Choosing the best stroke support group depends on whether the group is for the stroke patient or for his caregivers and loved ones. A stroke can strike at any age, and may be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease. After having a stroke, a patient and his family may be offered the services of a stroke support group while he is still in the hospital. In addition, the stroke support group may be held either on the hospital campus, or off site, at a library, church, or other venue.
If a family member had a stroke, caregivers can benefit from a stroke support group by sharing experiences with others in the same situation. Armed with the knowledge that they are not alone, caregivers often feel more confident and have a brighter outlook on their situation. Recovering from a stroke is challenging for the patient and his family, and choosing a support group that offers encouragement and positive feedback not only benefits the patient emotionally, but might encourage him to get stronger physically, as well.
The subject of dealing with a stroke can be a broad topic and sometimes, support groups are organized for people with more narrowly focused issues. For example, there are support groups for those who had strokes during or after childbirth and support groups for those who had strokes as a result of a traumatic head injury. Also, while attending a stroke support group, patients might get the opportunity to listen to medical speakers such as doctors or nurses, experienced in managing the stroke patient.
When choosing a stroke support group, the patient or his family will need to decide if a hospital-based support group or off-site support is best for them. Sometimes patients do not feel comfortable returning to the hospital where they recovered from their stroke. This can evoke bad memories and delay emotional healing. For these individuals, an outpatient or off-site support group setting might be more suited to his liking.
The Internet can also be a valuable resource for people seeking a stroke support group. A number of established and reputable websites offer support groups for people who seek help, but cannot leave their homes. Online-based support groups allow the patient and his family to maintain their anonymity, while still benefiting form the group's community and stroke-related resources. There is one drawback to the online support group, and that is that patients and their caregivers do not experience the face-to-face support from others in their situation.