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Issue: Issue 5 (2018) – Supplement 2


Challenges of a stroke survivor (in the chronic phase)

António Conceição
If we were to synthesize in one word the challenges facing a chronic stroke survivor, it would be integration! (Re) integration that begins on a personal level: it is much easier to achieve satisfactory integration at family, social and even professional level, when one begins by accepting a life plan that may have to be different. Little or nothing has to do with the severity of any sequelae, even less with the type of limitations. In fact, there is a tendency to value what is visible - the physical part – in detriment of what may also be relevant limiting causes for this (re) integration, be it communicative, cognitive, permanent fatigue, and others. And that, easily and in a spiral, slips into a self (which is joined to a hetero) social exclusion. The Cerebrovascular Accident, because it happens in the most complex and differentiating organ of the human being - the brain, tends to be unique in each concrete case, particularly in its sequelae and in the process of recovery and rehabilitation, and its "velocity". For this reason, and not only, it is not understandable that rehabilitation is frequently not delivered as a personalized process, covering different therapeutic areas, in a word, being truly multidisciplinary. And, especially for the citizens with less resources or less information and sensitivity, it is a process that is too much standardized and limited in time. There are a lot of purely administrative and / or political decisions that seem to go exactly in the opposite direction of not only what is expressed here, but also opposite to the recent advances and scientific discoveries. Also for this reason, chronic stroke survivors who achieve good rehabilitation (not to be confused with recovery) are often admired for their psychological strength. Because this is another big challenge!

From the Porto University Center of Medicine Stroke Update Course, Porto, Portugal. 26–27 June 2018.

International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health 2018; 5(Suppl. 2):L20
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