Stroke Support Group to meet

Veterans Memorial Hospital Speech - Language Pathologist Steven Mazzafield will offer the next Stroke Support Group for individuals who have experienced a stroke, as well as caregivers and family members affected by stroke, Thursday, April 4 at 2 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH). The meeting will be held in the ICN Conference Room at the hospital.

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 people 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 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 suspecting 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.

These Stroke Support Groups are held the first Thursday of every month at 2 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Hospital.

Anyone who is - or may know someone who is - currently experiencing hardship due to a new or ongoing stroke and feel speech therapy would be beneficial should contact Steven Mazzafield, Speech Language Pathologist at Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.