One in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime. In Australia this year alone there will be 50,000 strokes. This makes stroke the second biggest killer after coronary heart disease in this country.
It is a significant contributor to disability with an estimated 420,000 Australian stroke survivors living with difficulties including problems with memory, thinking, communicating, swallowing, walking and moving.
As the only national charity focused exclusively on stroke, The National Stroke Foundation (NSF) is the "voice of stroke" in Australia. In addition to its commitment to improving stroke awareness, prevention, and treatment, the National Stroke Foundation works with stroke survivors, carers, health professionals, the government and public to reduce the impact of stroke on the Australian community and to support survivors and carers through informative programs to encourage a better quality of life.
This project will focus on helping survivors and carers receive the information, resources and support they need at key points during their recovery from stroke.
A My Stroke Journey (MSJ) pack containing vital information on stroke and its treatment is delivered by participating hospitals to survivors and carers to provide a road map for recovery. The pack provides information that allows them to participate in their own recovery through care planning that supports goal setting and the transition from hospital to home.
The first year of this project will focus on completing the implementation of My Stroke Journey in NSW, to ensure the resource reaches as many stroke survivors as possible. It will also focus on improving the resource and producing resources to better support the national implementation.
The second year of this project will pilot a follow up program in NSW to help survivors and their carers adjust to life after stroke and to make sure they are well on the path to continued recovery. Stroke survivors will receive a phone call eight weeks after discharge. A NSF health professional will provide information, referral and support, following up with a second call to ensure the person's needs have been met.
During 2015 and 2016 it's expected that around 4,000 additional stroke survivors will receive the MSJ pack and 1,500 stoke survivors and/or carers will receive a follow up service.
The program will better-equip stroke survivors and their carers to ensure they have fewer unmet needs, are better able to manage ongoing issues and disabilities, and reduce their risk of having another stroke.