The ProMedica Stroke Support Group has continued to meet monthly throughout the pandemic, although for most of the past year meetings have been virtual through email invitation. Meetings for the group are now switching to in-person. Upcoming stroke support group meetings are listed below.
"With the pandemic, there have been some changes and we’ve had to adapt like everyone else," explains Promedica Stroke Support Group co-founder Melinda Hendricks-Jones. "But we’re still trying to keep our community engaged in regards to stroke survivors and caregivers."
The Stroke Support Network was organized in Sylvania in 2012, by Hendricks-Jones, then a Stroke Network physicians assistant, and Jennifer Micham, then a Promedica Toledo Hospital Critical Care educator and a former Neuro ICU nurse. Micham has since left, and Mary Britton is now the Stroke Support Coordinator. Their goal is to help patients with needs that arise once the patients head home.
"Since we host our meetings at Flower Hospital, the CDC dictates what we can do at the hospital," Hendricks-Jones says of the group's meeting procedures. "Until things change, the current limitation was ten people at a meeting. But I am hoping that will change as of June 2.
As long as we can socially distance and enough of us are vaccinated or wearing masks. But it is a little unclear because things are changing."
The group has been presenting their meetings online with Webex, which is similar to Zoom, and the process has actually had its advantages.
"There is always a silver lining," Hendricks-Jones shares. "One of the interesting things is that during the pandemic, we’ve been able to reach out and have some world-renowned speakers talk with our little support group here in Sylvania. For example, we had an expert in Neuroplasticity, Dr. Alexander Thiel, from the McGill University Department of Neurology in Ontario. And we had a stroke physician who is married to an infectious disease doctor, they spoke to our group in March about Covid, stroke and getting the vaccine. That’s that silver lining. Some of these people that probably wouldn’t have had a change to come to Sylvania, Ohio, and meet with our little group of twenty people, now are able to get on Webex and virtually interact with us, which is really, really cool."
The support group monthly gatherings usually begin with a brief presentation by experts such as physicians, physical therapists, speech therapists, or nurses, and afterwards discussion and question/answer time continues on the presented subject, along with light refreshments.
For further information contact the support group at Melinda.Hendricks-Jones@promedica.org.
- 4:30pm- Virtual vs In Person Cooking Class at the Ebeid Institute on Madison Ave, Toledo. "Eating Healthy on a Budget" We are allowing a limit of 6 in person attendees.
- 4pm-5pm- Aphasia Awareness Month- "Adjunct to at Home Speech and Cognitive Therapy"- this will be a virtual meeting but if CDC allows we will host a "Viewing Party" at Flower Conference Center.
- 4pm- "Balance Issues Post Stroke"- Melissa Miller from BAM (Balance and Mobility Center). Tentatively planning in person meeting at Flower Conference Center.
- Tuesday 5-6pm- "Holistic Nature Walk. Healing Plants." Kim High, Certified Forest Guide for Lucas County MetroParks. This will be held at Toledo Botanical Gardens. This will be a free RSVP/ Limited space event.
Stroke Support advocates (L to R) Stephanie Rahe, speech pathologist; Cullen, a young stroke survivor Cullen; and Sylvania's Stroke Support Network co-founder Melinda Hendricks-Jones.
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