Browsing Posts in Miscellaneous

Published on Aug 14, 2021
Mike Garry, best known for his poems ‘God is a Manc’, ‘The Threads That Weave’ for Manchester United, and ‘St Anthony’ a tribute to Tony Wilson, has been running a series of poetry workshops in Gorton, for stroke survivors and carers from the Stroke Association’s Information, Advice & Support service in Manchester.

This film contains real people talking about their personal experiences of stroke and contains some strong language at times.

And from an article posted on MancunianMatters by Amy Betts:

God is a Manc poet Mike Garry is using his writing to support Manchester stroke survivors in their recovery and help them carry on with their lives.

Poet Laureate of the North Mike Garry runs poetry workshops in Gorton for stroke survivors.

The workshop gets survivors to create poetry that not only reflects their personal experiences but also allows them to share their inspirational stories.

Mike, who is best known for his poems God is a Manc, The Threads That and St Anthony, said: “I wanted to work with stroke survivors because of my Dad.

“Stroke survivors can often see the world in a different way; they’re somehow richer and fuller as people.”

The effects of a stroke are devastating and can create complex disability in adults.

By offering stroke survivors new activities and encouraging social interaction, Mike hopes to them realise that they aren’t on their own.

With more than 1.1million people in UK living with the effects of stroke it’s clear that the Stroke Association is a vital reach point for people.

Mike believes using poetry allows survivors to channel their creativity and discover new skills and talents that they perhaps they hadn’t recognised before.

Stroke survivor Steve Burke, from Fallowfield, has written his own poem called Truth Hurts.

He said: “Mike has a way of making you look at things differently, I never used to get poetry but now I love it.

“Now I’ve got ten poems on the go and I’m thinking of new lines all the time.”

With so many options there’s not much stroke survivors can’t do with the right opportunities.

Groups such Stroke Association help people get on with their lives and ensure they keep going and are constantly motivated.


The following tips are from the work of Joanne P Lasker & Kathryn L Garret

Be Chatty: 5 Tips For Supported Conversations, an Article in PrAACtical AAC.

There are many strategies to support communication and conversation for individuals with significant aphasia. Conversation is about connecting with people. We engage in conversation about interesting and relevant experiences to help with connecting. To best connect and be part of conversation, there needs to be comprehension and expression from each communication partner. With aphasia, there is difficulty in these language areas, but it is not that language is lost, it is that it needs to be accessed differently. These quick start tips will support accessing conversation and connections.

1. Write or Draw Key Words- When you are talking, write key words to support your spoken language.
2. Gesture Key Words- When you are talking, supplement spoken language with gestures to illustrate a main point
3. Show Related Photographs or Remnants- While you are talking, use photographs or some remnant of the an experience or event you are talking about.
4. Written Choices to Participate- Provide written or drawn choices to decide topic of conversation, thoughts about the topic , preferences about the topic, etc.
5. Use Visual Strategies to Organize- Use a variety of visual strategies to organize conversations. Consider rating scales to get degree of preferences or ideas on a topic, use diagrams to organize information about a topic in terms of past information, present or future ideas on an experience or topic. Include remnants or items from or about an event to increase engagement. These items can also be used to expressively to ‘say’ something about the topic.

These tips are from the work of Joanne P Lasker & Kathryn L Garrett. To learn more: Read “Aphasia & AAC: Enhancing Communication Across Health Care Settings” , or Garrett, K. L., & Lasker, J. P. (2007). “AAC and severe aphasia: Enhancing communication across the continuum of recovery”.

Read, print and share this article by clicking on Conversations

On the surface, hearing the familiar strains of “Peace in the Valley” coming from the Quaker Church of Christ Unity Center isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

But there is something truly special about the 15-member choir who meets there for an hour each Tuesday morning during the summer. Each member, ranging from age 30 to 82, has survived a stroke or some type of traumatic brain injury and has developed a language disorder known as aphasia.

