From Surviving to Thriving: Support for Brain Injury & Stroke Survivors

As we put a close to Brain Awareness Week, we remember that brain injury and stroke are a huge part of Magee’s clinical focus. We have the nation’s first CARF-accredited brain injury program, and a dedicated team of specialists that see our brain injury and stroke patients through their continuum of care. But at Magee, we are focused on treating more than the injury—we’re here for the whole person.

That’s what makes our brain injury and stroke peer programs and support groups so important—and so close to our hearts. These groups are open to the community, meaning even if you or your loved one have no affiliation with Magee and have never been a patient here, you are welcome and encouraged to join. Having these support groups can be the difference between surviving and thriving. Here are some of our offerings for brain injury and stroke survivors and their families.

Stroke Club
Many people who have had a stroke want to gain friendship and support from others who have had the same experience. Every month, we meet on the first Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. except for August. We get together to learn more about strokes and other health related issues. At other times, we take trips or go out to the movies together, just to have fun. The Magee Stroke Club is the place for you to meet others who have shared the same experiences that you have had. We are all trying to keep on track, stay active and to get going again.

Aphasia Community Support Group
Aphasia is the difficulty speaking or understanding speech which can happen after a brain injury (stroke or head trauma for example). Many times individuals with aphasia shun social gatherings because of an inability to participate in everyday conversation. The Aphasia Community Support Group provides an opportunity to practice speech and language skills in a safe and supportive environment; provides education about aphasia; and encourages socialization among the members. This group is open to individuals who have aphasia and/or their family members. Meetings are held every month on the first Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. except for August at Magee Rehabilitation.

Family Caregiver Support
As part of our community outreach effort, a monthly family group for caregivers of people with brain injuries or strokes takes place in the evening. This group is geared toward brain injury survivors and family members who are back home and in the community.  This monthly family caregiver group meets the first Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m.

Peer Support Groups
The Peer Program provides support to brain injury and stroke survivors and their families.  Support is provided through one-on-one contact with specially trained survivors and family members who have experienced the disability themselves or experienced the disability of a loved one.  They share their experiences and provide insight to others who are in similar situations.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact Jennifer Salomon, Peer Mentor Coordinator for Stroke and Brain Injury, at 215-587-3411 or JSalomon@MageeRehab.org.

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