Stroke Support Group to meet

Veterans Memorial Hospital Speech-Language Pathologist Steven Mazzafield offers a Stroke Support Group for individuals who have experienced a stroke, as well as caregivers and family members affected by stroke.

Monthly meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 2 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. The next Stroke Support Group meeting will be held Thursday, February 1 at 2 p.m. in the Large Conference Room.

The Stroke Support Group provides opportunities to share tips, tricks, or trials among participants, offer support for caregivers, and provide an opportunity for socialization.

While strokes can happen at any age, risk of stroke is greatest as individuals get older with the majority of strokes occurring after the age of 70. Risk factors for stroke include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, binge drinking, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

It is important to know the signs of a stroke. “BE FAST” is a handy acronym to help people remember the following:
Balance - do they have difficulty with balance?
Eyes - sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes.
Face - look for any facial drooping or unevenness.
Arm - can the person raise both arms for 10 seconds?
Speech - is their speech slurred or not making sense?
Time - time is of the essence if a person suspects someone is having a stroke. That’s because there is a narrow window of time when a special clot-busting medication, called TPA, may be given to break up the blockage causing the stroke.

Depending on location and size, strokes can have different effects on the brain and body and no one person will have exactly the same experience.

If anyone, or someone they know, is currently experiencing hardship due to a new or ongoing stroke and feel speech therapy would be beneficial to them, contact Steven Mazzafield, Speech Language Pathologist, at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon at 563-568-3411.