Tune In to Aphasia

“It’s a seven-letter word, and it’s no harder to spell or pronounce than autism or Alzheimer’s,” said Melinda Corwin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, clinical supervisor for the School of Allied Health Sciences’ Stroke/Aphasia Recovery (STAR) Program. “It’s more common than Parkinson’s disease, but very few people have heard of it and know what it is.”

Aphasia is an acquired communication impairment that affects a person’s ability to express him or herself through speech and writing, and/or to understand the speech and writing of others. The disorder is often a result of stroke, head injury, a brain tumor or other neurological problem.

Recent studies have shown that music, melody and rhythm, along with traditional speech therapies like cognitive linguistic therapy, programmed stimulation and stimulation-facilitation therapy, can help facilitate language for people with aphasia and other language disorders, Corwin said.

In fact, since a bullet to the brain left her in critical condition, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has relearned how to talk partly thanks to music therapy, according to an ABC News article.

“Usually aphasia happens when there is damage to the left side of the brain which houses the language. … Music and melody and rhythm are housed in the right side of the brain, so we’re actually using the undamaged portion of the brain to mediate or help out the damaged left side,” Corwin said. “You’ve probably heard about stutterers who only stutter when they speak, but they don’t stutter when they sing. Again, that’s that phenomenon of singing being housed in a different part of the brain than speaking.”

While learning about aphasia in her graduate speech-language pathology classes, Brenna Price, who was an undergraduate music major, was inspired to combine her two passions and form Lubbock’s first aphasia choir. The group had its inaugural rehearsal on June 3.

“Some people with aphasia may only be able to say five words in an hour, but they can come here and sing all the words to “Amazing Grace” just because they’re using a different part of their brain,” Price said. “It’s a chance to get them to communicate a little and be able to talk.”

Price said while the choir will perform songs from a variety of genres including religious, classical, pop and folk, at an upcoming event on Aug. 7, most selections are well known and simple to learn.

“They kind of have to be songs they are familiar with because some people can’t read, or it’s just hard for them to memorize words,” Price said.

Stroke survivor Gerry Fulton, has struggled with aphasia for 14 years. He said he heard about the choir through a friend of his, and has been participating ever since.

“I love coming to aphasia [choir],” Fulton said. “I was the first one here.”

Price said she is proud of the progress the group has made and hopes that, like similar choirs throughout the country, Lubbock’s aphasia choir will grow into a year-round program that will continue to help people express themselves.

“People are really supportive and I think the members have enjoyed it,” Price said. “They have lots fun and it’s a good way to get out into the community and be around others with aphasia. It’s good for them to be able to have friends.”

For more information about how to join the aphasia choir, call (806) 743-5678. Membership is free.

Read, print, share and view videos by clicking on Choir.

Do more men or women have #strokes each year? Get the facts at Stroke Facts.

An article posted in Yahoo News:

Deep, controlled breaths and coming into harmony with those around you. It sounds like a description of some of the basic fundamentals of yoga. But it could also be applied to singing. Does comparing the two sound like a stretch? Not to some scientists who say that singing is just as healthy as yoga.

The London Telegraph reports that researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg have found that the heartbeats of choir members begin to synchronise, resulting in a calming effect on the mind and body that has the same health benefits as the ancient practice of yoga.

“Song is a form of regular, controlled breathing, since breathing out occurs on the song phrases and inhaling takes place between these,” Dr. Björn Vickhoff, who led the study, told the paper. “It gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing. It helps you relax, and there are indications that it does provide a heart benefit.”

To get their results, researchers had a group of teenagers perform three singing exercises: chanting, humming and singing a hymm.

Of course, the study could not make a direct comparison of the overall physical benefits of yoga compared with singing. After all, there are a variety of yoga practices, many of which place an equal if not greater focus on physical development as they do on breathing or meditative exercises.

Still, there seems to be an abundance of evidence indicating that singing is healthy, including the simple fact that singing has been shown to release endorphins. Meaning that those who take part in the activity generally tend to feel better, which in and of itself can have a positive impact on overall health.

