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Hope after a stroke: A third of stroke survivors lost their job after their stroke with some even losing their home or partner – but having ‘hope’ is critical to recovery

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  • 30% of stroke survivors under the age of 60 say having a stroke cost them their job, almost one in ten say it caused their relationship to end and 6% even lost their home
  • Over half of younger stroke survivors under the age of 50 say they have never emotionally recovered from their stoke
  • But a quarter felt first signs of hope after a week since having a stroke – although nearly one in seven have not felt any hope since it happened
  • Stroke Association calls for those who can to donate to give more survivors hope after a stroke

The practical, emotional and physical impact of having a stroke has been laid bare by a new survey of over 3,500 stroke survivors, released today. The research, conducted by the Stroke Association ahead of World Stroke Day (29 October), is part of a renewed call for vital funds to help the charity give more survivors hope after their stroke and help them to rebuild their lives.

The impact on survivors under 60

The research reveals that 30% of those under the age of 60 who survived a stroke say it directly led to them losing their job whilst 6% say it led to them losing their home.

Furthermore, nearly a quarter (23%) say it had a negative impact on their relationship with their partner, with almost one in ten (9%) saying it led to their relationship ending. It is not only relationships with partners that are affected – a fifth (20%) say they lost friends as a result of having a stroke.

Younger survivors more severely impacted

The research reveals that the emotional impact of a stroke can impact younger survivors more severely. Amongst those under the age of 50, six in ten (60%) say that they’ve never emotionally recovered from the impact of their stroke. This compares to 44% for those over the age of 50.

This is despite a similar number of younger stroke survivors under the age of 50 (52%) and over the age of 50 (50%) saying they have not physically recovered from their stroke.

The importance of hope

The research shows the importance and transformative power of feeling hope after having a stroke. Three quarters (76%) say that hope played an important or critical part in their recovery.

But for many, it was not a quick process. Whilst a quarter (25%) say they began to feel hope after a month since their stroke, for over a fifth (22%) it took more than a year to experience what they felt was the first sign of hope. Meanwhile 13% say they have never felt hopeful since they had their stroke – demonstrating how strokes can impact survivors differently.

The Stroke Association helps people to find the hope they need to rebuild their lives through specialist services, including a Helpline, peer support service, support groups and Support Coordinators.

Big and small moments of hope

The research found that it can be both big and small moments of hope that are important. When asked what gave them their first moment of hope after a stroke, 17% said it was being able to use their affected side for the first time and 11% said it was being able to speak again. However, 15% said it was being able to complete a small every day task such as making a cup of tea.

Reevaluating what is important after a stroke

The impact of a stroke leads many to reevaluate what is important in life. Over half (56%) say having a stroke made them appreciate their life more, 43% say it made them appreciate their family more and 41% say it made them appreciate the importance of looking after their health.

Juliet Bouverie, Chief Executive of the Stroke Association said: “Every five minutes, someone in the UK will have a stroke and in a flash, their life is changed. Two thirds of people who survive a stroke find themselves living with a disability. The physical impact of a stroke is severe, but for many, the emotional aspects of coming to terms with having a stroke are just as significant. As the research makes clear, finding hope is a crucial part of the recovery process. Without it, recovery can seem impossible.

“At the Stroke Association, we support and help people to find this hope, and rebuild their lives. But with 1.3m people and rising in the UK now living with the effects of a stroke, our services have never been more stretched. We urgently require the support of the public to help us continue to support stroke survivors to rebuild their lives.”

The Stroke Association is asking those who can to donate today so that it can reach more stroke survivors and give them the specialist support they need to find hope and move forward with their recovery. Visit stroke.org.uk/hopeafterstroke

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