Stroke survivors and caregivers are invited to participate in pilot project

By on October 10, 2017

Retired Osoyoos nurse Barb Roth has been asked by the regional office of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada to run a pilot project starting next week in Osoyoos. (Keith Lacey photo)

An Osoyoos stroke survivor is inviting other local stroke survivors and their loved ones to participate in a local pilot project before she helps update a recovery manual for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Barb Roth, a retired nurse who suffered a stroke just over three years ago, has been hired by the regional office of the Heart and Stroke Foundation to run a Living With Stroke pilot project in Osoyoos.

The goal is to have a minimum of four stroke survivors – and their caretakers and loved ones – meet once a week at the Osoyoos Health Centre, beginning Oct. 18 for six to eight weeks.

Following the pilot project, Roth will be asked to update the current 50-page Living With Stroke handbook that is published by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and distributed around the province to stroke survivors and caretakers, said Roth.

“I was part of the team mandated to write the current Living With Stroke manual and the Heart and Stroke Foundation asked me if I would be interested in running a pilot project here in Osoyoos,” said Roth. “We need at least four people who have suffered a stroke to participate.

“At the end of the course, I will be involved in rewriting and upgrading the Living With Stroke manual.”

The manual not only describes what happens to the brain and body when a stroke takes place, but helpful tips for recovering, including proper diet, exercise tips, dealing with stress, emotional well-being and the importance of accepting help from family members and caregivers, said Roth.

There is a draft copy of the upgraded Living With Stroke document that has been recently published, but the goal of the Heart and Stroke Foundation is to add pertinent information after the pilot project in Osoyoos – and another one in Quebec led by Luis Rivas – is completed this fall, said Roth.

“There will be one manual published in English and another in French,” she said.

Roth explained she got involved in this project after suffering her stroke, making a solid recovery and then wanting to do something to assist other stroke survivors.

Last year, she contacted Deborah Rusch from the provincial office of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and informed her she, as a former nurse and stroke survivor, would like to volunteer her services in any way possible.

Rusch contacted her a few months ago and asked if she would be interested in heading up the Osoyoos pilot project and she jumped on board, said Roth.

“I had taught health care courses to medical professionals in Penticton,” she said. “I had some knowledge about working with stroke survivors. When I had my own stroke three years ago, I wanted to try and do something to help other people going through the same thing I was.”

Roth is confident she will be able to recruit enough people for the pilot project in Osoyoos to move forward.

She is a member of the Osoyoos Brain Injury Support Group and will be informing members of that group about the pilot project as that group started meeting again after taking the summer off last Friday, also at the Osoyoos Health Centre, she said.

Because of the older age demographic in this community, there are dozens of people who have suffered strokes and/or heart attacks, but many of them haven’t been informed about community programs like the support group, said Roth.

“I would just like to let people in the community know there are programs and resources out there for them,” she said.

If anyone is interested in being involved in this pilot project, they can contact Roth by email at barbroth1956@icloud.com.

They can also contact the Heart and Stroke Foundation at 1-888-473-4636 and tell them you would like to be involved in the Osoyoos working group pilot project.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

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