In addition, studies at Australia’s University of Newcastle have found that singing lowers levels of depression and anxiety in the elderly and improves a general sense of well-being for those of any age.

Those who sing regularly also breathe more efficiently. That sounds fine and good for everyday living. But the Telegraph notes that a 2012 study by Cardiff University found that cancer patients who sang in a choir had a greater expiratory capacity, which benefitted their treatment and recovery.

A 2008 joint study by Harvard and Yale even notes that a Connecticut town had a higher than average life expectancy directly tied to the large number of residents who participated in choir activities.

Still, despite the promising results from the Gothenburg study, Vickhoff isn’t telling people to roll up their yoga mats just yet. “The medical effects need investigating further,” he said.

Read, print and share this article by clicking on Sing!

A Place for Mom

1 comment

A Place for Mom (APFM) helps seniors and their families find senior housing and senior care based on their unique needs and budget. Founded in 2000, we are the nation’s largest senior living referral service.

We equip you with the resources to make informed decisions, save time, and feel less alone as you face the many challenges of caring for your aging parents. Our advisors work with you to understand your loved one’s needs, and help you navigate through available care options to find the best fit for your family situation.

Find out more by clicking on Place.

In thanks for following Lingraphica’s 30 Facts in 30 Days campaign for Aphasia Awareness Month, they are making the 30 facts a poster which is free.

The Aphasia Journey poster (14″ x 39″) is perfect to hang in your room, office, facility or where ever it can be seen and used as a tool to help educate and make others aware of aphasia.

Simply complete the form on the Lingraphica website.

This is an article posted in Stroke Connection Magazine.

Family and friends are often right by a survivor’s bedside, but eventually they must go back to work and their own lives and families. They may not have the time to become experts on support options. Finding formal or informal support networks can help ease the burden for everyone.

Informal supports (or natural supports): Help, information, advice, resources and opportunities available to individuals with disabilities through friends, neighbors, acquaintances, family members, co-workers, etc. Informal supports can also include things we use to help us with daily life, like alarm clocks and daily planners. This kind of support builds on the relationships that occur when people share common tasks, recreation and purposes. A few examples:

Connecting with people in your religious community or at a recreation center
Getting a ride to work with a neighbor or family member
Getting a phone call reminder from a friend
Using a calculator, spell checker, or picture cards
Using a grocery delivery service
Sharing a task with a co-worker
Detouring around hassles (like using Velcro when tying is tough)
Setting a timer or alarm clock

Stroke support groups are good resources for anyone recovering from a stroke. They can help by providing social opportunities, assisting with problem solving and linking to local resources.
Formal supports: Planning, information services and programs for individuals with disabilities and their families through government agencies and private service providers. These services may differ from community to community. Some of the most common types of formal support include:

The Rehabilitation Services Administration - Independent Living Services: Many agencies throughout the country have programs funded by government grants through the RSA. They include counseling, medical and psychological services, job training and other individualized services. The RSA supports centers for independent living that are operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provide an array of independent living services, including information and referral, independent living skills training, peer counseling and individual and systems advocacy. For more information, contact the RSA in your state.

Aging and Disability Services:
All states have government offices for the aging and disabled that can provide referral and resources to individuals with disability following a stroke.

The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Program:
If you qualify for medical assistance or Medicaid in your state, find out if your state has a HCBS Waiver Program. It permits the State to furnish an array of home- and community-based services that assist Medicaid beneficiaries to live in the community and avoid institutionalization. Each state has different programs and eligibility criteria so contact your local Department of Human or Social Services office for specifics for your state.

Online stroke support and information groups:
These groups are often available 24/7 and can provide online support for stroke survivors and family members. Visit the Stroke Network Online Support Group at

Read original article by Clicking Here .

Learn the sudden warning signs of stroke so you can recognize and respond to stroke FAST. Cut Out wallet card and keep it handy for emergency.

Jake uses YouTube and Star Wars in this innovative lesson on recognizing STROKE.