Stroke Awareness Month
May is Stroke Awareness Month, an annual initiative organised by the Stroke Association. This year’s campaign centres around aphasia, a long-term condition that affects the language centres in the brain. Aphasia affects more than 350,000 people in the UK, and can occur as a result of a stroke.
Stroke Awareness Month aims to raise awareness of aphasia, highlighting the emotional and psychological impact of the condition on both the person with aphasia, and their family and friends.
Effects of aphasia
About 30% of people who suffer a stroke will experience aphasia (full loss of language), and a stroke is the biggest cause of this condition. Aphasia can cause problems with speaking, understanding speech, writing, using numbers, dealing with money, understanding the time, and reading. People with aphasia may struggle to communicate their thoughts, although it does not affect their cognitive ability and their intelligence remains the same.
Recovery from aphasia
Recovery is dependent on the severity of aphasia, and which areas of the brain have been damaged. Age is also a factor in recovery, as is whether the person with aphasia has the support and motivation to recover.
Support with aphasia
Living with aphasia is difficult both for the person with the condition and those around them. Support can be multi-faceted, involving support groups as well as therapies such as speech therapy and rehabilitation. There are many resources online, such as the Stroke Association, that offer advice and support, and your GP or medical professional may be able to signpost local groups and activities.
How you can support Stroke Awareness Month
You can support Stroke Awareness month by signing up on the Stroke Association website and starting or joining an organised event. These events range from marathons and 10K runs to bake sales and quizzes, both in-person and virtual, offering a way for everyone to support this incredible cause. Find out more here