Close up of a woman rubbing her temples

National Stroke Week is held 31 August – 6 September 2020. The experience of a family member or friend having a stroke can be life-changing for so many people.

To recognise National Stroke Week, the Stroke Foundation is encouraging Australians to become familiar with the F.A.S.T (Face.Arms.Speech.Time) signs of a stroke.

It is a simple message, that the faster a person is treated after a stroke, the greater the chance of making a full recovery.

Think F.A.S.T and ask these questions if a stroke is suspected:

  • Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms – Can they lift their arms?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time – Time is critical.

If you see any of these signs call triple zero (000) immediately

According to the Brain Foundation approximately 56, 000 Australians have a stroke each year, more than 100 every day. There has been a significant drop in people dying from stroke over the last 30 years however around 10,000 people still die each year.

There are estimated to be 475, 000 stroke survivors, alive today and of these, half have a disability that affects their daily life.

Stroke 1 1200

 

How strokes affect daily life

Stroke can affect people in many different ways, however, the most common problems in daily life are likely to be caused by:

  • Paralysis in the arms and/or legs with weakened or lack of movement
  • Difficulty with speaking, reading and writing
  • Sensory problems and changes with the way things feel
  • Cognitive problems and issues with thinking and remembering
  • Perceptual problems and the way things are seen or felt
  • Shoulder pain
  • Dysphagia and having trouble swallowing
  • Incontinence
  • Depression and feeling down
  • Irritable and having difficulty controlling feelings
  • Listlessness, tiredness and feeling fatigued.

 

Strokeline 1800 787 653

This is a free, practical and confidential advice line that may help to manage the health of a person following a stroke.

Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm AEST

Using an interpreter

If you require an interpreter for yourself or a family member or friend, follow these steps:

  • Call the Telephone Interpreting Service on 1800 131 450
  • Say the language you need and wait on the line for an interpreter 
  • Ask the interpreter to call StrokeLine 1800 787 653

 

Enable Me

Enable Me is a consumer portal that helps to address the needs of adults with acquired disabilities from conditions such as stroke. The National Stroke Foundation in partnership with Bupa Health Foundation developed it.

COVID-19 and stroke treatment

According to the Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan,

“the essential services are still running in our hospitals and every precaution in being taken to protect patients and their families”.

She urges people to put aside the feeling that they are over-burdening the medical staff who can treat them and wants to reassure them that all steps are being taken to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus.

Any delay in calling triple zero (000) could result in a longer stay in hospital, serious disability or even death. Don’t take that risk.

How IDEAS can help

You can search our online directories for services relevant to this information.

Information sourced from 

Stroke Foundation 

 

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