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Find Virtual Support Online
Tap Into Survivor Support from Your Home Computer
By Elizabeth Witherspoon, Phd
Everyone who has survived a stroke
needs support. Besides medical care, rehabilitation or assistance with
mobility, they also need emotional support. They need to talk with others who
have been there and understand what they are going through. Sometimes they just
need someone to listen—or even someone to laugh with.
Physical support groups are a great way to connect with others having
similar experiences. However, sometimes they are not available in a location
nearby. Or, if they are, the schedule doesn’t fit yours. Travel arrangements
might make it difficult to participate as well.
Thankfully, with a computer and Internet
connection there are ways to find support with groups of other stroke survivors
online. Here are a few reasons why online support groups can be beneficial:
They are available 24/7. You can post a question or concern anytime and
retrieve messages at your convenience.
You can take all the time you need to compose a message in a stress-free
environment, or even have a caregiver type it.
If you are living with aphasia, you can express your voice online.
Physical location doesn’t matter. You can connect with survivors all over
the world. You won’t miss out on encouragement and resources just because you
might live in a rural area or small town.
The wider reach online increases the chances that you’ll meet someone who
can answer your specific question or know just what you are going through. You
might also find resources that aren’t available in your local area.
Here are a few online support groups worth looking
National Stroke Association—stroke.org/support_groups. This online
support group registry is an easy-to-use resource for finding support groups
across the U.S. The registry is continually expanding and being updated in
order to connect you with a support group that best fits your needs.
Aphasia Corner Blog—aphasiacorner.com/blog.
site is not a support group, it is a blog with weekly updates about a range of
topics from inspirational stories to discussions of specific resources which
you can search through and comment on. The owner is also building an online service
for speech rehab for people with aphasia. The service is currently in the
testing stages and he expects to have it up by the end of the summer.
Daily Strength—dailystrength.org. This site links to
more than 500 support groups for every health issue imaginable. Besides a group
for stroke, it also has groups for aphasia and aneurysm. There is an
alphabetical search box by health issue to find more.
The Stroke Network—strokenetwork.org.
This organization is a network of
websites that provides access to over 30 topic areas. There are chat groups,
blogs, articles and many other ways to connect with other survivors.
Elizabeth Witherspoon, PhD, is a freelance health and
science writer based in Durham, N.C.
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