Nearly one quarter of all strokes occur in people under the age of 65. Of those, nearly 50 percent will return to a full- or part-time job.
Depending on the severity of the stroke, a stroke survivor might need weeks or months away from work. Frequently, a survivor’s job provides his or her source of health insurance, so it is important to return to the job as soon as possible.
Common Barriers to Going Back to Work
For some, returning to work is not an option. For others, barriers to returning to work might include:
- The severity of the stroke
- Physical disability
- Memory and cognitive problems
- Lack of a rehabilitation focus on returning to work (vocational rehabilitation)
- Employer attitudes, understanding of stroke and supportiveness
- Physical work environment
- Employer’s ability and willingness to provide assistive devices
- The health of the economy
- Stigma associated with stroke
Questions to Consider When Thinking About Re-entering the Workforce
- Do you want to work full-time or part-time?
- Do you want to go back to the same employer, job and responsibilities?
- Do you want to try something different as a career?
- Can you ease back to work and gain new skills by volunteering?
Meet Our Ambassador
Grant successfully returned to work but not without overcoming several difficulties.
» The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, can assist both stroke survivors and employers with:
- Free assistance over the phone and online
- Reports about effective ways to accommodate stroke-related deficits in the workplace
- Access to the Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR), which lets users search accommodation options for specific deficits
- Information about your legal rights if you’re returning to a job after a stroke
- The ability to talk to someone about your specific return-to-work issues
- Links to other helpful websites, such as www.gettinghired.com, which connects people to employers committed to hiring people with disabilities, including stroke survivors.
» The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services oversees grant programs that help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to obtain employment and live more independently through the provision of such supports as counseling, medical and psychological services, job training and other individualized services. RSA's major Title I formula grant program provides funds to state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to provide employment-related services for individuals with disabilities, giving priority to individuals who are significantly disabled. Please check with your state what services are provided under this title.