...especially if you’ve suffered a permanent or temporary deficit in hearing or speech or other function?
These and other topics will be covered in the area’s only stroke support group starting up at Wayne Memorial’s Good Shepherd Inpatient Rehabilitation unit. It is open to individuals, families and caregivers. The first meeting is February 11, 2010, in the unit’s dining room on the 3rd floor of the hospital at 6:30pm. The group will meet the 2nd Thursday of almost every month.
“Many families are just so overwhelmed after someone they love has had a stroke. They—and the patients—are not always 100% sure how they’re going to cope at home,” said Judy Eisenhauer, RN, Manager of the Good Shepherd unit. “We hope this group will help answer some of those questions people have.”
Eisenhauer and Janene Dubois, Unit Coordinator, will oversee the group. Dubois said she personally called other local hospitals and no one is currently offering a stroke support group. “Here at Good Shepherd, we have a team that genuinely cares about our patients and we thought a support group should be available to them and their families and caregivers.”
That “team” was inspired to begin the stroke support group after one of their own unexpectedly suffered a stroke. Also sometimes called a cerebrovascular attack (CVA), a stroke is signaled by a rapid loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the supply of blood to the brain. It is a medical emergency and can lead to permanent neurological damage.
“It touched us tremendously when we became the caregivers of someone who had worked with us, who, like us, had been the caregiver,” said Eisenhauer. “The ‘other side’ is always on our minds when we work with patients, but this was very emotional. It really hit home.”
Eisenhauer and Dubois say they did find a stroke support group at Easton Hospital and staff there have been helpful with suggestions.
The Good Shepherd Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, a partnership with the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network out of Allentown, opened in 2006. The 14-bed unit is dedicated to short-term acute care rehabilitation and staffed by certified physical, occupational and speech therapists, therapy assistants and a physician’s assistant. Physiatrist Dr. Scott Epstein is the Medical Director.
Each stroke support meeting will feature a guest speaker and cover subjects such as caregiver information, fall prevention, home modifications, medicine, holistics, multiple strokes and advances in stroke care.
The first speaker will be Dr. Louis O’Boyle, Chief Hospitalist at Wayne Memorial Hospital on “The Risk Factors of Stroke.”
After the February 11th meeting, future meetings will be held March 11, April 8, May 13, June 10, September 9, October 7, November 11 and December 9.
For more information, call (570) 253-8732 or visit the Wayne Memorial website at www.wmh.org.
Photo caption: Wayne Memorial is starting up a stroke support group for individuals, families and caregivers. The team is pictured left to right: Rose Marie Pace,BA, Social Serivces; Janene Dubois, Good Shepherd Unit Coordinator; Edie DeProfio, OT, Good Shephered; Ivah Butros,RN, Good Shepherd Nurse Liaison; Judy Eisenhauer, RN/Manager; Arlene Conserette, PA-C.