Stroke support groups have been set up in Sligo, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Stroke support groups have been set up.

Approximately 10,000 people die each year in Ireland from cardiovascular disease – including coronary heart disease, stroke and other circulatory diseases.  It is currently the cause of one-third of all deaths and one in five premature deaths. 

HSE Community Healthcare Organisation Area 1 (CHO 1) are collaborating with the Irish Heart Foundation to provide stroke support groups across the region. 

The Irish Heart Foundation collaborated with Donegal based Different Strokes for Different Folks Stroke Support Group and the HSE and had a very successful Information evening and launch of the Irish Heart Foundation’s new Donegal stroke support group in the Silver Tassie Hotel, Letterkenny on April 10. Service providers from the HSE and Community and Voluntary organisations based in Donegal were in attendance.   This is a very positive development for stroke survivors living in Donegal. 

According to stroke survivor, Larry Masterson: "This is an important step for development of care for stroke survivors in Donegal, the  Irish Heart Foundation (IHF), Donegal Stroke Support Group will enable stronger links between all of us which can only benefit stroke survivors to live the best life they can after stroke." 

The IHF stroke support group, which is supported by the HSE, meets every Tuesday from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Vestry, St Conal’s Church, Letterkenny.  When the new group has established itself fully, the Irish Heart Foundation will assess the geographic access to stroke support groups throughout CHO Area 1 in comparison to demand from stroke survivors living in the community. 

The Irish Heart Foundation now operates four weekly stroke support groups in CHO Area 1 in Cavan, Monaghan, Sligo and Donegal. 

Sligo: Thursdays (45 people attending), 2.30pm-4.30pm in Nazareth House, Community Physiotherapy Gym.
Cavan: Thursdays (18-20 people attending), 11am-1pm in Tullacmongan family Resource Centre.
Monaghan: Tuesdays (18-20 people attending), 11am to 1pm in Teach na Dhuine, Monaghan town.
Donegal: Tuesdays, 2pm to 4pm in The Vestry, St Conal's Church, Letterkenny.

Each of these groups has been launched and operates with the support of local hospital stroke teams and CHO 1 Community Services. It is planned to further strengthen these groups during 2019, both in terms of numbers and impact, particularly through the delivery of greater access to counselling services and the Irish Heart Foundation’s Facebook page for working age stroke survivors, Life after Stroke. Also group members will receive support from the HSE’s Long Term Conditions Programme and community services across a wide range of areas. These include dietetics, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, public health nursing, psychology and social work. 

This weekly support group model caters best for over 60s who account for the vast majority of stroke survivors. A separate model is being developed to address the support needs of younger people affected by the disease who tend to be more isolated and experience more difficulty in coping, particularly with the psychological impact of stroke. 

For further information on any of the weekly support groups that currently operate in CHO Area 1 please contact: 

Sligo  - Martina Greene, tel: 087 6057696; mgreene@irishheart.ie
Cavan Monaghan  - Julie Duffy, tel : 087 0973714; jduffy@irishheart.ie
Donegal – Dawn Thompson, tel: 087 2803053; dthompson@irishheart.ie

You can also visit their facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/donegalstrokesupportgroup/