QEQM’s new communication and social therapy group lifts-off

A new communication and social therapy group has been set up at QEQM to help rehabilitate patients and support the reintegration of their activities of daily living following a stroke.

A stroke is one of the most catastrophic experiences an individual can experience. Strokes often cause temporary or permanent paralysis on one side of the body. Balance, memory, speech, cognition and vision may also be affected. One of the most serious complications of a stroke is the ability to communicate afterwards.

The new initiative at East Kent Hospitals, gives patients the opportunity to receive support for a range of activities such as sentence completion, turn-taking, mobility, transfers and orientation.

Lydia Showan, one of the scheme’s coordinators, said: “patients are often worried, frightened and unsure of their future. They have to learn to cope with huge changes which can be difficult, challenging and can become isolated as their friends and family aren’t sure how to cope.

“The aim of the therapy group is to provide a more holistic approach to stroke rehabilitation, recognising that patients’ independence, engagement and ability to communicate is paramount to their recovery.

“The social nature of the group and support helps to speed up the process of recovery for our patients.”

The group began in August and feedback from patients attending the group, who have a diverse range of needs, has all been positive and has meant a huge increase in their confidence to communicate with others.