Socialization and Support
A stroke may cause mental and physical challenges which can lead to feelings of being socially isolated and lonely. Feelings of loneliness are complicated by the natural aging process, loss of loved one's, inability to drive, and difficulty participating in leisure activities you enjoyed prior to your stroke. Social isolation and loneliness can affect your brain's healing process after your stroke.
Exploring new social activities could help build new friendships with others. Using a pencil and paper, answer the questions on the People, Places, and Events I Would Enjoy activity below. Also, check out the Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale to rate your quality of life.
People, Places, and Events I Would Enjoy
PEOPLE-List 3 people with whom you would enjoy doing something.
PLACES-List 3 places you would enjoy visiting.
EVENTS-List 3 events that you would like to participate in.
Source: Clark, et.al. (2015) Lifestyle Redesign: The intervention tested in the USC well elderly studies. AOTA Press.
What are some social activities you might like to explore?
Join an online stroke group on social media (Facebook). Search Facebook for these groups:
- The Stroke exercise and Rehabilitation Group
- Young Stroke Survivors Global Network
- Stroke Survivor Support Group
- Stroke Recovery Support Group
- Life After Stroke!!
image source: TeePublic
Join a support group! Both online and in-person support groups are great ways to connect with people who understand what you are going through. Check out these national and international sites:
Volunteer! Think about your strengths...do you have a background in mechanics? Then offer to mentor students at your local vocational/trade school. Do you like to read? Then volunteer at your local library.
- PowerOf.org lists volunteer openings across the U.S.
- Check out some more volunteer options on this page.
Some individuals seek spirituality and faith for support and guidance after their stroke. Attending religious functions may help you to feel connected to others and opens doors to many volunteer opportunities.
Reference: Smallfield, S., & Molitor, W. L. (2018). Occupational therapy interventions supporting social participation and leisure engagement for community-dwelling older adults: A systematic review. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(4), 7204190020p1-7204190020p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.030627
Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale
The Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale measures your quality of life. Total scores range from 49-245.
Source: Shirley Ryan Ability Lab
Page last updated 1/2021