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Online Support To The Vulnerable And Lonely To Keep Mind And Body Healthy

Free Online Support for Stroke Survivors and their Carers

Stroke Central Region is offering free Online Meetings for Stroke Survivors, Carers and anyone else who wants to connect with people and community organisations, outside of their bubble. It is an opportunity for people, especially elderly, disabled and people at risk, who are stuck at home to connect with the outside world and receive the support they need.

Lee Pownall (Stroke Central Region, Chief Executive Officer) explains that “During lockdown, our Field Officers, who usually go out to people’s homes and support stroke survivors and their families within their communities, were forced to stop their face-to-face service; instead we kept on supporting people via phone and it very quickly became clear that people wanted to stay connected and get support as well as have something to do while they were stuck at home. This gave us the idea of offering meetings online and we started up the Stroke Central Online Café”. This was supported by MSD, WINZ funding.

As of June, the Online Café will run every 2nd Monday and every 4th Wednesday of each month and includes interesting guest speakers that talk about specific topics like diet and nutrition, exercises to reduce stress and anxiety as well as connecting attendees with helpful community organisations and other people from different regions. “Although there is a focus on stroke, anyone who is interested in connecting with people outside their bubble is welcome to attend the Online Café” explains Lee Pownall.

The aim of these meetings is simple; support people by offering helpful information on health and wellness, keep them connected to other likeminded people and communities as well as reducing loneliness. Professor Valery Feigin (Director, National Institute for Stroke & Applied Neurosciences, AUT University and Honorary Medical Director, Stroke Central Region) explains that “In this difficult time, it is particularly important for our stroke survivors, their family caregivers and elderly to stay connected and supported using various social media platforms, including our Stroke Central Online Café”.

To sign up to the Stroke Central Online Café, email Anne Jäger-Annear (Community Partnerships Officer at Stroke Central Region) anne@strokecentral.org.nz with your name, email and which area you are from.

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