National disabled people’s charity launches new breaks for people with stroke and aphasia as well as their carers.
National disabled people’s charity Revitalise has announced that it is working with the Stroke Association to launch respite holidays focussed on stroke survivors and their carers at the charity’s national network of respite holiday centres.
The breaks, called Stroke & Aphasia Weeks, were developed by Revitalise in partnership with the Stroke Association following a successful pilot in February 2016 which saw 40 stroke survivors with the communication disability aphasia and their partners enjoy breaks at Revitalise’s Netley Waterside House centre near Southampton. An incredible 87% of the participating stroke survivors reported that they still felt the positive effects of their breaks a month afterwards.
In preparation for the new weeks, Revitalise’s nursing and care teams have received dedicated training from the Stroke Association in aphasia and active communication to ensure the expertise required. Aphasia is a common speech condition which can be caused by stroke, affecting more than 350,000 people in the UK. The impact of aphasia can range from having difficulties with finding words to losing the ability to speak, read, write or understand, but it does not affect a person’s intelligence.
During the Stroke & Aphasia Weeks, the guests will enjoy all the benefits of a typical Revitalise holiday, including the charity’s trademark excursions, in-house activities and entertainment and the companionship and support of residential volunteers, with specialised stroke and aphasia care. The guests’ partners and carers will also benefit through having the opportunity to reconnect with those they care for, as well as drawing strength and support from the company of people with a similar experience.
For those experiencing difficulties in securing funding, Revitalise and the Stroke Association have joined forces to subsidise the breaks. Applicants in hardship may be eligible to apply for a Life After Stroke Recovery Grant from the Stroke Association, which Revitalise is then matching through its Revitalise Support Fund.
There are 152,000 strokes every year in the UK – one every three and a half minutes – and there are around 1.2 million stroke survivors. Stroke is one of the biggest causes of disability, and the condition’s risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol. Stroke survivors are among the most frequent Revitalise guests.
Revitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds commented:
“We are very proud to launch these breaks focussed on people living with stroke and aphasia. Our care teams have been especially trained in stroke and aphasia care and cannot wait to greet the guests who have booked breaks with us. We can guarantee a warm Revitalise welcome!
“These Stroke & Aphasia Weeks are a new addition to our portfolio of breaks and, alongside the very successful Alzheimer’s Weeks we have already been running for a number of years, are testament to our desire to provide better, more targeted support for the UK’s disabled communities.”
Claire Vincent, of the Stroke Association, said:
“Living with communication disabilities such as aphasia can be very frustrating and isolating. Many people who took part in the pilot last year hadn’t been away since their stroke because of its devastating impact on their lives. These holidays will give people a well-deserved opportunity to share experiences, build confidence, have fun and truly make the most of life after stroke. ”
Revitalise’s new Stroke & Aphasia Weeks will take place on 14 January 2017 at the charity’s Jubilee Lodge centre in Chigwell and 21 January at Netley Waterside House in Southampton and Sandpipers in Southport. People wanting more information are requested to call the Revitalise Bookings Team on 0303 303 0145 or visit www.revitalise.org.uk/stroke