ST. CHARLES – Cadence Health will host its second stroke support group meeting from 4 to 5 p.m. today at its medical offices, 2900 Foxfield Road, St. Charles.
Nurse practitioner Anne Lindstrom, who facilitates the program along with another nurse, Laura Pittner, said a dozen people came to the first meeting last month.
“It was a great turnout because it was about 30 below [zero] that day,” Lindstrom said.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a clot or a bleed, and it is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Stroke is really a life-changing experience for both the patient and the family,” Lindstrom said. “When you are in the hospital, there is a lot of support. And then you get to go home – you’re like a newborn baby. ‘OK, what do I do now?’”
Having a support group creates a place for patients, spouses and caregivers to come together and talk about their experiences.
“Every stroke is different,” Lindstrom said. “Two people can have the exact same stroke in the same place, but with differing symptoms.”
At their first meetings, Lindstrom said she and Pittner asked families and patients to tell them what they wanted. In particular, some who attended had just had strokes, and others had strokes years ago and were able to talk about their recoveries.
“They were really able to support each other,” Lindstrom said.
At today’s session, an expert is scheduled to speak about aphasia – one of the effects of stroke – and then open it up to the group for discussion, Lindstrom said. Aphasia is a communication disorder frequently caused by a stroke that damages the area of the brain that involves speech and language, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The support group is free and open to anyone who wants to attend, and meetings will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. every fourth Wednesday, Lindstrom said. For information, call the stroke program at 630-933-3278 or for hearing impaired, 630-933-4833.