St. Anthony Hospital Stroke Support Group, Colorado
The St. Anthony Hospital Stroke Support Group started with humble beginnings in 2013 when about 10 stroke survivors and caregivers came together at the hospital in Lakewood, Colorado. Just before the first meeting, the director in charge was involved in a car accident and took a three-month leave of absence. The group was determined to keep the momentum going and with the help of others in leadership position the group kept growing.
For the past several years, the group has met monthly, drawing a consistent group of 15 to 30 attendees, both stroke survivors and their loved ones.
The group has three goals—education, socialization, and emotional support. Guest speakers have spoken on everything from yoga, physical therapy, maintaining a healthy diet, art therapy, to managing stress and depression. The group breaks into small groups to support caregivers as well. Often topics are generated by group members themselves. During at least two meetings a year the group celebrates special occasions with potlucks, games, and fun.
The group members have been so active in the community that several of their stories have picked up by a local news station. The group currently is putting together a book which will be shared with stroke survivors and caregivers being treated in the hospital’s rehab unit.