meet others who are going through recovery from stroke or brain injury
Additionally, if there are group therapy options available nearby, these also can often provide much of the same camaraderie as support groups, and you’ll get extra therapy to boot. And remember that support doesn’t always have to come in the form of face-to-face interaction. It can be online also.
There are many options out there. Here are a few places to check to see if a support group exists near you:
- Many universities and colleges that have brain rehabilitation programs offer support groups OR group therapy; here is a list of programs from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association.
- Check with your local hospital and/or acute rehabilitation centers; ask for the “Rehab” department and ask to see if they offer a group for those recovering from stroke or brain injury. If you need to ask for a specific clinician, try for speech therapist, occupational therapist, neuropsychologist, or neurologist.
- Do a Google search for “support group for [your injury]” and a keyword or two for your town or city or region – see what comes up and start calling and asking if they have any support groups or group treatment options; some private practices have support groups as well.
- For example, if you were living in Newton, MA and had aphasia, you might search “support group for aphasia + Newton MA” or “support group for aphasia + Boston area”; you can try a few neighboring towns too, and definitely try big cities that are easily drivable for you.
- Do a Google search for your injury and put the word “association” in your search (i.e. “stroke association”) – you’ll usually see several groups show up, some international, some national, and some more local; often there will be resources within these sites that are useful for many things, and there may also be a support discussion board available.
- Check Facebook – search for brain injury, TBI or stroke by itself, and then with “support group” in the search.
Bottom line, having someone to talk to, whether it’s via cyberspace or in person, who has been in your shoes, is invaluable. Reach out today!
I like that you mentioned how visiting local medical facilities can help you find rehabilitation resources that will aid you in recovering from a stroke. My cousin has been having trouble returning to work ever since he had a stroke in the middle of the night last week, and I would like to help him recover physically and mentally since he lives alone and gets confused easily. Maybe I should find a stroke group that can help support him during this difficult time in his life.