All posts by Angelo Antoline

After a Stroke — Finding the Right Words

It’s common to struggle at times to find the right word during a conversation. But for an individual who has had a stroke, finding the right word may be much more difficult.

Aphasia can be a side effect of a stroke, which can affect a person’s ability to communicate by impairing the ability to speak, read, listen or write. When a person with aphasia has word-finding difficulty, it’s called anomia.

Anomia makes it difficult to find the words or ideas that a person wants to share. Sometimes the word may come, and sometimes it won’t.

When this happens in a conversation, the person who is speaking to the stroke survivor may want to jump in quickly to supply the word. But in reality, that can be more of a hindrance than a help. It would be more beneficial to help the person find the word they are looking for rather than supplying it.

So, how can you best communicate with someone under these circumstances? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Allow plenty of time for a response. Talk with the individual, not for him or her.
  • Ask “yes” or “no” questions that can be answered simply and without a lot of explanation.
  • Use photographs or pictures to help provide cues.
  • Write your cues – such as a letter or a drawing – on a piece of paper to share.
  • Confirm and repeat back what the person has said. Use paraphrases or key words to be sure that you’re understanding properly.
  • Use gestures as you ask questions.
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Act FAST and Save a Life

FAST is an easy way to identify the most common symptoms of stroke:

F – Face drooping. Ask the person to smile. Note if one side of the face is drooping.
A – Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms to the side. See if one drifts downward.
S – Speech difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Listen if the speech is slurred or strange.
T – Time to call 911. If you observe any of these signs, call for help immediately.

Take note of the time of the first symptom so you can tell medical personnel because this can affect treatment decisions. Rapid access to medical treatment can make a difference between full recovery and permanent disability.

Other symptoms of a stroke also may include sudden onset of:

  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding what someone is saying
  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Even if you’re unsure if someone is having a stroke, don’t delay in calling 911 to get the person medical help immediately.

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Don’t Have a Stroke

Dick Clark. Sharon Stone. Rick James.

When you think of these celebrities, you probably think of their talents. What you probably don’t realize is that each suffered a stroke.

Strokes – or brain attacks – can happen to anyone at any time. Strokes are the leading cause of adult disability in the United States, and the fifth leading cause of death.

According to the National Stroke Association, about 800,000 people suffer from strokes every year. What’s notable, however, is that nearly 80 percent of strokes can be avoided.

Certain traits, conditions and habits can raise an individual’s risk of having a stroke. Many of these lifestyle risk factors can be controlled and may actually help prevent a stroke from occurring.

That’s good news, right? So, how do we lessen our chances of having a stroke?

We can start by controlling these lifestyle risk factors:
• High blood pressure
• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Poor diet
• High blood cholesterol
• Physical inactivity
• Obesity
• Heart diseases
• Alcohol consumption

If you think you can improve any of these lifestyle risk factors, do it.
The changes you make now may affect what happens – or better yet, what doesn’t happen – later.

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Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital Provides Nationally Recognized Care to Community for 9th Year in Row

For the 9th year in a row, Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital has been acknowledged for providing nationally recognized rehabilitative care to its patients. The hospital was ranked in the Top 10% of inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide for providing care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient and timely.

“This means that in the Greenwood area, we’re providing the highest level of rehabilitative care available anywhere in the United States right now,” says Kristin Manske, CEO of Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. “Patients and their families don’t have to leave the area to receive the latest in technology and clinical protocols – we’re providing it here in our own backyard.”

The hospital was ranked from among 781 inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR). The UDSMR is a non-profit corporation that was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. UDSMR maintains the world’s largest database for medical rehabilitation outcomes.

“This national ranking speaks highly of the commitment and dedication of our employees and medical staff,” Manske says. “Our staff is passionate about helping patients return home at their highest possible levels of productivity and independence. And for anyone who has ever as had a family member or friend needing healthcare, that matters. We consider it a privilege to be able to provide this higher standard of care to our community.”

Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital provides specialized rehabilitative services to patients who are recovering from disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. This includes strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations, along with illnesses such as cerebral palsy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

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“Business of the Week”

The Chamber is pleased to spotlight its members through the “Business of the Week” program, and this week Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital is the Business of the Week!

At Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, we provide intensive rehabilitation services to people recovering from disabling diseases or injuries, such as strokes, brain, spinal cord and orthopedic injuries. Patients are our priority. We are passionate about patient care and consider it a privilege to be able to provide services to patients and their family members throughout South Carolina and Georgia. We provide the highest level of inpatient rehabilitative services available to patients in our own community. Our efforts have earned us national recognition as a healthcare leader for the past 7 consecutive years. We consider it a privilege to be able to offer this high-level care and are honored to be a vital part of the communities we serve.


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Georgia Stroke Patient Seeks out Greenwood Hospital for Rehabilitative Care

And the crowd goes wild!

After suffering a stroke, 59-year-old Lane Norton from Athens, Ga., and her family chose Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital over several rehabilitative treatment options that were available in their home state. Lane says they were looking for a facility that embodies the ideals of what they thought rehabilitation should be and would enable her to receive aquatic therapy as part of her treatment – and they found that here in Greenwood. (Note: Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital is ranked in the top 10% of rehab hospitals nationally.)

Lane’s prognosis wasn’t good following her stroke. She was unable to do everyday tasks such as walking, sitting, dressing, or even rolling over in her bed because of extreme weakness in her body.

But after nearly 4 weeks of rehabilitative treatment, Lane walked out of Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital with a walker and hospital staff lining the halls clapping for her. (I’ve included a photo of this).

Lanes now has regained independence and can eat, bathe and dress herself.

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Stroke patient celebrates personal Independence Day

A patient’s personal Independence Day

Stroke patient James Arthur was dressed in a star-spangled top hat and red, white and blue leis when he recently walked out of Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital.  “I couldn’t walk when I got here, but I’m going to walk out today,” he said.

It was James’ personal Independence Day.

James’ prognosis when he had been admitted to the hospital a month earlier had been grim. He couldn’t walk, had some speech and short-term memory problems, and was unable to perform simple tasks like bathing, eating or dressing. But, after weeks of therapy and with strong family support and a positive outlook, James has regained independence and was discharged to go home.

I refused to give up and the staff here refused to give up on me,” he says

James is one of many stroke patients in this past year that has had a successful outcome at Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital.

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