BOISE, Idaho — Studies show that about every minute, someone suffers a stroke here in the United States. For some, chances are good of recovering and returning to a normal lifestyle, but for others, they could be looking at being disabled for the rest of their lives, or being helped by caregivers or family members.
The American Stroke Association and Norco held a free rehabilitative painting class Wednesday for both those who have suffered a stroke or are taking care of someone who has. "Strokes for Stroke" teaches survivors and caregivers painting techniques as part of their post-stroke quality of life. The event offered a safe and relaxing way to be creative, meet peers and share social and emotional support.
"I would say the biggest benefit is they have a support group," said Jake Abbott, American Stroke Association Idaho director. "They have people who have experienced something similar to what they have experienced, and so they get to network and talk with people about their experiences. Also, we know that painting is a stress reliever."
Storke is the number five cause of death in the United States and Idaho, and is a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. Almost 800,000 Americans will have a new or recurrent stroke this year – that’s someone every 40 seconds. The length of time to recover from a stroke depends on severity – 50 to 70 percent of stroke survivors regain functional independence, but 15 to 30 percent are permanently disabled.
Art therapy has shown early promise in assisting patients with recovery issues such as verbal communication, depression and the physical pain associated with stroke. To learn more about the program, click here.