Organiser: Ictus Foundation.

Collaborating Organisation: Ramon Molinas Foundation.

Implementation Dates: 01/01/2021 – 31/12/2021.

 

Life after a stroke (Vivir tras un ictus), an initiative that cares for people that have suffered from a stroke and their families with the aim of supporting patients’ personal autonomy

The Ramon Molinas Foundation is collaborating with the Ictus Foundation, with the aim of providing care for stroke sufferers and their families in order to improve their quality of life and foster patients’ personal autonomy. The Life after a stroke programme supports people that have been left with a disability or whose care dependency has increased significantly.

The programme, developed in Catalonia, starts the moment in which the stroke survivor is discharged from hospital. Firstly, the Ictus Foundation offers information and advice on the resources available that can provide assistance and therapy, both public and private. Volunteers at Life after a stroke also provides access to support networks and group therapy.

In addition, the programme helps to foster personal autonomy and reduce the levels of dependency of stroke survivors with neurorehabilitation and stimulation therapy. This helps to improve cognitive and executive functions, reinforcing the skills and techniques required to overcome difficulties and obstacles when carrying out basic daily activities.

With regards to physical health, Life after a stroke offers rehabilitation platforms such as Rehametrics and Neuroathome, which utilise virtual reality tools to improve motor skills, coordination and self-care. The initiative also uses conventional physiotherapy to improve patients’ joint and muscular balance, gait, kinaesthesia, and with neurological pain. With regards to cognitive stimulation, Life after a stroke works alongside the Feskits programme, focusing on the most pressing needs of each patient.

Life after a stroke has been running for more than five years and will directly benefit 540 people throughout 2021.

 

Stroke is the primary cause of death in women, the third most common cause of death in men, and the leading cause of disability in adults

A stroke is an acute condition caused by a sudden interruption of the blood flow to a part of the brain (cerebral ischemia, in 85% of cases), or by the rupture of an artery or vein in the brain (cerebral haemorrhage, in 15% of cases). Stroke symptoms can come on suddenly – how quickly a patient is treated is fundamental to reducing the damage that occurs to the brain.

This cerebrovascular disease is the primary cause of death in women, the third most common cause of death in men, and is the leading cause of disability in adults. In Catalonia, 13,000 people each year are admitted to hospital with a stroke; one occurs in the region every 45 minutes. 45% of people that are hospitalised survive a stroke, but it often causes damage to patients’ motor control, sensory, cognitive, speech or comprehension. In Catalonia, more than 54,000 people live with a disability caused by a stroke.

 

The impact of covid-19 on this cerebrovascular condition

The unprecedented circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the emergency services, healthcare centres and on hospitals. The situation has affected the personal care of people that have suffered from a stroke. In the majority of European countries, during the first wave of the pandemic, there was a reduction in the number of beds reserved for people that have suffered a stroke, as well as a reduction in the health professionals caring for them. The pandemic has also had an effect on traditional treatments.

Next, and taking into account that we are facing a new disease, some studies have analysed the relationship between covid-19 and strokes. On the one hand, researchers at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital found that patients with covid-19 with severe lung damage have a higher risk of suffering from a stroke. On the other hand, researchers at the Hospital del Mar took part in a study which concluded that patients that suffer from a stroke and are infected with covid-19 at the same time, are four times more likely to die and are at 60% more risk of suffering serious consequences compared to those that did not catch coronavirus.

 

The Ictus Foundation, an organisation whose mission is to raise awareness of cerebrovascular disease, support sufferers and drive research forward

The Ictus Foundation was created in 2007 to raise awareness of cerebrovascular disease and how to prevent and treat it. The organisation was launched with the aim of supporting patients that have suffered from a stroke, and their families, with both personal help and by developing networks with other organisations. Lastly, the Ictus Foundation was formed in order to drive forward research about the disease at every stage and from all perspectives. The Ictus Foundation is a member of the European group Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE), made up of 33 European organisations.

 

Links of interest:

Ictus Foundation website.