Daughter outside with her stroke survivor mother

About Stroke

A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, and cells begin to die. Anyone can have a stroke, including children and young people, but the risk increases as you get older. 

There are more than 89,000 new strokes in Canada each year – about one every six minutes – but better and faster treatment means there are more stroke survivors than ever before.

The effects of stroke vary from person to person. A stroke may cause problems with speaking, understanding and moving around. It can affect your mental health and make you feel isolated. It can also affect your family, friends and others around you, and your relationships with them. 

Recovery means getting back as much function and independence as possible, returning to the things you enjoy, and building for the future. It can take time and hard work, but it is possible. 

Every survivor is unique, and research shows that it is important to get personalized support from the day of your stroke, for as long as you need it. After Stroke can give you that crucial support. No matter where you are in your stroke journey, we’re here for you.

Woman being cared for by a nurse in a hospital bed after a stroke

In the hospital

You may spend some time in hospital while your medical team diagnoses your stroke, stabilizes your condition, and creates a plan for your rehabilitation. 

This can be an overwhelming and confusing time – full of questions about what happened and what to expect. Talking to someone who has been in the same situation can be extremely helpful.

This is where After Stroke makes such a difference. Our hospital-based volunteers are stroke survivors themselves, so they really understand what you are going through. They can listen, share their experiences, and help you find the information and support you need.

Woman in a wheelchair returning home with husband after a stroke

Going home

We are here to help you navigate the weeks and months after you leave the hospital.

Before you are discharged, your healthcare and rehabilitation team should work with you on a plan for your transition home. This plan may include ongoing treatment and rehabilitation; home care or nursing; and equipment and resources to support your independence and mobility.

But stroke survivors and families often find it hard to access non-medical support, including community programs and resources, once they get home. 

After Stroke can help break through the frustration and isolation. We work with you to understand your needs, set goals and create an individual roadmap for recovery. Our expert coordinators  will connect you to information, education, and support in your community and online.

Stroke survivor surrounded by her family with a baby in her arms

Life after stroke

There is no set timetable for stroke recovery. There will be successes and set-backs, so it’s important to go at your own pace. 

Over time, you may wish to return to work, become more physically active, pick up hobbies, and make new friends. 

Education, support and community-based programs can help you reach your goals, feel better and build your confidence. 

Many people are still improving months or years after their stroke. But life changes or new activities can also bring fresh challenges. 

No matter how long it has been since your stroke, After Stroke can offer personalized support. We can help you deal with issues, set new goals and keep building a fulfilling life.

Stroke recovery is like climbing a mountain. It takes hard work, perseverance and patience, but the view from the top is spectacular.”

Lara Kaufman
41 years old at the time of stroke