Based on the study, there are 24 people in a day who are experiencing stroke here in New Zealand and a portion of it happen to people under 65 years of age. It is also known as the second largest cause of death in New Zealand with approximately 2,500 people a year. People who survived stroke were reported that they need support and therapy as they can’t do activities of daily living or being disabled. This study is to identify strengths and opportunities for persons with stroke and the available support services that they can avail.
Reduce blood supply in the brain that causes brain cells death is the simplest description of stroke. The brain is one of the major organs of human body. It controls everything like breathing, the five senses, balance, digestion, motor ability and memory. As people aged, there is a bigger chance of getting stroke because aging is one of the risk factor also sedentary life style, diet, smoking, drinking, overweight and uncontrollable blood sugar.
There are different types of stroke namely: Ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke and Transient ischemic attacks. Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke as there is a blood clot that blocks the supply of oxygen in the brain. In hemorrhagic stroke there is a weakening of blood vessel that leads to rupture and can cause aneurysms. Lastly, the transient ischemic attack also known as mini-stroke, partially the blood fails to reach the part of the brain and the symptoms are only temporary. Recovery from stroke varies depending on the severity of it.
As being reported, elderly who suffered from any kind of stroke affects their emotional health, social activities, leisure time and family relationships. On the other hand, elders who undergone proper therapy and with good support services can go back on their normal state. They can do activities of daily living with minimal supervision, can socialize, eat on their own, can remember events and many more. Most of the cases with stroke doesn’t want to be helped by others as they want to be independent on their own.
Person who suffered from stroke should be assess based on their capacity and based on the severity of their stroke. The assessment must be person centered care that concentrates on the whole being of a person rather that the disorder. The focus is more on the resident strengths and capabilities rather than its losses. Like for example, people with mild-degree of stroke they must be handle with dignity and respect as they can’t communicate properly and can’t do activities of daily living without assistance. Also, by giving chances to talk, having interactions with other people, giving an opportunity to decide for themselves and hearing them out.
As a diversional therapist there are different activities to give new opportunities for a mild-stroke person.
Music Therapy- in this therapy the therapist uses music to provide positive ambiance and to calm residence. Also, music therapy can associate with reminiscing as they can reminisce their past memories and can talk about their past life. This therapy can also give time for the residents to share and socialize to one another.
Art Therapy – there are many advantages that art therapy can give like it helps resident to relax, can give sense of control, reduce anxiety and depression, can increase self-esteem, improves cognition, and encourage playfulness.
Nature Therapy- one example of nature therapy is a physical exercise in a natural environment: This can include activities such as walking, doing yoga, tai-chi in a park. These kinds of activities can improved awareness of the natural world. These are recommended for reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and anger.
Massage Therapy- The benefits from massage are gaining an increased range of motion especially on the affected area or the weak area, strengthening of muscles while reducing tension, and a higher quality night’s sleep.
There are different organizations and foundations that can help stroke patients and give them proper support.
Stroke Foundation New Zealand- the foundation is located in different parts of New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, and Christchurch. It is a dedicated organization that provides support to those affected by stroke, they are also devoted in reducing incident of stroke by giving awareness to people. This organization conducts health promotion and health awareness specifically on how to recognize stroke by having community visit. They are also conducting blood pressure awareness as this is the contributing factor of having stroke.
Muscular Dystrophy New Zealand- this association aims to provide New Zealanders living with neuromuscular conditions personal support and information, and to advocate, influence and promote equality of opportunity.
Age Concern – they provide activities that can improve the lifestyle and wellbeing of elderly person.
Health and Disability Commissioner- this organization provides the rights of a consumer.
Ministry of Health- this ministry seeks to improve, promote and protect the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders through its leadership of health and disability system, advising the Minister of Health and government on health and disability issues. They provide information about health sector and payment services.