Volunteers for stroke patients

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Volunteers trained to help stroke patients

In North Rhine-Westphalia, a pilot project is training volunteers who want to support stroke patients in their everyday lives. This is intended to supplement medical care for those affected.

Aid for stroke patients has so far been unique in Germany In North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), volunteers are being trained in a pilot project who want to support patients who have had a stroke in their everyday lives. As announced by the German Stroke Aid Foundation on Wednesday, this is intended to supplement medical care for those affected. The project is scientifically supported by the Bochum University of Health (HSG). As HSG professor Kerstin Bilda said, this combination has so far been unique in Germany.

The mission is not intended to replace medical care for stroke patients. From the end of March, a series of training seminars are to begin for around 20 volunteers, including in Bochum, Münster and Dortmund. A six-month practical assignment is then planned from June to December. The volunteers should help stroke patients in everyday life, for example by filling out forms, making applications or simply talking to those affected. "Many people affected are looked after and cared for by people from their environment. But caring for stroke patients leads to overwork and social isolation for relatives or acquaintances. It is important to provide relief here, ”said Bilda. The mission is not about replacing medical care.

Ideally, training should continue after the pilot phase. The initiators want to arrange the volunteers in cooperation with clinics and hospitals. If you need support, you can also contact the German Stroke Aid Foundation directly. The project should be scientifically evaluated by the university after the end of the test phase. The model project is funded by state funding and the EU Regional Development Fund. As foundation spokesman Mario Leisle explained, the training of helpers should ideally go beyond the pilot phase. However, this is only possible with sustainable funding.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Germany. According to estimates, around 270,000 to 280,000 strokes occur in Germany each year. Over 60,000 people die of it every year. This makes stroke the third most common cause of death in Germany after heart and cancer diseases. Because women have additional risks of stroke, they are generally more affected. Risk factors for both sexes include smoking, high alcohol consumption, little exercise, being overweight (obesity) or fat metabolism disorders. But women also face additional risks, such as taking the birth control pill, migraines with aura, which is more common in women, or type 2 diabetes, which according to a recent study only increases the risk of stroke in women. (sb)

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