The road to recovery

Claire McIntyre with occupational therapist Christine Kingsnorth at the Bentley Health Service. Picture: Robin Kornet www.communitypix.com.au d406664
Claire McIntyre with occupational therapist Christine Kingsnorth at the Bentley Health Service. Picture: Robin Kornet www.communitypix.com.au d406664

Ms McIntyre said it was hard work but she set goals to motivate herself and feel a sense of achievement.

‘You can’t look at it long term to begin with, it’s too much,’ she said.

Ms McIntyre, who lives in Bentley, had a stroke in early July and lost movement on the left side of her body.

She regained some movement in her face and leg but still had difficulties with her left arm.

‘It is hard living with deadpan weight hanging off of my shoulder, it throws out my balance and I have absolutely no control over it,’ Ms McIntyre said.

She said without the staff she could not do anything on her own.

‘It’s like a big family here, it’s what you make of it and you make the best of it you can,’ she said.

‘I’ve had so much encouragement from staff, friends and family. It would be really hard on your own.’

Occupational therapist Christine Kingsnorth said she was not expecting Ms McIntyre to be able to return home initially but she has made an excellent recovery.

‘A lot of people have cognitive difficulties, such as problems with planning and decision making. Claire has none of those difficulties,’ she said.

Ms Kingsnorth said she saw potential for Ms McIntyre to return home a few weeks ago and worked with her towards that goal.

‘The physical therapist and I took Claire home to see how she managed, build her confidence and adjusted the house.’

She said Ms McIntyre would still require ongoing help with personal care.

Ms Kingsnorth said stroke was Australia’s second biggest killer after coronary heart disease and a leading cause of disability.

She said last year 50,000 Australians suffered new and recurrent strokes ” that is the equivalent of 1000 strokes every week or one every 10 minutes.

During the week of September 9-15, the team from the Stroke Unit at Bentley Health Service will be celebrating National Stroke Week with free educational activities for members of the public and with community displays.

‘People know about heart attacks, but aren’t as aware of strokes,’ Ms Kingsnorth said.

‘Strokes don’t just happen to old people.’